Résumés anglais / Article abstracts (from 2005)
Witamowikok, “Telling” Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Land Today. Territories of Orality and Aboriginal New Media
Laurent Jérôme and Vicky Veilleux
For 30 years the Nehirowisiwok have been engaged in a land claims process with Quebec and Canadian governments. This article aims to document one of the significant routes of this resistance, self-determination and recognition of Nehirowisiwok sovereignty: discourse. Storytelling is considered to be a creative process for the Nehirowisiwok in which can be expressed the capacity to act. The stories collected during field research in Atikamekw nehirowisiw territory since 2000 and the audiovisual Atikamekw nehirowisiw production of the Wapikoni Mobile project are the different sources used in this paper to outline the conceptions and concerns with respect to their territory. Before looking at the modes of appropriation of the new media by Aboriginal people, in particular by the young Nehirowisiwok, the authors will first establish the continuity of the oral tradition. Then they will promote the ‘telling’ of the elders, witnesses to the transformation of the land. Their messages are addressed to new generations of Nehirowisiwok and to non-Aboriginal people.
Keywords: Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok, indigenous youth, oral tradition, new media, indigenous lands
The Contemporary Territorial Governance of Nitaskinan: Tradition, adaptation, and Flexibility
Through current negotiations with the federal and provincial governments, the Atikamekw Nehirowisiw First Nation (Québec, Canada) aims to both increase its access to natural resources and transform the decision-making processes and institutions governing Nitaskinan, its ancestral land. Of central importance in the redefinition of institutions of governance and processes is the revitalisation of the territorial chief’s (ka nikaniwitc) traditional and central role in the decision making regarding the land. This paper shows that the Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok are currently building a new system of governance, one with which they can identify and is rooted in their traditions, with the ka nikaniwitc and the family at its core, and yet forward-looking, adaptive, and different from its original form. In this system, the ka nikaniwitc is positioned as a catalyst through whom information concerning the land flows in order to produce land-related decisions that are compatible with nehirowisiwok values and having an impact locally and regionally. Results presented in this paper show Nitaskinan’s negotiated system of governance to be a success, from a Nehirowisiw perspective. It is necessary to reach an agreement that sees shared decision-making as flexible enough to include the evolving perceptions endorsed by the Nehirowisiwok. This can only be achieved if the shared direction of the territory is seen as a flexible exercise of continued construction and revision of the institutions and the environmental knowledge in concert with indigenous social change.
Keywords: Territorial governance, territorial chief, indigenous, adaptive co-management
Cooptation and resistance in collaborative forest planning in Québec: The case of Atikamekw Nehirowisiw and the “Tables GIRT”
Jean-François Fortier and Stephen Wyatt
Defined as collaborative processes that aim to bring together a wide range of stakeholders to develop a common vision for forest management, a series of local integrated land and resource management panels, known in French as Tables GIRT (“gestion intégrée des ressources et du territoire”) were established in Québec in 2010. This article explores the involvement of the Atikamekw Nehirowisiw in these tables. Unlike other studies that have tended to regard collaborative processes as an ideal “win-win” model, or as a strategy of co-optation of Aboriginal participation, this study proposes to examine both forms of resistance and cooptation in these collaborative processes. In addition, this paper demonstrates that Aboriginal participation in the Tables GIRT can be better understood by taking into account other processes in which First Nations are also involved.
Keywords: Atikamekw Nehirowisiw, collaborative planning, forestlands, aboriginal rights, “table GIRT”
Nehirowisiw Kiskeritamowina: Acquisition, Utilization and Transmission of Skills and Knowledge in a World of Hunters
Knowledge refers to a set of elements that a person uses to interpret the world and act within it (Barth 1995, 2002). Each system of knowledge is based on values and rules of conduct that underlie a particular cultural complex. In this paper, based on research among the Nehirowisiwok of Manawan, the author is interested in certain values and rules of conduct that are part of a “common knowledge” – a cultural knowledge which is cohesive and structuring. By focusing on reciprocal relationships, on socially recognized forms of authority, and on the processes of knowledge acquisition, its utilization and transmission, the aim of the author is to explain some of the foundational issues that concern Nehirowisiw contemporary sociality. The author demonstrates the practical, ethical and political aspects of these processes.
Keywords: knowledge, forest world, way of life, Atikamekw Nehirowisiw
The contemporary occupation of Nitaskinan by the Nehirowisiwok of Wemotaci
Stephen Wyatt and Yvon Chilton
This article explores the contemporary relationship of the Nehirowisiwok with Nitaskinan, their ancestral lands. Interviews with around thirty members of the community of Wemotaci reveal how they occupy and engage with the land while undertaking a wide variety of activities. These activities can be grouped according to three principal themes: kapeciwin, life in camp and on the land; tipahiskan, activities associated with managing the land; and atoskewin, harvesting animals and plants. Together, these activities enable the Nehirowisiwok to maintain their language and knowledge, as well as to continue nehirowisi pimatisiwin, their way of life. This study demonstrates that the occupation of Nitaskinan is not simply a historical fact, but that it is an ongoing practice that remains at the heart of the life and identity of the Nehirowisiwok. Despite changes happening around them, caused by an ever-expanding Euro-canadian presence, the Nehirowisiwok of Wemotaci continue to occupy and engage with Nitaksinan, in a way that is both traditional and contemporary.
Keywords: Nehirowisiwok, Nitaskinan, ancestral lands, forestland management, way of life
Atikamekw Kinokewin, the “living memory”: An assessment of participatory research in an Indigenous context
Like other Indigenous peoples in the world, the Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok are particularly concerned by the loss of their knowledge and conscious of the obstacles and the challenges underlying its transmission in today’s context. In face of these preoccupations, and at least in the last twenty years, the Atikamekw Nehirowisiw Nation has elaborated various initiatives in order to document, give value to local knowledge and facilitate its transmission. It is in such a context that the project Atikamekw Kinokewin emerged, in 2006, on the basis of a collaboration between Indigenous experts and academic researchers. The assessment presented in this article works at two interrelated levels, namely a reflection on the experience of the participatory research itself, as well as the progress, the activities and the results of the project Atikamekw Kinokewin. With a view towards the decolonisation of research, the article discusses also some of the challenges, namely at the ethical and methodological levels, inherent in such participatory research with Indigenous communities.
Keywords: Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok, participatory research, Indigenous knowledge, transmission, website
Aboriginal territories and property in New France: II – The management of hunting districts
This paper is being published in two parts. The first, which appeared in our last issue (vol. 43, nos 2-3), focused on the debates concerning the origins of territorial control and the recognition of national territories. The second part, which appears in this issue, deals with the management of hunting districts.
In northeastern America, the pre-Columbian origins of aboriginal family territories has created controversy in the past among anthropologists, just as the possibility that Algonquian peoples devised wildlife conservation measures by themselves. At the beginning of the 17th century, however, the French had no difficulty recognizing the territories of Indigenous Nations who controlled access to the area and exercised a form of collective ownership over it. Their chiefs also supervised the use of these lands. With time, the King’s representatives tried to convince the aboriginal inhabitants, who they called “brothers”, to grant each other the mutual right to hunt on each other’s lands. As was the case in Acadia, there existed in New France well-defined hunting “districts” that were exploited under the guidance of the head of a family band. Members from another band or outsiders had to obtain permission to hunt there, although occasional incursions without permission were tolerated. From 1660 on, conservation measures can be seen in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain regions. In the 18th century, these conservation practices are not documented for the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River, but it seems unlikely that Indigenous people did not have the wherewithal to devise such measures on their own. Overall, this conception of territory and ownership seems to have an Indigenous rather than a French origin. It is based on the existence of national boundaries and well-defined districts, even though French observers did not attempt to describe these with precision.
Keywords: aboriginal family territories, hunting districts, Indigenous Nations, Algonquians, New France
The relations between the Innus and non-Innus in the Sagamie region: A double analysis “impressionist” and discursive
In this paper I offer a double analysis of the relations between the Innus and non-Innus in the Sagamie region. The so called « impressionist » analysis is based on my experience of 35 years of contact and work with the Innus. The positions of seven groups of actors were looked at : the Innus, the governments, the Metis of the King’s Domain and the Mingan Seigniory, the local politicians, the regional media, the courts and the local non-Aboriginal population. For its part, the discursive analysis is the result of the examination of 415 regional newspaper articles using key-words related to eight themes: Innu land claims negotiations. Metis claims, economic development, traditional and contemporary culture, local politics, social issues, education and sports. The analysis of the articles in local newspapers shows that the fields of economic development and culture are factors of common interest. This is not the case, however, with two subjects: the Agreement in principle, signed by the Innus, concerning their land claims, and the Metis claim. My impressionist analysis is more pessimistic in concluding that only the influence of strong leaders and a good lot of positive information would be necessary to establish better relations between the Innus and the non-Innus in the Sagamie region. The future of those relations will depend, in part, on the decision of the court concerning the claims of Aboriginal rights by the Metis of the King’s Domain and the Mingan Seigniory.
Approche commune: Impetus for an Interethnic Definition of Territorial Planning?
The Approche commune, which became known as the Agreement-in-Principle of a General Nature between the First Nations of Mamuitun and Nutashkuan and the Government of Québec and the Government of Canada (APGN) in 2002, has not left anybody indifferent ever since it was made public in July 2000. The two regions, the territory of which overlaps with the Agreement land regime, the Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and Côte-Nord, have been the scene of a debate characterized at times by some lasting sterotypes and hateful words. On the other hand, focusing on the first region, there have been concrete interethnic actions and partnerships over the years, which nurture regional and local development and planning initiatives. The APGN, as the author shall argue, is playing an important role in the emergence of those actions and partnerships. The first two parts of this paper are devoted to this and offer a geographical perspective on the Agreement, those partnerships and the cross-cultural dialogue that results from them. The third part takes a critical look at this recent non-Aboriginal openness to interethnic partnerships and shows how it might be better explained by the economic context than a newfound understanding of Innu culture and territoriality.
Aboriginal rights: Recognition and denial. The controversy surrounding the “Joint Approach”
This paper presents the preliminary results of a discourse analysis about the controversy surrounding the Agreement-in-Principle with the First Nations of Mamuitun and Nutashkuan. It deals with the view of the relations between central and peripheral regions maintained by opponents of the agreement and with the challenging of First Nations’ identities. Moreover, the discussion includes a brief comparison between this particular case and other similar controversies reported elsewhere in North America.
Conservation and Innovation: Contemporary Transmissions of Innu Tradition
Nowadays, Innus who still wish to learn and transmit their traditional culture have recourse to new strategies: writing, documentaries, training in the forest, academic courses, museums and cultural centers, web sites and multimedia tools. It is a matter of blending the profound transformations produced by the colonization and the contemporary life style: the settling on reserves, the new economic practices, the schooling of the youth. In the 1950’s, the institution of Catholic boarding schools seems to have played a dramatic role. According to many Innus, they have cut the cultural roots of new generations. In the resulting crisis situation, traditions are perpetuated through innovative, creative and conscious actions. Based on more than two years field research (2003-2006) conducted in the Uashat mak Mani-utenam community (Québec’s North Shore), my article analyzes the transformations of the transmission process of “Innu knowledge” according to a dynamic concept of “tradition”.
The Québec Boundaries Extension Acts of 1898 and 1912, the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement, and the Abitibiwinni First Nation
The Boundaries Extension Acts of 1898 and 1912 have defined, in good part, Québec’s territory. Authors have considered these Acts from the angle of Indian rights arguing, in accordance with paragraph 2 of the 1912 Act, an obligation for Québec in this regard. Québec recognized its obligation at the signing, with the Crees and the Inuit, of the James Bay and Northern Québec Agreement in 1975. Anishnabeg/Algonquins, Atikamekw, and Innus, which were also inhabiting the annexed territories of 1898 and 1912, saw their rights extinguished unilaterally. The 1912 Act may have served as an important legal argument at the time of the Agreement, but few researchers have ever considered its historical context. The review of this period’s documentation restores to the forefront the rights issue of the Indian nations left aside as it is the case with the Abitibiwinni First Nation.
Land Health, Indicators of Animal Health and Holism: Catch Selection and Food Choices in the Atikamekw Communities of Manawan and Obedjiwan
Nancy Tanguay, Sylvie de Grosbois and Johanne Saint-Charles
As part of a multidisciplinary research project on traditional food and contaminants, focus groups were conducted in the summer of 2008 at the Atikamekw communities of Opitciwan and Manawan (Québec). The objective was to address the changes Atikamekw people have noticed in the game and fish and to seek a better understanding of the way they select a catch that is fit for consumption. The Atikamekw seem to use many indicators to assess the state of health of the animals they consume. These indicators are based on a holistic vision of health integrated in the concept of health of the land. The decision regarding the edibility of a catch is only one of many aspects that play a role in the process of food choices for the Atikamekw. It is essential to take these aspects into account in the development of food recommendations that are culturally relevant.
Indigenous Women in Prison and the Criminalization of Poverty in Mexico
R. Aída Hernández Castillo
This article analyzes the reality of indigenous women incarcerated in Mexico. It offers a national perspective on indigenous women and federal penal justice, focusing on the experiences of imprisoned women in a women’s prison in the Mexican state of Morelos. The author discusses the methodology of intercultural dialogical collaboration as applied in the Life Stories Workshop conducted at the prison of Atlacholoaya, in order to analyze the exclusionary histories of imprisoned women from an intersectional perspective. The article also presents some reflections on the impact of globalization in the realm of justice based on new forms of regulation and control in response to transnational tendencies of the building of neoliberal penal states.
IsumaTV the Babel of the Far North: Religions, Indigenous Images and Electronic Media
Frédéric Laugrand and Galo Luna-Penna
Widely known for its award winning movies, Igloolik ISUMA Productions has established a virtual network, which today distributes worldwide, images and interviews on Aboriginal issues. However, the Inuit firm has more fundamental objectives, such as those of being a spokesman for many contemporary claims, not only in the cultural domain (preservation of heritage, etc.), but also in the economic and political spheres where indigenous rights are threatened, as by mineral exploitation This paper attempts to show how, in Northern Canada, an electronic media such as IsumaTV plays a decisive role in the establishment of effective indigenous connections. Through a content analysis of IsumaTV, the authors examine to what extent these cultural products can nurture and transform images in cyberspace, while at another level, and for many reasons, local effects are much more limited. In this process, the religious domain seems to be at the center of these streams as it gives more strength to Aboriginal claims.
Information and communication technologies (ICT) and the promotion of sexual and reproductive health among Québec aboriginal youth
M.A. Serge Djossa Adoun, Bernard Roy, Nancy Gros-Louis McHugh, Marie-Noëlle Caron and Marie-Pierre Gagnon
This study aims to examine the habits and preferences of adolescents and young adults (13-25 years old) of First Nations (FN) of Québec in relation to information and communication technologies (ICTs). It was carried out as part of an evaluation of the feasibility of using ICT interventions for the promotion of sexual and reproductive health (SRH) among young First Nations of Quebec. A questionnaire was designed for an electronic survey completed by a total of 192 participants. Over 60 % of respondents have regular access to technologies most often mentioned in the literature on interventions using ICT for the promotion of SRH and the prevention of STIs/HIV/AIDS among adolescents. However, they prefer the Internet as a channel for receiving information on SRH.
Aboriginal territories and property in New France: I – The origins of land control and the recognition of national territories
This paper is published in two parts. The first, which appears in this issue, focuses on the debates concerning the origins of territorial control and on the recognition of national territories. The second part, which will appear in the next issue, will deal with the management of hunting districts.
In northeastern America, the pre-Columbian origins of aboriginal family territories has created controversy in the past among anthropologists, just as the possibility that Algonquian peoples devised wildlife conservation measures by themselves. At the beginning of the 17th century, however, the French had no difficulty recognizing the territories of Indigenous Nations who controlled access to the area and exercised a form of collective ownership over it. Their chiefs also supervised the use of these lands. With time, the King’s representatives tried to convince the aboriginal inhabitants, who they called “brothers”, to grant each other the mutual right to hunt on each other’s lands. As was the case in Acadia, there existed in New France well-defined hunting “districts” that were exploited under the guidance of the head of a family band. Members from another band or outsiders had to obtain permission to hunt there, although occasional incursions without permission were tolerated. From 1660 on, conservation measures can be seen in the Great Lakes and Lake Champlain regions. In the 18th century, these conservation practices are not documented for the North Shore of the St. Lawrence River, but it seems unlikely that Indigenous people did not have wherewithal to devise such measures on their own. Overall, this conception of territory and ownership seems to have an Indigenous rather than a French origin. It is based on the existence of national boundaries and well-defined districts, even though French observers did not attempt to describe these with precision.
The Original of the Montagnais Petition of the 8th of April 1847: An Unknown Document
In his research note, this author returns to the Montagnais petition of the 8th of April 1847, which has been wrongfully presented, more than once, as of the 8th of May 1847, or else, as of the month of January 1849. This author gives the reasons why he chooses, as the date of writing of this petition, the 8th of April 1847. He also discusses its other versions, better known to researchers, but remaining incomplete as they do not give the signatures of the numerous petitioners. Accordingly he elaborates on the context of the writing of the petition and of its transmission to the authorities. Lastly he tries to distinguish, among the requests expressed in the petition, the real intentions of the Montagnais and those of their missionaries. Making available the original of the Montagnais petition of the 8th of April 1847 will contribute to the study of the history of the Innus of the St. Lawrence North Shore and of their families.
The Assertion of a Nation: The Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg Diplomatic Means
The enactment of the Indian Act by the Canadian authorities imposed on Indian societies a new political world. Therefore the latter had to deal with the system of band councils by adapting and reorganizing their political ways. Did the Algonquian diplomatic tradition, which was very active in the xviith century and even during part of the xviiith century, also transform? Since the 1970's and the movements to assert the rights of Indigenous Peoples, the band councils relations are no longer limited to the Canadian government, to other indigenous nations or relations with non-Aboriginal local, regional, provincial or pan-Canadian authorities. They now extend to the international arena. Can the word diplomacy be used in the context of contemporary band councils? Focusing on the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi, the author explores the active participation of the band in meetings with the ambassadors of different countries represented in Ottawa. The assertion of a national identity and the political recognition of the band are at the heart of the action taken by the Anishnabeg.
The Educational Roots of Indifference
This research note provides a brief reflection, supported by the theoretical contributions of different authors, around the representation of First Nations in Quebec's educational curriculum and the consequences thereof on the perpetuation of stereotypes and prejudices within the social fabric. Despite the recommendations of the Indian Control of Indian Education about the importance of exposing all students to the history and cultures of the First Peoples (FIC 1972: 10-11), systemic marginalization continues to operate and even, to regenerate through textbooks and curriculum over generations. In an attempt to address this problem, we are witnessing the creation of a wide range of educational, artistic and sociopolitical local initiatives. But is it enough? Could mutual recognition and the mending of relationships take place without significant reformulation of our own historical, institutional and cultural perspectives?
The Hybrid Development of Culture, Information and Communication Industries among First Nations
France Aubin, Maude Calvé-Thibault and Éric George
This article synthesizes the proceedings of a December 2010 seminar concerning the results of a long-term research project. Undertaken from 2007-2010, the research project examined “The development of First Nations culture, information and communication industries in the context of global industrial change”. Participants in the seminar included various research collaborators as well as other individuals interested in First Nations culture industries. The following observations emerged: First Nations culture industries do not all follow the same path in terms of industrialization, and industrialization is limited when it must respond to the multiple challenges facing First Nations companies.
Aboriginal Communities and Media: Diverse Expectations
Based on research conducted with Éric George on Aboriginal media in Canada and on various theoretical works dealing with the public sphere and informational activism, the author addresses the issue of Aboriginal people and the media. This research shows that some Aboriginal communities express a need for community based media, and not white media, to reflect their own voices and culture. Their desire therefore is not to expand the public sphere but rather to confine it to their own community. Other voices are claiming access to the dominant public arena. Quebec Aboriginal leaders have appropriated the “white” conceptions of public debate and civil society. They feel that in order to add their social, economic and cultural rights to the current political agenda, the time has come to join other counterpublics in a globalized movement advocating the right not only to be heard but to be taken seriously.
APTN at the Heart of the Development of Aboriginal Broadcasting in Canada
Éric George and France Aubin
This paper discusses the role played by APTN in the development of aboriginal audiovisual industries. The question is whether or not APTN has contributed to fostering the right to wider communication for aboriginal communities. The right to communication is understood here as having access to the expression of ideas, values, and traditions of First Nations, Metis and Inuit. This issue explored by considering the economical, political and social conditions of production of cultural content. While APTN has undoubtedly played a major role both in the production and broadcast of aboriginal content, one might ask if aiming towards mainstream media professionalism is consistent with the idea of fostering expression. To say the least, the status of APTN between community, public and private media remains unclear.
Internet, a New Eldorado for the Dissemination of Aboriginal Audiovisual Production ?
The growing popularity of social media has renewed a debate that has existed since the inception of the Internet; that users of cyberspace, through the production of online content, participate in the development of new production structures that will revolutionize the cultural industries. By leaving the status of “mere consumer” to become “content generator”, the user actively contributes to the cultural development of his community and the circulation of new forms of production. By looking at the role played by the Internet in the flow of aboriginal cultural production in Québec and Canada, the author discusses how cyberspace can enrich “traditional” production and how the Web helps to diversify the supply of aboriginal cultural production and to change its uses. In short, to what extent do the new media contribute to expanding the Aboriginal voice or to reinforcing the dominance of existing media?
Video Training and the Development of Broadcasting for First Nations in Québec: What is the Role of Wapikoni Mobile?
How can a video training project in First Nations reserves contribute to the emergence of Aboriginal media? This question is explored in this article through the case study of Wapikoni mobile, which has been organizing video workshops in Aboriginal communities in Québec since 2004. I draw on an analysis of the history of Native public broadcasters in northern Canada to see how this project can help to strengthen the Aboriginal media landscape in Quebec, particularly relative to the possibility of building subaltern counterpublics.
The State of Local, Regional and National News in Québec: The Perspective of First Nations
In 2008, the Quebec Press Council toured Quebec’s administrative regions in order to study the public’s and socio-economic decisionmaker’s perceptions of the news. Over a period of five months, more than 200 organizations and 250 citizens were consulted. This research note discusses these meetings and explores First Nations’ expectations regarding the media, as well as the media’s portrayal of First Nations. The author analyzes for the first time, the opinions put forward by Innus (Montagnais), Cree and Inuit. These participants expressed their opinions over access to and quality of information, including concerns over limited access to national media and the challenges facing regional media in covering the huge territories. Also addressed are the issues of limited regional representation within the national media and the romanticizing of First Nations. This article brings to light the current state of affairs as well as the issues at stake for First Nations representatives and current endeavours to outline possible solutions as brought forward by participants.
A Newspaper in the James Bay Cree Society
In December 1993, during a time of political struggle, four young Cree leaders who disagreed with the way the James Bay Agreement was negotiated founded The Nation, a bi-monthly James Bay Cree newspaper. Born in a society in which journalism hardly ever existed, this newspaper quickly became a locus for social dialogue. The author focuses on three aspects that inform the practice of journalism as it develops in this context : first, by examining how an informal hierarchy weighs on its organisational structure; secondly, by considering the particular relationships between journalists and their sources of information; finally, by examining column content in the context of a society occupied with the redefinition of its social basis.
The Gaudreau Site at Weedon: The First Plano Site in the St. Francis River Basin, Eastern Townships
Éric Graillon, Claude Chapdelaine and Éric Chalifoux
The Gaspé Peninsula and the Bas-Saint-Laurent region are rich in sites with parallel retouched points, but they are rare elsewhere in Southern Québec. A new site located at the junction of the Saint François and Saumon Rivers in Weedon (Eastern Townships) has produced a small collection of Late Paleoindian Plano points made from an unknown material that may represent a rare variety of rhyolite. This diagnostic assemblage was found deep below the topsoil in association with a small workshop containing 500 flakes of the same material. The tools and the lithic debitage are described in this article, accompanied by a discussion of the impact of this new Plano site on the chronology and adaptation of a group of hunter-gatherers trying to adjust to the Pleistocene-Holocene transition characterized by changing environmental conditions.
The newen in the Political Processes of Production and Socialization of Knowledge Ontologies
Ana Margarita Ramos and María Emilia Sabatella
Under the cosmopolitical proposal – focused on possible articulations between divergent worlds or ontologies – this paper aims to analyze the Mapuche-Tehuelche parliament or Futa Trawün as an instance of production, transmission and socialization (ngulantuwün) of knowledge ontologies. In 2002, the indigenous communities and organizations of the province of Chubut (Patagonia, Argentina) decided to resume this ancestral practice in opposition to the private property and mining on their territories. Our interest in these political meetings lies, on the one hand, on the fact that its very existence has been defined from an epistemology understood as Mapuche Tehuelche and, on the other, in the way that the knowledge ontology is renewed as a political practice. Therefore, we consider that the Futa Trawün is an interesting starting point to carry out a situated reflection around the relationship between the political and other epistemic forms of understanding politics.
Among Miners, Landlords and the State: The Allegiance of the Mountains in the Southern Peruvian Andes (1930s – 2012)
Guillermo Salas Carreño
Quechua ontologies presuppose that the places constituting the landscape are persons endowed with personhood, intentionality and agency. The places and mountains in particular are experienced as active and powerful members of society. Building over this Quechua perspective, this article historicizes the changing ways in which mountains participate within the power relations in the region of Cuzco (Peru). First, it pays attention to how mountains oppose, react to, or align themselves in relation to mining companies and local communities in the context of the recent mining boom associated with the neoliberal reforms of 1990s and the high metal prices. Then, using ethnographic texts produced in the region since the 1930s, the article sketches the ways in which mountains have been interacting with state institutions, landlords and Quechua communities during a good portion of the 20th century, using the 1969 Agrarian Reform as a watershed.
When H2O and the Water Spirit Meet: The Coexistence of Several Worlds in Puracé, Columbia
William Andrés Martínez Dueñas
This article focuses on making visible the coexistence of at least two worlds in the Puracé Indigenous Reservations through the information I collected in the company of the Puracé Indigenous Council when getting to the water supplies in this territory. These worlds can be distinguished through the two ways in which they interact with water: first (the modern way) where the water is only an object (H2O), and the other (not so modern) Puracéan world where water, besides being an object, has its own characteristics such as a spirit and a will. Visualizing this coexistence may perhaps influence the conduct of contemporary development and public policies in countries considered as multicultural nations.
Reconsidering the Politics of ‘Living Well’ in Indigenous Amazonia
Juan Pablo Sarmiento Barletti
This essay proposes a way out of the double bind that indigenous peoples are forced into when it comes to modern politics. On the one hand, indigenous political organisations have been criticised for using Euro-American tropes in the discourses developed for their political struggle. On the other hand, the same groups are also criticised and lose legitimacy when their political performance does not match up to the expected ideas of indigeneity held by states and NGOs. Using research amongst Ashaninka people, the largest indigenous Amazonian society, the author argues for an analysis that looks away from the politics refracted by NGO/indigenist discourses to look at political practices that are invisible to these critiques: everyday kametsa asaiki (‘living well’)practices. These are powerful everyday political practices central to the creation of human beings. The author concludes that kametsa asaiki as political practice may be invisible to the state and NGOs, but have effects that are visible to them.
Life Plans and Management of the World: Cosmopolitical Indigenous Development in the Colombian Amazon
This article describes and analyzes the cosmopolitical use of the concept ‘ecological calendar’ according to the Life Plan of the Indigenous Captains Association Pira-Parana River (ACAIPI) of the Colombian Amazon. The Life Plan is one among other practical results arising from the recognition of indigenous rights by the Constitution of 1991 in Colombia. While the local concept ‘ecological calendar’ is used to claim and negotiate the Indian’s way of life with state representatives, it operates differently in its political links with Brazilian indigenous organizations. The goal is to have feedback on the different experiences and try to find a common point of view to consolidate the autonomous management of their territories.
Constituent Cosmopolitics in Bolivia: The “Open” Constitution and the Birth of the Plurinational State
Based on the ethnographic description of the writing of Bolivia’s new Constitution (in 2006 and 2009), this paper attempts to frame the debate around the emergence of a plurinational state and describe how ‘indigenous peasants’ and their allies were writing the Constitution by combining a project of the State about sovereignty and inclusion with an indigenous pluralistic project which denotes autonomy. Parallel with an epistemological reflection on this complex issue, the author examines the objections raised against this project of a constitutional text which includes the community and the objective of decolonizing Bolivia through open and ambiguous terminology which we consider a strategic and ‘wild’ use of state law.
Aboriginal Values and Forestry Models: The Case of the Innu of Essipit First Nation
Jean-Michel Beaudoin, Gitane St-Georges and Stephen Wyatt
In Québec, forestry occurs mostly on Aboriginal traditional territories. It is well recognized that sustainable forest management must take into consideration Aboriginal values. However, respecting these values in the management process is difficult to put into practice. In this article, the authors respond to this challenge by exploring how six different forest management models take account of forestland values held by the Innu of Essipit. Using focus groups, the authors identified four principal values – maintaining Innu identity, community development, respect for Nitassinan (the land) and Innu governance. Examining six different forest models, they find that none of these models addresses all the identified values. This suggests that an “Innu forestry” should be based on a variety of models, adapting and integrating them to design a forestry that is culturally appropriate.
Ejigabwîn: Forestry at a Crossroads for the People of Kitcisakik
Marie Saint-Arnaud and Charlie Papatie
The forest is at the heart of the cultural landscape for the Anicinapek of Kitcisakik. As it is the case for many Aboriginal communities in Canada, on-going forestry operations have taken place on Kitcisakik traditional land in Quebec since the end of the xixth century. In order to face this challenge, the community chose to engage in a collaborative research process. Supported by an environmental education framework, this initiative allowed for undertaking an intercultural dialogue in order to define forest management practices that would be better adapted to the Aboriginal context. Our survey revealed the identity aspect of the forest (nopimik) for the people of Kitcisakik as well as the preoccupying importance of forestry. Based on the Anicinapek representational system, we outlined a framework made of five principles (cultural, ethical, educational, ecological and economic) and twenty-two criteria to define Aboriginal forestry. This proposal is analyzed in the context of normative and legislative changes brought up by the new Quebec Sustainable Forest Development Act and the reinforcement of forest certification criteria under the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) standards.
Intervention by the State: Indigenous Lands, the Environmental Program and Indigenous Representation
Rodrigo Paranhos Faleiro
This article charts the course of the environmental policies regarding the protectionist traditions of indigenist nationalism in Brazil. The author acquired an “internal” perspective during his work in the government in the field of environment and indigenist nationalism. Its point of departure is the age-old subordination of indigenous political representation in the activities of the state in the development of different degrees of analysis. The result is an historical reading of the tutelary indigenist nationalism and conservationist environmentalism practised in Brazil by way of the creation of the nation-state, the domination of the people and the lands, the regulation of the rural indigenous and environmental milieu, as well as the internationalization of environmental programs. These set the stage for the current structure of interethnic dialogue.
The Symbolic and Political Defence of the Indigenous Territory, Cuetzalan, Puebla (Mexique)
Pierre Beaucage and Taller de Tradición Oral del CEPEC
This paper, based on long-term participative research, demonstrates that the defence of their territory by the Cuetzalan Nahua is not confined to a few encroachments. It is affirmed throughout centuries of material, political and symbolic appropriations of their homeland. To the great changes imposed on them, Spanish colonization, privatization of communal lands and the arrival of mestizo traders and planters, they replied by preserving and adapting their peasant agriculture. At the political level, they combined a juridical, peaceful struggle with direct action. At a symbolic level, they literally charged with meaning every corner of their homeland through a rich toponymy intimately linked with their collective memory. Our ethnohistorical approach allows us to analyze the construction of indigenous identity and the ecosystem in Cuetzalan, which underlay their organization controlling production, during the last few decades. It also helps to understand their present-day mobilization against touristic, mining and hydroelectric megaprojets which are being planned for the area.
Segregation and Regimentation: The Coercive Impulse of Education Policy for Aboriginal Children, 1870-1932
The schools conducted for Aboriginal children by the federal government and the major Christian churches between 1870 and 1932 bore little resemblance to those provided for other Canadians by the provinces. The peculiar partnership of Church and State and prevailing negative views of Native culture meant that education on reserves remained isolated from conventional professional practice, was distinctively evangelical in character, employed coercive methods, was poorly supervised and proved resistant to change. It was part of the legal and institutional apparatus devised to assert authority over Aboriginal communities.
Popular Education and Indigenous Appropriation of the Community Development Councils System in Guatemala
The implementation of public participation structures based on Community Development Committees (COCODES) in Guatemala is one of the measures created by the 1996 peace accords in order to bring about a greater level of distributive justice in that country. Even if it is now inscribed within the law, the creation of COCODES runs up against some level of resistance from traditional Guatemalan elites, in particular from mayors and municipal councils, who see these new participative structures as undermining their political power. In this context characterized by a history of repression of Indigenous activism, as well as by generalized suspicion towards “parallel” structures autonomous from the State, some Mayan activists have invested their efforts in movements whose explicit objective is to ask for the simple application of the Law for public participation, and whose action is to promote the creation of COCODES. On the surface, such a strategy might seem less overarching than that of autonomist movements present in other parts of Latin America. However, we argue here that in a context marked by a history of violence such as Guatemala, the initiatives of indigenous peoples seeking the simple application of laws granting them formal rights constitute, in fact, important forms of political mobilization and play a significant role in the elimination of traditional forms of discrimination at the regional level.
The Disappearance of the Huron Language: A Historical Reassessment
The precise date of the extinction of the Huron language is unknown. Historians usually think that it disappeared at the turn of the twentieth century. However, it seems that it had already disappeared by the middle of the nineteenth century. Indeed, historical sources and testimonies seem to indicate that the Huron language fell into disuse sometime between 1829 and 1849. In fact, there is absolutely no historical evidence that the Huron language was spoken (or even known) by the elders of Wendake at the turn about the twentieth century.
Aboriginal People Left Out of the Plan Nord
In May 2011, the province of Québec was among the last Canadian provinces to adopt a strategic northern development plan. The “Plan Nord”, presented as a “model of sustainable development”, involves territory representing 72 % of the province's total area, where more than a quarter of the population is aboriginal. This article provides an overview of the Plan Nord and its potential impacts on aboriginal people.
The “Plan Nord” for the First Nations and Inuit: Advantages to Seize or Intrusions to Combat
This article examines how the print media reported the reactions of First Nations and Inuit since the announcement of the “Plan Nord” (September 28, 2008) until December 2011. After an initial section on the comments of Ghislain Picard, spokesman for the Assembly of the First Nations of Quebec and Labrador, the information is grouped by nation. We will see that, while having similarities, the various reactions are influenced by the political situation of the nations concerned, and particularly by the fact that they have, or not, signed territorial agreements with the Quebec government. However, beware of certain biases of the press influenced by the definition given by the Quebec government of its relations with First Nations and Inuit. Many journalists rarely venture into the communities. Their attention is not engaged until the Aboriginal leaders come forward to express their aspirations and concerns.
Plan Nord, Two-headed Monster and Other Geographic Chimeras
Étienne Rivard and Caroline Desbiens
This paper aims to depict the Plan Nord’s duplicity with regards to development. The Plan Nord shows two faces: whereas one of them explores the cultural and social dimensions of development so as to conceive of the North as a vast cross-cultural field, the other face, by contrast, focuses on an exclusively economist and capitalist vision, which encourages the profit-based exploitation of natural resources. In our perspective, which is chiefly geographical, promoters and actors of the Plan Nord run the risk of imposing once again a “southern” view of the North and not engaging in the path of cross-cultural dialogue. This is history repeating itself.
What Northern Development Strategies Can Tell About the Provinces’ Relationship with First Peoples: A Case Study of Ontario and Québec
The province of Québec has not been the only province to look north for its economic development. Ontario unveiled important aspects of is northern strategy shortly before the government of Québec released its Plan Nord. This paper presents a synthesized analysis of the main documents defining the approaches of the Québec and Ontario provincial governments to northern development, and compares their respective vision of development, their view of the relationship to the land, and their understanding of the relation between the state and the aboriginal population. The analysis demonstrates differences between the two provincial approaches to northern development with respect to scope, means, process, agents involved and relationships considered, and the paper concludes by arguing that these differences can be attributed to the different relationship each province has with Canadian federalism. In other words, the influence of federalism on the provincial strategies of northern development and on the relations with First peoples is not uniform.
Indigenous Relocations and Mission Ethnogenesis on the Southern Border of Iberic Empires: Paracuaria (1609-1768)
This paper describes and analyzes the development of Guarani communities on the borders of Iberic Empires during the 17th century, according to the new mission model designed by the priests of the Society of Jesus. Said model involved the relocation of populations from diverse regions during a period of 150 years, and their concentration in mission towns (reducciones) that responded to uniform economic, political and cultural parameters. The first section analyzes the policy of population segregation implemented in the region and the population transfers during the formation of reducciones throughout the 17th century. The second section considers the transformation of the previous native political organization that resulted from this process. The last section examines the mechanisms of achieving internal heterogeneity in mission towns, taking into account the persistence of traditional principles of mobility, kinship, and leadership, recycled during the long lasting process of their adaptation.
San Carlos de los Jupes: A Failed Attempt to Settle the Bárbaros on New Spain’s Northern Borderlands, 1787-1788
In July 1787, Paruanarimuco, the main leader of the Hupe Comanches, requested the help of Juan Bautista de Anza, the Spanish governor of New Mexico, to build a village for his followers. Such an unusual petition was readily accepted by the authorities of northern New Spain, who looked forward to setting a precedent among the heathen nomads of the frontier by turning the Hupes into a sedentary, Hispanicized people. Thus, construction of the village of San Carlos de los Jupes began on the banks of the Arkansas River, in present-day Colorado, in the summer of 1787, using Spanish funds and labor. By January of 1788, however, the Hupes abandoned the village never to return. This essay explores the founding and demise of San Carlos from an ethnohistorical perspective. I argue that the short-lived Comanche settlement was doomed to failure for diverse ecological, cultural, and geostrategic reasons.
Relocation and Resilience: Apache Adaptation to Spanish Incorporation
This essay explores an ambitious and forgotten attempt by the Spanish empire to relocate thousands of Mescalero, Chiricahua, and Western Apaches from their homeland onto eight reservation-like establecimientos (establishments or settlements) along New Spain's northern frontier beginning in 1786. Spanish military officers offered gifts, rations, and protection to Apaches in order to curb their livestock raids and transform them into sedentary agriculturalists. This paper examines the pros and cons of this resettlement program from Apache and Hispanic perspectives and argues that although a minority of peaceful Apaches (Apaches de paz) worked together with Spaniards and Mexicans to reduce violence in the region, the majority creatively adapted to reassert their independence and maintain dominion over their territory by 1831.
From Deportation to Invisibility: The Denaturalization of the Calchaquí Indians (Northwestern Argentina), 17th-21st centuries
For 130 years, the Calchaquí Valley’s Indians succeeded in preserving their autonomy against all colonizing devices of the Spanish province of Tucumán. Over the course of two campaigns, between 1659 and 1667, the Tucumán governor dramatically put down the resisting enclave by denaturalizing all valley inhabitants and relocating them all around the province, and even as far as Buenos Aires and the Río de la Plata’s shores. Until recently, it has been believed that those deportations had erased any traces of the Calchaquí Indians in the region. The main objective of the present study is to re-open the case and to go beyond such an oversimplified perspective which neither takes into account the 19th and 20th centuries processes rendering them invisible nor the documentary evidences testifying to their significant presence, even as collective entities. The recent Argentinian historical and ethnohistorical developments on the issue, as well as the current re-emerging Indian movements, which directly question the heretofore unchallenged and long-held assumption that they disappeared, both call for such revision.
From Light to Darkness: The Relocation of the ’Nakwaxda’xw and Gwasa’la
The administrative relocation of the ’Nakwaxda’xw and Gwasa’la from British Columbia in 1964 led to a real social implosion whose deleterious effects are still felt 50 years after it took place. Moved to a new site under very precarious conditions because of the blatant incompetence of the representatives of the Department of Indian affairs both on the national and local levels, the ‘Nakwaxda’xw and Gwasa’la were suddenly expelled from their traditional territory. Cut off from their real, imaginary, spiritual and emotional relationship to their ancestral lands, they also lost their traditional knowledge grounded in their perception of the environment. In the legal framework of the Specific Claims, in 2008, the Band received monetary compensation, however its members need to gather enough strength to reclaim all the facets of their native identity to be able to live better in the modern world.
The Sayisi Dènès and the Ahiarmiut Forced Relocations in the 1950s: Beyond Open Wounds, The Resilience of Caribou Hunters
Frédéric B. Laugrand, Jarich G. Oosten and Üstün Bilgen-Reinart
The Federal Government’s decision in the l950s to force the Sayisi Dene and the Ahiarmiut to abandon their nomadic life out on the land and to settle in the communities of Churchill and Arviat resulted in disastrous consequences. The Sayisi Dene, who had been competent hunters and trappers, became a broken people living off the garbage dump at Churchill. Today, their children and grandchildren at Tadoule Lake are still trying to heal the wounds inflicted by the forced relocation. As for the Ahiarmiut who were relocated in a series of stages from Ennadai Lake to Nelting Lake, from Ennadai Lake to Henik Lake and from Henik Lake to Arviat, Rankin Inlet and finally to Whale Cove they are still awaiting the explanation from the federal government and acknowledgement of their painful experiences. Using oral and archival documents, this paper compares these two relocations, confronts the strategies, choices and decisions of the federal administration with the experiences and views of the participants and underscores the resilience of these caribou hunters.
Indigenous Territorial Reconfigurations in Urban Areas: Urbanisation and Mapuche Urbanity in Chile
After the conquest of their territory by the Chilean army in the late nineteenth century, the Mapuche people had to submit to a vigorous migratory process which led most of them towards the major urban areas of Chile. This phenomenon never decreased over the last century, to such an extent that the majority of Mapuche society has now became urban. According to the 2002 Chilean census, almost 65 % of the indigenous population would be resident in urban areas. If this kind of mobility can be interpreted as a forced departure, it reveals at the same time an extraordinary capacity of adaptation to a new reality. Based on fieldwork undertaken with Mapuche organizations from the city of Concepción, in central Chile, this article examines the ways in which Mapuche identity is being realized in the urban context and how the city is being integrated into the indigenous territorial framework.
Migration and Kinship: Processes of territorial reorganization among the indigenous Qom inhabitants of La Plata City, Argentina
Carolina Andrea Maidana
The term Qom is the way the indigenous people known as Toba refer to themselves. They were a people who were living before the devastation generated by the conquest, with the settling and expansion of the nation state into the Southern Cone, the geographical region known as Gran Chaco. Migrations were one of numerous responses and/or resistance of the people in the face of white settlement. These processes involved profound existential changes, complex processes of ethnic redefinition and/or reaffirmation of identity that, in many cases, were expressed in urban spaces, redesigned in ethnic terms. An ethnographic study of the “Toba neighbourhoods” found at the edge of large cities permits an analysis of these spaces in relation to the territorial expression of social networks. It clarifies what is local and accounts for the complexity involved in new forms of organization and territoriality, resulting from access to urban land by indigenous migrants.
“South Camp was our Home”: The relocation of Belcher Islands Inuit (Nunavut)
Relocations played a fundamental role in the settlement policies of the Canadian government and the formation of several Arctic communities. Since the 1950’s, they have had a significant impact on the social organization of Inuit communities. They still play a major role in the construction of identities, and they may be the source of new moves of peoples and strategies of land occupation at community and regional levels. This paper focuses on what the federal records identify as the “relocation” of the main South camp of the Belcher Islands (Hudson Bay, Nunavut) to the North of the archipelago in 1971. From testimonies of displaced Qikirtamiut and researchers involved in the process, the author explores a few aspects of the genesis and progress of the relocation to stress some of the social dynamics related to the transfer of families.
The displaced of Media Luna: Issues and consequences of the implementation of mining projects among the Wayùus of Colombia
The inhabitants of Media Luna – a village located in the North of Guajira peninsula – were displaced in the beginning of the eighties. At that time, the construction work of the company El Cerrejón started with a preliminary phase which consisted in displacing the communities of Media Luna (in particular). These removals remain in the memory of the inhabitants as a time of violence and profound injustice. The houses and the cemeteries were displaced and the pasture lands were seized. This major event in the historical trajectory of these populations, in other words, this uprooting has had grave consequences. This article explores the factors which led to the denial of Wayùu’s social and cultural reality during the negotiations over their territory and, analyzes the current situation of Media Luna inhabitants with regard to the consequences of their displacement.
Migrations and Land Property in the Western Altiplano of Guatemala
Based on an historical approach to land ownership, this article’s goal is to present the joint evolution in modes of mobility chosen by the populations of the Western Altiplano of Guatemala, or imposed on them. The general data on the history of property and mobility characterizing the Western region is presented in connection with local data gathered in ethnographical research in the town of San Martín Sacatepéquez. The concept of territory indicates a system of space appropriation presenting symbolic as well as economic aspects of history and culture. In its economic dimension, land remains par excellence the means of material survival in Guatemalan society. It is the foundation of indigenous peasant identity as well. Also significant of their rootedness in the land of their ancestors, is the fact that historically these indigenous populations have been actors in seasonal and temporary migrations. Current transnational migrations testify to the historical evolution of this phenomenon of mobility, which must be analyzed in light of transformations in land ownership and economic constraints. In its symbolic dimension, the land bears, inter alia, the image of spoliation.
Ka atanakaniht: The Innus of Pakuashipi (Saint-Augustin) ‘deportation’
August 1961. The North Pioneer ship came alongside the coast of Unamen Shipu (La Romaine). Sixty-five Innus of Pakuashipi (Saint-Augustin) landed with their goods to settle in Unamen Shipu, their new community recognized as a reserve since 1954 where a permanent missionary was officiating since 1953. Spring 1963. Some of these ‘migrants’ decided to return to their original territory on foot, with women, children, dogs, boats and sleds. The ‘journey back’ would last one month and around two hundred and fifty kilometres. A few months later, other members of the group would return by plane and boat. Others would never leave Unamen Shipu, where they still live today. The aim of this paper is to document this aborted relocation project and to examine the Innu perceptions with respect to that experience. Indeed, the Innu speak of ‘deportation’: Ka atanakaniht.
Motives for Laughter: Humor Among the Nahua of the Sierra Norte de Puebla
Humor is a dimension present in various degrees in different genres of Nahuat oral literature. The listeners of mythical or ethnohistorical narratives and moral tales laugh at monsters and enemies which are defeated by the culture hero, Sentiopil, by brave ancestors or by the clever opossum of animal tales, while the far-fetched metaphors which refer to the loved one and to sexual relations in love poems fit well with the merry atmosphere of traditional weddings, where they are sung with the xochipitsaua dance. As for the pass-time tales (sanilmej) and sex stories (pitsotajtolmej), their first aim is to make people laugh by distorting reality. One can also detect in the latter the covert intention of subverting the existing social hierarchy: poor Indians win over wealthy landowners and foreigners, and women, over the men who want to abuse them and, sometimes, over the devil himself!
The Supernatural Protectors of Mexican Migrants: Analysis of Three Narratives
Alfonso Reynoso-Rábago, Cándido González-Pérez and Hugo Adrián Medrano-Hernández
A large number of Mexican workers enter the United States to find work. In their pursuit of the “American dream” many of these migrants, especially those who cross the border illegally, seek the aid of supernatural protectors. Among these, we find the figures of Juan Soldado, Jesús Malverde and Santo Toribio Romo. Although the latter is a saint officially recognized by the Catholic Church, the other two are not. The authors seek to understand the “voice of others” through a structural analysis of three narratives regarding these protectors of Mexican migrants. The narratives and the cult related to these Saints can be situated within the field of popular religion. The authors conceive this as a movement that is largely independent of ecclesiastical control, a product of modernity, and as a religious expression that pursues practical and terrestrial rather than spiritual ends.
The Figure of the Stranger Among the Kaingang of Southern Brazil
Robert R. Crépeau and Maude Désilets
This paper presents the role of the most important spiritual helper of contemporary Kaingang shamans, an enigmatic Italian figure known in Southern Brazil as Saint João Maria or “o Monge”, the Monk. The latter is Giovanni Maria de Agostini, an itinerant Italian monk, who traveled through the Americas between 1838 and 1869. Though the Catholic Church never canonized him, he is still today a very influential religious figure in Southern Brazil. Historically, his name is related to a messianic movement known as “Guerra do Contestado”, which occurred between 1912 and 1916. This paper compares Kaingang’s narratives related to São João Maria with stories from New Mexico and Peru that have formed independently following contact with Agostini.
Contemporary Oral History of the Metabenutins Uininis (Algonquins of Three Rivers)
Denys Delâge and Claude Hubert
This article is based on fifty testimonies by Algonquins of Three Rivers or ‘Magouas’. They deal with family memories, Indian origins, self perception and the dominant group’s perception of their identity. The research is related to a legal claim for Indian status by 350 Algonquins. Segregation and prejudice (“uncivilized savages”) have long afflicted this population, which is characterized by the maintenance of an endogamous marriage system and classificatory kinship. The main identity markers deal with memory, history, genealogy, mobility related to hunting, unskilled jobs and poverty, and finally to a specific relationship to nature. The Algonquins are still here.
The Legacy of the Free Mining System in Québec and Canada
This article portrays the origins and evolution of free mining regimes in Québec and in Canada, as well as the consequences of these mining regulations for people, communities, mining companies, and public authorities. The author argues that free mining regimes distort power relations which contribute to social and environmental conflicts. In conclusion, he proposes reviewing mining regulations based on the free mining regime and sketches out possible alternatives.
Industrial Iron Development and Indigenous Worlds in Subarctic Québec, 1954-1983
This article examines the era of iron ore production at Schefferville between 1954 and 1983, a significant period in the industrial development of the mid-north regions of Québec. Relying on a variety of oral and written sources, the author seeks to understand the role Innu and Naskapi individuals played during this phase of development in the heart of their ancestral territories. If the mining experience in Schefferville developed, in part, to the detriment of the Innu and the Naskapi, these indigenous societies worked to construct their own engagement with the industrial world, adjusting and maintaining their practices in order to combine the work at the mine with their life on the land.
The Nunavik Mineral Exploration Fund: Promoting the mineral potential of Nunavik in partnership with the Inuit
The Nunavik Mineral Exploration Fund (NMEF) was created in 1998. This non-profit organization resulted from an agreement between the Québec Department of Natural Resources, the Kativik Regional Government and the Kativik Regional Development Council. Since its inception, the NMEF ensures that its mandate and objectives are achieved through various activities which include: 1) bringing awareness to the Inuit communities regarding the development of mineral resources and promoting the territory's mineral potential; 2) training and technical assistance for Inuit prospectors; 3) the realization of mineral exploration projects on its own and in partnership with the mining industry and finally; 4) the establishment of elements that encourage the emergence of an Inuit entrepreneurship in the mining sector. After more than ten years of existence, NMEF has an expertise and a trained local workforce not only prepared to meet the needs of companies operating in the territory, but also ready to participate actively in the development of mineral resources in Nunavik.
Impact and Benefit Agreements and community well-being: A missed opportunity?
Cathleen Knotsch, Peter Siebenmorgen and Ben Bradshaw
Over the past two decades, Impact and Benefit Agreements (IBAs) have increasingly been established between mine developers and Aboriginal communities or their regional representatives. These agreements are widely seen as a powerful tool to promote economic development and improve certain socio-economic conditions in communities, most especially income levels. Problematically, however, it is not always evident that enriched communities are wholly better off with respect to their health and well-being. More frustrating, few if any IBAs explicitly address community health and well-being; typically, IBAs are designed to deliver benefits, and these benefits are simply assumed to produce improved health. This is misguided and insufficient. Giving special attention to IBAs signed with Inuit organizations in Canada, this article echoes Knotsch and Warda’s (2009) call for more research on IBAs and community well-being, and suggests, in the meanwhile, that IBA negotiators more explicitly consider community health issues and needs in developing the next generation of IBAs.
The reform of regulatory frameworks in the mining sector: reflections on Canadian and African experiences
Bonnie Campbell and Myriam Laforce
If on the one hand, the success of the mining industry in Canada has been attributed at least in part to the existence of mining regimes which are considered exemplary, on the other, many countries in Africa have experienced different currents of reforms since the 1980s, which aimed to make the mining sector the primary engine for development. These successive reforms, which were introduced under the leadership of the multilateral financial institutions, have given rise to results which at best could be considered mixed. Drawing on perspectives inspired by certain currents of international political economy, this article examines the relations of influence which characterise the definition and the implementation of mining regimes in Canada as well as in Africa. While paying close attention to the specificities which characterise each different context, certain similarities can nonetheless be identified concerning the reform processes in the two regions, notably with regard to their consequences for the regulatory capacity of the state in the sector. The authors suggest that over time, the asymmetrical relations of power that can be observed among the actors involved risk giving rise to problems of legitimacy for the mining investments themselves.
Free prior and informed consent principle: An emerging norm of international law aiming at the protection of local and indigenous populations
Véronique Lebuis and Geneviève King-Ruel
Mineral resource extraction has become one of the buzzwords in the international arena. The consequences of the activities of transnational corporations on local indigenous communities are the root cause of tensions between communities, extractive industries, and the State. Increasingly, the right to free, prior and informed consent (FPIC) is considered as a means to meaningfully involve communities in decision-making processes, thereby contributing to the mitigation of social, economic and environmental impacts of mineral resource development. National and International law have integrated the notion FPIC in various legal instruments. Many questions remain unanswered regarding FPIC, such as its nature and content, because no universal definition of this principle has yet been elaborated. This article intends to explore the notion of FPIC, and the way it has been developed and integrated in international law and jurisprudence.
Maliseet Archaeology: Past, Present, and Future
Adrian L. Burke
The purpose of this article is to assess the current state of prehistoric, or pre-contact, archaeology in the St. John River Valley, and in particular the upper and middle St. John. This region is part of the ancestral territory of the Maliseet nation. I start by addressing the challenges faced by the archaeologist in defining an archaeology of the Maliseet people. I follow this with a history of archaeological research in those regions of Maine, Québec and New Brunswick that are part of the St. John River Valley. The current state of archaeology is presented (the actors, the institutions, the research projects and questions), along with a summary of what characterizes the archaeology of this region today. Some lacunae in past and current research can be identified, but there are also many areas where the archaeology of the St. John is healthy and rich in data. I conclude the article with some recommendations for the future development of Maliseet archaeology.
Malsan naka muhsilepehk / Le marchand et monsieur l’évêque.
French loan-words in Maliseet
Robert M. Leavitt
French loan-words in Maliseet-Passamaquoddy date to the early colonial period, when the first settlers and missionaries arrived in New France. The borrowed words belong to a wide range of daily activities, but are conspicuous today principally in their association with the Church and in Maliseet personal names. While the Maliseet adopted French, and later English, words for many of the new things the Europeans brought, they also made imaginative use of their own language. The examples presented here reveal this mixture of borrowing and reinventing.
The paradigm of indigenization applied to Malécites de Viger: historical outline
of a ‘develop-man’
This article explores the effects of cultural interactions on Maliseet way of life during the colonization era, with a focus on the Malécites of Viger (Québec). The paradigm of indigenisation, developed by anthropologist Marshall Sahlins, will be instrumental in understanding Maliseet past and present reaction to Euro-Canadian presence on their land. Contact eventually altered their traditions but did not result in the disappearance of this cultural group from the Québec province. Although the Malécites of Viger go somehow pass unnoticed for being allegedly « acculturated » and hit by the forces of global and homogenizing modernity, their history is particularly striking; at every step of their history, they have been able to face incoming foreign realities by relying on the vitality of their culture.
The Disappearance of the Montagnais and the Negation of Aboriginal Rights.
Critical comments on Nelson-Martin Dawson's book Feu, fourrures, fléaux et foi foudroyèrent les Montagnais (2005)
In the wake of Russel Bouchard’s Le Dernier des Montagnais, 1995 and a first book on the disparition of the Attikameks (2003), the historian Nelson-Martin Dawson strikes again in 2005 with a second book on the disappearance of the Montagnais (or Innus), based on research financed by Hydro-Québec. The defects in this book are many and among the most important I mention the following: the lack of information on his methodology and on his linguistic competence; the haphazard use of undefined concepts; the absence of reproductions of the historical maps to which the author makes frequent references; a great number of inferences and extrapolations not supported by adequate data and presented in an interrogative or suggestive manner; the abuse of loaded words aiming the reader towards his own biased conclusions. This is in fact a useless book adding nothing to that of Bouchard’s. In fact, this genre of Amerindian studies on the Last of the... (add any name of a First Nation group) has as its main objective to discredit any territorial agreement between the Innu or another nation and the two levels of government on the premise of the discontinuity of the occupation of their lands.
The Third Métis “Resistance” of Western Canada: A Dividing
One year after the Supreme Court decision Powley in 2003, Alberta negotiated an interim agreement with the Métis in order to allow hunting on Crown land. This victory will be short lived since the mounting discontent from Albertans and hunting groups expressed in the local press led the Alberta government to change its policy opting for a unilateral solution instead of a negotiated one. Through a review of the central points of the history of the Métis as well as the main events faced by Alberta since 2004, the goal of this article is to gain a better understanding of the insidious colonial processes still at play since Powley as well as to analyze the legal and illegal strategies developed by the Métis to advance their rights. Since reconciliation has led to resistance in Alberta, one can wonder if Powley, indeed, represents the renewal of a historic relationship between the Métis, the different levels of government and the Canadian population.
Forest Landscapes and Modes of Occupation
Island, From Late Prehistory to the 19th Century
The article examines the ancient forest landscape of Montréal Island in order to reconstruct territorial occupation modes from late prehistory to the 19th century. During late prehistory, three occupation modes can be discerned on Montréal Island. In the south-east, the wooded landscape reflects intensive gardening practices and circulation under sparse oak groves tending toward a savannah. This occupation mode diminishes in intensity but does not disappear between Cartier and Champlain. In the island’s western third, the forest was modelled by dispersed traditional gardening until the early 18th century. Finally, an immense cedar grove covered the island’s northern slope. It was likely several centuries old and showed little indication of human disturbance. Signs of traditional Native occupation modes disappear between 1700 and 1725, giving way to colonial exploitation practices. The Sulpician seigneurs controlled the island’s forest resources until 1698 when they conceded the northern cedar grove to pioneers who used it to build their farmsteads. More coveted species such as white pine, oak and ash remained under seigneurial control. The first imported timber from the Ottawa Valley appears in the archaeological record about 1830, signaling the exhaustion of local woodlands.
Separate Destinies: The French of the Détroit River Region and their Indian Neighbours, 1763-1815
This article examines the expansion of the French presence in the Détroit River region from the time the area was first claimed by France through to the War of 1812, with an emphasis on the post-French regime era and on the settlement of the Raisin River. It argues that during this period of time the French succeeded in progressively occupying a larger territory, the organization of which was inspired by the French seigneurial system of the St. Lawrence valley. As a result, the frequency of French-Indian intermarriages in the Détroit River region was much less than in other areas of the interior of the continent. Therefore, this paper intends to provide a new perspective on the reality of French-Indian encounters in the colonial Great Lakes.
Aboriginal Communities in Québec and Hydroelectric Development: A Balance of Power with the State Since 1944
If the 1940s, 50s and 60s are marked by the absence of a balance of power between the State of Québec on the one hand, and the aboriginal communities on the other, the situation changed drastically in the 70s. At this point, some aboriginal leaders, shaken up by the Baie James project, claimed rights that they considered to have been infringed by the on-going works. However, after the agreements were signed dealing with the Northern Québec region, Aboriginal peoples went through hard times between the end of the 70s and beginning of the 80s in the absence of any major hydroelectric projects. At the dawn of the 1990s, however, the latter knew how to turn the specific socio-political conjuncture of the time to their own advantage, especially in the wake of the Grande-Baleine project. They managed to successfully upset the balance of power that had been so far unfavourable to them. Finally, the events that took place from 1994 onwards suggest a stabilisation of the balance of power as the local communities are led to cooperate in new hydroelectric projects. Divisions amongst them will however benefit the State of Québec.
The Territory: A “matrix” of Civilisation. An Analysis of the Briefs Submitted by Québec’s First Nations to the Commission Coulombe
Thibault Martin et Amélie Girard
In this article we present an analysis of the briefs submitted by Québec’s First Nations at the Commission for the study of public forest management in Québec (2004). The briefs and presentations made by them reveal the multiplicity of approaches within and between First Nations. However, beyond this multiplicity we can detect a common vision of the forest which is erected as a civilisation matrix, as were the lakes and rivers at the time of the hydroelectric crisis in 1975-1980. This change in the culture’s physical anchorage – from water to forest – is accompanied by a new attitude towards other development actors, notably the State and the industry. Indeed, in the face of forest development, Québec’s First Nations ask for a greater autonomy and the respect of their ancestral rights, but they do not systematically demand the halt of their territory’s industrial development, but rather ask to be rightfully integrated in its governance.
The Cultural and Identity Reformulation of the Métis of British Columbia
The provincial government of British Columbia refuses to recognize the existence of the Métis communities from British Columbia. This non-recognition prevents the Métis of British Columbia from having access to Aboriginal rights. This article therefore aims to make known their existence in British Columbia and to highlight the problems linked to their non-recognition. Furthermore, even among the Métis Nation, they are not really recognized. Most of the Métis are from the Prairies and consider that the real Métis originate from there. Because of this conviction, the Métis of British Columbia possess only a limited decision making power in the national association, the Métis National Council. In order to prove their existence, the Métis associations from British Columbia have been recently pushing for a cultural and identity “revalorization” of the Métis culture of British Columbia.
Ethics and Symbolic Systems of Territorial Responsibility Among Algonquian Peoples of Québec
The juridicial order of three Algonquian peoples of Québec – Innus, Crees and Anishnabe of Abitibi-Témiscamingue (also called ‘Algonquins’) – rests on a small set of notions which have been discussed in detail by José Mailhot and Sylvie Vincent. These notions are related to those of ‘control’, ‘ownership’ and ‘responsibility’ and they are analyzed in relation to the mythology, the beliefs and to a ritual called the ‘eat all feast’. While identifying the parties entitled to occupy the territory and to use the resources, this paper focuses on the matter of leadership in relation to the shamanistic practices and on the roles assigned to the hunting camp’s leaders. After having identified the constitutive components of the symbolic order, the author reflects on the intersubjective relations while drawing attention to the harmful consequences of an historical erasure of the indicators which were related to ways of symbolize personal responsibility. Finally the papers ends in promoting a patrimonial management which could restore the old systems of collective participation but adapted to modern circumstances.
Remedies for the Infringement of Indigenous Land Rights: Lessons from the Inter-American Court of Human Rights
This article analyses the recent contribution of the Inter-American Court of Human Rights (IACHR) to the development of international law with respect to the specific issue of remedies for the infringement of indigenous land rights. The paper points to the main lessons that Canadian courts should draw from the Inter-American jurisprudence when resolving a dispute between the state and an indigenous people. The author identifies two categories of remedies, that is restitution and compensation, which may result in a substantial redistribution of wealth and power between non-indigenous and indigenous components of society. Restitutionary remedies are complex from both a policy and practical point of view because they sometimes entail the disruption of rights long held by third parties. While the law of the Inter-American system is no doubt ground-breaking with regard to restitution, it is not devoid of pragmatism in the name of equity and social harmony. On the other hand, monetary and non-monetary compensation of damages incurred by indigenous peoples, including cultural damage, is awarded as a matter of course.
The Oka Crisis in the Narratives of Myra Cree and Yves Boisvert: A Perspective on Representations
This article examines the representations of the Oka crisis in the narratives of the Mohawk author Myra Cree and of the Québécois poet Yves Boisvert, more specifically the delimitation of perspectives created by the conflict. It shows that while Cree’s narrative defines a clear political perspective and take an unequivocal stance, Boisvert’s poetry has more to do with a destabilization of language and meaning while being characterised by an esthetization of rebellion against the establishment. The symbolization of the Oka crisis in literary narratives can help us to better comprehend how the event, of which we are commemorating the 20th anniversary this year, left its mark on the imagination of Québécois and Native peoples.
Semantics of Survival as Seen in Relationships to Territory: An Interpretive Outline, the Case from an Algonquian Perspective
Charlotte Bréda, Mélanie Chaplier and Olivier Servais
Today, the concept of “survival” seems capital to understanding aboriginal peoples. In this paper, we will try to understand the complex meaning and use of that concept, analyzing three contemporary Algonquian case studies. The first example, following young Innu as they learn traditional activities related to portaging, shows how survival is connected to life on the reserve and the world of the bush way of life. The second case takes place in a particular situation, in which a traditional Cree territory is about to disappear, flooded by a dam. The third case will bring us into town where, despite the distance from the traditional way of life, the idioms of hunting and survival are still a way of interpreting events. From that perspective, how can survival be interpreted? In the end, these examples perfectly illustrate the great diversity of that concept and the richness of the link between survival and territory.
Youri, Keeper of the Wisdom and Traditions of the People of the Wind: The Last Aleut Shaman?
Annik Chiron de La Casinière
During fieldwork in Alaska, the author met an Aleut spiritual leader, a surprising man who led her to think he is possibly concealing his shamanism. After an overview of traditional shamanism in the Aleutian Island, and of the very particular establishment of the Russian Orthodox faith in Alaska, especially by the Monk Veniaminov, later Saint Innocent II, the author deciphers and analyzes the discourse of the Aleut spiritual leader according to the revised and transformed notions of contemporary shamanism. Is Youri a survivor of shamanism or only a messenger of the wisdom of his people who reigned for several thousand years over the Bering Sea? The answer to that question is not in this article but will be given two years hence in a book that the author published in collaboration with Youri. As a result of that providential meeting she is producing a long and thorough written work.
Contemporary Reappropriations of a Mythological Character: The Multiple Faces of the Double Woman
Taking as the starting point
the video film Lakota Quillwork, Art and Legend (Jane Nauman, 1990), this
article proposes an analysis on the making of the sacred and more precisely,
on the reappropriations of the figure of Double
Woman in the Lakota culture. This character appears central historically
and ethnographically, and always present in the visionary and artistic
practices, as well as in the aboriginal quillworkers’ speeches.
The analysis follows the character of the Double Woman, as a focal point
revealing the successive definitions and values granted to femininity within
the Plains and Prairie cultures. Incarnating the ambiguity of the feminine
roles, this figure has evolved in different historical and social contexts,
as for example associated with Mary during the evangelization period of
the Native communities. In view of the remaking of the social and family
space, the author questions the contemporary meaning this liberating figure
could hold for Native women.
« To Raise the Indian in the Child’s Heart » : First Time Rituals Among the Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok
On the basis of his fieldwork experiences in aboriginal communities of Québec, especially in the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci (Haute-Mauricie), the author considers the methodological, theoretical and ethnographical dimensions of the rituals of the first time that marks different transitions in the life of a young Atikamekw. In particular, the paper reflects on a ritual little tackled in the literature on the Algonquian Peoples of Canada, the Walking Out Ceremony. More than a rite of passage, the ceremony enhances and reinforces a cluster of relations: with the people, the territory and the non-human world.
Healing Circles, Inuit Shamanism and Neo-shamanism in Nunavik and Nunavut
Frédéric Laugrand and Jarich Oosten
This paper examines the revival of Inuit traditions in the Canadian Eastern Arctic in various ethnographic sources. It presents a comparison of various ritual practices that flourished in Nunavik and Nunavut in the last decade, and more particularly healing circles and practices inspired by shamanism and neo-shamanism. The paper explains how their foreign origin does not constitute a problem for the practices of the healing circles, whereas neo-shamanic ones are not yet accepted or used by the Inuit. The authors raise the question to what extent healing circles illustrate the revival of Inuit spiritual traditions in the new socio-political context of the North marked by the transition to a more urbanized way of life in the so called permanent communities as well as by the recent emergence of political autonomy. The model of the individual and voluntary shamanic quest that characterizes neo-shamanism appears not to be very attractive to Inuit. The tradition of shamanism is still too much alive to be revitalized and too controversial to be considered as folklore.
Pentecostalism in the Inuit Community of Qikiqtarjuaq, Nunavut: Discourses on Change and Healing
A. Nicole Stuckenberger
In the contemporary Inuit community of Qikiqtarjuaq, religious transformation and social restoration are interconnected. The new social, political, and religious developments, namely of the concentration of Inuit camps in modern communities initiated by the Canadian Government in the 1960s; of the establishment of the new Canadian Inuit territory of Nunavut in 1999; and of the now highly successful Pentecostal movement provide perspective to this study on the continuation of and changes in the Inuit nomadic model of community constitution that combines the social with the cosmological relationships within drastically changed social conditions.
The Religious Dimension to Aboriginal Claims in Canada
Jean-Guy A. Goulet
The author identifies and analyzes the religious dimension of statements of identity and of land claims in Canada, on the part of the government of Canada acting in the name of the Crown and on the part of First Nations who for centuries have resisted the colonial ambitions of British and Canadian governments. The paper focuses on the numerous déclarations of First Nations that emphasize their relationship to the Creator as the foundation of their ancestral rights. Unless the collective religious imagination of both parties, Christian and Aboriginal, are examined they will continue to inspire conflicts that oppose not only Aboriginal Peoples and governments in Canada and Québec but also drive Christian and Traditionalists against each other within Aboriginal Communities.
Rock Paintings and Offerings: Recent Research in Ontario’s Rock Art
Serge Lemaitre and Valérie Decart
Following the authors’ participation in several archaeological field surveys conducted by Daniel Arsenault, grants allowed the authors to develop their own project on the rock paintings of Eastern Ontario. This project provided the opportunity to record and study seventy-five rock art sites during four expeditions, for a total of twenty-five weeks. In this paper, the authors present the findings of this research. Besides several panels which have escaped previous notice, three rock art sites were discovered. The authors then look at two untypical sites given their location and conclude with the finding of a type of offering hitherto unrecorded and of which is given a brief synthesis of its importance in the Algonquian context.
The Kaapehpeshapischinikanuuch (EiGf-2) Site: Results of a Multidisciplinary Analysis of a Unique Rock-Art Site in the Nemiscau Lake Region
In 1997, the authentication by a PETRARQ field party of the EiGf-2 pictograph site, called Kaapehpeshapischinikanuuch by the Cree people, has led to the formulation of a fullscale study project of this major site located in the northwestern section of Nemiscau Lake, in the Eastern James Bay area. This unique rock art site with its red ochre lines is the only one of its kind known to the scientific community in Québec Cree territory north of the 45o parallel. Because of its extent and pictorial content it constitutes the second most important pictograph site in Québec.
Based upon the author’s M.A. thesis, this paper provides a general survey and a comparative interpretation of the site’s pictorial content as well as a discussion of its environmental setting and cultural context. Such an approach may lead to a better understanding of the phenomenon of rock art in Algonquian culture, and specifically Cree culture, during prehistoric and historic times, and thus contribute to the scientific development of rock art archaeology within the Canadian Shield.
The Reduction of Sillery, 1638 to 1660: A Model for the Indian Reserves
Almost thirty years after the founding of Québec City, the Jesuits turned their attention to the sedentarization of Indian families living in the immediate vicinity of the colonial settlement. A reading of the Jesuit Relations from 1635 to 1640 suggests that the priests’ objectives, as well as the methods used to achieve those objectives, were not at all different from those that inspired, two centuries later, the Canadian policy of corralling these families into ‘reserves’ not meant to last more than ten to fifteen years.
Transcategorial Adoption of Native American Children in the United States and the Indian Child Welfare Act of 1978
In the U.S., the emphasis is put on the “ethno-racial” identity of adoptive parents and adopted children. In 1978, Congress passed the Indian Child Welfare Act aimed at restricting the adoption of “Native American” children by the “white” population. This debate about the Indian Child Welfare Act and “transcategory” adoption contributes discretely, but actively, to the legal and political construction of minority identity and highlights the complexity and paradoxes of the American antiracist discourse.
Garden at the End of the World: Land, Litterature and Landscape in James Bay
On the occasion of the 20th anniversary of Bill 101 in 1997, the Québec Commission de toponymie proposed to mark the event with a « geographical poem. » In an effort to bring together the real and imagined territory of the province, the project endeavoured to name 101 scattered islands in the Caniapiscau reservoir after literary works by French-speaking Québécois authors. The Crees strongly opposed this project, reminding the Commission of two important facts : first, that these islands had been mountains before water filled the reservoirs created by Hydro-Québec; second, that this same territory had previously been named by the different hunting groups that had exploited the area. The conflict surrounding the geographical poems provides us with an important lens for studying the cultural stakes of resource exploitation and economic development by offering a glimpse of the symbolic anchors of the Cree and Québécois cultures in Northern Quebec. Indeed, the recent signing of a « nation-to-Nation » agreement forces us to define the content of the national identities that come into contact in this space which some refer to as Eeyou Istchee and other as James Bay. Against this background, this article explores how cultures symbolically appropriate their territory and insists on the importance of this cultural geography for the equitable exploitation of resources.
Roads as Development? Indigenous peoples,
Transport Infrastructures and Government Decisions in the Montaña
Region of Guerrero (Mexico)
Martin Hébert et Manon Ruel
The building of a road, by the Mexican government, in one of the poorest indigenous regions of the country has raised important debates in the mountain region of Guerrero. Despite obvious economic necessities, a number of indigenous communities touched by the new construction express doubts about the real impacts that the new road will have on the region. This article argues that these doubts, as well as important limits to potential advantages coming from the new infrastructure, are intimately tied to the fact that a number of decisions relative to the objectives and evaluation criteria for the Tlapa-Marquelia road have been disconnected from the field of the political, and especially from local political aspirations, and inscribed in the field of the technical. By that process, the complex history that underlies the elaboration of a transport grid in the region has been evacuated from debates and replaced by a number of simple, standardized indicators purporting to “measure” marginality and to offer a framework to understand and correct it. After a review of the objectives that have driven the project to build such a road during different period, the authors will address, in context, the criticisms that indigenous people have toward the new construction. Finally, the tension between the technical and the political, as they relate to infrastructure planning and sustainable development in an indigenous region, will be addressed.
Native Peoples and Economic Partnership in
This paper intends to demonstrate that the current joint projects in economic development between Native peoples and the Québec society are not as original as they are often presented. In a historical perspective, they are only the last manifestation of a pattern of collaboration which goes back to the early days of the contact and was only interrupted for a short period following the Great Depression. First, the form of Native participation in the Québec economy until the 1920’s will be presented, followed by a discussion about the impact of the Great Depression on the different Native economies in the province and about the factors responsible for the subsequent economic marginalization of the province’s Native peoples.
From Tangible to the Intangible: Canadian Shield Rock-Art and Land Reappropriation
among the Algonquian Communities
The studying of the aboriginal rock-art sites in the Canadian Shield is multi-faceted , including not only how, when and by whom they have been produced but also what meaning they could have had in the past. Various types of data are used, the ethnohistoric and ethnographic sources, the oral traditions and personal accounts from eye-witnesses as well as approaches, pertaining to archaeology, archaeometry and visual semiotics. All together, these sources help researchers derive better insights into the meaning of a rock-art site.The author intends to explore some new ideas about how to reveal the intangible dimensions of rock-art, an endeavour which in many cases has also been useful for First Nations representatives in their quest to increase their sense of ancestral belonging to the land.
The Incorporation of the Huron Reserve in
the Urban Space of Quebec City: Influences Due to Wendake’s proximity
This article analyzes certain aspects of the urban situation of Wendake as it relates to the socio-economic development of this Huron community, located in the periphery of Quebec City. The proximity of the provincial capital plays a positive role in the economic development of Wendake and ensures it a central political position vis-à-vis the Indigenous Nations of Quebec. The urbanization of the area surrounding Quebec City gradually enveloped Wendake in this process of mixing cultures. The character of the Reserve’s development also reflects a particular evolution and an amalgam of the Amerindian and European cultures. As a reserve at the cross-roads of cultures and of modernity and tradition, Wendake today is a young and dynamic community.
Names and Metaphors in Métis Historiography:
Old Categories and nouvelles eclaircies
Jennifer S. H. Brown
This paper looks at some issues surrounding names applied to people of mixed descent, and at the history of these terms as employed by different groups, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal, over time. The words in themselves are revealing of varied and changing perceptions of metis peoples and their situations and characteristics. The vocabularies of metissage will continue to evolve and to be subjects of discussion, as new historical dimensions of the subject come to light.
Responses to Cross-Cultural Influences Among
Natives of Southern Québec, 1867-1960
It is well known that due to nationalistic and identity concerns, Quebec’s intelligentsia of the second half of the 19th century and early 20th century largely neglected the cultural exchanges between the province’s Native peoples and the Europeans since contact. Less known is the fact that some Natives did the same. Reacting to the assimilation policy of the federal government which threatened their political autonomy and their identity, the latter opted for a policy of cultural protection and affirmation which included a downplaying of the European cultural influences. We will illustrate this reality through an analysis of the efforts made by some communities to counteract the federal government’s interference in their local affairs as well as the loss of protected land.
Métis Ethnogenesis in the James Bay Region of Ontario and
Gwen Reimer et Jean-Philippe Chartrand
This article presents preliminary findings of a comparative analysis of Métis ethnogenesis and historical Métis community development in the southern and eastern James Bay regions of Ontario and Québec. The authors present a synthesis of criteria for Métis ethnogenesis as originally defined by the Supreme Court of Canada in R. v. Powley (2003) and as interpreted in more recent legal judgements. Fur trade records document patterns of Aboriginal-European marriage and mixed-ancestry beginning in the mid-late 18thcentury, at three interconnected posts: Moose Factory (Moosonee), Rupert House (Waskaganish) and Eastmain House. Historical evidence of ‘self-ascribed’ and ‘other-ascribed’ mixed-ancestry identity, mixed-ancestry endogamy and residential proximity by several generations of mixed-ancestry families, suggests that the smaller populations at posts in Québec may represent regional extensions of the Métis core community at Moose Factory.
Métis Cultural Heritage in Central
Yves Labrèche et John C. Kennedy
Published sources, unpublished reports, excerpts from the oral tradition as well as archival documents are used to depict selected aspects of interethnic relations and the history of Labrador Métis communities. Composed of individuals having both European and Aboriginal ancestors, these Métis communities developed on the coast as well as in the hinterland. Following a brief historical overview of land use and occupancy as well as population figures by ethnic groups, terms and labels used in historical documents to identify Labrador groups of mixed ancestry will be explained. The following sections will deal more specifically with the central Labrador region including the Melville Lake area and the Churchill River watershed where the continuity in land use and occupancy is demonstrated through an examination of family names present in inventories from different historical periods and based on independent data sources. Finally, material, linguistic as well as symbolic traits are used to define a Métis society and/or culture distinct from its European and Aboriginal predecessors but from which it originated.
Euro-Inuit Intermarriage in the South Labrador Sub-cultural Area
The cultural sub-area of South Labrador includes the two sub-regions of Southern Labrador and the Straits of Belle Isle in the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, and that of the Lower North Shore in the Province of Québec. The three of them share in common a large number of cultural characteristics, among others : the origin of the population; a bilocal residence pattern and the practice of transhumance; an annual cycle of many economic activities such as fishing, hunting, trapping, wood cutting, etc; and a technology with many elements borrowed from Native people like the dogsled and the snowshoe. But the most important is their biological and cultural Euro-Inuit heritage that has been hidden in the past for fear of racist stigmatisation. In the last two decades, however, there has been an appreciation of the aboriginal heritage due to the publication of the review ‘Them Days’ and by the political activities of the Labrador Metis Association (now Labrador Metis Nation) and of the Alliance autochtone du Québec which are promoting the rights of the Euro-Inuit Métis of Labrador and Québec.
The Study of Métis Languages and the
Programs of Michif Revitalization: An Update
Denis Gagnon et Suzanne Gagné
In June of 1998, Canadian Heritage initiated the Aboriginal Languages Initiative program with a 20 million dollar budget over a period of four years. In 2002, this project was renewed through the management of the Task Force on Aboriginal Languages and Cultures, with an increased budget of 160 million dollars over five years and Aboriginal organizations accepted that 10 % of these two budgets be used for the revitalization of the michif language. As language plays an important role in Métis identity, this article presents an update on Métis languages as well as the results of michif language revitalization programs established by the federal government and Métis organizations.
Métis Aboriginal Rights and Effective European Control
Over Québec's Territory
In R. v. Powley, for the first time in legal history, the Supreme Court of Canada recognizes the aboriginal right of a Métis community to exercise their traditional practices. In this case, the legal conditions of the Métis’ constitutional rights are set forth. The claimant must demonstrate 1) being a member of a Métis community that existed prior to the effective control of Europeans and 2) prove that, at that time, the Métis community was engaged in traditional practices and continues to exercise them as an integral part of its culture. This article proposes a general portrait of the criteria of European effective control over Métis communities and lands and, a review of the Canadian case law in this matter.
Beyond Powley: The Territorial and Identity
Horizons of the Métis
The Supreme Court of Canada’s Powley decision is often depicted exclusively as a legal finality. Although this decision offers a long expected precision as to the Constitution’s intentions in Section 35 and legal definition of the Métis, it can also be conceived of as simply a socio-legal chapter of a book on the Canadian Métis identity and territory. As I shall argue here, the Powley decision provides a historical and contemporary definition of “Métis communities” that is both specific and broad. On the one hand, the decision establishes criteria which are somewhat specific but may compromise, if narrowly interpreted, the legal recognition of many Métis communities across the country. On the other hand, there are many “grey areas” in the decision, that is elements that remain vaguely defined and leave room to interpretation. Relying on the Métis experience of their history, identity and territory, I discuss what is at stake with regards to the specific criteria, and I propose a generous interpretation of the “grey areas.” The notions of “margin”, “limit” and “borders” as well as the different dimensions of the Métis identity and territorial “horizons” compose this paper’s theoretical and conceptual framework.
A few Thoughts on the Aftermaths of 1492 and 1982
The microbial shock of the Indians in the face of their great vulnerability to diseases, of which smallpox was the most dreadful, is well known but usually underestimated and here reflected upon by the author. Nations disappeared; many groups were reconstituted while, at the same time, interracial groups appeared and developed rapidly. This factor was also largely underestimated. Finally, the author underlines the options that have been made available to Metis for ages: become White, assert themselves as Metis or assimilate into an Indian community. He begins his observations with the 1492 encounter and ends his analysis with the 1982 Constitutional Act.
Native American Higher Education in The United States and Canada:
The Long Path Towards Self-Determination
After several failed attempts to educate an indigenous elite in the first decades of the European colonisation of North America, Indian higher education was totally neglected by the respective government authorities of the United States and Canada. The policy of assimilation from the bottom end of the society which was then adopted did not make it possible for an educated class to emerge in spite of the efforts and expectations of several tribes and missionaries. The doors of the universities finally opened to the growing numbers of Indian youth in the 1970s with the creation of several tribally controlled colleges and the offering of Native Studies programs in the mainstream universities. Today, among pressing calls for effective Indian self-determination, there are debates about the place and content that these programs should have in North American institutions of higher learning. The objective of this article is to set this debate in the context of the development of Native American higher education in North America from the colonial period until today.
Composer avec un système imposé : la tradition et le
conseil de bande à Manawan
Cet article s’intéresse à la politique locale autochtone et il vise à établir l’implication sociale à long terme de l’imposition du conseil de bande sur la bande traditionnelle. À l’aide de l’exemple de la communauté atikamekw de Manawan (Québec), l’auteure propose qu’il existe un « art de faire politique » permettant ainsi une réappropriation autochtone de la politique officielle au niveau local. Malgré la nouvelle façon de faire la politique atikamekw et l’appareil politique formel, existe-t-il une continuité de la bande traditionnelle et du rôle de chef ? Nul doute que la bureaucratisation de chaque aspect de la vie autochtone (politique, santé, éducation, etc.) fait désormais appel à de nouvelles compétences dans des nouveaux champs d’action. Mais des figures d’autorité issues de l’organisation sociopolitique subsistent toujours à Manawan. Elles tentent, par la tradition, de guider les Atikamekw dans le contexte institutionnalisé des réserves et des revendications territoriales avec les instances gouvernementales.
Policy to go : The effects of Commissions of Inquiry on Public Philosophy and Indian Policy in Canada, 1828-1996
This article shows, over time, the reach of Canadian commissions of inquiry on the definition of the Indian question, the construction of public philosophy, and on the elaboration of Indian policy. The first part of the article shows how, under the British colonial regime, from 1828 to 1858, six commissions of inquiry contributed to: standardizing the policies of civilizing the Indians in both Upper and Lower Canada; organizing the emancipation process and, justifying the assimilation project by showing the greatness of the British civilization. With the help of six commissions of inquiry, from 1946 to 1996, the second part shows how the assimilation project was transformed into a citizenship project. From wards the Indians became historical victims, the distinction justified by multiculturalism, and British intransigence was replaced by a greater Canadian tolerance. In summary, the article shows that it is a fallacy to believe that commission of inquiry reports only accumulate dust in somewhat obscure library shelves. To the contrary, commissions have far reaching vision and help to debunk and replace paradigms. In short, commissions construct the institutional and collective memories.
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in Canada (1991-1996), or The Long Journey of Aboriginal Peoples Towards the Recognition of Their Rights
Richard Boivin and René Morin
This article considers the impact of the work of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples on the decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada, in particular with respect to the framing and definition of Aboriginal rights, the issue of self-government, and the reconciliation of Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals. Even if its impact thus far has been fairly limited, the Royal Commission has been responsible for a large number of legal, political, economic and social reports or studies that will no doubt endure as important sources of information, reference and judicial inspiration. Adopting a historical perspective, the authors argue that the Royal Commission can be considered an important step in a long journey undertaken by Aboriginal peoples towards the recognition of their rights, dating back to the work of the Bagot Commission of the 1840’s and the landmark decisions of the Supreme Court of Canada beginning in the early 1970’s.
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples and Justice
This article will show how much the complexity of the Canadian justice domain, both from the point of view of constitutional competency and the substantial evolution of aboriginal peoples rights within the twentieth century Canadian justice system, has drawn its inspiration from the diversity of measures recommended by the Commission in this particular realm. The author also examines how the Royal Commission recommendations are aimed firstly at political actors and, in fact, at a multitude of actors from every level of government, aboriginal and non-aboriginal, while remaining not too distant from the judiciary forum. Finally, the author analyses a justice question on which the Commission was particularly interested: the treaties, not only with respect to the historical treaties but as a central element of the necessary redefinition in the relationship with the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.
Gathering Strength or Just More Welfare? The Socio-Economic Situation of First Nations Before and Since the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples
This paper examines various economic policies, programs and strategies implemented by the federal government both before and after the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples. The paper also explores the relationship of on-reserve social assistance policy to economic development. The author argues that federal economic development and self-government policies operate in conflict so that neither is especially successful. While there are examples of successful First Nations communities overwhelmingly the majority continue to exist at the extreme margins of Canada’s prosperity. Ten years following the report, the recommendations of the Royal Commission – while having spurred greater dialogue among First Nations, the federal and provincial governments – have not yet had a significant impact on the economic and social outcomes on hundreds of the reserves.
Integration of the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples’ Recommendations in Canada’s Federal Aboriginal Policies
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples’ final report mainly recommended to the federal government to implement a vast renewal project of Aboriginal
s and Canadian relations. Two reasons explain why the federal government has never been able to implement such a project. First, RCAP recommendations were in discordance with the economic and political contexts of 1996, which prevented them from gaining the support of the decision-makers. Secondly, Aboriginal critiques towards RCAP’s final report convinced the federal government that a renewal project was not politically clever. The federal government developed instead, between 1996 and 2005, an alternative approach to implementing the RCAP recommendations, designated in this article as a strategy of parallels.
Measuring In-Betweenness: the Royal Commission’s Perspectives on the Métis
On September 19, 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada (SCC) unanimously put an end to a ten-year legal battle by ruling in favour of the Sault Ste Marie Métis’ harvesting rights (R. c. Powley, 2003). This legal decision constitutes the first concrete recognition of the Métis rights since their official entrenchment in the 1982 Constitution. It also profoundly challenges the image Canadians have of the Métis reality. The SCC decision suggests that the Euro-Indian métissage and Métis ethnogenesis were much more than “socio-cultural anomalies” that emerged from a very specific historical and spatial context – the 19th century Nord-Ouest for instance – but were rather recurrent facts of Canadian history and geography. It appears that the decision’s argument and perspectives largely derive from the report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (1996). It is then this paper’s objective to measure the impact of the report of the Commission by confronting its major conclusions with the contemporary (identity, territorial, political or legal) discourses about Métis realities as produced by both Métis and Canadian societies. Overall, it is argued, the report considerably broadens the identity and geographical spheres upon which relies our traditional image of the Métis, and, as revealed by the “approche commune”, it opens new perspectives as to Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal relationships.
Can Do It, Why Not Us?": The Quest of the Atikamekw of Wemotaci to
Establish Their Role in Forestry in Nitaskinan
Recent years have seen First Nations taking an ever greater role in Canadian forestry, but options for participation do not always respond to aboriginal demands. The dilemmas faced by many Nations are illustrated in Wemotaci, an Atikamekw community which has established four different organisations over the last twenty years in order to define their place in forestry. Successes and progress are balanced with failures and obstacles. These experiences suggest six clues that that may help to define an "Atikamekw forestry": recognising Atikamekw occupation and use of the land, sharing economic and employment benefits of forestry, increasing Atikamekw control over management, reviving traditional management systems, accepting different visions of the forest, and encouraging the evolution of Atikamekw and industrial positions. Decisions concerning aboriginal participation in forestry are not just technical or economic questions about forestry practices; they reflect the political issue of who manages forests.
Consideration Waswanipi Cree Knowledge about Moose to Improve Forest
Management on their Hunting Grounds
Hugo Jacqmain, Solange Nadeau, Louis Bélanger, Réhaume Courtois, Luc Bouthillier et Christian Dussault
With the aim of harmonizing forestry practices with the Cree way of life, this article proposes an integration of Cree and scientific knowledge to reach a convergence point between the two perspectives and propose better socio-ecologically adapted management strategies. In this first part of the study, interviews were conducted with Cree hunters regarding moose habitat and the impacts of forestry practices. Their needs and their knowledge about this particular species were analysed according to scientific criteria. Overall, the information provided by Cree hunters agrees with scientific knowledge on moose. However, there are also discrepancies with regards to some fundamental elements. The second part of the integrative study will therefore focus on these discrepancies in order to improve the scientific knowledge of moose for this northern habitat. Subsequently, we will integrate the two knowledge systems based on a common ecosystem approach and propose a more acceptable forestry for the territory of the Cree, Eeyou Astchee.
to Social Justice: Communicating Native Forest Ethics at the xii th World
Combining ethnography and discourse analysis, the present article analyses the production process of supposedly « consensual » statements at the 2003 World Forestry Congress. More specifically, it outlines the modalities by which aboriginal positions were, or were not, taken into account in the formulation of normative statements such as those made concerning the global management of forest resources. Using the concept of forest ethics, the author concentrates on evaluating the level of diffusion of aboriginal ethics in this context. Secondly, we look at the evaluation of this diffusion as it is formulated by the aboriginal actors themselves. It appears, in the wake of this study, that even if significant and fundamental differences exist between the aboriginal forest ethics voiced at this event and the "consensual" positions that have emerged from the congress as a whole, the very experience of formulating such a normative discourse in a formalised setting has had some positive impact on the aboriginal participants, even if they have had the feeling of being more or less heard by the non-aboriginal actors.
Ecological Knowledge and Western Science in Sustainable Forest Management
: The Case of the Clayoquot Scientific Panel
First Nations Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) and Western science represent potentially complementary traditions informing ecosystem-based forest management. While overlap exists, these traditions comprise distinct knowledge systems incorporating different ways of knowing. One challenge for bridging TEK and Western science is that most scientific practitioners are unfamiliar with the philosophy on which TEK is based and are not trained in their methods. I propose that TEK-Systems refers to social relations and institutions (social capital), founded upon philosophical beliefs and cultural teachings (cultural capital), mediated by practices and protocols (methods) of oral tradition. An epistemological analysis of the divergence and convergence between TEKS and Western science is then presented. These ideas are applied to a case study in Canada's coastal temperate rainforest: the Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot Sound. Comprised of Nuu-Chah-Nulth elders and forest scientists, the Panel achieved a full consensus on sustainable forest practices drawing equally on TEK and Western science in one of Canada's most intense environmental conflicts. Analysis indicates that ecosystems provide shared conceptual terrain for bridging TEKS and Western science. Bridging TEKS and Western science enhances ecosystem-based models of forest management. Special skills of cross-cultural communication along with bi-cultural standards are required for such work
Involvement in Ontario Sustainable Forest Management: Moving Towards
Aboriginal participation in environmental decision-making is increasingly recognized as vital to greater sustainability, both globally and locally. This is true in many areas of resource management, including Canada's forest industry. In Ontario, increased consideration of Aboriginal issues in forest and resource management is long overdue, given the province's history of excluding Native people from forestry. The Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources (OMNR), along with various industry and First Nations representatives from around the province, is taking a lead role in improving Aboriginal involvement in forest management. Such involvement now constitutes a significant component of Ontario's forest management planning system. The potential benefits of the new system are great, and include increased cooperation among government, industry and First Nations in moving towards the common goal of sustainable forest management. This paper highlights ways in which gains are being achieved in this area. Examples discussed include the influence of Canada's National Forest Strategy, particularly its 'Theme Three: Rights and Participation of Aboriginal People', on forest management planning in Ontario. Also presented is a summary of OMNR's evolving Aboriginal involvement component of its Forest Management Planning Manual. Finally, the Anishinabek/Ontario Resource Management Council is highlighted as a case example of collaboration between OMNR and First Nations in Ontario and a potential model for achieving cooperation between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal peoples around resource management.
The Forest Economy
of the Little Red River Cree Nation: Prioritizing Formal and Informal
Modes of Forest Production
With over 600 Aboriginal communities located in Canada's boreal and temperate forest regions, participation in the forest sector is seen by some as being the single greatest opportunity for Aboriginal communities to become economically self-reliant. Despite this opportunity, Aboriginal peoples continue to suffer disproportionately in their access to forest industry jobs and training. Based on research involving the Little Red River Cree First Nation (LRRCN) of Alberta, this paper identifies some of the causal factors that are keeping LRRCN members from participating more fully in the forest industry. By way of conclusion it is argued that despite the efforts made by government and the forest industry, the involvement of LRRCN members in conventional commercial forestry will continue to be limited due to the marginal social value that LRRCN members apply to forest sector employment and their continued prioritization of informal modes of forest production.
Sea and the Forest: The Management of Plant Resources by the Garifunas
of Northeastern Honduras in the Mid-Twentieth Century
This paper tries to demonstrate the interest of adopting a political ecology approach in order to understand the dynamic relationships between a given group and its forest environment. From a synchronic study carried out by the author in the sixties, one could draw an impression of equilibrium : female and male labour seemed to complement each other in remarkable fashion producing a balanced, sustainable exploitation of the resources of the sea, as well as those of the forest, where swidden agriculture, hunting and gathering took place. However, a closer examination reveals that the way that Garifuna society articulated with the extractive capitalism which prevailed on the coast made it especially vulnerable to the ups and downs of the latter. Today, it is the tropical forest itself which is disappearing, as the Garifuna swiddens yield to the Ladinos' extensive pastures.
of Sustainable Natural Resource Management in the Maya Zone of Quintana
Borrowing insights from the anthropology of development, political ecology, and the studies of governance as developed by Michel Foucault, this paper analyzes the ways in which power relations are being changed by the implementation of community-based natural resource management programs in the Maya Zone of Quintana Roo, Mexico. By examining projects of "sustainable use of natural resources" implemented by NGO's in Mayan communities, we highlight the limits of this approach as a means to increase rural communities' control over their resources and as a way to reduce inequalities. This analysis also shows how the norms related to sustainability contribute to the intensification of governmental control over the communities' resources and activities.
Coveted Land, Land of
Conflict: Conservation and Development in the Lacandón Forest of
From the 1970s to the 1990s, various measures were put into place to protect the Lacandón forest, one of the richest areas in terms of biodiversity in Mexico. The examination of the processes that led to the creation of protected areas in this region reveals that, on the whole, the government's politics and programs never ceased to give priority to economic development at the expense of conservation. In those cases where local populations were taken into consideration in the conservation initiatives, they could only occupy roles at the margins of decision-making organisations. The creation of protected areas appears to be a way in which the State has secured its control over the Lacandón forest's abundant natural resources.
in Témiscamingue: The example of Fort-Témiscamingue-Obadjiwan
National Historic Site of Canada, a Multi-millenium Presence
Fort-Témiscamingue-Obadjiwan National Historic Site of Canada (FTONHSC) was the scene of trade exchanges between Algonquins occupying the shores of Lake Témiscamingue and French, English and Scottish merchants operating trading posts in that area. On the first days of the excavations evidence of occupations prior to the Historic period began to appear, thus supplementing what had already been documented. This article presents the study of 5,600 ceramic, lithic and ecofactual items dating before to the settlement of the first French merchants at the site. Those objects were abandoned by the Algonquian populations who have occupied Obadjiwan iteratively but episodically for 6,000 years.
and Ritual at the CjEd-5 Site, Bas-Saint-Laurent, Québec
Adrian L. Burke
The CjEd-5 site is located on the Madawaska River, in the region of Témiscouata, Bas-Saint-Laurent, close to the New Brunswick border. This small site was reoccupied several times by hunter-fisher-gatherers during the Middle and Late Woodland periods and up to the Contact period. During one of these occupations, the group found it necessary or appropriate to renew their ancestral traditions by practicing a ritual. The ritual in question was found during the 2004 excavations of the site and includes a feast of beaver along with an offering of sacrificed Ramah quartzite bifaces. These bifaces were intentionally broken and burned in a hearth along with the remains of the feast. The feature and the ritual associated with it are compared to similar ritual features in the Northeast.
The Logic of Connection in the Art of Quillwork of the Amerindians
of the Prairies
From a reflection on the art of porcupine quillwork in the Canadian Plains, the author proposes to highlight a logic of the bond at work in this art. She looks at the symbolic system and the practice of the embroidery through the role of the quillworkers, as producers and links between the generations tying together, the categories of living and the train of thought. The purpose is to highlight a dynamic prospect for the tradition as well as for the roles of the artists as creators and negotiators of the social and cosmogonal representations within a given culture.
Studies in Canada: Issues and Research Horizons for Québec
The history of the North American continent is characterized, genealogically and culturally by the intermixture of its colonial, Amerindian and Inuit populations. This intermixture led to great transformations of all of these populations, and also, in some cases, to the emergence of new communities (that is to say, communities of mixed European and Aboriginal ancestry that considered themselves to be distinct from their European and Indian or Inuit forebears). Studies on ethnogenesis that took root in Canada about 25 years ago seek to understand the processes by which these communities came into being. They try to explain how there arose specific groups of individuals of mixed ancestries with a culture and identity that set them apart from their parents. This article explains how the theoretical and methodological fundamentals of these studies have evolved, from their very beginnings until the present time, particularly with regard s to the challenges they face in Québec in their implementation and development.
Ideology, symbolism and gender relations in the construction of the person
among the Chacobo
Among the Chacobo (Panoans of the Bolivian Amazon), being female is not a purely "natural" or "physiological" state which is defined once and for all. A human being becomes a woman only through progressive stages of social modelling and construction of the Self. This article analyzes the general representations and practices which constitute "humanity" and the "person" among the Chacobo. In the particular case of women, it examines the ideas and values associated with the female gender in the conceptualization of gestation and procreation, as well as in mythical representations of sexuality, ritual restrictions during pregnancy and couvade, female initiation, the sexual division of labour, the ideology of gender relations, and some of the fundamental principles of social organisation.
Tourism and the
Economic Development of Québec Aboriginal
This article presents an overview of tourism development in Québec aboriginal communities. Our analysis shows the specific characteristics of tourism as an industry along with the opportunities, the advantages and the restrictions that is offers for economic development. While tourism cannot resolve all economic problems, it is an attractive option for the diversification of aboriginal economies and for the promotion of aboriginal culture.
Are Young Algonkins
Bicultural? Models of Transmission and Innovation in some Algonkin Reserves
Young people from First Nations are often portrayed as caught "between two worlds", justifying the image projected upon them as "problem" individuals. But can they really be considered bi-cultural ? In this article, the importance of spatial, legal and generational representations in defining the cultural identity of Algonkins born after 1970 is explored. A transitional generation, that of their parents - who lived through the changes brought about by residential schools, sedentarisation and the creation of new models - mediates between young Algonkins and the elders, who lived a semi-nomadic life. The universe of the reserve, their source of reference , is invested with meaning by young people as they innovate to "make the culture evolve". In their own way they are striving to create a modern Algonkin culture but the Indian Act creates tensions that reinforce the illusion of a bipartite division of their world.
and the identity route of
young Atikamekw - The
evoking of cultural processes through the Tewehikan
Through the experience of a drumming group of the Atikamekw community of Wemotaci, I show in this article how young aboriginal people are negotiating social and cultural transformation in a changing context. The contemporary drum practice reveals these cultural transformations carried by and for the youth ; the drum, as a cultural element valued in numerous communities, is part of a larger process of eliciting cultural forms that emerged in Wemotaci during the 1980's. Today, drumming reflects not only a cultural responsibility, but also a professional responsibility intervening in the drummer 's experience and interpretation of what it means to be young and Atikamekw today. Musical arrangements, market laws, necessity to fulfill contracts, negotiations and conciliations bound to the professionalization of the drumming practice are now part of the drumming experience, together with local knowledge.
Popular Innu Songs and Music: Context, Meaning and Power in Young
Innu Social Experiences
This article presents popular Innu musical expressions as voices that serve to reaffirm Innu identity and revitalize Innu society and culture. These songs in the Innu language are inspired by various musical trends such as country, rock, folk and pop, as well as Innu, Pan-Indian, Christian and Quebecois traditions. They have been created, practiced and renewed since the second half of the twentieth century, accompanying the often radical events, movements and transformations that have marked Innu social and cultural life. Contemporary Innu youth, like their predecessors, are the primary conveyers of this expressive movement which they use to participate in the daily life of their communities, and reaffirm their identity, their experiences and their preoccupations, thus contributing to the revitalization of their world and the Innu "way of being". We present some of the singers, groups and songs that are representative of contemporary Innu musical expression and who have had a significant impact within their society. This provides a sensitive understanding of the context, the significance and the power of these expressions.
Political and Economic Hope Among Young Tzeltals and Tlapanecs of Mexico.
Using ethnographic data collected in Chiapas and Guerrero, this article aims to lay down some reference points for what could be termed an anthropology of wish-images among the indigenous peoples of Mexico. In a context of marked rural crisis and political mobilisations, it was observed that political and economic discourses of young adults living in indigenous communities were strongly influenced by the idea of a better "elsewhere" or a better "future". What is the shape of this complex social and political hope? How can economic and political aspirations that are sometimes both coherent and contradictory work in the process of mobilisation for collective action?
How to flirt
with modernity to secure one's identity in a
Manitoba Metis school
Thibault Martin et Brieg Capitaine
In 1994, a francophone school was established in the heart of the Métis community of St Laurent, Manitoba. The creation of the school institutionalized a pre-existing divide between the Francophone and Anglophone Métis populations. This article provides an analysis of the educational project developed by the Francophone Métis community. We will see that the project is a cultural and political enterprise, which aims both to preserve the traditional vernacular of the Métis, the Michif language, as well as to reclaim the community's capacity for self-determination. The pedagogical model of the project integrates elements of modern knowledge and traditional Aboriginal knowledge, and aims to strengthen social ties both between elders and youth and between the school and the larger community. The theoretical foundations of this model are part of a trend observable in a number of Aboriginal communities. However, the specific feature of the project is in the strategic alliance forged between the Métis and Franco-Manitoban communities and, beyond this alliance, in attempts at connecting the Métis with global francophone networks.
Being Young and Maori Today: University as a Site of (Re-)Affirmation and Coexistence
The university constitutes an important site of (re-)affirmation for diverse Maori identities, where relationships among Maori and between Maori and non-Maori are negotiated and shaped. Higher education entails a direct confrontation between "two worlds", one Western and the other Maori. Many students experience the university as an alien location, as it is a place deemed non-Maori. However, this site can also be an opportunity for Maori students to meet other young Maori from all over New Zealand. Such encounters are exciting, but they can also be stressful or disappointing due to the prominent and highly politicised rhetoric about "real" in contrast to "false" Maori identities. In such a context, many are soon asked to justify their Maori-ness. The transition is thus not always easy. For those who decide to pursue their studies, however, their university years are considered determining ones, shaping their engagements as much in the Maori worlds as in society in general. Attending university is experienced by many as a turning point ; it is a time of "discovery" and/or (re-)affirmation of their Maori identities. This is made possible through a variety of means including a particular attachment to distinctly Maori sites at the university.
Hopefulness is carried from the bush to the classroom: continuity and
discontinuity in values between generations of Dene Tha
Jean-Guy A. Goulet et Kim Harvey-Trigoso
What does it mean today to be a young Dene Tha in northwestern Alberta? The authors attempt to answer this question on the basis of data gathered between 1979 and 1999. The authors note an important difference between children at the level of social values and behaviour patterns. A careful analysis of drawings, stories and behavior of Dene Tha children leads to one conclusion: the more a child of school age has already participated in traditional subsistance activities, hunting, fishing and gathering, the more likely his or her orienttion in life is based on collective values and the more he or she has a positive attitude to life. The authors discuss these results in light of the contrasting epistemological and ethical principles that underlie Dene traditional education and the school's educational practices.
Perspectives on environmental education in indigenous contexts
Lucie Sauvé, Hélène Godmaire, Marie Saint-Arnaud, Renée Brunelle et Françoise Lathoud
How can the process of appropriating one's own living place, in relation with identity strengthening and reconstruction of social relations, be supported among young aboriginal people? This important question is examined here by the authors in the context of environmental education projects collaboratively developed with Innu (Labrador) and Algonquin (Abitibi-Témiscamingue) communities. How can formal education, previously a somewhat alienating experience, evolve in such a way as to contribute to the construction and expression of young aboriginal's identity and world view? How can it be transformed to enable the clarification of their expectations, concerns, needs and hopes? How can it legitimate and value their voices and contribute to their expression and recognition? Based on such questions, the authors first focus on a literature review and a study of educational proposals (programs, projects) related to the "environment" in indigenous contexts. Theoretical bases and pedagogical strategies are examined. Furthermore, researchers also reflect on their own educational experiences in indigenous communities. Such critical analyses help to highlight and confirm issues and constraints, but also opportunities and promising educational paths.
The role of relationality in self-(re)presentation of Innu youth
from Uashat mak Mani-Utenam community
This article presents the underlying principles of what the author call " the relational of the technique " . More than 30 young Innus from Uashat mak Mani-Utenam who participated in this project, photographed and discussed positive aspects of their lives rather than putting emphasis on the negative ones. This result constrasts with the majority of images circulated by native and non-native adults about them in the public sphere in which they are victimised and appear to live a miserable life. It is suggested that for these youth the purpose of photography is not to fabricate photographs per se but rather to present the links with who and what they photograph. This rationale brings us to reflect on what could be the impacts of a quasi-total representation of commodified suffering about First Nations' youth. Could this lack of balance in representation of their daily lives forecast the internalisation of these negative portrayals and then contribute to a self-fulfilling prophecy?
The Scalp: An Intercultural Object in the Colonial Context (1701-1763
During the first half of the eighteenth century, Amerindians and Europeans alike appropriated the scalp in very different manners. In Amerindian cultures, for instance, the scalp itself reflects an appropriation; by the very act of scalping, the warrior takes a part of the enemy's body and makes it his own. At the same time, this act is a symbolic appropriation because it is part of a ritual, which affords the object a spiritual value. European authors, by contrast, depict the scalp as a barbaric object that proves the savagery of indigenous peoples, thereby appropriating the object by transforming its meaning in their discourse. In buying scalps from Native allies as material proof of the death of their enemies, Europeans appropriate the object by giving it a monetary value. Finally, the French and the British learned how to scalp their enemies, and in collecting these objects, achieved a type of cultural appropriation as well.
Interactions between French Soldiers and Native Americans: the
trade issue (1683-1763)
In 18 th century French Louisiana and the Upper Country, there were numerous and varied interactions between Native Peoples and French soldiers. This article studies the nature, role and realities of their material exchanges, using the several sources available (archival documents, printed works or archaeological reports). After having enumerated the different items traded and determined their use, the author examines how the trade was organized. The pre-eminent role of the officers is pointed out as well as the soldiers' more modest one. It is argued that there were many real interdependencies which modified everyone's habits and contributed to the solidarity existing between French soldiers and their Native neighbours.
The Peace Pipe a Medium for Contacts: the study and analysis
of an Amerindian pipe
This article is about the Peace pipe, a pipe mainly used in the Mississippi and Plains areas and is of the period between the 16th and 18th centuries. The peace pipe is presented in its relation with tobacco and the various actors using it. The author identifies the various parts constituting the object, the bowl and the pipe stem. The object is also defined by its various functions: ratification, safe passage, trade and chief's pipe. After having considered the studies on the smoking complex undertaken by Von Gernet and Springer, the author refers to the Jesuit Relations and the early explorers' journals, written at the time of the exploration of the West, as well as the works of archaeologists, anthropologists and historians.
The Stuff of Dreams: Materials, objects, arts, and techniques in the practices
Very often, material culture is the means by which the other's culture is understood and easily appropriated and reinvented. The Indianophile phenomenon provides a perfect illustration of the emblematic value of objects from an "exotic" culture, and offers at the same time a unique opportunity for the study of the complex processes involved in any attempt to define and recreate a material culture. Indianophiles, passionate about North American Indian cultures, use their vast knowledge and specialized skills to recreate an "Indian universe" that is not only a mere representation, but a lived experience. The "Indian objects" they make and use are not collections bound to stay on a shelf. They are integrated into complex networks (both commercial and non commercial), and provide the basis for actualization, practises by which Indianophiles personally experience an Indian universe. Far from a narrow dichotomy between "authentic" and "forgery", the study of "Indianophily" sheds light on the social uses of identity-bearing objects, and the context-shifting phenomena on which these uses rely.
of Tradition : Readings in Cultural Geometry
from "Nous, les Premières Nations" in Musée de la civilisation,
This paper focuses on the spatial organization in the museum design of the permanent exhibition, "We, The First Nations". It aims to understand how the formal structure of the exhibition space creates different cultural narratives and how the visitor's point of view redefines these narratives. Here the author proposes a structural analysis of the exhibition through its geometrical forms : lines, circles and triangles. The circular form of the narrative is crossed by the linear geometric perspective which highlights the dynamic relations in western concepts such as the state, market, globalization and cyber space. The material objects occupancy of the exhibition space creates a particular meaning in the same way that the people's occupancy of a territory produces the community's ethnohistorical narrative. The understanding of this cultural geometry brings to light the political stakes today between the indigenous communities of Québec and the place of "tradition" and "modernity" in their identity politics.
Wampum Belts from Colonial Times to Today
Jonathan C. Lainey
By giving preference to French sources neglected in the historiography on wampums, the author presents various intercultural loans which emerged from the diplomatic procedures surrounding the exchange of wampums between French and Natives in the colonial period. Furthermore, he examines the state of knowledge on wampums in the current museum collections. Indeed, the wampums that one finds in Québec and other Canadian museums, generally, are not well documented. Several factors from the Victorian period would explain this silence. In particular, lack of documentation may be due to the retreat of the oral tradition which was connected to wampums, the loss of their political importance, as well as the interest of the numismatists for these objects in a particularly intense context of ethnological collection. In short, by raising two aspects about wampums previously overlooked in the literature, this article helps to clarify the various forms and new directions which wampums took according to those who acquired them with the passing of years.
Beads, Bodies, and Regimes of Value in France and North America
This article focuses on the appropriation of French glass and shell beads by Amerindian groups in Northeastern North America during the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries. The aim of the study is to shed light on how regimes of value as "operators" of identity are constructed through intercultural exchange. The study emphasizes the use of the body as a site of exhibition and of cultural regeneration. The author's approach is to reconstruct the historical biographies of beads by documenting their uses in the culture of origin and by uncovering the new uses to which they were put by the receiving culture. He also compares the uses Amerindians made of beads in the late woodland (15th C.) and early historic contact periods (16th and 17th C.) to better evaluate the impact of contact on the receiving culture. It was during this period of first contact that the power relations were negotiated and the interaction was the most effectual. Two principal sources are used to illustrate the material aspects of this process: manuscript notarial records and printed travel accounts from France, and the archaeological collections derived from Amerindian contact sites.
The Functions and Use of Wampum in Jesuit Chapels of New France
A large body of literature exists on the wampum, a symbol of Northeastern Amerindian material culture. Anthropologists, ethnohistorians and traditional historians have demonstrated how these belts or necklaces characterized "interculturality" between Europeans and Native Peoples during the French colonial period. However, very few scholars have underlined the important role that wampums played in the embellishment of the mission chapels or within the villages of the Christian Native Peoples. Such documents reveal the existence of surprising heterogeneous chapel arrangements. These cultural and artistic placements combined liturgical furniture, paintings and engravings with Amerindian wampums. This paper analyzes the Amerindian contribution within Catholic shrines. In so doing, new dimensions of interaction between Native Peoples and Europeans are revealed, not only in terms of diplomatic or economic alliance but also in terms of cultural negotiation.
of Liberal Democracy and Human Rights: The Indigenous Question
The essay indicates in which way Charles Taylor and Michael Walzer's democratic and open-minded liberalism 2 could partially accommodate the reproduction of Indigenous cultures within the Canadian federal nation-state. However, it also uses examples from a Canadian Indigenous tradition to illustrate how some key cultural traits which involve questions of divergent morality would not be readily accepted by liberalism 2. Thus, in this respect, even liberalism 2 constitutes a fetter for world cultural democracy. Finally, taking into account the culturally defined morality of liberal democracies, it indicates in which way human rights, which are presented as the bedrock of any democracy, are not culturally neutral and rest, in fact, on a univocal definition of the good life, which, in turn, leads to ethnocentrism.
of Struggle for Indian Autonomy in Mexico, 1994-2004
This article presents the ideological trends in the Mexican Indian movement and more specifically, the contribution of the Zapatista movement to the question of autonomy and self determination of the indigenous peoples. The Zapatistas have introduced a new way to consider the Indian question: the joining of the indigenous peoples' struggle to the national one which results in the seeking of alliances with other groups in the society. In this way, the Zapatistas inscribe the indigenous question within the reform of the State and seek to play an active role in the construction of a radical plural citizenry. However, the exercising of autonomy at a time of low intensity warfare shows that a radical pluralism, though affirmed in the discourse, is difficult to achieve.
The Nahua Myth of Sentiopil,
Alfonso Reynoso et Taller de Tradición Oral
Inspired selectively by some elements of the Levi-Straussian structural analysis of myth, the authors interpret, in this articlem the myth of Sentiopil, the Corn-God-Child, of the Maseuals (Nahua Indian peasants from Cuetzalan, Sierra Norte de Puebla, Mexico). In this interpretation, the authors found that the myth contains a set of clue elements of the Maseuals' world view. On the one hand, the authors compare this set of elements, with similar elements of the conceptions of the ancient Aztecs and the ideas from other Nahua peoples from central Mexico in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries (the classical epoch). And, on the other hand, they compare these elements of the Maseuals' world view with similar Judeo-Christian conceptions from western Catholicism. The interpretation of the authors seems to find a close relationship between some fundamental conceptions of the myth studied with both traditions. These findings may contribute to the comprehension of the specific nature of the contemporary Maseuals' religion. The Maseuals' specific religion seems to be nurtured at the same time by elements of the Middle-American and the Catholic religious traditions in making a creative and logically integrated construction.
and Territories: Eastern Cree land Tenure in the Quebec/Ontario Border
Region - II
- Reconstruction and recovery
Colin Scott and James Morrison
In this second part of their article, the authors examine the consequences for the indigenous tenure system of administrative measures to rebuild beaver populations and to align the administration of fur trapping and trading with the fiscal as well as jurisdictional interests of provincial and federal governments. Cree hunters of the Hannah Bay/Harricana River drainage endured particular hardships, not only because Cree tenure institutions and practices conformed poorly to the administrative rigidities of government-registered traplines, but also because administrators attempted forced compliance with the artificial division of their customary territories along the provincial boundary. Through a process of resistance and situational strategizing, Crees were able to reproduce indigenous tenure practices, though not without significant compromise.
Representations: Bureaucratic Social Representations and Canadian Indian
Education Policy, 1828-1996 (II)
This article shows how social representations, elaborated by the federal government's bureaucracy, modeled and legitimized at the same time the ideology of Indians integration into the Canadian society, the education policy that prolongs it, and the education system that acts as the agent of change. In this second part, the author explains how, in the aftermath of the Second World War, the federal government modified its approach to facilitate the integration of upcoming generations of Indians by promoting the coming together of White and Indian children, while integrating the provincial school systems with the federal system dedicated to Indian children. At the end of the 1960s, the Canadian policy of multiculturalism largely influenced the Indian education policy. It became a matter of bringing education closer to Indian's realities, in the same way as for other Canadian cultural communities, in order to strengthen the Canadian political community. This education remained, however, immutably "monocultural". Lastly, the article shows that if the relations between Canadian Indians and the federal government have evolved in the form; they have remained quite the same in the content.
of the coexistence of the Native and Canadian populations in Mauricie
Contacts between Atikamekw and Canadian settlers in Mauricie from 1870 to 1910 have not been studied thoroughly until now. These contacts had three important social and cultural consequences. First of all, they caused the cohabitation of the two groups in villages of the maurician frontier, as some Atikamekw may sometimes have lived there. Secondly, Canadian settlers working as employees in the trading posts often united with native women, resulting in the existence of a "métis" phenomenon. Thirdly, contacts with native people contributed to the differentiation of the settlers from the people living in the Saint-Laurent Valley. This paper shows the necessity of studying these phenomena, despite the difficulties of often using too vague sources and despite the fluidity of the métis concept in Eastern Canada.
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