AngryFrenchGuy

Québec Native MNA Wants Out of Canada!

with 8 comments

wawanoloath.jpg

The conservative-nationalist wave of the Action Démocratique du Québec that swept the greater Québec City area and profoundly destabilized the Québec political map in the last few years has not yet reached the Far West of the province.

In Abitibi-Est it’s still about blues and reds, Liberals and Péquiste, Federalists and Separatists. The 25 year old Parti québécois MNA who beat Natural Resources Minister Pierre Corbeil in the last election doesn’t worry about Mario Dumont, but expects the good ol’ Liberal Party of Québec to fight back hard when the province goes back to the polls.

“I beat a cabinet minister. The establishment here in my city is very Liberal and they still have that defeat stuck in their throats. They never thought the kid could beat them. Especially not the Indian kid!”

Alexis Wawanoloath is an Abénaki-Québécois, son of an Huron-Abenaki mother and a white father. Although he recognizes that a native who is militant about Québec’s independence is a rarity, he insist that the supposed fierce hostility of Natives towards the project of Québec independence is greatly exaggerated.

“The majority of natives are not sovereignists but they see the link between the struggle of the Québécois for the survival of their language and culture and their own struggle.”

I got into contact with Alexis trough Facebook where his hundreds of friends, whites and natives, congratulate him in French and English about his new job and a new baby. He called me up from Brossard on the south shore of Montreal where he was attending his party’s caucus. He has a casual way of talking filled with youthful expressions like “full gros motivé” that had me struggling against the urge to use the informal “tu” with a member of the National Assembly.

His mere presence at the caucus is a step forward for natives, he says. He doesn’t even have to say a word and his colleagues will tend to think of First Nations when drafting positions and policy. He also says that even though most natives are not indépendantistes he now receives phone calls from First Nations across Québec who see him as their representative at the National Assembly.

Alexis is not the first native politician to take sides with the Québec Independence camp. There are others, including Bernard Cleary who was a Bloc Québécois MP in the Federal parliament from 2004 to 2006.

“Historically there has always been business relations between Francophones and Natives. The French traveled around the continent in smaller groups than the English so they had to have alliances and relationships with the natives. When people say the native population was exterminated by the French…”, Alexis sighs deeply… “That’s a bit strong. The “Law on Indians”, the orphanages, the reservations, those are all Federal institutions. They were instruments of assimilation. When I think of genocide, of cultural genocide, I think of federal orphanages.

“It is always under PQ governments that the native cause went forward. Think of René Lévesque’s recognition of Natives as Nations in 1985 or the Paix des Braves signed by Bernard Landry. Sure, many of these deals, like those reached with the Cree Nation of northern Québec, had an economic ulterior motive, but I would like these achievements extended to all First Nations.”

Before running for office Alexis was president of the Aboriginal Youth Council of the National Association of Friendship Centres, a pan-Canadian native association. When he first decided to run for office as a sovereignist he says many of his colleagues from the rest of Canada were skeptical or disappointed. Now that he’s been elected, their attitude has changed. “Now they’re proud. Now many of them want to go into active politics in their provinces and they’re asking for my help.”

Click here to hear Alexis Wawanoloath talk about his dual identity. In French.

More AngryFrenchGuy exclusive interviews:

KRS-One and Webster

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Written by angryfrenchguy

March 1, 2008 at 10:29 am

8 Responses

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  1. agf,

    apparently, he’s not the only one who wants out.

    the west island has a new political party that received recognition from the director general of elections here in quebec.

    they propose a new province along the lines of mr.kondaks proposal. they suggest the name of the new province be “laurier.”

    http://www.affiliationquebec.ca/

    everbody happy now?

    Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    ~ W.B. Yeats ~

    johnnyonline

    March 3, 2008 at 11:06 pm

  2. Hi Johnnyonline,

    Actually, there is a significant difference between Affiliation Quebec’s partition proposal and my Two Question Referendum proposal.

    AQ wants Quebec to be partitioned in the event of separation with the Western part of Montreal going to the Ontario border along with a corrider to the Maritimes seceding from Quebec and staying within Canada. AQ proposes the name “Laurier” for the province.

    My proposal is that an independent Quebec separate intact with the borders it currently enjoys as a province of Canada and that within the newly created independent Quebec is a province in the western half of Montreal extending to the Ontario border. This province WITHIN an independent Quebec, to be called “Quebec West”, will be officially bilingual and there will be no Bill 101 in it.

    Tony Kondaks

    March 5, 2008 at 1:34 am

  3. […] will be between the Ottawa river and the Gulf of Saint Lawrence. That’s right, this is about the world’s one and only native Quebec separatist: Alexis Wawanoloath [pictured above] is an Abénaki-Québécois, son of an Huron-Abenaki mother and […]

  4. […] AngryFrenchguy talks to Webster  and Alexis Wawanoloath […]

  5. […] AngryFrenchguy talks to KRS-One and Alexis Wawanoloath […]

  6. […] Hamad, both of Middle Eastern origin. The PQ now has two “visible” MNAs: M. Kotto and Alexis Wawanolath, a […]

  7. […] saw Immigrants and members of cultural communities like Vivan Barbot, Maka Kotto, Joseph Facal and Alexis Wawanoloath take a leadership role not only in the French-speaking community, but in the independence […]

  8. Meti are a culture is from the west and Quebecois are Native-French that never left… Quebec is a native word and not french… Its a word that the french hijack over time… The British did not set out, however, to persecute Quebec’s native French population. The Quebec Act, passed in 1774, allowed the Quebecois to have religious freedom.

    Michif was the language at the time and new who to boot… France really did not come back until 1880 then started to purify the language…. Most deny their native back ground because loss of job…. I know family tree goes way back Roy and Brunelle…. The France army came and mated with the native women Brunelle is a made up name to track you down in history and the Roy are representative of the King who came over but mated too….

    Just look at the scarf on the winter carnival snow man it’s the same as what the Quebecois and metis used….

    France is sneaky… They use language as their authority and test you to see if have correct dialog….

    ZorroIsGod

    May 24, 2008 at 10:21 pm


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