The Land


Untitled, Nicotye Samayualie, 2015, graphite, coloured pencil and ink.  Courtesy DORSET FINE ARTS 

Indigenous education, languages, medicines, spiritual practices, cultural practices, governance systems, food sources and economies all come from the land.    

Canada currently controls 99.8% of the land, while First Nation reserves comprise 0.02% of the land.  Reconciliation is impossible until this imbalance is corrected.  Art Manuel explains how the peaceful recognition of Aboriginal title to the land is possible in this interview.  Leanne Simpson shares her experiences regarding land rights in her Restoring Nationhood talk.

Historical Thinking Questions:

Check out the links provided and answer the following questions:

It’s All About the Land by Taiaiake Alfred (p. 10 – 13) 

1.   How does Taiaiake Alfred view the concept of reconciliation?  (Historical Significance).  

2.  What would be required for true reconciliation to occur, that would stop colonization? (Continuity and Change)

RCAP Vol. 1   (Read p. 130-131, 133) 

3.   Why did the early settlers ignore the nation to nation agreements set out by the Niagara Treaty?  (Historical Perspective)

Breaking Point: The Suicide Crisis in Indigenous Communities                                 (Read p. 1-10)

4.   What happens when Indigenous people are divided from their traditional territories?   (Cause and Consequence) 

5.   How have the impacts of this remained the same over time? (Continuity and Change) 

6.   What are two key events perpetrated by the Canadian government that had lasting impacts on Inuit mental health and well-being?   (Historical Significance)

Day 6 of Ryan McMahon’s 12-step guide to decolonization: why land matters      (Press “Listen”)

7.   How has the reserve system impacted Canadians’ perception of Indigenous identities?  (Historical Significance)

8.   What historical idea about the land have Canadians been led to believe that is false? Explain why it is false.  (Historical Perspective)

9.   What historical idea about Indigenous people have Canadians been led to believe that is false?   Explain why it is false.   (Historical Perspective)

10.   Why did Indigenous communities move around their territories throughout the year?  (Cause and Consequence)

11.   Why didn’t Indigenous communities farm commercially?  (Cause and Consequence)

12.   What does Manitou Aki Inikanagiwen translate to?   (Historical Significance)

13.   What does an intimate relation to the land lead to?   (Historical Significance)

Recommended Reading/Listening: 

Dancing on our Turtle’s Back by Leanne Simpson

Red Man Laughing Land by Ryan McMahon