Gagnon, J., Desbiens, C. et Kanapé, É. (2021). « Where You Have to Bypass »: History, memory, and multiple temporalities of Innu cultural landscapes. The American Indian Quarterly, 45(4), 361-399.
Since the 1970s, many Indigenous Peoples in Canada have undertaken land claims negotiations under the Comprehensive Land Claims Policy. These negotiations have highlighted the restrictive and colonial legal framework within which Indigenous rights and titles have to be expressed in order to be validated by the Canadian state. Notions of occupation and continuity, more particularly, have been largely defined according to a unilinear vision of time and space, making cultural landscapes that gradually merged into colonial ones harder to claim as still occupied and holding meaning for the present generation. As a way to overcome these contradictions, and following its withdrawal from the land claims process in 2005, the Innu community of Pessamit has opted, among other avenues, to engage in a heritage project on an ancestral route that was significantly altered by hydro-development. Highlighting the way in which the meaning and value of the Uamashtakan portage trail was maintained and handed down through cultural memory and oral history, this article aims to develop a critical perspective on Quebec historiography, as expressed within the political and legal arenas of Canada’s land claims policy.