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What If It Were Your Treaty?’ – Net Newsledger

October 28, 2020

ATTAWAPISKAT – I have never really been that political and I don’t think most Indigenous people are. We come from very natural history in terms of living, communicating and working with others. Our introduction to the European way of doing things, commercialism, capitalism, ownership of land and resources, religion and how the foreigners saw reality was very different from what we knew and practised.

When my people here in Canada were colonized and entered into treaties with the federal government, we were more than a little naive about the goals and desires of our new neighbours. These treaties were made to take away our way of life and free movement on our ancestral lands. Most if not all of these treaties were broken by the government over the decades and watered down. We ended up with small tracks of reserve land and our ability to hunt, fish and gather to sustain our families was hindered. We were for the most part overlooked by all of the resource companies that took billions of dollars in precious metals and timber off of our traditional lands. Thankfully a lot has changed over the past few decades as we are now being included in resource development on our traditional lands, we are revisiting our treaties, we are dealing with land claims and the country is moving into a time with less racism.

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