Albert Dumont's personal rant crosses the line, exposing weakness of Algonquin land claims argument

Albert Dumont's personal rant crosses the line, exposing weakness of Algonquin land claims argument
Posted on January 3, 2018 | James O'Grady | Written on January 2, 2018
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Publisher:
Albert Dumont's blog

Author's Note:

Author's Note:

Yesterday, I had the misfortune of having to read a hateful, personal rant by Algonquin activist Albert Dumont. In his rant, Mr. Dumont attacked the creditibility of Jason Arbour, a First Nations person who is half Mohawk and half Algonquin. Mr. Arbour, as some of you may know already from his posts here on Unpublished Ottawa, is seeking recognition for his ancestors' Mohawk reserve, formerly located in Hull, now known as Gatineau, opposite the Chaudiere Falls in the middle of the Ottawa River between Quebec and Ontario. Mr. Arbour's claim is controversial because his research contradicts Algonquin claims that the Nation's Capital lies inside unceded Algonquin territory. Unfortunately for Algonquins, the Canadian census of 1871 clearly indicates that the "Indians" living in Hull at this time were "Iroquois". If you remember your history, the Iroquois were a confederacy of First Nations that included the Mohawk. The Iroquois confederacy didn't include the Algonquins. 

Mr. Dumont's rant crosses the line in my opinion. Its one thing to question a person's opinion or challenge their argument, its quite another to attack someone personally. And, it is especially bad when you use an injustice committed against a person or people to attempt to discredit them. As I suggested to Mr. Dumont, he needs to appologize if he doesn't want to face a defamation lawsuit.  

Mr. Dumont's rant can be found at: http://albertdumont.com/algonquin-land . It was written in response to David Reevely's article in the Ottawa Citizen: http://ottawacitizen.com/news/local-news/reevely-jason-arbours-long-fight-for-the-capitals-mohawk-history . To read Jason Arbour's personal account of what happened to his ancestors on Unpublished Ottawa please see: https://unpublishedottawa.com/users/tsit-kanaja-kaniengehaga 

Below is an edited version of my comment on Mr. Dumont's blog, which I doubt he will publish. 

 

Dear Mr. Dumont,

Let me share some 'settler' logic with you: When you attack the messenger you discredit yourself and you make it clear to everyone reading it that your argument is weak, because if you had a strong argument you wouldn’t have to attack the messenger. In addition, though, your rant opens you up to a defamation lawsuit. So, I suggest you appologize.

I know Jason Arbour (pictured) and I have never experienced anything similar to what you are claming. In fact, your rant reeks of descrimination, something I never thought I’d see amoung First Nations people. Genocide via smallpox was committed against Mr. Arbour's ancestors and now you’re using this injustice to attempt to discredit him? That’s really low.  Its also very sad that you haven’t figured out yet that First Nations people need to work together. Divide and conquer is the 'settler' way don’t you know?

As for Jason Arbour not belonging to any “group”, that’s not true, he belongs to his nation, whether it’s officially recognized by our 'settler' government or other First Nations doesn’t matter. He knows his history as does his family. Passed down by word-of-mouth for generations. Do you deny oral history?

I realize his claim causes the Algonquin nation a problem, but perhaps the Algonquins should reconsider making such a large claim of unceded territory when there is documented evidence to the contrary. The Canadian census of 1871 clearly states the "Indians" living in Hull (now Gatineau) were Iroquois (https://unpublishedottawa.com/letter/174294/kanatso-first-nation-recognition-requisition-gatineau) --a fact that cannot be denied. As for your claim that there was no reserve, why does the map associated with this post clearly show that there was a reserve in Hull? https://unpublishedottawa.com/letter/120752/kanatso-mohawk-indian-reserv... ? The map can be found in Canada's National Archives.

Because Jason is both Algonquin and Mohawk, as I am of both Greek and Irish decent, he is a product of modern Canada. And, therefore the perfect person to help bring the Algonquins and Mohawks together. Unlike you, and contrary to what you state in your rant, he is not denying Algonquins were living in the region, yet you deny Mohawk existence, which is both self-serving and short sighted given the Census and other historical evidence.

For this reason, the Algonquin land claim will never succeed "as is" in my opinion. The government knows the truth, no amount of grandstanding and posturing will make a difference. The Algonquin argument needs to be modified to include the existence of other First Nations or it will fail. There is only one history and it doesn’t mesh with the current Algonquin narrative.

Take it from a political communications professional, the Algonquin story needs to be adjusted, updated and expanded to better represent the facts as we know them, if they wish their land claims to be realized. Claiming a large swath of Canada as unceded Algonquin territory is akin to claiming the Middle East belongs to just the Jews or just the Arabs, rather than aknowledging that both have co-existed for milenia.

James O’Grady, Founder

UnpublishedOttawa.com

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I am an entrepreneur, communications professional, school teacher and community activist living in Ottawa, Ontario. I am also a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots,... More

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