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Keeping busy in the bush

Algonquin survivors dealing with the Indian Residential School Settlement in Canada - Vortrag in der Reihe AnthroLab

Zeit: 02.02.2017 18:15 h - 02.02.2017 19:45 h
Ort: Deutschhausstraße 3, Hörsaal 1. Obergeschoss3. 1. OG


Anne-Marie Reynaud M.A. (Institut für Sozial- und Kulturanthropologie, Freie Universität Berlin)

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In late 2015, the largest class action settlement in Canadian history came to a close. Called the Indian Residential Schools Settlement Agreement (IRSSA), it was drafted in an effort to make amends after Canada’s failed attempt to assimilate First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples through mandatory schooling. Indian Residential Schools existed throughout the 20th century and have left intergenerational scars that run deep in Aboriginal communities.

In this talk I will draw from my fieldwork with the Mitchikanibikok Inik, one of nine Algonquin First Nations communities located in Quebec, to explore the reconciliatory agency of the settlement. Like so many others, this community was heavily impacted by residential schools and over forty survivors (as they call themselves) received financial compensations under the settlement. How did they experience receiving this money? How did the Truth and Reconciliation Commission events resonate (or not) at the local level? And in what ways did survivors deploy their own agency towards healing outside official IRSSA spaces?

Through their experiences, survivors underlined the importance of the “mundane” aspects of settlement implementation, drawing attention to the fact that these are elements rather than “add-ons” of a theory and practice of transitional justice. They questioned the national discourse of reconciliation encouraged via the TRC. It was far from the eyes of the Commission, through practices like “keeping busy in the bush”, that participants claimed to be able to renew their sense of individual and collective self on the land in order to “feel better”.


Fachgebiet Kultur- und Sozialanthropologie


Michaela Meurer

Zuletzt aktualisiert: 10.12.2016 · Stulcait

Fb. 03 - Gesellschaftswissenschaften und Philosophie

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