Federal Recognition and Algonquin Identity in Ontario
- $37.95s paperback (9780774822886) Add to Cart
- hardcover not available
- Published: February 2013
- Subject Listing: Native American Studies
- Bibliographic information: 344 pp., 6 x 9 in.
- Territorial rights: U.S. rights only
- Distributed for: UBC Press
In 1992, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, the only federally recognized Algonquin reserve in Ontario, launched a comprehensive land claim. The claim drew attention to the reality that two-thirds of Algonquins in Canada have never been recognized as Indian, and have therefore had to struggle to reassert jurisdiction over their traditional lands.
Fractured Homeland is Bonita Lawrence's stirring account of the Algonquins' twenty-year struggle for identity and nationhood despite the imposition of a provincial boundary that divided them across two provinces, and the Indian Act, which denied federal recognition to two-thirds of Algonquins. Drawing on interviews with Algonquins across the Ottawa River watershed, Lawrence voices the concerns of federally unrecognized Algonquins in Ontario, whose ancestors survived land theft and the denial of their rights as Algonquins, and whose family histories are reflected in the land. The land claim not only forced many of these people to struggle with questions of identity, it also heightened divisions as those who launched the claim failed to develop a more inclusive vision of Algonquinness.
This path-breaking exploration of how a comprehensive claims process can fracture the search for nationhood among First Nations also reveals how federally unrecognized Algonquin managed to hold onto a distinct sense of identity, despite centuries of disruption by settlers and the state.
Bonita Lawrence (Mi'kmaw) teaches Indigenous studies at York University in Toronto. She is the author of "Real" Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban Native People and Indigenous Nationhood.