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Social Context

7:07 min. - Michèle, the grandmother’s daughter, mentions the importance of passing on traditional values to her descendants, particularly values related to the land. Her partner and father of her child, a Huron, is very close to those values.


Evelyne St-Onge - I'm here today to ask forgiveness for not having passed on the Innu language. I'll come back and pass on the language to my grandchildren when I retire. I'm sad that I haven't already done it.
Michèle Audette - When Jean-Philippe told me he was going into the bush, I was surprised. In my mind, the bush is Schefferville or Port-Cartier. He said, "Yes, we go into the bush to hunt, to trap, to fish." I was astonished that he still did that. He brought me to his territory, and suddenly, he seemed stronger and more handsome, as I had always desired him to be. He took me to see his trapping camp and his whole territory. I understood that Jean-Philippe knew more than I did about it, and that he needed to pass on his knowledge to our children so they can survive in the bush.
I was brought up in Montréal with White ideas and in a White system... but physically, I look Innu, don't I? I would have liked so much to be in a class where you could gut a beaver, dress a goose, learn stories about your land. I thought, "So it has to start again, to be done again." We keep saying it. We're asking for it. That's another gift you've given me as I see you develop.
Even though I don't speak Innu, I can be a good spokesperson to defend my culture. I experienced being Métis and I know it hurts... now I want to tell that to others like me. At Wendake, they asked me to sign a petition to have the Huron language taught at school. I agree completely.
Before, I couldn't tell the difference between Québécois and Innu cultures. When I saw the food on the table, the caribou in the living room, the crafts, the drum, the makusham... Or when I went to Montréal, the metro, the city and everything you can find in a city, that was also part of me.
At one point, I was able to tell the difference. One day my sons Uapen and Amun come to see me, I had brought them to a meeting, there were traditional Mohawk dancers at the beginning of the meeting. So my two sons came up to me all excited: "Mom, Mom, they have Indian dancers here". I had to make them understand that they, too, were Indians, Innu. That's when I realized I had missed something, that I hadn't understood everything. I realized that we must live and appreciate our culture in everyday life.
In addition, my mother has that knowledge, and I don't. If she dies, what will I be able to pass on to my children? That was something for me to meet someone who believed in the importance of our traditions. Yes, I'm comfortable with sewing and manual work. Seeing you do that kind of work feels good to me.
Anne-Marie should be here to teach us Innu Aitun and you, mother, to clean the skins, that would be wonderful. We could have fall sessions every year. Jean-Philippe and I would be the first to get up in front of the class.
Music - Kathia Rock

1 Comment

Josée Dupuis 12 years, 5 months ago

Tshinashkumitin Merci

Un grand merci pour toute ces histoires ,ces partages ça fait du bien ,comme un savoir qui serait enfouie au fond de moi et qui se réveille, je ne suis pas innu pour 5 cent mais j'aime votre culture et aimerais en apprendre plus si vous acceptez des blanches dans vos cercles envoyez moi un p'tit courriel .Je travaille avec des enfants et j'aimerai s tellement leur apprendre l'essentiel.
Merci ,Josée Dupuis Prévost,Laurentides .

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