Canada is still a very young country. It’s a country that needs to be shaken up a little bit because it has not acknowledged the place of the Indigenous people within its framework of governance or even in terms of the distribution of wealth that is generated by the traditional resources of Aboriginal people. Canada has a citizenship code, and I’m always asked this question: Are you Canadian? And I say no I’m not. But if Canada should ever become, to use the words of Trudeau, “a just society” in relation to Aboriginal people, then I think I will call myself Canadian.
But first and foremost, I am an Innu, which is the word for my people. It means “the people,” and it describes the people that Canada knows as Crees. The word Cree comes from the French. Our identities have never really been recognized in this country because this country has been too busy trying to impose its own identity on us, and part of it is this idea of belonging.