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Mixed-blood urban Native peoples in Canada are profoundly affected by federal legislation that divides Aboriginal peoples into different legal categories. In this pathfinding book, Bonita Lawrence reveals the ways in which mixed-blood urban Natives understand their identities and struggle to survive in a world that, more often than not, fails to recognize them.
In ""Real" Indians and Others" Lawrence draws on the first-person accounts of thirty Toronto residents of Native heritage, as well as archival materials, sociological research, and her own urban Native heritage and experiences. She sheds light on the Canadian government's efforts to define Native identity through the years by means of the Indian Act and shows how residential schooling, the loss of official Indian status, and adoption have affected Native identity. Lawrence looks at how Natives with "Indian status" react and respond to "nonstatus" Natives and how federally recognized Native peoples attempt to impose an identity on urban Natives.
Drawing on her interviews with urban Natives, she describes the devastating loss of community that has resulted from identity legislation and how urban Native peoples have wrestled with their past and current identities. Lawrence also addresses the future and explores the forms of nation building that can reconcile the differences in experiences and distinct agendas of urban and reserve-based Native communities.
In 1992, the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan, the only federallyrecognized Algonquin reserve in Ontario, launched a comprehensive landclaim. The claim drew attention to the reality that two-thirds ofAlgonquins in Canada have never been recognized as Indian, and havetherefore had to struggle to reassert jurisdiction over theirtraditional lands.
"Fractured Homeland" is Bonita Lawrence's stirringaccount of the Algonquins' twenty-year struggle for identity andnationhood despite the imposition of a provincial boundary that dividedthem across two provinces, and the Indian Act, which denied federalrecognition to two-thirds of Algonquins. Drawing on interviews withAlgonquins across the Ottawa River watershed, Lawrence voices theconcerns of federally unrecognized Algonquins in Ontario, whoseancestors survived land theft and the denial of their rights asAlgonquins, and whose family histories are reflected in the land. Theland claim not only forced many of these people to struggle withquestions of identity, it also heightened divisions as those wholaunched the claim failed to develop a more inclusive vision ofAlgonquinness.This path-breaking exploration of how a comprehensive claims processcan fracture the search for nationhood among First Nations also revealshow federally unrecognized Algonquin managed to hold onto a distinctsense of identity, despite centuries of disruption by settlers and thestate.
Bonita Lawrence (Mi'kmaw) teaches Indigenousstudies at York University in Toronto. She is the author of""Real" Indians and Others: Mixed-Blood Urban NativePeople and Indigenous Nationhood."
This book will appeal to students and scholars in indigenous studies, sociology, history, and politics.
This collection of seventeen essays presents original and critical perspectives from writers, scholars and activists on issues that are pertinent to Aboriginal women and their communities in both rural and urban settings in Canada. Their contributions explore the critical issues facing Native women as they rebuild and revive their communities. Through topics such as the role of tradition, reclaiming identities and protecting Native children and the environment, they identify the restraints that shape their actions and the inspirations that feed their visions. The contributors address issues of youth, health and sexual identity; women's aging, sexuality, and health; caring for children and adults living with Fetal Alcohol Syndrome; First Nations education and schooling; community-based activism on issues of prostitution and street workers; and reclaiming cultural identity through art and music.
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