Anishinaabekwe elder protests eviction from family property

“The Indian Act says ‘for whose use and benefit in common, land, the legal title to which is invested in Her Majesty,’ this means that lands on Indian reserves do not belong to Indians. The lands belong to her majesty, a certificate of possession is not Indian legal title. It is only permission of her majesty for Indians to use and occupy lands on Indian reserves.”

Ms. Pitawanakwat maintains that she was evicted from land gifted to her according to traditional Anishinaabe custom. “Anishinaabe lands are lands that Anishinaabe belong to. We belong to the land, we come from the land and we are part of the land. We are not above it or separate from it.” The traditions of the Anishinaabek are communal, she asserts.

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Photo by Giovanni Capriotti

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