UBC Theses and Dissertations

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UBC Theses and Dissertations

Contemporary and traditional values of a landless Cree First Nation in Northern Ontario Bateson, Kyle Edward


It is a commonly held notion among many Aboriginal people that one’s worldview, knowledge, values and identity are shaped through the connection one has with the physical and spiritual components of their traditional territory; the land and waters, the beings which occupy these places and one’s ancestors. For the members of Missanabie Cree First Nation, the connection with their traditional territory was disrupted as a result of the failure of the Crown to set aside land in the treaty process in the early 20th Century. Through a review of literature on the Cree of Northern Ontario and Quebec, this thesis answers questions raised by the community concerning their ancestors’ traditional resource management methods, and the kinship roles associated with these methods. Q-method is used to determine the current day values the members hold regarding the land and waters in and around Missanabie. Knowledge of these values, where members agree and disagree, can assist leadership in making decisions about how to proceed in the reestablishment of a viable Aboriginal community within the traditional territory. From the Q-method, three factors which represent the members values emerged; Cultural and Spiritual Values, Economic and Conservation Values, and Community Infrastructure Values. The factors demonstrate that the First Nation holds a mix of traditional and contemporary values with differences appearing in how each factor describes members’ connection to the land and the desires of what members want the land to provide. To move forward in their journey toward reestablishment on their traditional lands, compromises and accommodations within the community need to be reached, and can best be achieved through comprehensive land management planning.

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