Lisons chacun un des 94 appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation

qallunette:

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Suite aux évènements choquants à Val d’Or, et afin de supporter et rallier nos communautés Autochtones du Québec, je propose que nous lisons chacun et chacunes un des 94 appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation.

Cliquez ici afin de consulter les appels à l’action.

Si vous désirez participer, communiquez avec moi à Qallunette@gmail.com ou @Qallunette sur Twitter, et je vous assignerai une des recommandations.

Filmez-vous en vous présentant, nommant votre communauté et lisez le passage de la recommandation.  

Téléchargez votre vidéo sur YouTube ici: portant la mention #CVRAppelsàl’action et le numéro de la recommandation.

Le rapport complet a été lu en Anglais, vous pouvez le voir ici: (Grand merci à Zoe S. Todd, Erica Violet Lee, Joseph Murdoch-Flowers pour l’organisation de ce beau geste de solidarité, ainsi qu’à Chelsea Vowel pour l’inspiration – Migwetch!) 

Nous pouvons faire une différence!

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#Métis in the North-West and their Lanaudière kin

qallunette:

All things considered, there are many people I need to thank.

People who I expected to help me understand concepts that were new to me.

People who I can learn from.

People who would possibly one day teach my own child 

People that have been so focused on pursuing an ideology I have difficulties understanding.

The first people I turned to were blunt: my Métis identity was akin to fraud.

Worse, it was Indigenous Appropriation.

But, and very importantly, they never asked me what I thought I knew about where I come from, who my ancestors are, what oral history was passed to me. 

I have written in past posts about such experiences, and have Storified some, Here are a few examples: 

Discussion on rights to (re)claim Métis identitypart one and part deux

And there were more…

We have a hard time shedding Colonialism when speaking to each other, and request – nay – DEMAND empirical proof. Oral history? Pfft.

Anyways, here’s what I found, explaining the relationship between Métis of Lanaudière and Métis of the Red River:

The page above is from a book published in 1889 about the Parish of Berthier. Page 105 is a review of the Church records during the tenure of Jean-Baptiste-Noël Pouget, between 1777 and his death in 1818. It explains that during this period, a great number of baptisms of adults, *savages* and métis from the North-West territories. 

The author’s explanation is the confluence of the many rivers surrounding Berthier, which is situated fairly East of Montreal – which would have been much closer to the Métis coming from the Red River area. 

But genealogical records can show that the North-West Métis had kinship living along the rivers leading to Berthier: first cousins, uncles, aunts, grandparents. 

A stunning example of a well-known family from Manitoba, the HENRY, who came to Berthier to have a daughter baptized. The record clearly indicates that she is Métis:

Although Pouget seemed sympathetic to Métis, the Church discouraged mixed unions, which may explain why the parents were never named. The baptisms were entered in the records as born of a Canadian father and an Indigenous mother. Almost two dozen of such records have been located so far in the Berthierville church records.

So, there it is. The empirical proof of a link. 

Because the oral histories weren’t enough.

Because the Métis sash made in L’Assomption wasn’t enough.

Because the kinship memories weren’t enough.

But again, thank you. This experience has given me the opportunity of meeting people that do care, who I can learn from. And who I hope will be around my daughter for years to come.

All Our Relations.

Not all Québecois are #Métis.

qallunette:

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For some time now, there’s been discussions about the ethnogenesis of the Métis People of Canada. There are many opinions, and many people have much to gain for people currently not included in the definition of Métis as described by the Métis Nation of Canada.

I won’t speak about other narratives and I won’t arrogate an opinion on others. Although I benefit of the Privilege of being a White-passing Métis, I strive to decolonize my mindset every day.

I have written in past posts (here, here, herehere ) the reasons behind this blog. (which I describe as ”where I come to ponder about MY Métis identity and what it all means for me and for future generations) I feel the need to document my memories, the memories of my dad, my grand-parents and my great-grand-parents.

Why? Because I heard them first-hand, they were oral and when I’m no longer here, I want it documented. It’s important to me for my children, my future grand-children and my future great-grand-children for so many reasons, and “oral narratives” are discounted. So I’m writing them down, here. Nobody else need to agree with me. I’m not the Courts and it’s not a debate.

Identity is a moving target, and I’ve seen many Indigenous groups having to resort to historical documents because their identity relies on Court decisions. To me, it is the most Colonialist gesture enabling the erasure and assimilation of Indigenous minority groups. To me, it’s like a little bit of Indigenous Persons living on the fringe gets cut off every time the numbers of that group gets small enough not to benefit from research or pecuniary interest.

I have serious doubts on whether my own “small” community will ever be recognized as historical either. Because it’s in Québec, and because my community’s narrative is too often hijacked by Québec Nationalists to strengthen an argument of French as “Original Peoples” – i.e. here before British Colonialism for the purpose of Sovereignty…

Sigh. I’ve got so much to say about that. But, to be brief: not all people from Québec identify as Métis, have ancestors who were *Indians, are from a historical community. And last, but not least, not all Métis of Québec identify as Québécois. 

Again, only speaking for myself here: I don’t, nor have I ever, identified as Québécois. The ways in which I have understood my family’s history has always led me to understand that my identity was more *fluid* (for lack of a better word) than just Québec. My ancestors and their kin were travelers. Voyageurs. They were impervious to borders that shifted so much prior to Confederation.

They came and they went. They traveled for the fur trade. They came back. They eventually settled. They didn’t settle along the Red or the Assiniboine Rivers. They chose other rivers: Saint-Maurice, Mastigouche, L’Assomption, Bayonne, Ouareau, moving up the rivers away from the population growth along the Saint-Lawrence.

Many assimilated, like First Nations did, I’m sure. How else would the province with the second largest population has the second smallest population by percentage in Canada

Less than 40,000 people identified as Metis in Québec. That’s:

9.1% of Canada’s total Métis population

Less than 2.9% of the total Indigenous population identify as Métis in Québec

Less than 0.5% of Québec total population

Less than 0.12% of Canada’s total population

It’s gonna be hard to prove to the Courts that Lanaudière and/or Mauricie are historic communities, because there’s nothing to gain. No oil, no natural gas, no bituminous sands. Just water and forests and farmland. Representation needs money (I’m hearing Kevin O’Leary yelling this), and money expects a return on its investment.

If I can’t call myself Métis, who can?

qallunette:

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I’m still obsessing over questions regarding identity, community, kinship and blood-quantum in my own quest to reclaim my own identity.

In my previous post, I wrote about my kinship to Louis Riel, whose father, along with many other Lanaudois traveled West in search of a place to remain “Gens Libres” – Freemen. There is no doubt in my mind, and I have provided in previous posts empirical evidence that the concept of Métis predates the Red River and may well have been born in Lanaudière, amongst the Riel, Dubois, Parenteau, Lagimodière

I’m also meeting so many interesting people along the way who are experiencing a similar internal questioning. What strikes me most is the battle for identity is so personal and a very intimate journey, yet is so overshadowed by a public battle over land and hunting rights. And this war is leaving deep wounds. Inclusion to an official Indigenous Membership vs Settling in with the Settlers.

So – Academics and Policy Makers, be kind. There are people being hurt, no matter how the pie is sliced. Don’t be an insensitive douche when extolling the virtues of your opinion. Everyone’s reality is as real as yours. Remember the bias of perception.

That being said: I don’t know who has the “right” to call oneself Métis. It is not for me to say. But I sure as hell know that I do. The word Métis comes from the very region where I’m from. Like the Riel, Dubois, Lagimodière, Parenteau, etc..etc…etc… Believe me – or don’t – but we called ourselves Métis before 1982; we called ourselves Métis before 1885. I won’t be cruel to kin (even if they are to us) and accuse THEM of appropriation. But I’d like to invite them to examine the facts.

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(source: http://www.erudit.org/revue/cqd/2009/v38/n2/044815ar.html?vue=figtab&origine=integral&imID=im10&formatimg=imPlGr)

I can’t predict which way the Daniels Appeal will pan out (if it happens). I can’t predict if the discussion with the Appointed Ministerial Special Representative to lead engagement with Métis, Tom Isaac will resolve the negotiations prior to the Appeal being heard next October. But meanwhile, I keep pondering these numbers with much empathy for those who feel disenfranchised:

Source: Canada Census, 2006

Because Indigenous identity shouldn’t be a numbers game…

Lisons chacun un des 94 appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation

image

Suite aux évènements choquants à Val d’Or, et afin de supporter et rallier nos communautés Autochtones du Québec, je propose que nous lisons chacun et chacunes un des 94 appels à l’action de la Commission de vérité et réconciliation.

Cliquez ici afin de consulter les appels à l’action.

Si vous désirez participer, communiquez avec moi à Qallunette@gmail.com ou @Qallunette sur Twitter, et je vous assignerai une des recommandations.

Filmez-vous en vous présentant, nommant votre communauté et lisez le passage de la recommandation.  

Téléchargez votre vidéo sur YouTube ici: portant la mention #CVRAppelsàl’action et le numéro de la recommandation.

Le rapport complet a été lu en Anglais, vous pouvez le voir ici: (Grand merci à Zoe S. Todd, Erica Violet Lee, Joseph Murdoch-Flowers pour l’organisation de ce beau geste de solidarité, ainsi qu’à Chelsea Vowel pour l’inspiration – Migwetch!) 

Nous pouvons faire une différence!