ARESKOUÉ -SECRETARIAT OF ABORIGINAL RIGHTS - MALISEET NATION

ARESKOUÉ -SECRETARIAT OF ABORIGINAL RIGHTS - MALISEET NATION

Messagepar admin » Sam 14 Avr 2012 02:13

ARESKOUÉ

HISTORY
ARESKOUÉ, THE SECRETARIAT OF ABORIGINAL RIGHTS OF THE MALECITE NATION AT VIGER WAS CREATED AT THE SECOND GENERAL MEETING OF ITS CITIZENS IN AUGUST OF 1989; OVER TWO HUNDRED CITIZENS CAME TOGETHER AT THAT MEETING IN RIVIÈRE DU LOUP, PROVINCE OF QUEBEC.THEY HAD ONE CONCERN IN MIND; TO STOP THE STEADY EROSION OF THEIR ABORIGINAL RIGHTS AND THE LOSS OF THEIR CULTURE AND THEIR HERITAGE. DURING THE 1989 ASSEMBLY,THE CITIZENS UNANIMOUSLY SUPPORTED THE CREATION OF THE SECRETARIAT. THE SECRETARIAT WAS DISSOLVED BY THE GRAND CHIEF IN THE SPRING OF 1990.THE MAIN REASON EXPRESSED BY THE GRAND CHIEF WAS THE MISMANAGEMENT OF FUNDS BY THE PRESIDENT OF ARESKOUÉ . ON THIS POINT, THE AUDIT OF THE SECRETARIAT DID NOT DEMONSTRATE ANY FINANCIAL WRONG DOING OR FRAUD AS ALLEGED BY THE GRAND CHIEF.THE PRESENT BAND COUNCIL DID NOT PROPOSE ANY CONSTRUCTIVE PROPOSITION TO REPLACE THE SECRETARIAT "ARESKOUÉ". WE SUSPECT THAT THE 1990-91 FUNDING OF 45,000. $ SPECIFICALLY ALLOCATED TO RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT OF SPECIFIC CLAIMS WAS USED FOR OTHER PURPOSES BY THE BAND COUNCIL. ARESKOUÉ MADE ONLY ONE MISTAKE; PROMOTING THE RETURN OF ALL THE NATION ADMINISTRATION BACK TO MALECITE ANCESTRAL LAND NEAR RIVIÈRE DU LOUP WHERE THE SPIRIT OF OUR ANCESTORS AWAIT OUR RETURN, SPEAK AND COMMUNICATE WITH ALL THE MALECITE COMMUNITIES IN NEW BRUNSWICK.

OUR MISSION WAS...

WHAT WAS THE MISSION OF THE DISSOLVED SECRETARIAT "ARESKOUÉ"

The mission or purpose of ARESKOUÉ was:

"to work with the SKITCHINUK WULASTEGWIAK of the MALECITE NATION at Viger,and with other MALECITE communities,institutions and organizations,to preserve, protect, and promote the heritage, culture, language, traditions, customs ,spirituality, ancestral lands and sovereignty of the MALECITE NATION".

Our culture is something that surrounds us, something that is part of us, and is inextricably linked with the land upon which we have lived for thousands of years. The mission of the Secretariat was to preserve, protect ,and promote our culture, our heritage, our language and the return on our ancestral land.

Our culture has a past and it is in that past, especially as we find it embodied in our elders, that we are pledged to preserve it.

It also has a present, and in the present our culture is almost extinct and under threat from numerous pressures witch are part of modern society. We are pledge to protect it.

OUR APPROACH WAS...

WHAT WAS THE APPROACH OF THE DISSOLVED SECRETARIAT ARESKOUÉ

Because our culture is something living in MALECITE communities in New Brunswick ,it must have a future. We must participate with these communities and join the MALECITE GRAND COUNCIL FIRE to promote our MALECITE culture, especially among our young people, to ensure that they will always identify themselves as SKITCHINUK MALECITE, in the full meaning of the term.

ARESKOUÉ the Secretariat, realized that it could not by itself, preserved, protected, promoted the MALECITE cultural heritage of the MALECITE NATION at Viger.This is the work of a whole of the SKITCHINUK MALECITE,the 7 MALECITE tribes, the MALECITE Nation.

It is also the work of other individuals and Elders, universities and institutions such as the Band Council of the MALECITE Chiefs at Viger located in Montreal. Beside, the SKITCHINUK MALECITE from all the WULASTEGWIAK communities did have an interest in helping ARESKOUÉ to achieve cultural objectives.

To make our task manageable, reduce duplication and ensure that we received maximum value for our limited financial resources, ARESKOUÉ had adopted in your favour a 3 fold strategy that the Malecite Band Council in Montreal had great difficulty to accept or did not want to understand.

First there where some task that only few of you could understand and undertake: for example, developing a SKITCHINUK Council of Elders, holding special ceremonies ,defining and promoting our own wholistic culture or advising the SKITCHINUK MALECITE.These task where tackles and requested by our own local Elders.

Secondly, there where some projects that we addressed that could help us entering into a partnership arrangement with the other 7 WULASTEGWIAK Malecite communities and institutions in New Brunswick. Typical of this kind of project was our work with Aboriginal institutions across Quebec, Ontario, New Brunswick,Maine Massachusset, Nova Scotia ,and local, provincial and national research department where the constant use and knowledge of the ENGLISH language is essential for all communication.

Third, in some case we where not directly involved in a project at all, because we did not have money, but we lobbied for, and supported project that could promote an understanding of our SKITCHINUK MALECITE cultural heritage , and a recognition of our MALECITE Nation in the Province of Quebec and elsewhere.

A good example of this kind of effort was: to encouraged the Government to increase its commitment to the recognition of the WULASTEGWIAK MALECITE Nation at Viger by the Québec National Assembly , or by developing a MALECITE HERITAGE DECLARATION for the preservation, the management and the promotion of the MALECITE CULTURAL HERITAGE on all its ancestral lands.

The SECRETARIAT was working to move the office on our ancestral territory witch was schedule for June of 1990, just about at the time of the Annual Assembly and just about the time the Band Council in Montreal decided to dissolved ARESKOUÉ. The President of ARESKOUÉ, did prepare on his own time with the support of Chief Ruby Pollard, an INTERPRETATION CENTRE. The " JOSEPH LAUNIERE INTERPRETATION CENTRE ",name given to the centre in recognition of our last Grand Chief that resided and died on our ancestral land, was ready to be negotiated with municipal provincial and federal governments. Unfortunately the sequence of events created and instigated by the Grand chief in Montreal shelved that proposal for the WULASTEGWIAK MALECITE Nation at Viger.

The proposal for the interpretation centre is now considered by a MALECITE community in New Brunswick.The concept of" ARESKOUÉ "is also under study by a MALECITE community in New-Brunswick.

Because the term "CULTURAL HERITAGE" is so broad and subject to so many meanings, ARESKOUÉ did concentrated its focus as a Secretariat into 5 major Program areas.

OUR PROGRAM WAS...

WHAT WAS THE PROGRAM OF THE DISSOLVED SECRETARIAT ARESKOUÉ ?

1. ORAL TRADITIONS PROGRAM

As is the case with all Aboriginal peoples in North America,our culture is founded in oral tradition. It has been passed down through the MALECITE language and is embodied in the legends stories and accounts that express our beliefs and values.

The goal of Oral Traditions Program could had been to preserve, document, promote the MALECITE languages, history, legends and stories that make up the oral traditionsof the MALECITE NATION.

Typical projects could had been;

-Research and documentation of legends
-Training programs in oral history and research
-Changing maps names to original MALECITE place on ancestral -lands
-Project to foster development of written language
-Examining ways by witch information and knowledge is transmitted
-Translating legends into theatre presentation etc.

2.TRADITIONAL GROUP ACTIVITIES PROGRAM

Our culture has its fullest expression when the SKITCHINUK MALECITE people come together in gatherings, to work, to play, to govern ourselves, and to celebrate.The rites, symbols, and rituals that are express during traditional gatherings are at the core of our culture. WITHOUT THEM THE MALECITE ARE LOST.

The goal of the Traditional Group Activities program could had been to document and promote an understanding on the importance of traditional gatherings and to foster their continuance. This is unfortunate but the present Band Council do not see the importance and the value of our own culture as MALECITE people.

Typical project could had been;

-Documentation of family ceremonies
-Research and documentation of traditional gatherings
-Audio-visual presentations that preserve and demonstrate gatherings
-Promotion of annual games events
-Promotion of spiritual gathering
-Sweat lodge
-healing ceremonies

3. THE SPIRITUAL AND PHYSICAL ENVIRONMENT PROGRAM

At the core of our existence as SKITCHINUK MALECITE is a relationship with the land that is part of us. This relationship is a spiritual reality that is expressed in different way; in responsibilities and social relationship, in rules about animals, in laws witch govern the people and regulate our use of the land.

The goal of the Spiritual and Physical Environment Program could had been to document, explain, and promote the MALECITE view, the essentials of MALECITE spirituality and the relationship regulations, and customs witch flows from this spirituality. This could had been a great asset to the present Band Council in Montreal and many MALECITE citizen by association of marriage.

Unfortunately the Band Council opted for laws established by non native, the INDIAN ACT to rule the SKITCHINUK MALECITE at Viger.

Typical projects could had been;

-Documentation of MALECITE spirituality, symbols and rituals
-Projects to promote dialogue between elders and young people
-Promotion of traditional spiritual and physical values
-Importance and the respect of the elders
-Documentation of traditional environmental managements systems
-Documentation of traditional environmental laws and regulations
-Documentations of SKITCHINUK MALECITE TRIBAL, NATIONAL, and CONFEDERATIVE laws for the management of our community
-Development of our own MALECITE CONSTITUTION to break away from the Indian Act of Canada

4. SKILLS AND ARTS PROGRAM

As is the case in other cultures, the SKITCHINUK MALECITE cultural values where expressed in practice, in the way we travelled and lived on the land, in the ways we prepared food and made clothing, in the ways we preserved our physical and mental health, in our traditional and contemporary arts and crafts.

The goal of the Skills and Arts Program could had been to preserve and promote traditional and contemporary skills, practices, arts and crafts.

Typical project could had been;

-Arts and crafts demonstrations
-Land-skill programs for young people
-Traditional and contemporary craft programs
-Development of a MALECITE pharmacology
-Cookbooks and food preparation guides
-Development of theatre groups ETC.

5. INFORMATION AND RESOURCE COLLECTION PROGRAM

Because the present is rooted in the past, we have a strong vested interest in preserving and developing documents and building a solid base of information about the MALECITE NATION.

The goal of the Information and Resources Collection Program was to establish and maintain an information resource base for the benefit of the MALECITE NATION AS A WHOLE and other researchers.

typical project could had been;

-Development of a library/archives
-Development of a computerized information system
-Creation of bibliographies
-Curriculum development project for the Chief Joseph Launiere Interpretation Centre in Riviere du Loup
-Development of resources material
-Documenting claims agreements, legal contracts ,modern treaties

YOURS TRULY,

CLAUDE AUBIN, RUBY POLLARD

SKITCHINUK
THE CONCEPT OF THE "CHIEF JOSEPH LAUNIERE" INTERPRETATION CENTRE WAS...

If the SKITCHINUK MALECITE at Viger are deprived of a core of cultural and sacred symbols, they become functionally incomplete, a kind of formless monster with neither sense of direction, nor power of self control as citizen of the MALECITE NATION.

Is that what drove the present Band Council in Montreal to close down ARESKOUÉ, because this deprivation is under the power of the QUEBECOIS CULTURE imprinted in our leadership and their WATEITSKITAP supporters ?

With the storm of change engulfing the MALECITE Nation at Viger, we were hoping that this facility will become a sacred sanctuary, expressing and housing the richness of the MALECITE GRAND COUNCIL OF FIRE for generation yet unborn. The Band Council of the MALECITE Nation at Viger made its preference for Montreal.

The following points are listed as a starting point, in the hope that one day someone will see the light that the completed facility will best reflect the proper spirit of our MALECITE Nation on our ancestral land.

. Project Participation; Elders - knowledge
- to carry the past
- to gather stories from each Malecite communities
- building built by Malecite with ancestral methods and craftsmanship combined with some present day.

2. Design must include all senses- sound,sight,touch,smell.
- rhythm, music, dance
- feeling ,tension ,mystery, intrigue,peace ,vision

3. No place for machine industrial ways;
- Industrialism not part of Malecite way
- no synthetics where ever possible
4. Materials to include all those used by Malecite:
- wood (birch,spruce,willow)
- stone
- bone and teeth
- antlers, horn ,hides furs
bark,sinew,organs,hair,quills
pitch, grease, seed, shells,
beads, wampum beads,feathers.
The assembly of materials must be put together from the past through the present,e xpressing meaning and feeling.

5.The need of Power and spirit in the Interpretation centre facility must transform the visitor.
Some possible way to create power:
- Creating centres/focus with in facility as points of vision
- Use of natural material/objects including light, smell, touch, sound,sight.
- Remain closely tied to the earth (close link between building and site)
- Show respect for how and witch materials are combined
- Examine stories for possible relationships
- express the horizontal-unity between the people
- Express the vertical-the path between the worlds the sacred tree.
- Use of void- the hole, or "door to other worlds
6. Design concepts:
a.Canoe boat - Examine construction of, detailing, materials,forces on and given by symbols, stories about meaning.
- The vehicle between peoples (horizontal)
- The vehicle of souls (vertical)

b.Seven MALECITE communities:
- Facility to represent a united vision as a Nation part of the WABANAKI CONFEDERACY
- Facility also to represent the diversity of the MALECITE communities
- Express ties between MALECITE communities

c.Explore MALECITE ancestral land.
- Role of portages
- Waterways

7. The facility components:
- The various component of this facility as an interpretation centre have yet to be confirmed, but could had included the following

- Discovery area - hand on, fun, learning

- Research area - library, study space,laboratories,workshop, training area

- Worship area - sacred ceremony,

- Collections - storage, restoration, preservation, exhibition

- Admin. Area - offices, meeting room&staff

- Ceremonial Area - celebrations ,community gatherings

- Visitor Lounge - gift shop, restaurant, leisure area
- Building serv. - mech.room, elect.room
rest rooms,shipping and receiving,workshop, storage areas.

- Museum facilities

- Archive facilities


The proposal of the" CHIEF JOSEPH LAUNIERE" INTERPRETATION CENTRE would be available only when the MALECITE NATION at Viger will succeed to reach a level of political maturity and a true understanding of what the word SKITCHINUK MALECITE and its cultural heritage really means.

THE NAME OF "CHIEF JOSEPH LAUNIERE" FOR THE INTERPRETATION CENTRE HAD BEEN CHOSEN IN HONOUR OF THE LAST CHIEF THAT RESIDED ON OUR ANCESTRAL LAND AND STOOD STRONG AS AN EXAMPLE FOR OUR YOUTH UNTIL ITS DEATH IN 1971.HIGHLY RESPECTED BY ALL THE PEOPLE THAT NEW HIM, ARESKOUÉ WANTED TO GIVE HONOUR TO THE ONE THAT HAD SUCCEEDED TO HOLD ON TO THE LAND OF ITS ANCESTORS AND PROVIDED EXAMPLE TO EVERY SKITCHINUK MALECITE THAT BELIEVE THAT WE MUST RETURN TO THE ANCESTRAL LAND TO FULLY BE RECOGNIZED AS WHAT WE ARE.

OF COURSE THE INTERPRETATION CENTRE WOULD HAD BEEN BUILT ONLY ON THE MALECITE ANCESTRAL LAND.


YOURS TRULY,


CLAUDE AUBIN, RUBY POLLARD

SKITCHINUK
Claude Aubin
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