AAA/CASCA Executive Program Committee
Executive Session - Oral Presentation Session
Though one of the world’s largest economies, the Canadian state still is a resource driven economy that too often pits competing indigenous interests against multinational corporations, embroiled in court cases and political positioning to protect traditional lands. Anthropologists, too often seen as allied with colonial pasts, must nonetheless play a role in promoting a speculative future, one where decolonization has occurred and indigenization is a norm. However, to ensure that these noble aims are achieved, it is necessary to imagine and speculate on what remains for most a future yet unimaginable. given that anthropologists gain deep knowledge of the localities where they work, they can and now must play a meaningful role providing support to local communities. This may include working with communities to go to court to assert rights and sovereignty over traditional lands or to contest definitions put forward by states. In this presentation, I will examine the challenges anthropologists are facing and will face when they are asked by a community to document their historical past to demonstrate they had a legitimate Métis community. Their speculations, however incomplete, will certainly help locals ensure they will have a voice in imagining a new future whereby they are fully acknowledged and integrated into the social and political fabric, local, national and global.