Se construire et s'affirmer par les lieux : un regard sur les présences autochtones à Montréal

Authors: Comat, Ioana
Advisor: Desbiens, Caroline; Berdoulay, Vincent
Abstract: KEY WORDS: Montreal, Quebec, cultural geography, Indian Act, Native Friendship Centres movement, place, subject, narrative. This thesis is based on the fact that the Indian Act confines the existence of First Nations in the heterotopic space of reserves, thus not only conditioning their ways of conceiving and identifying themselves, but also their relationships with and within the city. On the premise of a consubstancial association between Aboriginals and Indian reserves, it is hardly surprising that urban Aboriginal presence had been seen by the Canadian government first as equivalent to rural exodus, then synonymous with a cultural dissolution within the ‘‘host’’ society. In order to deconstruct the ideological incarceration of Aboriginal communities in legally defined territories, this thesis explores the experiences of Aboriginal peoples in Montreal and, more specifically, with one of its oldest institutions, the Native Friendship Centre. So as to contribute in reconstructing the representations of urban Aboriginal presence, we propose firstly to restore the memory of this place through the experiences of those who made its history, secondly to analyze the social movement rhetoric carried by the Regroupement des Centres d’amitié autochtones du Québec and thirdly, to enrich its goal of transformation by looking back on testimonials from people more or less external to the Centre. The participative nature of this research provides an opportunity to rethink the conceptual apparatus generally used to address the experiences of Aboriginal peoples in cities while rendering visible the historical and cultural heritage of Montreal’s Aboriginal presence. In this way, cultural geography’s theoretical perspectives, in particular the triptych place / subject /narrative, allows us to contribute to the emerging field of study concerned with Aboriginal people in urban areas.
Document Type: Thèse de doctorat
Issue Date: 2014
Open Access Date: 20 April 2018
Grantor: Université Laval
Collection:Thèses et mémoires

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