Among the forms of oral history, the song, within the Inuit culture, was
general practice and quite versatile. Inheriting this tradition, the contemporary Inuit song
has risen in popularity starting in the 1970’s and has not diminished since. Within the
literary field, the lyrics to the Inuit songs demonstrate a remarkable vitality in which the
author-composers explore various aesthetics, navigate languages and transmit a part
of their culture. Taking into consideration the historical context, this article
aims to reflect on the formal evolution of the modern Inuit song and examine the relations
that are maintained through more traditional portrayals. Finally, the ultra-contemporary
body of musical works in Nunavik is notable for being particularly trilingual yet reveals an
upsurge of texts in Inuktitut. What significance will this have on the overall
This paper offers a rereading of the critical discourse that incorporated Native literature in Québec literary studies and established a framework for interpretation. The question of special interest to the author is the way in which the written and oral have been set down and thought about as in Diane Boudreau’s Histoire de la littérature amérindiennes au Québec. This question is ever-present in commentaries about Native literature and is essential to the creation of the literary work and its code. Boudreau’s essay became, since its release in 1993, a popular reference for Native literature studies in French-speaking Québec. The paper points out that the first critical discussion about Native literature in Québec reproduced axiological ideas about orality and writing, some of them going back to the colonial discourse and other coming from grammatology. The analysis shows, among other things, that the approach to the ‘oral tradition’ has ignored or erased the historical context and its transcription. It has placed orality in an ideal space, mainly in the past, a past free of any interaction with Native writing. Native systems of writing have been relegated to the category of the ‘forerunner’ of writing. In conclusion, this paper calls for a re-evaluation of connections between oral speech and graphic signs on the basis of their common semiotic nature in order to consider the dynamic or dialectic connections between oral and written.
This article shows how some theories from Latin America can be used to analyze Native American literature in Québec. The author first introduces the concept of heterogeneity as developed by the Peruvian literary critic Antonio Cornejo Polar, which claims that the socio-cultural reality of American societies can be seen as a “whole” in which various levels of tensions and conflicts deriving from the colonial experience operate, and how it converges with some of the proposals of Latin American colonial and “decolonial” studies. Subsequently, these theories are applied to the Native American literary field of Québec and show how the heterogeneity manifests a decolonized border thinking in the current literature through various devices such as border gnosis, other thought and other language. The aim of the author is illustrated with an analysis of the autobiography of An Antane Kapesh Je suis une maudite sauvagesse and the poetry collection Bâtons à message by Joséphine Bacon.
This article builds on the work of Fillmore (1977, 1982) and Johnson and Fillmore (2000) by analyzing the semantic frame of communication in East Cree while identifying the frame elements present in verbs of speech of that language. The study demonstrates that East Cree grammatical morphology encodes the Speaker, the Addressee, the Message and the Topic. In complex verbs, a lexical suffix (called a concrete final) refers to the communication event, while the verbal root encodes the Code, the state of the Addressee, the Message, and Manner.
This article discusses intergenerational relationships in the works of three Aboriginal writers. While An Antane Kapesh (Innu) vehemently denounces the dismemberment of families caused by the residential school system, Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau (Cree of mixed descent) and Naomi Fontaine (Innu) each illustrate re-memberments. In their novels, Native individuals find ways to reroot themselves in the generation line and on the land, thanks to a practice of caring for others that leads them to a reconciliation with themselves.
This contribution explores the representation of space in the road novel Ourse Bleue from Virginia Pésémapéo Bordeleau. My hypothesis tends to illustrate the relationship between the two spatial representation networks, tributary to the mixed heritage of the main character, Victoria, a Metis of Cree origin whose spirituality takes from the Catholicism of her youth and a repressed animism, which she tries to rediscover. The journey back to the motherland (James Bay) offers a vision marked by a syncretism where the myths of the Promise Land and Mother Earth are juxtaposed. Both account for the dual movement of deterioration/reappropriation of memory and cultural references: the first is built around the sense of loss that inhabits the deserted landscape of her childhood; the second exploits a hermeneutics of the trace, where reclaiming her identity is in good part due to Victoria’s capacity to interpret the clues of the land.
Following thirty years of researchs on how to break out of colonialism in Aboriginal collectivities, this paper presents final outcomes of a collective approach on the theme of « Indigenous Legal regimes, Institutions and their Use Today » among the programme « Indigenous Peoples and Governance », conducted from 2006 to 2012 in Canada, specially for my concern on the territorial claimings. There, legal ideas refered before the Courts are based on the concept of ownership and on a right on « land » instead of the autochtonous collectivities giving traditionally more importance to a right to access to « fruits » or ressources. Are associated respectively two different « representations of space », one geometric allowing to measure land to give a value for exchange on market and the other, « odologic », like a science of advance or courses, a basis for the auditing of aboriginal title and new judicial claims in the future.
The issue of the “overlapping” of First Nations territories is one frequently raised in government documents, judicial records and the media. In Québec, it is particularly an issue concerning the Algonquians who live north of the St. Lawrence River: Cree, Naskapi, Innu, Atikamekw, Algonquin. In light of what observers have said since the 17th century, this article explores the notion of borders, both between the territories of the Algonquian Nations and between those of the bands and/or communities and families of these different Nations. Did these borders exist? If so, of what nature were they and how did the notion of “overlap” develop which today strains the relations between Algonquians and between members of each Nation.This text is part of the reflections carried out for the programme “Indigenous Peoples and Governance” by Étienne Le Roy, Jacques Leroux and Sylvie Vincent on the representations of space and territorial rights.
This article returns to the classic theories in Algonquian studies to understand the concept of the band as already proposed. Presented first is a brief overview of previous research on the theory of land and resource management where the concepts of local and regional bands have been employed. It again presents the problem of their definition in taking from Edwards S. Rogers an examination of the related concepts. Using a classification of levels of social interaction proposed by Eleanor Leacock, the author tries to illustrate the arrangement of the multifamily household by referring to a “winter story” of Father Paul Le Jeune to identify certain guidelines for social behaviour, represented by the spirit of giving. The mythology is summoned to testify to this spirit among the Algonquins of the Upper Ottawa and then to serve as a starting point for the development of a hypothesis on the proper distance to be established in order to find a spouse within the context of matrimonial relations. The author then questions the use of the words district and quarter, which would have designated areas of land and resource management, to establish the ties of collaboration between the members of a unit that Leacock designated as the “winter band”.
Tableau noir et réconciliation : écoles et pensionnats au Québec
In Québec, systemic studies of Indian day schools from the end of the XIXth century to the first half of the XXth century are non-existent. Yet, 31 Indian day schools were in operation in the province to teach Indigenous children how to become little Canadians. Based on an analysis of the modus operandi of these institutions grounded in archival and historical research concerning the River Desert band and school life in the Outaouais region, this article traces the origin of the first Indian schools in Kitigan Zibi and explores the power play between the Indian Affairs administration and the band council on educational matters.
Nunavik Inuit had to wait until the mid-20th century to live their first school
experiences in day schools built for them by the Federal government and, from 1963, by the
Québec government. In this paper, the authors trace the history of the establishment of
schools in Nunavik to highlight the paradigm shift that affected public policy with respect
to Nunavik Inuit between Re Eskimo in 1939 and the signing of the James Bay and
Northern Québec Agreement in 1976. It also illustrates how educational models imposed by
Ottawa and Québec differ. First, the authors present the political context in which the
implementation of education in Nunavik is articulated, and then the history of the
establishment of educational models imposed in Nunavik between 1939 and
1976. A brief discussion about the differences between the federal and the provincial
educational models concludes this study.
The article examines the potential for restoration and reconciliation of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC). This Commission was implemented in Canada from 2008 to 2015 in response to the traumas experienced by Aboriginal Peoples in the residential school system. The author concludes that these potentialities are relatively limited. The main limits hold in the absence of a dialogue space between the victims and the oppressors, in a centering on the victims’ narrative traumas but also in a depoliticized notion of reconciliation. The TRC of Canada did not subscribe to decolonization as the course to reconciliation but preferred to take the path of a pacification of the relations between peoples. Yet, the author supports the idea that the reconciliation between Native Peoples and the State requires going a step further than healing and material and symbolic restoration. Decolonization of institutions, redistribution of territories and in-depth constitutional reform remain the only possible avenues to succeed in reconciling victims of a cultural genocide with their oppressors.
Is the integration of the history of residential schools into the national collective history more difficult in Québec than elsewhere in Canada?This article focuses on the construction of the memory of Indian residential schools in Quebec, and its transformation into a history that should be both collective and national.Inspired by the works of French intellectuals who have reacted to the memorial laws of their government, my reflection focuses on three phases through which pass historical events to gain wider recognition and enter into a national narrative: the collection of testimonies, the passage from personal narratives to collective memory through commemoration, and the sharing of these commemorations by a wider audience.Noting the current lack of inclusion of the particular history of Indian residential schools in the collective history of Québec,the author analyzes the pitfalls in the reception of this history by Quebeckers, then she suggests approaches to remedying this situation.
This article discusses Indigenous literature and film from Québec that explore the impacts and legacy of the residential school system. Through a discussion of An Antane Kapesh’s works (Je suis une maudite sauvagesse, 1976 and Qu’as-tu fait de mon pays ?, 1979), Kevin Papatie’s short film L’amendement (2007), Caroline Monnet’s short film La mallette noire (2014) and Natasha Kanapé Fontaine’s slam poetry, this article analyzes the representation of both physical and emotional conflict within the artistic project are – to borrow from Dylan Robinson and Keavy Martin in The Arts of Engagement – instances of “aesthetic action”: these are interventions that offer alternative forms of public action, social transformation and healing.