Secrétariat aux affaires autochtones
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Québec has never officially recognized the aboriginal nations.
False. In 1985, the National Assembly passed a motion recognizing 10 aboriginal nations and their rights. In 1989, the Malecites were recognized as the eleventh aboriginal nation of Québec.
The majority of the 11 nations still use their mother tongue in Québec.
True. Of the eleven aboriginal nations of Québec, eight continue to use their mother tongue: the Algonquians, the Attikameks, the Crees, the Innu, the Micmacs, the Mohawks, the Naskapi and the Inuit.
The Nord-du-Québec, Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Côte-Nord regions are home to more than half of the Aboriginal peoples of Québec as well as to 40 of the 55 communities.
A band council has the same responsibilities as a municipality.
False. A band council has a much broader mandate. It also manages funds for health, education, jobs, housing, recreation, social services, public works, law and order, etc.
The band council system can be traced back to ancestral customs.
False. This is a system that was imposed by the Indian Act and does not reflect ancestral customs.
The Indians obtained the right to vote at the provincial level in 1969.
True. The Aboriginal peoples have been able to vote since 1960 at the federal level. Moreover, women were given the right to vote to elect the band council in 1951.
The Innu are Eskimos.
False. The Innu are also known as the Montagnais. The Inuit were once known as the Eskimos.
The Inuit are governed by the Indian Act.
False. The Inuit do not have an Amerindian status and are not governed by the Indian Act. They have the same obligations as every other Canadian citizen.
Amerindians and the Inuit have the same roots and culture.
False. The Inuit have a different origin and a very different culture from that of Amerindian Nations. In 2003, the Inuit Nation and the 10 Amerindian Nations had a combined population of approximately 81,860 persons, which represents 1% of the total population of Québec. Almost the entire Inuit population lives in 14 Northern villages, whereas 72% of Amerindians live on reservations.
Hunting and fishing are traditional activities that are considered ancestral rights.
True. An aboriginal right stems from a custom, a practice or a tradition characterizing the culture of an aboriginal group and existing prior to any contact with the Europeans. More often than not, it is associated with a territorial occupation since that period. In addition, the Courts have ruled that an aboriginal nation that was present on a territory when the Europeans arrived – and that has continued to frequent that territory – has separate rights on this territory, known as “aboriginal rights”.
The Amerindians and the Inuit represent about 1% of Québec’s population.
True. In 2003, the Aboriginal population was made up of 81,860 people, representing about 1% of Québec’s total population.
These 11 nations belong to three language and cultural families.
True. The Inuit are part of the Eskaleut family, the Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk) and the Huron-Wendat belong to the traditionally sedentary Iroquoian family, and the eight other nations are part of the traditionally nomadic Algonquin family. Diversity is the essence of the Aboriginal reality in Quebec, and this manifests itself in several ways, including language, traditions, lifestyles, and beliefs, and it forms the basis of the identity that is specific to each nation. Most Amerindians and Inuit define themselves by their nationhood: before being Aboriginal peoples, they are Innu, Atikamekw, Micmac, Huron, Kanien'kehaka (Mohawk), Inuit, and so on. (Aboriginal Peoples Fact and Fiction, Québec, Commission des droits de la personnes et des droits de la jeunesse, 2002, p. 69).
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