Here in Quebec, the provincial and federal governments managed again to involve itself into Indigenous territorial governance and succeeded in its regular operation of dividing to conquer.
The government turned a 1760 Peace and Friendship Treaty between the Wendat Nation and the British into a territorial land dispute.
Here’s the document in question:
“This is to certify that the Chief of the Huron Tribe of Indians, having come to me in the name of his Nation, to submit to his Britannick Majesty, to make peace, has been received under my protection with his whole Tribe; and henceforth no English officer or party is to molest, or interrupt them, in returning to their settlement at Lorette, and they are received upon the same terms, with the Canadians, be allowed the free excursion of their Religion, their Customs with Liberty of trading with the English – recommending it to the Officers commanding the posts to treat them kindly given under my hand at Longueuil, this 5th day of September 1760.
By the General’s command, John Cosman, adjut. Genr.
I can’t even imagine the loss of lives and the terror the Wendat Nation had gone through to get to this point of submission, after more than a century of protection from the French.
“From time immemorial, well before the arrival of European settlers, the Innu, Maliseet, Abenaki and Atikamekw First Nations have lived continuously on the territories of their ancestors.
Historically, when it came to areas of overlap, they have always been able to share and manage land use harmoniously. It’s up to Indigenous Peoples to decide what we want or do not want in their territories.”
As a People of post-European contact, Métis who share the territories need to respect that First Nations are the the first stewards to the land and we need to follow their guidance on such issues.
The Indigenous population of Quebec is only 2.29% (1.43% if we exclude Métis from the total Indigenous population); already less than half of Canada’s average of 4.87% – (2016).
Separating us into even tinier, distinct groupings facilitates their longstanding goals of division to rule.
Even worse: they force us to fight each other for every piece of land necessary for the continuity of our traditions. It’s Hell.
We are stronger when we are united.