ActionProducing an effect, a behaviour regarding someone or something.1
Indigenous and Northern Affairs CanadaDepartment which is the primary link between the federal government and Aboriginal peoples in Canada.3
Indigenous Self-Government In CanadaIndigenous self-government is the formal structure through which Indigenous communities may control the administration of their people, land, resources and related programs and policies, through agreements with federal and provincial governments.3
The Highway of TearsThe Highway of Tears is the A-16 road crossing the mountains from east to west in the province of British Columbia; where nearly twenty young women, mostly Aboriginal, have disappeared since 1994. The portion of Highway 16 between Prince Rupert and Prince George, which is nicknamed the Highway of Tears, stretches for 724 km north of British Columbia, connecting a multitude of territories and reserves belonging to Aboriginal communities.
BandToday the Canadian government uses the terms band to describe the local unit of administration by Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. These units include the dozens of more complex Indigenous societies that were traditionally organized not as bands but as tribes or chiefdoms. There are over 615 of these modern administrative bands or First Nations, which function as small Aboriginal municipalities and are managed by elected band councils according to the laws of the Indian Act of Canada.3
Nowadays, a band council manages the destiny of the community, but in the past, as far as I know, you had a chief, often an elder, appointed by the women, the representative if you will, who dealt with general affairs, but you also had a war chief, you had people with well-defined roles in the community. Nowadays, everything is centralized at the Band Council, which manages all the services and programs dedicated to their members. In the past, leaders were appointed until death. Today you have elections every two years.
EmbroideryArt consisting of stitches that cover a pattern drawn on a fabric or canvas.1 Moose-hair and porcupine-quill embroidery and beaded or embroidered appliques are a way to leave a signature on things. Through them, individuals, families, and nations declare who they are. Dress and ornamentation are tools of identity and ceremony in political relations.5
ColonizationThe relationship between colonizer and colonized is a relationship of dominance, a dominant group and a dominated group. The colonizer takes possession of an area already inhabited, he settles with his habits and his ways of doing things. One may think that the colonizer/colonized relationship did not come about in a harmonious way, leaving behind consequences. Mistrust, ignorance, feelings of loss, discrimination, injustice, several emotions and significant situations served to shatter such relationships. Historically and still today, if we think of developing countries, this situation is quite frequent, and contributes to the creation of significant differences between cultures and subsequently intercultural relations.7
Around 1851, the Colonization Act was everywhere in the province of Quebec. Priests had the mission to develop parishes as was the case here. The two Langevin brothers played a great part in the loss of our Viger lands in 1870; one was Monsignor and the other was the Minister responsible for Indian Affairs in Ottawa. In 1879, our lands were distributed to white settlers, in exchange for a few hundred dollars of which no one saw a dime.
CommunitySocial group whose members live together, or have common interests.1
ContemporaryFrom the same era as. Current time.1
CultureAll intellectual, artistic aspects of a civilization.1 Culture is that complex whole which includes knowledge, beliefs, arts, morals, laws, customs, and any other capabilities and habits acquired by a human as a member of society.6
In culture, everything is important. What’s important to me is that we eat. Culture is bonded to what the ancestors have consumed. To eat fish, you go fishing; for hare, you check the snares. If you want to eat caribou, you must go hunting. Meanwhile, you participate in traditional activities by going hunting. While eating, you take part in traditional activities. This won’t happen when you fetch a hamburger at McDonald's.
MourningPain, affliction that one experiences by someone’s death. To mourn something; resign oneself to being deprived.<1
DiscriminationThe unfair treatment of a person, either by imposing burdens or preventing them from having access to privileges, benefits or advantages available to others, because of their race, citizenship, family status, disability, gender or other personal characteristics.
The judgment rendered by the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal on January 27, 2016, confirms systemic discrimination against our children. While they represent less than 4% of the Canadian population, they make up 48% of the population of 30 000 Canadian children in families other than their own. This uprooting, often far from their family, is more displacement than those of residential schools. The ruling confirms that for Aboriginal people, the services do not correspond to those offered to non-Aboriginal people: 34% less funding for our children, probably more so far today. The court speaks of outright negligence. Nine years to reach this acknowledgement because Ottawa invested 5 million to try to delay the case, 5 million! We do not ask for privileges, only equity. Before 2008, Canadian law did not allow us, as Indians, to sue for inequality. We were deliberately excluded from the law, that too is discrimination!
CommitmentAction to bind oneself by promise or convention.1
Aboriginal language families in CanadaAlgonquian; Inuit; Athabaskan; Siouennes; Salish; Tshimshennes; Wakashan; Iroquoian; Michif; Tlingit; Kutenai and Haida are the 12 language families of Aboriginal languages spoken in Canada.8
TributeGesture of respect, admiration and gratitude.1
ImmersionAct of immersing into a foreign environment.1
IntergenerationalThat which occurs, relates to intergenerational relations.1
IntrospectionObservation, analysis of one’s feelings, motivations.1
Aboriginal languages in CanadaThe 2011 Census of Population recorded over 60 Aboriginal languages grouped into 12 distinct language families – an indication of the diversity of Aboriginal languages in Canada.8 There are around 60 distinct Indigenous languages in Canada, falling into 10 separate language families. Indigenous languages in Canada show great diversity in their structures. In terms of sounds, they range from a very small number to a large number of sounds. Words in many of the Indigenous languages are typically complex, often expressing in a word what is contained in a sentence in languages like English and French. Such languages are often called polysynthetic, with words composed of a string of meaningful parts.3
People do not take into consideration our reality, recognizing that our first language is Innu. I speak to you in French because I learned French. A word might be missing, I might pronounce a word incorrectly, I'm not embarrassed because it's not my language. When we finish this interview, I will go home, I will talk with my wife and children in Montagnais. With my friends, I speak Montagnais. It's my language, that’s all. Okay, I had the chance to learn French, I manage in French, I understand very well the Quebec mentality, but I am an Aboriginal person.
Many generations, even ours, were cut off from that language, we must not lose it, the language of the forest, of life, of hunting as well. Every word in our language is a spirituality, we must not lose it. There's a lot of respect in the words we use. There’s no doubt that a reunification between the youth and elders would be important, to bring children to their grandparents, so that they may convey certain things.
We want to convey the message that our language is a living language. It's more than a language, it's our identity, our culture, it’s who we are.
Constitutional Act of 1982Part of the Act that guarantees the existing rights of the Aboriginal peoples of Canada, though these are left undefined. 3 It is a matter of territorial ancestral practice, the duty to consult when a project issued from the government of Canada may affect or involve these territories.
Indian Act of 1876This Act refers to the gradual assimilation of Aboriginal people by imposing onto them a status incompatible with full Canadian citizenship, considering them as underage persons and placing them under the supervision of the federal government. It reinforces the exclusive authority of the State over the use of territories and their financing. In addition, certain clauses prevent, Aboriginal people from voting in elections, leaving the reserve without permission or drinking alcohol. The law was amended in 1951 and 1985. The changes introduced in 1985 partially modify the Indian status. Today, this assimilative law still governs the First Nations of Canada by conferring a special status to Aboriginal people and by restricting their rights through other administrative measures.
There has been a great deal of divisiveness and diasporas which has separated us throughout history, such as Bill C-31, which caused much damage. There are people who have never returned to their reserve, others have returned for monetary reasons, such as property taxes or the fact that you do not pay income tax if you work in the community. As for me, at sixteen, I didn’t live here in Wendake, but I hung out with people from Wendake because of our play at the youth centre, where I made friends. My circle of friends remained there, I decided to make my life there.
The Indian Act is complicated to explain. For many Quebeckers, it is still a law made by the Indians. When I lecture, people tell me, “yeah, but your law ...”. Yeah, you mean the law we're under! It's not the law we made.
We have a lot of problems. One of the most important, of course, is the territory and the resources that are taken from the territory. It is important to understand that the AnishinabegOgabwan people have never surrendered or abandoned their territory, nor is there a treaty regarding our territory. Thus, we maintain that we have intrinsic rights to this land. The Quebec government and the federal Crown have no real right to exploit the territory. The reality is that our remedies are still on the territory and this reality becomes very important. It's not about exploiting the land but about using it in a sustainable manner.
MobilizationGathering for a purpose.1
ForgiveTo stop feeling angry or resentful toward (someone) for an offense, flaw or mistike.1
PrejudiceBelief, preconceived opinion, often imposed by the environment, the time period; bias.1 To make a value judgment, an indiscriminate and final judgment about a person or a group of people without knowing them sufficiently.
RacismIdeology supposing a hierarchy of races. Discrimination, violent hostility towards a human group.1
Systemic RacismThe social production of a race-based inequality regarding decisions involving people and the treatment they receive.4
Sixties ScoopRefers to the large-scale removal or “scooping” of Indigenous children from their homes, communities and families of birth through the 1960s, and their subsequent adoption into predominantly non-Indigenous, middle-class families across the United States and Canada3
They came by plane, they “inventoried” the small Indians on the territory: “How many children do you have? The following year, the plane returned to fetch them. You're six, you don’t speak French, you've never been in town, you think you're going on a plane ride, but you're going to a residential school, a prison. The parents are told: “I’m going to raise you child myself, because you’re not able.” Everything previously learned by the young people was no longer good for them: their spirituality, their way of life in the forest. All the rupture involved. An empty village. No more children’s laughter, no more crying. A dead community. Upon their return, the children don’t even recognize their parents anymore. Ultimately a genocide.
When I went to a residential school, I lost my culture at one point. When I came back, I was no longer myself, I was ashamed of my parents, my family, my culture. I joined the white man, and I returned at the age of 34. I was involved in substance abuse, and I went to a therapy center in Maniwaki. That's where I found my roots.
ReserveReserves are governed by the Indian Act, and residence on a reserve is governed by band councils as well as the minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada.3
It's not a living environment for us. Whereas before, our people had a large territory, here is an environment that we never desired. It was established by a government, by a law called the Indian Act. And that's boring as hell. Whereas before, we had large territories where people could do things, go hunting, visit one another. Here, we see each other every day. We don’t even visit each other anymore. It makes no sense. It's like an enclosure. The barriers are not visible, but I feel them there.
ResilienceAbility to overcome trauma.1
SexismDiscriminatory attitude based on gender.1
StereotypeReady-made opinion which decreases peculiarities. Widespread prejudice.1 Simplified generalization applied to an entire group of people, regardless of individual differences.
Aboriginal (Indigenous) TerritorIndigenous territory, also referred to as traditional territory, describes the ancestral and contemporary connections of Indigenous peoples to a geographical area. There are many differences between Indigenous views on territory and Canadian legal and political definitions of territory. Indigenous understandings of territory are based on worldviews that are both complex and culturally specific, and represent a variety of multi-faceted relationships and ancestral connections to place since time immemorial.3
We felt at home everywhere. Our home is the forest, it is our pharmacy, our pantry, our church, our school. Everything happened there, on the territory. Which explains why when we moved by canoe, we could travel two or three days to reach another place. We felt right at home.
Indigenous peoples have the right to practise and revitalize their cultural traditions and customs. This includes the right to maintain, protect and develop the past, present and future manifestations of their cultures, such as archaeological and historical sites, artefacts, designs, ceremonies, technologies and visual and performing arts and literature.
Oral HistoryOral history is an account of the past transmitted by word of mouth.3
Treaties with Aboriginal (Indigenous) PeopleIndigenous treaties in Canada are constitutionally recognized agreements between the Crown and Indigenous peoples. Most of these agreements describe exchanges where Indigenous nations agree to share some of their interests in their ancestral lands in return for various payments and promises. Treaties therefore form the constitutional and moral basis of alliance between Indigenous peoples and Canada.3
The government's intention was to try to eliminate the Indians. The Indian Act was a way to make that happen, the Church another; education intended to prevent us from hunting as well. They tried to make us disappear: this must be crystal clear. We have been in constant battle with different levels of power who are in a stronger position, in such a way that they can stop and imprison you, they have the authority, the laws, they will crush you at their leisure. This makes things difficult, even today.