Listen to this segment on the Current.
This is such a mess. The federal government first concludes an agreement with the FNI to create a new band (Qalipu), and then is amazed at the number of descendants seeking to reconnect with their roots. Thousands applied, before the deadline, only to have their application consigned to bureaucratic limbo. Shameful.
I think this is a tremendous opportunity to let the wider Canadian community know what reclaiming one's heritage looks like. The Qalipu are a landless band - it's not about a few square kilometers, rather it is about reconnecting with forgotten traditions and lineage. And ultimately, it's not up to the government to tell me who I am - it's up to me.