Anishinabek Identity

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Damien Lee and the Echoes of Anishinabek Teachings

Damien Lee talks about the "echoes" to mean the teachings from grandparents that continue to communicate the deeper principals of the people of Anishinabek (Russel, 2010). These teachings have inspired the indigenous people as they reflect their identity which remains current despite the changing world. The echoes are narratives that connect the past, and the future thus ensuring their identity and cultural values remain despite the incessancy of the Eurocentric thinkers who dismiss and devalue them (Simpson and Ladner, 2010). The echoes will enable the indigenous people to remain resilient throughout their generations and give them the required knowledge for the resurgence in the time of economic, political, spiritual and cultural imperialism. Once one generation captures the narratives, they spread them to the next generation thus they radiate through time and space.

Seeking Alternative Realities and Coexistence

Instead of "defeating Canada," Damien Lee suggests alternative realities that they should seek such as to revitalize and embrace the spirit of coexistence personified in their bodies and worldview (Simpson and Ladner, 2010). According to Damien, the transformation they are seeking in Canada should be to coexist with dignity without focusing on one party winning and the other losing. They should also seek to reestablish the lost balance amongst Canadians through embracing healthy relationships. They should seek to exist in a contending state that ultimately ensures the inherent traditions and values survive amid the onslaught of violence meted upon them by the Canadian state, and the greatest motivation is the teachings that live in them (Russel, 2010). Damien Lee suggests that they should continually resist assimilation attempts from the state on the basis of the inherent teachings like bimaadiziiwin and maintain relationships with the implicate order to be empowered (Simpson and Ladner, 2010).


Russell, P. (2010). Oka to Ipperwash: The necessity of flashpoint events. This is an honour song:   Twenty years since the blockades, 29-46.

Simpson, L., & Ladner, K. L. (2010). This is an honour song: Twenty years since the blockades.       Winnipeg: Arbeiter Ring Publishing.

August 14, 2023


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Native American

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