The Invisible Nation

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The Invisible NationThe Algonquin once lived in harmony with the vast territory they occupied. This balance was upset when the Europeans arrived in the 16th century.

Gradually, their Aboriginal traditions were undermined and their natural resources plundered.

Today, barely 9,000 Algonquin are left. They live in about 10 communities, often enduring abject poverty and human rights abuses. These Aboriginal people are suffering the threat to their very existence in silence.

Richard Desjardins and Robert Monderie have decided to sound the alarm before it's too late. They challenge perceptions by spotlighting the sad reality of the Algonquin of Quebec and bringing the history of this people to the screen for the first time.

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Caligua Gratis
3 years ago

Maxime Daigle. You're talking out of your bum. Where's your evidence for your claims that the natives were as bad as the colonials that killed, raped, plundered, terrorized and stole from them? You have no evidence for your claims that the natives behaved the same way before their subsequent colonization and subjugation by outside invaders that were high on greed and selfishness.

Maxime Daigle
5 years ago

Native, American Indians in the past, killed, raped, plundered against each other before 1492 Gr. years. They lost to a better organized military and brainwashers. They had greed and everything else just like before. A visible clue is, most preach about protecting "mother earth". Well no one is putting a gun to anyones head making natives drive cars. they do by choice just like everyone else. At they being more so suppress at times? Yes because they don't fully accept being controlled. That I respect. But wanting control to control others is hypocritical and its not looking in the mirror. Easy to point the finger in this world, but looking in the mirror? well lets not do, Im a mix blood full status :)

6 years ago

There were never 250 million in population in North America (as well as south America). There is no evidence for this number. There likely were tens of millions yet even 30 or 50 million is hard to support based on evidence (any kind). Blame the theft of the continent on speculators, land developers and financiers. They were no different then than they are now.

7 years ago

I saw this and was astounded, saddened, yet not surprised at the Catholic Church's complicity in the crime perpetrated.

After a brief introduction of the literature of the "holocaust" visited upon the Herero people in present-day Namibia by the German colonial powers of the early 20th century, the pattern of a haughty and imperious attitude during the "Age of Discovery" was a common theme there as well.

The insistence on a false notion of superiority, especially when a group has the ability to spread and implement that mind-set globally in short order, was a disaster then and now.

Those early Modern Humans who migrated out of Africa into Europe evolved a very strange and dysfunctional axiology with skin color and hair/hair color serving as the primary visual keys.

Figures such as Kant, Hume, and Galton were instrumental in developing and formalizing such a world-view of those "Africans in Europe"---as a result, we have the "disease" of racism.

Devon Griffiths
7 years ago

There is no "conqueror's right", there is only injustice and tyranny. It's possible to turn your back on justice and cling to power and force, but if you do so, you're a hypocrite to ever criticize any other injustice. You have embraced "might makes right".

8 years ago

It's so good to see that colonialism is alive and well in Europeans today. And to all of you that think we are a conquered people....I think you had better go back to school. And to you Mr. Westphal, all I can say is the crap your brain spews out is typical of what many Canadians believe, even within their own government. The current leadership is a good example of that. They were racists and anti-native before they changed the name of their party in order to distance themselves from their past. Only trouble is regardless of how easy it might be to call a leopard a different name, you can not change its spots. They will always be the same. And for those of you wishing I would just get to the point, conquered or not, did you forget this was the 21st century and there are laws against trying to do away with an entire race of people just because of the color of the skin, the way they live or speak or even just because they fight to keep the land that past generations have fought to keep what was given them by the creator without being tried as a terrorist just because Canada changes the laws to fight against us? If you are Canadian, you should be ashamed of what your government has and continues to do to the first people's of this country! If you are a part of the system, don't forget what goes around comes around. Remember what happened to the Nazi's when they got caught.

8 years ago

they were not conquered. europe simply occupied the land they thought was empty. unless you really evolved from animals, you really should walk your talk as humans. indigenous peoples have rights to be respected.

8 years ago

This is one of the most informative documentaries available relating to Native Canadians and their mistreatment throughout history dating back to the arrival of Europeans. I am struck by the excuses presented by some of the viewers who claim that the Algonquin had a history of conflicts with other nations prior to the European arrival. All civilizations (the first nations being one) have had to deal with conflict, but the Indians of North America were ill prepared for the blatant deception and manipulation that the white people would impose upon their people and their way of life. It was ruthless and shameful.

Alan S. of French, English and native blood.

urban deadite
9 years ago

Of course all the Native American peoples always lived in harmony with each other and never went to war or conquered each other or raided for slaves and loot, the Aztecs another native American people were hated by all the other tribes that's how the Spanish conquered them, working WITH one tribe to conquer another be in North or South America, swings and roundabouts, who do you think acted as scouts when the Brit's and others started grabbing land?. History not so one sided as some people make out.
It is NOT right what happened to these people but even in my country of England huge areas of the North are still depopulated from an event that happened by Foreign Invaders (Normans) around 900 Years ago.

10 years ago

I would like to get in touch with the producer of this Documentary. Can anyone point me int he right direction on this sight to do so?

Devon Griffiths
10 years ago

While the European arrival certainly precipitated their demise as a nation, it's difficult to place the blame here entirely on the Europeans. The Iroqouis and Algonquins had been fighting a genocidal war for decades when the French first made contact with natives in the area. It wasn't European wars that decimated the Algonquin - it was the same old conflict with the Iroqouis.

They were simply unlucky on two accounts. First, the Iroqouis were much more warlike and much more organized and motivated. Before the Europeans the Algonquin had always been on the defensive. The Iroqouis were, in some ways, similar to the Europeans. They were driven in their wars by a vision of the "Great Peace" and this vision demanded that their neighbours either lay down their arms and submit to the Confederacy as tributaries, their vassalage agreement encoded for all time in a wampum, or, be exterminated to the last man and child ... to ensure the Great Peace.

Their second misfortune was that they became allies with the French, because they were the first of the two groups that the French came across. It would have been better for them, if the French had met the Iroqouis first, and the Dutch and English had met the Algonquins first, rather than the other way around. Because while they all sold guns - the French insisted that they would only trade guns with converts, and only 1 gun per convert. The Dutch and the English made no such demand and freely traded guns with their Iroqouis allies, who subsequently wiped out the Algonquins along with dozens of other tribes across the entire Great Lakes/St Lawrence area, from Quebec to Michigan, until finally the Ojibwa managed to halt them.

10 years ago

We all must remember that 2+2=5 that only comprehend to do as your told. For some reason why is it that Europeans who traveled on this earth always had to kill steal & destroy I'm not fully understanding this from Africa to Asia to the Americas. Where does this mind control come from? They kill you, give you the bible & tell you to obey your masters. Rape your children & your land, animals & go to church on Sunday none of this makes sense to me.

10 years ago

why doesn't the queen of england 'visit the reserves',all over canada?????

10 years ago

i think all 'germans',in canada,should be put on reserves!after all they lost in the second war.

it's not biggotry!!!!

10 years ago

are native people,in canada,unaware of native people all over the world?do they not have computers ,on reserves?can'a native kid in canada ,not contact a native kid in mexico,or brazil,or africa,or any other place in the world!!like,say 'cuba'?
they just don't know how to fight!given a beautifull weapon like a computer,i doubt they'd stumble through the bush ,trying to spear a moose!

the whole world hates 'god',....not because he's evil,....he just doesen't exist!!!!

the native kids were right!from day 1!

10 years ago

stephan harper,[the german],supports these 'actions'!

why don't the indians hire jewish lawyers,in canada!!!!

10 years ago

"Today, Canada joins other countries in supporting the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples." - that was July 2012 -
This was an important story highlighting what happens when land owners (sometimes seen as partners, sometimes as dependents who can be ignored and dis-enfranchised in abhorrent ways) have protection from their rights (not forced into religious residential schools), and subsequent economic opportunity, as is the case with one community who still control their lands, compared to those who are 'failed' by the same system.
Quote From part of the Justice Commission on Aboriginal People- Final Report 2001
"Canada’s treatment of its first citizens has been an international disgrace. To fail to take every needed step to redress this lingering injustice will continue to bring tragedy and suffering to Aboriginal people, and to blacken our country’s name throughout the world…
We recommend:
As a matter of urgent importance, governments and Aboriginal people, with the assistance of the Aboriginal Justice Commission, negotiate an acceptable process to provide ongoing funding for Aboriginal governments to undertake the initiatives we suggest, in a manner consistent with:
-The need of Aboriginal people for an ongoing, consistent revenue base.
-The right of Aboriginal people, as original owners of the land, to a fair share of revenue resources from both levels of government.
-The greater access to the revenue-generating powers and sources available to federal and provincial governments."
Apologies have been given, but there is much yet to answer for, and the only way to answer where forgiveness and change might follow is to DO the RIGHT THING, finally, and act upon the spirit and intent of the shared lands and resources, and the rights of life and freedoms that were understood in the Treaties. When Honour and Honesty arrive, then there will be peace - until then the only recourse for aboriginal people in Canada is in Court!

10 years ago

If the Agonquin wish to live in a more traditional manner on ancestral land, why shouldn't such a modest request be granted and why should they not be supported towards complete autonomy, since so much has been stolen already. Any civilised country looks after all of its own people.

10 years ago

It's amazing how similar the stories are of native Americans and these people. My friend was a Navaho and his stories pretty much echoed the same as what had happened to Algonquins, 3000 miles away. He told me of stories where he was beaten much the same way as people were here. I count my lucky stars that I wasn't raised in any religious atmosphere. A big source of these people's problems. If it wasn't for the green light given the religious institutions I wonder what the whites would have gotten away with?

RIP Dale.

10 years ago

Richard Desjardins on TDF?
Vlatko, you're awesome.

Carl Hendershot
10 years ago

Canada is going to find that failing to help there own will only end up back firing soon. These are good people who deserve more. Canada should pull its depressive head out of their ass.

10 years ago

One thing I don't understand is why the Maniwaki Algonquins aren't helping the rest of the Algonquins. It seems they are doing so much better then the other bands. Seems to me there are lessons to be learned from that successful tribe. I think the most important one would be to learn how they negotiated their 2.7 millions dollars reparation.

The Cree, Inuits and Haskapis who are just north of them got 14000 km² and 225 millions dollars from the Quebec Government, I don't understand why the Algonquins can't organize themselves to negotiate as a group, like several other native tribes did all across Canada.

Bids76 bids76
10 years ago

they were conquered, the end. it has happened many time before through out all of history.. where is the british peoples monies for the roman occupation that lasted hundreds of years. or all the hand outs for the blacks that were abducted from africa and forced to work as slaves in america. and so on and so on.. it has happened, there is no way for these peoples to live the lives they used to live, they need to move on just like everyone else had to. adapt to the new times upon them or have happen exactly what they say is happening. extinction. I am so sick of hearing this crap about the natives. they can all work and many choose not too. they live off the govt, and then dont even use the money responsibly. I for one believe the hand outs should stop, and they should integrate themselves into society be fore it istoo late for their people.

Alex Sala
10 years ago

These people's experience, their living testimony belies the image that Quebec and the Catholic church/Oblate order would like to convey.

And then the fact that the first comment here in the face of all these communities have suffered is racist and disparaging. Imagine your kids were forcefully taken away, beaten, raped and taught to hate who they were?

I guess it's easy for people in a country as generally reasonable as Canada to not see this kind of thing happening while lecturing others about human rights and a culture of tolerance.

Where the outrage for the victims?

10 years ago

Natives living in harmony is a myth.