Accepted Paper:

Reaching (un)certainties: Canadian state's and Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok's political and cultural projects mobilized in the comprehensive land claims process  


Benoit Éthier (Université du Québec en Abitibi-Témiscamingue)

Paper short abstract:

This paper focuses on the articulation of State and indigenous political and cultural projects that are mobilized and expressed in the Comprehensive land claims process in which the Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok (Haute-Mauricie, Québec) are engaged with federal and provincial governments for more than 35 years.

Paper long abstract:

This paper focuses on the power relations between the Canadian state and indigenous institutions within a comprehensive land claims context. Particular attention is given to the power mechanisms maintained by the Canadian government in its comprehensive land claims policy reaching to establish legal certainty with respect to indigenous ancestral territories and with a First Nation which has never surrendered its aboriginal title by means of a treaty. Without disregarding the unequal power relations, I also present the motivations and aspirations expressed by the Atikamekw Nehirowisiwok (Haute-Mauricie, Quebec) in this negotiation process in which they have been engaged for more than 35 years. I explain how those engagements are expressed and mobilized into a larger and deeper political and cultural project (nehirowisiw orocowewin) concerning the affirmation of an indigenous way of life and the living well (nehirowisiw miro pimatisiwin) which are related to the maintenance of a creative and open-ended coexistence between humans and non-humans, including ancestors and future living beings, in the practices of everyday life.

Panel LL-NAS04
Living together with the land: reaching and honouring treaties with Indigenous Peoples