maskotīhkom – Spruce beetle/bug. This is a feared insect that is common in northern Saskatchewan and many other places.
Although summer is a welcome season, the spruce bug is an unwelcome visitor to many people who are out enjoying the outdoors or when they leave a window open, which is how I was able to get a picture of this particular friend of ours.
I was bitten by this type of insect once but it was a grey one. I was walking through a trail when I was about 6 years old in Hall Lake and one landed on the back of my head, it crawled to the back of my neck and bit me. It hurt me but when I grabbed it and felt the spiny legs and hard shell I freaked out and threw it. Creepiest feeling ever, the physical pain was nothing compared to it.
In one of my classes at Nortep/Norpac, we have been learning about Indigenous Law and it mainly deals with understanding the concepts of Aboriginal law. It’s a vibrant class with much discussion on current events and the impact on Aboriginals and mainstream society.
We were asked to do a case commentary on Metis or Tsilhqot’in cases from 2014. I chose to do Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia because many of the students had already chosen the Metis decision.
A few weeks earlier, I watched several videos of the case and viewed mainly interviews of First Nations people and how pleased and excited they were over the victory in the Supreme Court of Canada. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z4D85H7lQxE
The Tsilhqot’in Nation have title on 1750 square KM of land west of Williams Lake. Good stuff.
I learned many important facts in this class pertaining to Aboriginal law. Studying for the final exam gave me much insight on the issues we face as First Nations people and other aboriginal groups. I enjoyed the many subjects in this class and they provide relevance to many of my other classes.
Here is an example of what was expected on our final exam (I do not provide my answers here):
Chapter 5: Crown Obligations
The Honour of the Crown – 3 distinct branches of Crown obligations: Treaty Obligations, Fiduciary Duty and Duty to Consult
Chapter 7: Metis Rights
The Court identified three broad factors: self-identification, ancestral connection to the historic Métis community, and community acceptance.
The difference between Metis Rights and Treaty Rights
Chapter 8: Federalism/Constitutional Issues
The Implications of the Division of Powers on Aboriginal Peoples.
How to amend the constitution
Chapter 9: Aboriginal Women
What are the ways aboriginal women have been discriminated against by the Canadian Government?
Chapter 10: Child Welfare
Contemporary Realities, Best Interest of the Child, Challenges of Aboriginal Control, Customary Child and Family Relations
Chapter 12: Aboriginal People and the Criminal Justice
The Failure of Criminal Law for Aboriginal Peoples, Aboriginal Traditions and Justice, Reforming the Criminal Justice System, Aboriginal Justice Systems, High incarceration rate
All these subjects are very important in our immediate current events of Aboriginal people. I’m glad I decided to go back to classes because I lost sight of many things regarding our struggles as First Nations people.
We need to learn to move on from the past transgressions and thrive as a people once again. Hate and distain from our past wounds only serves to undermine our progress. However, it is important to know what happened to us and what is happening now to assert ourselves and to get on with our lives.