Accepted Paper:

Land and people: who decides about territory?  

Author:

Leila Inksetter

Paper short abstract:

This presentation examines different forms of land management claimed by Algonquin communities, where in some instances, land management at the family hunting territory level is viewed as part of customary law and where in other instances, land management at the band level is proposed.

Paper long abstract:

This presentation addresses the problem of territoriality and representation in the context of modern negotiations about land. In northern Algonquian societies, the issue of the type of land management practised in pre-contact times remains unresolved. Thus the debate is framed as to whether northern Algonquian peoples held their territory communally at the band level or rather in family hunting territories, managed at the extended family level. In practice, in the recent past, land management remained vested in the hands of extended families. This system had different levels of recognition by governmental agencies in the course of the 20th century. In certain places, northern Algonquian family hunting territories were recognized by state institutions and the system remains alive today and part of customary law. In other places, it was not recognized. In these instances, when substantial land encroachment occurred, family hunting territories became difficult to maintain and fell into at least partial disuse. Different land management solutions are now being contemplated by these communities for future comprehensive claims. This presentation will examine these two outcomes of land management solutions exemplified by Algonquin communities in Quebec who are currently not under treaty. In some instances, family hunting territories remain a defining method of land management, whereas in the others land management at the band level is claimed. In both cases, discourses about land are shrouded in questions about what traditional territoriality would be.

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