These are the final research-creation projects produced by the students enrolled in the Indigenous Peoples and Globalization (FPST 341) class for the fall semester 2018, First Peoples Studies Program, School of Community and Public Affairs at Concordia University.
We would like to thank the City of Montreal Archives and City Hall administration (Bureau des relations gouvernementales et municipals) for hosting us at the Archives, and Concordia University Indigenous Directions Leadership Group and the School for Community and Public affairs for their financial support.
Material Culture Exchange: Indigenous women and agriculture
The research focused on the agriculture in Montreal and explored the subjective and oppressive qualities of images in relation to Indigenous Women’s labour, as well as the value of material culture while looking at archival photos and how the French and Indigenous people valued the agricultural produce they grew.
Warriors to Activists
The research explored the continuation of the Rotisken’rakéhte (Mohawk Warrior Society) tenets into the contemporary Indigenous social movements in defence of Indigenous land and rights. Part of the project included the production of a google map with some iconic protest sites and a short podcast on the topic.
Remi Hazell & Dakota Swiftwolfe
Decolonizing Montreal Maps
The project focused on Indigenous erasure through maps, place names and commemorative monuments in Montreal. This project was originally inspired by the NETWORK, to create a walking tour that reindigenizes Montreal. Through unmapping Montreal’s territory, we seek to “undermine the idea of white settler innocence” and uncover the ideologies and practices of conquest and domination.
Maps never lead to uncharted places. Maps flip our attention from being to place, from metaphysical time, to streets, roads and clocks. Maps cheat our prospective response to depth.
Lee Maracle, Maps
International Agreements and Indigenous Environmental Activism
The research examines the relationship between the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) and the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), and shows how the two are inextricably tied. Montreal’s sustainability plan and Quebec’s climate change action plan will be critically examined for instances of breaching or succeeding in reflecting Canada's international agreements. Two cases of environmental activism, concerning Montreal’s sewage dumping and a proposed Niobium mining project are studied in reference to Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). A fourth case, of Indigenous participation in a renewable energy development project - Kahnawà:ke Sustainable Energies - is examined.
Lydia van Berkom
Effacing culture: TRCs at crossroads
My father is Dutch. His mother, my grandmother (Oma) was born in Indonesia when my great paternal grandfather was an educator for the Dutch colony in Indonesia. Although the details of my great grandfathers participation in the colonial agenda is not clear, that my family lineage is part of that history, has created a conflict for myself with regards to my identity and my struggle for truth. Through the process of truth telling, I am allowed the space to attempt to come to terms with my own history.
Support: Map from the Montreal archives dated 1780, Archival print on art paper.
Title of map: Par M. Bonne, Ingénieur-Hydrographe de la Marine
Mediums: Ink, Aquarelle, Colouring Pencils, Oil Paint Markers.
Kenneth Canadian & Fiona Wilson
Indigenous People’s Traditional and Contemporary Artworks
Art is an extremely important part of Indigenous worldviews and ways of knowing interconnecting the past, present and future. It helps us not only to understand the world in which we live but also to understand our relationship to it. For Indigenous people, works of art have connect us to and reinforce our cultural beliefs that have shaped our societies since time immemorial. Art also plays a crucial role in how Indigenous and non indigenous people come to know and understand each other's cultures. Despite continued institutional discrimination Indigenous people across the world have continued their traditional arts and crafts as well as progressed into modern styles and techniques which more accurately inform others as well as themselves of their identity and traditions. In our research we examine Indigenous art in order to show how our cultures and identities are continuing to evolve despite ongoing colonial aspects in the world.
Matthew Monette & Taqwa Mohamed- Mahdi
Paternalism and Assimilation through land tenure in Kanesatake
In North-America, indigenous communities continue to recover from the devastating effects behind settler-colonialism, while at the same time colonial violence is still perpetrated on a systemic scale. In reaction, there has been a surge of what is now labeled “indigenous activism” across the world, fighting the new form of colonialism which is now masked under the name “globalization”. Our research discusses the Mohawk peoples of Kanehsatà:ke and their long-standing history of land disputes with the state, the Oka Crisis, and takes the themes discussed and frames them within the context of globalization.
For our project we discussed food as being a huge part of all of our lives. It is a main component is so many gatherings, celebrations and ceremony. Food is unique to each culture and individual. So we chose to research the effects of globalization and development. As well with a focus on the local reclamation of Indigenous food and food sovereignty. We also wanted to bring our research to life. We wanted to show (and taste) that Indigenous ways and knowledge regarding traditional foods are still alive.
We organized a catered break with Q&A with Leora Charles, TLC Wholistics (catering service), from Kahnawake. The menu was stewed moose meat, cornbread (corn-cakes and beans), ash wash corn mush with berries and tea gravy.
Philippe Boucher, Emma Ouimet, Sarah Paul, Brooke Rice & Ethan Zeidenberg
Ana Lucia Castillo & Daniela Martinez
The Indian Pavilion at Expo 67: A Megaphone to Indigenous Voices for an International Audience
Expo 67, Man and his world, Universal and International Exhibition was an open door art show held in Montréal, Quebec in 1967 as a highlight to Canada’s centennial celebrations. The event collected art from international and national bodies including some from the First Nations of Canada. The Indian Pavilion was a search for education and reconciliation through the sharing of the unspoken side of Canadian history. It quickly became a controversy due to its content, the limited participation and representation of Indigenous Groups, and the disclosure or reminder of the social and political issues that Indigenous Peoples were still struggling with as a result of the difficult relationship between non-indigenous Canadians and the government since the arrival of European settlers.
The content of the pavilion was received with mixed feelings by the non-Indigenous Canadian population who had never been confronted before with the Indigenous perspective on colonialism. Ambivalent feelings were also part of Indigenous communities since they had never been giving a similar opportunity before, and had a very fragile relationship with the government at the time. The audio file below uses soundbites of various news reports that were aired at the time.
Planta Muisca is a graffiti artist from Bogota, Colombia based in Toronto. Her artwork is inspired by and plays homage to Latin American Indigenous art, and their traditions. For this assignment worked with Muisca to create this art piece that includes a quote from one of the displays at the Indian Pavilion.
Maria Lucia Albarracin & Hussain Almahr
Decolonizing Knowledge: A Tour of the First Nations Garden
At a first glance, Montreal does not really have any markers of any form of Indigenous culture. Besides the newly updated flag, that now includes a symbol to commemorate the Iroquois nations’ contribution to the city ( Shingler, 2017) , nothing else indicates any form of Indigeneity. The city’s designers value economic growth, and they have zoned Montreal in that way, much like any other North American metropolitan city. However, The First Nations Garden (FNG) provides a space for decolonized knowledge in the middle of Montreal.
Grace Kyei Baffour
Indigenous and black slaves in Canada and its provinces
According to the data collected by Trudel, at the end of XVIIth to the beginning of the XIXth century, there were approximately 1500 slaves in the city of Montreal where 500 were black and about 1000 were Native Americans. The pair of Panis slaves given to La Salle in 1682 is known to be the earliest slaves in French possession. Originally from the Pawnee tribe from the Great Planes, these initial captives become synonymous with "Indian slave" in general use in Canada and especially in Quebec (Upper Canada), and made up half of the slave population in the country.
Upper Canada passed an Anti slavery Act in 1833 to free enslaved people around the age of 25 and over, and made it illegal to import or export enslaved people in Canada.
The slave trade in New France
Former Prime Minister Stephen Harper at the G20 meeting in 2009 stated that “ Canada has no history of colonialism” (Austin, 2010). The above statement clearly demonstrates why the realities of colonial roots of cruelties, abuse, and enslavement of the Indigenous peoples and diasporas Africans that shaped this Nationhood have been overlooked by historians and scholars. Enslavement was the beginning of interactions between First Peoples and Africans, two oppressed groups of people. For example, any Afro-Scotian share Mi’kmaw (Indigenous) ancestry further complicating the otherwise simplistic tendency to funnel various groups, including White Canadians, into discrete ethno-racial categories.
Examining Indigenous Healing and Justice Through the Royal Commission of Aboriginal Peoples
The Royal Commission on Aboriginal People took on an enormous undertaking as it attempted to analyze the entire history of Indigenous/Settler relations in Canada. By looking to historical, systemic, racicalized and institutional violence, it created a framework to restore nationhood and personhood to Indigenous populations. While the inquiry itself held promise and tangible ways to rebuild these relationships, ultimately government inaction prevented their vision of a peaceful reconciliation from progressing. The RCAP, and the Oka Crisis that pressured it into existence both brought the impact of colonization and cultural genocide to light for a greater public, and in many ways helped shift cultural understanding of the lived experiences of Indigenous people.
However, these lived experiences ultimately have not seen as much change as the RCAP hoped. As current Indigenous-focused commissions begin to prepare final reports and enact recommendations, one hopes the Canadian government can acknowledge the commitment to public inquiries that goes beyond the symbolic act of the inquiry itself, and extends to providing tangible resources for Indigenous communities to access self-determination and a systemic shift in the colonial policies that marginalize them.
Amy Martin & Amanda Shawayahamish
The Story of Saint Kateri
In 1656, Kateri Tekakwitha was born at Ossernenon, which today is New York state near Auriesville and Albany. Her original name was Tekakwitha or Tegahkouita, which translates into ‘’she who puts things in order’’ and Tegahkouita translates into ‘’one who advances or cuts the way before her’’ (Bunson, 2012, pg. 31). Kateri’s mother was an Algonquin woman named Tagaskouita and her father was a Mohawk Chief named Kenneronkwa.
Kateri is the first Indigenous person in Canada to be canonized. Her story is inspirational as Kateri Tekakwitha persevered in the face of adversity and stayed true to herself regardless of the obstacles that she faced, we also argue that Kateri was not a victim of colonialism by telling her story through an Indigenous lens. We made a children's book for our research-creation component.
Mary Two-Axe and Indigenous feminism
Mary Two-Axe, a Mohawk from Kahnawake, fought for Aboriginal Women’s equal rights and the struggle of Aboriginal women’s rights in Canada. Mary Two-Axe was born in Caughnawaga on October 4, 1911, on Mohawk territory. In later years, she lost her Indian status because she married a non-Native. It was her friend’s death that provoked her to fight the right to reinstate her Indian status.In the 70s, during her campaign years of fighting Aboriginal Women rights for equality against government legislation. Mary Two-Axe Earley and with other Native women were able to stimulate some leaders in the political sphere to reform the Indian Act.
On July 5, 1985 Mary Two-Axe Earley became the first person to regain her Indian status. A proud moment and accomplishment for Mary Two-Axe. At the ceremony in Toronto, Ontario shes tated “Now, I’ll have a legal rights again. After all these years, I’ll be legally entitled to live on the reserve, to own property, die and be buried with my own people.” (Brown, 2007) (p.1).
The Colonial Roots of Education in Quebec: A Closer look at “the Mountain Mission” and its significance within the landscape of Colonial Pedagogies in Montreal
As the traditional territory of the Kanien’kehá:ka Nation, Montreal, or Tiohtiá:ke had been a traditional meeting place for many Indigenous communities and therefore has great significance within the histories of Indigenous peoples Upon colonization, this history was disrupted and inundated by colonial narratives of settlement and colonization. Not only did this dominate the relations that took place on the land, but it dominated the story of the land.The very earliest institutions that took the island as their own, were ones whose central agenda was to educate and convert the Indigenous populations that resided there. Their purpose in coming to this “new world” was to spread their beliefs and ways of life and effectively assimilate Indigenous communities into their world order.
The telling of the history of these schools in this limited way, contributes to the erasure of Indigenous histories, and effectively minimizes discourses on the detrimental effects of colonization. My research gives a critical rereading of the history of the Mountain Mission located in Montreal and the legacy of of Saint Marguerite Bourgeoys.
Kahnawake Ironworkers in New York and Montreal
It is widely said that indigenous people have worked on nearly every skyscraper in Manhattan, from the State Building, to the Twin Towers, the the Chrysler building. The skyline acts as the signature of the city, a unique collection of skyscrapers, apartment complexes, trade centres make one city distinguishable from another. And while these buildings are known virtually worldwide, little is known about how they’re built or the people who built them. Labour workers are chronically undocumented in city archives. Who built what? Who worked when? Where did the workers come from? Where did they live? How long did they stay? It is well documented however, not in city archives, but in oral histories, that the Kahnawake people played a paramount role in the construction of buildings as ironworkers.