This essay reveals the true history of my people. It demonstrates our highly developed social, spiritual, and political governance structures. Our use of the water systems underscores the ecological integrity of sustainable development that we fostered for thousands of years. Yet, due to colonization and oppressive policies designed to destroy Indigenous identity, culture, and history, Indigenous knowledge and governing systems have been put in jeopardy. Colonial policies intended to dispossess and oppress First Nations by depriving us from Indigenous lands, controlling all aspects of our lives, which created dependence by limiting Indigenous peoples’ abilities to provide for themselves. Furthermore, these policies had no Indigenous input or representation and were designed to eradicate or eliminate Indigenous rights, titles, and the right to self-determination to easily gain access to Indigenous lands for development and industrialization, such as in the case of the massive hydroelectrical dams that continue to alienate my home community today.
Born the Year after the Flood
Jeremie Caribou is of Cree and Mohawk descent. He was adopted at birth, raised, and influenced by his Cree grandparents who are residential school survivors. He left home at the age of sixteen and worked in the trades until returning to school in 2017. Currently in his second year of studies in the Public Administration and Governance Program at First Nations Technical Institute, partnered with Ryerson University, Caribou aspires to create awareness of the social injustices imposed on First Nations and to foster the honoring of Treaty rights.
Jeremie Caribou; Born the Year after the Flood. South Atlantic Quarterly 1 October 2019; 118 (4): 921–927. doi: https://doi.org/10.1215/00382876-7825738
Download citation file: