Focus: FNMI (First Nations, Métis and Inuit)

Reconsidering the Universality of Nation and Nationality: Exploring Indigenous Notions of Land, Citizenship, and Nation

During this presentation, Dwayne Donald addresses the ideas of identity, citizenship and nation within the Canadian context from the First Nations perspective. He explores, using specific examples, how First Nations in Canada belong but don't belong in the constructed understanding of nationalism. This presentation sets the stage for further discussion on the concept of nationalism and its varied perceptions and meanings.

Overarching Questions:

  • What are the implications of a shared history as complex as Canada’s?
  • What are the different ways that nationalism can be expressed?
  • How do factors such as geography and history influence the development of nationalism?

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Introduction by Dwayne Donald with his Blackfoot name. Dwayne also provides a general context for his presentation.

Possible Questions:

  • What you do notice in this introduction about notions of land, citizenship and nation?
  • What does Dwayne’s Blackfoot name imply about the relationship to the land in First Nations communities?

Length: 2:13

Description of the development of Treaty 6 and the disbanding of the Papaschase and the resulting struggles with identity.

Possible Questions:

  • Consider Dwayne Donald's question: "How is that people have forgotten these stories?"

Length: 3:59

This introduction for teachers examines the complexity of a shared history in Canada and the need for local solutions for a "fair country".

Possible Questions:

  • Why is it important that students know this story?

Length: 2:38

During this clip, Dwayne continues to explore his family's history.

Possible Questions:

  • Consider Dwayne Donald's question: "How is it that First Nations people both belong but don't belong?"
  • Why is it a significant question?

Length: 1:41

Examination of an image from the Red River Colony (1870) and how it represents the entrenched view of First Nations people in Canada.

Possible Questions:

  • What does this image represent that makes Dwayne's story even more difficult?
  • Of what significance might the view expressed in the clip and illustration be to past and current understandings of citizenship and identity?
  • How might this illustration be used with students to explore the European perspective of aboriginal peoples?

Length: 3:45

An explanation of how forts represent civilization and development in places that already existed as important gathering places.

Possible Questions:

  • How is the fort a representation of the development of a nation?

Length: 2:51

Dwayne Donald examines the need to understand the land in order to understand First Nations people.

Possible Questions:

  • How is the importance of the land manifested in First Nations' cultures?

Length: 2:49

Mapping is the first act of colonization through a process of renaming the land. People understand the land in different ways. The literacy of mapping is linked with nationalism.

Possible Questions:

  • What could Ac ki mok ki's map mean to us today?

Length: 12:02

Description of how the landscape creates a sense of place and identity.

Possible Questions:

  • How can different views of the land be reconciled?

Length: 9:17

Exploration of the significance of the meteorite currently in the Royal Alberta Museum to FNMI peoples.

Possible Questions:

  • What prejudices and assumptions are associated with this meteorite?

Length: 6:54

An examination of the idea of nation and nation state.

Possible Questions:

  • What are the philosophical foundations of the Canadian state?

Length: 6:41

Dwayne explores the significance of the wampum in Eastern Canada and citizenship.

Possible Questions:

  • How did the First Nations entering into treaties with the Europeans regard their relationship?

Length: 4:47

This resource was developed under the leadership of ERLC as a result of a grant from Alberta Education to support implementation.