- Discuss the two examples in the chapter of nineteenth-century Indigenous writers who shared oral histories in a written form.
Answer: The first example is by Francis Assickinack, an Odaawaa from Manitoulin Island who was educated at Upper Canada College in Toronto. He was convinced to write down his stories by the chief clerk for the Indian Department. His stories were clearly written and factual as far as could be verified by other sources. The second example is Andrew Blackbird, another Odaawaa who received a European education and who wrote down his history. In one part of his work, he documented the usage of the term “Stockbridges” referring to a group of people from New England that had been forced to move from their ancestral land. The term had been out of usage for a long time and could only have been transmitted through oral tradition.
- Briefly recount the two stories from residential school survivors presented in the textbook.
Answer: The first story is told by Allan Saganash Jr, who recounts how his family was informed about his older brother’s death in 1957. They were deep in the bush at their winter hunting camp when Bertie Happyjack approached on snowshoes. He had been charged with the duty to inform Allan’s family that his older brother, John, had died in a residential school in Moose Factory and had been buried on 6 December 1956. The second story is told by Rose Cameron. Her account also indicates that her residential school experience was difficult and painful including not being able to speak her maternal language. However, she also acknowledges that it provided her with more food and the opportunity to obtain an education. She is now a successful university professor in Sault Ste Marie.
- Explain the rationale and implications of the Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement.
Answer: Realizing that a number of First Nations across the Prairie provinces did not receive the reserve lands and water rights they were entitled to, the federal government eventually signed the Natural Resources Transfer Acts. Through this agreement, the provincial governments in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba were made responsible for outstanding treaty land obligations. Water and riparian rights were among one of the most important obligations covered by this agreement and were reserved to the provinces. Finally, in 1992, 25 Saskatchewan First Nations, the federal government, and the provincial government signed the Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement. Through this agreement, the province of Saskatchewan provides the Crown land for sale, the federal government provides funds, and First Nations select and purchase the land for the reserves. As of 1997, Manitoba signed the Manitoba Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement, and began following the same pattern.