The Minister in charge of Indigenous Affairs, Ian Lavrinier, said the Montreal Canadiens made a “mistake” by broadcasting a message of recognition of the unauthorized Mohawk Territory before their games began.
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“Specifically for Montreal, we don’t agree on a historical level on who was there first, that’s complicated,” he said in a press release at the National Assembly on Wednesday.
He explained that in a context where the spaces claimed by different indigenous peoples “overlap in several places in Quebec”, it is best to avoid going there while recognizing specific areas.
“One of the positive things,” he said, “is that it allows us to talk about it, because it’s important to acknowledge the contribution of the Inuit, the first nations that existed before us.”
“The Montreal Canadians would like to acknowledge the Kanien’keha:ka, also known as the Mohawk Nation, for their hospitality in the traditional and unlicensed area where we are meeting today,” yet a letter read since last Saturday notes CH official broadcaster, Michele Lacroix, in Bell Center.
An initiative that caused an uproar in the National Assembly on Tuesday. On the one hand, we welcome the gesture while on the other hand, we accuse the team of distorting the facts.
That is because many historians question the permanent presence of the Mohawk nation in Montreal at the time of French colonization, in the 17NS century.
On Tuesday, the CH group told the Journal de Montreal that it will investigate with experts the possibility of clarifying recognition of the unlicensed Mohawk Territory that is broadcast before each game.
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