Existing Direct Descendent Mi’kmaq
The Government of Canada’s Indian Act registration list process continues an attempt to vanquish the identity of the Mi’kmaq people. Many were designated with an identity of “Registered Status Indian”. Government Indian Act reserves received the forced deportation of many Mi’kmaq off their traditional homelands, dislocating families and entire communities. The Indian Act registration list system and reserve system captured many Mi’kmaq. However, not all of the Mi’kmaq were dispossessed or disinherited as a People and a Nation of People from their continuum on their traditional ancestral homelands of Mi’kma’ki.
Despite this assault by the Federal Department of Indian Affairs, there remain and continue to be many direct descendant Mi’kmaq, who by their perseverance, determination and bond to their ancestral homeland territories, do not give up their identity as Mi’kmaq. There remain Mi’kmaq who continue to live on their traditional
ancestral homelands of Mi’kma’ki not displaced to Indian Act reserves, and continue to identify themselves as Mi’kmaq people inspite of the Indian Act numbering registration process.
Our Community of direct descendent Mi’kmaq continuing to live throughout our traditional ancestral homelands, have suffered greatly for our perseverance to resist: government denial of our true identity, forced dispossession and dislocation from our homelands, and the denial of the Mi’kmaq people as the Mi’kmaq
Nation of People on the east coast of Canada.
Canadians in general, are neither aware nor informed about the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada because of an information vacuum. Government decision makers continue to make decisions and take actions to compound the calamity and horrific legacy of the Aboriginal Peoples human suffering by posturing the policy of “exclusion” and “stereotyping” . Unless you are “numbered on an Indian Act list”, and “living on an Indian Act reserve” you are a forgotten Aboriginal person, or a forgotten community of Aboriginal People. For our Community of Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Peoples, continuing to live on our traditional ancestral homelands, we continue to bear the full force of the demeaning of: our person, worth, capacity, merit and being for no other reason than our perseverance and tenacity to remain the Mi’kmaq People continuing to live and work on our ancestral homelands of Mi’kma’ki, in peace, friendship, trade and understanding as Mi’kmaq on Mi’kma’ki never surrendered.
Exclusion and stereotype continue to add to the layers of demeaning actions against our Community of off reserve Mi’kmaq, where we endure violation of fundamental human rights as a People. The attack on our dignity is attached to demeaning stereotype. To this day there exists a range of government defined “types of Indians” in Canada. The concept of a “more or less Indian” is so ingrained in the minds of Canadians and government decision makers, denying the truth of a failed policy of subjugation, that there is almost absent knowledge and understanding or thought about the reality or perseverance of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.
Against all odds in Canada, there continues to be Aboriginal Peoples of Aboriginal Nations of Peoples. Our Community of direct descendent Mi’kmaq demonstrate our continuum as the first Indigenous People of this part of the East Coast of Canada. We continue to reside on our traditional ancestral homelands as Mi’kmaq – one of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.
To this day despite a clear reality of a failed government policy, the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs still exercises complete rule, control and wardship over Indian Peoples who are “on the list, living on a Indian Act reserve”, and influences and attempts to solve the “Indian question” in Canada by advancing an exclusionary and stereotyped approach. The result is greater intrusion, wardship, rule, stereotyping and oppression on all of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.
In 1982, the political will of Canadians is expressed in the Constitution Act of Canada 1982. For the first time in Canadian history, Canada recognized the existence and continuum of the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada. This recognition is still resisted by continued stereotype and exclusion. The road to eventually acknowledging the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada and recognizing their Aboriginal identity and Nations is a long uphill road. Until the stereotype and the fabricated concept of “a more or less Indian” is ended, the re-establishing of peoples to peoples relationships will allude us all, and the legacy of suffering, human violations, marginalization and denial will continue.
For our Community of Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Peoples continuing to reside on our traditional ancestral homelands, heirs and beneficiaries of rights, Treaty rights and Aboriginal rights, we do not escape the violations and the continued government failed policy. The creation of types of Indians, demeaning stereotype, social and economic disadvantage, prejudice and the denial of our being can no longer be ignored.
Our perseverance and continuum as a People; our Community of Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Peoples, “the forgotten people”, can no longer be denied or ignored. Our Community of Mi’kmaq/Aboriginal Peoples continuing on our traditional ancestral homelands never surrendered, by our courage, perseverance, capacity, merit and dignity, continue to denounce the government policy and we remain Mi’kmaq on Mi’kma’ki.
Our challenge to end a by-gone era of a government continuing Indian policy, the thinking, the subjugating actions and the exclusionary decisions is great. Our perseverance and continuum demonstrates the need for fundamental changes in Canada, beginning with monumental changes in Indian Policy, and the end to the assault of demeaning subjugation against the Aboriginal Peoples of Canada.