Beyond the Conflict: The Reconstruction of the O-Pipon-Na-Piwin First Nation Community in Manitoba
AbstractIn the early 1960s, Manitoba Hydro, along with the governments of Manitoba and Canada, initiated the Churchill River Diversion-Lake Winnipeg Regulation, a large hydroelectric project in Northern Manitoba that adversely affected five Aboriginal communities which ultimately led to the relocation of the community of South Indian Lake. Even though an agreement concerning compensation for the communities was signed in order to mitigate the effects of the CRD-LWR, it did not solve the mounting social, economic, and health problems facing First Nations – especially those faced by the relocated South Indian Lake. Drawing from the experience of the community of South Indian Lake, we examine how traditions and legal constraints are now mobilized and interpreted by the members of the First Nations. We are especially interested in the strategy put forward by the leadership of South Indian Lake to obtain Band status, as well as the community’s innovative efforts to rebuild its relationship with the territory and produce a common culture.
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