Red River College

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Red River College

  • Course Name :: The Native People of Canada 2 NATV 1240
  • Time :: Fall 2008
  • Instructor :: Janine McNabb M.A., Adv. B.A.
  • Email ::

How to use this WIKI

Simply Edit this Page and add your notes from class to the ones presented here. Do not be scare by the code! just type them in or copy and paste them in, just MAKE SURE they are under the right Sub Heading... (Easy to do just Edit your Sub Heading by using the Edit Buttom beside it!)

If you have no idea how this works ?:/ Please before you start watch this YouTube video

We as a group will have much better notes of what our instructor talk about in class if we put them all together than anyone of us would have collected on their own.

Then before the Test and Exam all we have to do is print this page(s) and study =P

PS: Fill free to play around with the format and how to make the text look nice... Maybe even add Pictures and Videos.

PS2: Please only add material that was really presented in class and only relevant to the NATV 1240.

Class Notes

Sept. 5

Role of the Elder

Elders are ::
  • Seniors (Around 55 y.o.)
  • Knowledgeable (Base on personal life experiences)
Life Long learning
Know Traditions; Know Traditional Medicine (25 years to learn it), Know their History & Pass Experiences.
  • Leaders (Respected)
  • Teachers of their History to young people, of their culture, of their spirituality.
  • Healers and Head of Ceremonies, Sweat Lodge, Sundance.
  • They are Guides and trusted by their community.

Elders are NOT SELF APPOINTED and required the community to recognized them as elders before they become one.

Elders are view as essential to the foundation of the community.

Their Teaching has being pass down from generation to generation.

They encourage a healthy lifestyle and strong Identity.

Elders are role models to their people. They:

  • Teach the children
  • Advice people
  • Law giver
  • Dispense justice
  • Know the language and oral History

They have knowledge of Important symbols (???) They are a connection to the Pass, Present and Future. They are call upon by the Government to deal with issues that affect them like new developments and land claims.

Elders gain strong sense of self-identity. Elders are counselors in schools and other organizations. Elders are considered experts on life because of their many life experiences. Elders are able to tell a story in a way that people can understand it.

They deal with four areas

  1. Mental
  2. Physical
  3. Emotional
  4. Spiritual

The Frog Story One day Dad frog took Mom frog and the kids out for a walk across to the pond on the other side of the road. Dad told Mom and the kids to wait for him to cross the road first and when it was safe he will shout for them to cross the road. Dad made it ok and call his family over BUT when they were halfway a truck appear and Father frog told them to STOP and go back. They listen and no frog was lost that day. And that is why more people are hit by vehicles than Frogs!

What is the message

  • Development of a strong family unit
  • Role definition for Dad, Mom and Children
  • Family Structure

Moral of the story

  • Listen to Dad
  • Be careful and cautious of unknown things because they may hurt you

To talk to an Elder the person must bring TOBACCO

Tobacco is sacred, the smoke carry prayers and messages to the creator.

Tobacco was the first gift from the creator!

Tobacco is very important to Elders as a way to communicate with the Creator. A prayer given with Tobacco goes up to heaven were the spirit will for sure hear the prayer and answer it!

Approaching an Elder with Tobacco The gift of Tobacco (a must if you want his help) must be given with your LEFT hand (the one closes to your heart) and place on the table for the elder to grab. Then ask for your request. If he takes the Tobacco and smoke it the gift is considered taken and the Elder will help that person with his or her problem.

All communication between the Elder and the other person is considered truthful and is kept confidential.

Elders will advice from life experience and traditional ways. they have been dealing with the challenges and adapting for years.

Because of the residential schools and the society assimilation of native people into the Canadian culture, there will be less Elders in the future generations.

The Damage done to the native people from residential schools will take 2-3 more generations to get fix.

Film: Urban Elder

Vern Harper

Life is very difficult living in two cultures.

Statistic show that more and more people are moving to urban settings like Toronto (from 14,000 (???) to 65,000 today)

As the city deteriorates and life becomes harder there is an ever increasing role for the Elder to help the Native people and Native community.

The spirit consist of ::

  1. Fire
  2. Water
  3. Wind (Air)
  4. Earth

They are Good Spirits and Bad Spirits

People must be cleanse with some smoke to purify themselves and invite the good spirits.

The Elders go out of Toronto to a purification lodge.

Sacred Items ::

  1. Sweat Lodge
  2. Eagle's Feather
  3. Pipe

Vern Harper was taken to a foster home at the age of 4 with his twin brother when their mother die and their father couldn't take care of them. 4 children in total.

Got into some difficulties commenting on having nothing on the street and drinking a lot... (???) talk to him and saw his future as an Elder.

Vern Harper went to jail for (???) years because he didn't have a layer and native people didn't got parole!

Now Vern Harper is an elder because it is the time for him to be one and he help his community with their spiritual needs with traditional ways even inside maximum security prison.

1. Role of the elders/ video, The Urban Elder

• Strong culture identity

• Vital for teachings of the Aboriginal culture, heritage, praying, fasting, and healing ceremonies

• Listener, gives advice

• Trustworthy

• Knowledgeable of philosophies

• Recognized by the community, not self appointed

• Role model/ traditional teacher

• Shortage of elders

• Elder will come to one’s home and perform “propa” smoke that helps to rid of negative spirits

• As one begins to recover to their traditional ways, they call this “Following the Red Road”

2. Five steps of how to approach an elder with tobacco.

• Bring tobacco in the left hand closest to the heart

• Present your request

• If request is accepted, elder will smoke

• Calling on creators guidance for wisdom and praying

• Advice on how to deal with the request

Sept. 12

Aboriginal Veterans

Some of the coping mechanisms ::

They Pray but often turn to Alcohol and Drugs. They liked to joke around.

3. Approximately 4000 Aboriginal Veterans’ fought in WW1

4. Primary purpose of the National Aboriginal Veterans Association

• That they would be given the same benefits and recognition as the non-Indian Veterans

• Have a say and to represent the Aboriginal rights

5. Ways how the Aboriginal Veterans received unfair treatment.

• Government body gave reserve land for the Ab. Veterans for those wanting to farm but then stated that the agriculture such as wheat that was grown on the reserve land was essential for the war effort. This happened for about 5yrs (1922)

• Helped out like the gov’t wanted by working in factories to help increase agricultural production.

• Allowed the use of the reserves to be used as airports, defence posts and practice ranges. Received no compensation or benefits for these efforts

• Not allowed to have direct contact with the gov’t, had to go through Indian Agents

• Took 50 yrs before the Canadian Gov’t recognized and honoured the Aboriginals in the Remembrance Day ceremonies for the wars they helped to fight in.

• The Aboriginal soldiers were usually put in the front lines of defence, due to their lack of education.

• Upon return, the soldiers did not have the benefits that the other soldiers received like rehabilitation.

• Between the two world wars, Indian reserve lands were sold to the Soldier Settlement Board for veterans who wished to farm, by Order-in-Council (PC 393 of 16 February 1918). Many thousands of acres were leased to white farmers for up to five years to promote greater agricultural production for the war effort. This scheme lasted until 1922.

• A few Aboriginal Veterans, mostly from Ontario, obtained loans and purchased land outside of reserves without losing their Treaty status, but only half a dozen grants of free land under the Soldier Settlement Act of 1919 were given to First World War Aboriginal Veterans on the prairies, off reserves. Out of some 25,000 soldier settlers to whom loans were granted, only a small number were Aboriginals.

• Aboriginal Veterans on reserves were treated exclusively as Treaty Indians.

• On June 21, 2002, the Honourable Minister of Veterans Affairs for Canada offered the sum of $39 million as compensation for approximately 1,800 Treaty Indians who had returned to the reservation lands following their war service.

• Between the two world wars, Indian reserve lands were sold to the Soldier Settlement Board for veterans who wished to farm, by Order-in-Council (PC 393 of 16 February 1918). Many thousands of acres were leased to white farmers for up to five years to promote greater agricultural production for the war effort. This scheme lasted until 1922.

Film: Forgotten Warriors

- Fear of Hitler's invasion of North America lead many to sign up with the armies of Canada and the United State.

Was it a fight for them? Many felt it wasn't and they didn't wanted to participate. They all where told that their treaty agreements were with the Queen of England and if England felt to the Germans all the pass agreements were gone with her!

In those days their education was limited so the native people were only aloud to serve in the Army and for WWI and WWII they fought in the front line of every major battle and just about every military unit had a native man/woman in it. there were 4000 veterans in WWI and 3000 in WWII.

In 1943 they were allowed to join other disciplines withing the arm forces.

Some relate landing in (Normady?)(???) and the smell was scary to them. They had to stay in the trenches for (???) and could only rest for 20 min. at the time. They pray a lot ( AND

Sun Dances were illegal in those days and to get to one Native people travel for 3 days! they all pray for their men in the war.

When the War ended, the men were happy to be home.

Sargent Tommy Prince from Winnipeg MB was the most decorated Native Soldier serving in WWII and the Korean War. He got 11 medals in total.

After the War, Canadian Veterans were told exactly what they were entitle to and how to apply for it. Native Veterans were not informed of what they were entitle to and even if they found out about it the paperwork to get anything was extremely hard to read and doeven get

12 aboriginal veterans received land out of 750. Native veterans did not get rehabilitation after the war.

Sept. 19

Modern Treaties: Land Claims

The Indian Act (1876)

First set of laws specific for aboriginals. Dictates every aspect of their lives.

Up to 1958: No aboriginal could obtain post-secondary education, otherwise they would lose their status. Could not get a Lawyer. Couldn't own a property. couldn't be sold alcohol. aborigina women marrying non-aboriginal will lose their status.

Aboriginals were first line of every battle. served in infantry: because that is where manpower was needed. Had education restrictions. They experienced a culture shock. Between WWI and WWII, reserves were sold to the soldiers settlement board.

"The greater production campaign in WWI led to legislative changes to the Indian Act allowing for the temporary use of reserve lands for production of wheat and other crops considered essential to the war effort. Following the war, on even greater threat to Indian Lands was contained in the Soldier Settlement Act of 1919, which allow the surrender of reserve land to be purchased for the Soldier Settlement Board for Euro-Canadian veterans about 71,000 acres of prairie land passed to the Board. These lands were sold for the benefits of the Indians and those land surrenders are now being questioned by the bands involved. As for the native veterans, the government assumed they could settle on existing reserves and were encouraged to take up farming" (National Archives of Canada.

Aboriginals veterans: Did not receive same assitance as non-aboriginal veterans under the War Veteran's Act fo 1932. Did not receive special treatment on reserve. "Indian Veterans" were penalized in section 39 (1) of the Veteran's Land Act after WWII. An application for assitance obtained a # of provisions. Discrimination made by the government to the aboriginal veterans.

On June 21, 2002 the government offered $39,000,000 of compensation to 1800 Veterans and post-war rehab benefits, which were approved by the Veterans association.

Sept. 26


Wikipedia on the Oka Crisis

CBC News report on the Oka Crisis

6. Oka- Kanasatake- what was it all about?

• July 11th, 1990 lasted for 78 days

• Road blocks including the Mercier Bridge were put up by the Mohawks because the Gov’t wanted to expand a golf course, (the current 9 hole golf hole was also built on their land) which contained the Mohawk’s historical burial sites.

• Quebec police, SWAT, and army ( 2000 vs 54 Mohawks) were sent in

• One officer was killed, blamed Mohawks, meanwhile it was unknown, could have been friendly fire

• Riots broke out calling the Mohawks “savages”

• July 29th , Elliot Harper, gov’t member, stated an agreement and promised to some rules during the protest such as;

• Spiritual leaders were able to come and go as they please, did not happen

• Legal representation, did not happen

• Food and basic needs ( warm clothing, or any clothing, some had been in the same clothing since the beginning) to be allowed to cross, did not happen or the trucks were purposely delayed or the food would be tampered with ( poked holes in the flour bags)

• News reporters were also denied necessities, because they were behind the barricades.

• The golf-course expansion, which had originally triggered the situation, was cancelled. The Oka Crisis helped the development of Canada's First Nations Policing Policy.

• Ended Sept. 26th, 1990 History:

• In 1717, the governor of New France granted the lands encompassing the cemetery and the pines to a Catholic seminary permission to hold the land in trust for the Mohawk nation.

• The Church expanded this agreement to grant themselves sole ownership of the land, and proceeded to sell off the land and timber.

• In 1868, one year after Confederation, the chief of the Oka Mohawk wrote a letter to the Church condemning them for illegally holding their land and demanding its return. The petition was ignored.

• In 1869, a small armed force of Mohawks gave the missionaries eight days to return the land. The missionaries called in the police, who imprisoned the Mohawks.

• In 1936, the seminary sold the remaining territory and vacated the area.

• These sales were also protested vociferously by the Mohawks, but the protests produced no results.

• In 1961, a nine-hole golf course, was built; The Mohawk launched a legal protest against that too, but it was too late, they had begun to build.

• 15-20 mark essay question on the movie (remember 15 points of information)\

Oct. 10


Notes in Handout :)

Film: Broken Promises

7. “High Arctic Relocation”

• Summer of 1953, SEVEN Aboriginal, Inuit families were relocated to the High Arctic from Harrison’s Bay

• Two families went to Craig’s Harbour and five were sent to Resolute Bay

• They were told that if in two yrs if they wanted to come back to Quebec, they could, this did not happen

• The gov’t ‘funds’ were negatively affected by the welfare paid out to the group, so they came up with a plan to send these families up north

• Gov’t stated that they would be given land that was plentiful of caribou, and would be supplied with hunting equipment, and supplies to start off their new life.

• Gov’t did this basically to lay Canadian claims to the northern regions, because of US encroachment was happening

• Upon arrival, they saw no shelter, schools, housing, just cold open space

• Given only tents to live in, they had to line those with buffalo hides for insulation

• Temp would go as low as -70 degrees!!!

• Families included the very old to the young

• Allowed to kill only ONE caribou per family/ yr!!

• Minimal trapping, no muskox

• To hunt seals, they would have to dig through the frozen ice and wait for a seal to pop their head out so that they can kill them

• Used seal oil for lamps, did not know about the 3 months of darkness

• Had to go to the garbage dump for food, very ashamed

• Discouraged to interact with the RCMP, which was unusual for them, because they had done so at Harrison Bay

• Resorted to alcohol out of boredom

• Very poor health, TB, miscarriages, continuous hunger

• Told if they wanted to go back, that they would have to pay their own way, gov’t knowing that they had no income

• Took 20 to 30 yrs before they would return to the land and their families that they were taken from

• RCMP did file reports about the poor conditions the Inuit’s were living in, nothing was done

• Gov’t convinced the world that the relocation was a success, the Inuit’s did not want to go back, to send messages for their families to follow them!

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