A Bit of History
The Aboriginal Community of Maniwaki regroups some 3000 aboriginal people living off reserve. These people are from anywhere in Canada and the United States.
The beginnings of the community
- The Community of Maniwaki was established in the early seventies and has been registered in 1972. In fact, it is people that are now living on the reservation that first started the association, the first Chief being Antonio Jacko who was succeeded by Tommy Dewache, Gaétane Robertson (20 years) and many more. The board of directors was successful in enhancing the growth of the members by diversifying and enriching the first community with a non profit organization.
- It is the largest community in the province of Quebec of off reserve aboriginals of metis descent. Our ancestral community has been formed by the mixed marriages that multiplied since the arrival of Europeans forming a group that shared the same culture, same values and same language occupying a traditional territory but dispersed in small communities living outside of reservations.
- In the 80’s the community counted 5200 members that never really established their aboriginal origins. This number has considerably diminished since rigorous and mandatory proofs are needed to ascertain the aboriginal origins of the people.
What doesn’t change
The roots of the actual community are well anchored in the community well aware of our peoples’ need to regroup as a community based on the same needs and goals. In fact, health issues, education, economic development and individual growth still prevail.
- Totally independent, our range of operation is entirely dictated by our members. Our people participate actively in meetings, social, recreational and cultural events. They also keep abreast of different claims and rights of Aboriginal peoples.
- The aboriginal population is most likely mixed these days preserving the Indian from consanguinity but also distinguished by the diversity of the sources of the nations. Today you can descent from as many tribes as Algonquin, Cree, Huron, Mohawk etc. and our ancestry can be from four to eight different nations , what makes our pride.
- Also,we are a non profit organization that helps distressed Aboriginals and in partnership with Ministry of Justice is in charge of administering and supervising the light sentences in the community, for which the members are charged.
- The Aboriginal Community of Maniwaki also owns and administers subsidized housings by the federal government, it has 12 units for aboriginals with low income on our territory, then assuring our families of a decent home.
Linked with our community is the
Métis Women’s association of Québec, the medecine man and the elders
These aboriginal metis women group from our community are the guardians of the families and their values. Their role is to take part fully and equitably on the questions related to education, health and life conditions. Promotes the Indian culture the teachings in arts and crafts, emphasizing on cures as well of collective wellness.
We also work closely with a medicine man that provides spiritual healing to any members of the Community that needs it.
We are taking advises from our elders, being a superior entity from the board of director, as well as the women association and the medicine man.
- Over the years we have adopted tree different names until this actual one which reflects our identity. The present name was adopted by the members in 2005.
- The Metis aboriginals are hoping to settle hunting and fishing rights before the Court of justice as the Powley judgement of 2003.
- Recognized and respected by Indian Affairs, who are mainly responsible of on reserve aboriginals, we are invited as ambassadors as a nation of metis people of the province of Quebec, to show our culture and ancestry heritage at the Aboriginal awareness week every year. In 1982, the Metis were acknowledged as an aboriginal people in the Canadian Constitution.