Indigenous Sovereignty in Canada

Moving account of indigenous life in Canada, and the quest for acceptance and rights that goes on.

Decolonization

by Leanne Simpson

A few weeks ago, I went with Wii-Kendimiing Nishnaabemowin Saswaansing, a group of Nishnaabeg families committed to language learning, culture and the arts to do a Feast of the Dead ceremony at the Serpent Mounds, on the north shore of Rice Lake. Hiawatha First Nation acts as the caretaker of this sacred place, and because the area has been closed for renovations for a number of years, I asked my fellow Mississauga Anishinaabeg for permission to hold the ceremony on our lands.  They were happy to have us.

On the morning of the ceremony, we drove our cars to the site.  I pulled off the highway into a small gravel parking lot outside of the locked gates.  I was immediately met by an angry white man who bounded towards my carload of children, banged on the window and aggressively demanded I move my car. I agreed and…

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