Quebec First Nation bans ‘native spirituality’
aptn National News had a very interesting story on Friday (Jan 14/11) which you can now view on their website.
After supposedly hearing a flood of complaints from its residents, the Cree community of Ouje-Bougoumou in northern Quebec has taken the rather unusual step of banning ‘native spirituality practices’ including sweatlodges, pow wows, rain dances, etc.
It all started when a resident of the community built a sweat lodge and a shelter surrounding it. A petition was distributed, community meeting held and a resolution passed to ban ‘native spirituality practices’ and dismantle the sweat lodge and anything related to it.
According to the resolution, ceremonies of these kind ‘do not conform with the traditional values and teachings of our Elders,’ because ‘the majority of Ouje-Bougoumou members are Christian-faith oriented and have strong Christian values’.
MI obtained the original resolution:
And here is the response by Redfern Miascum, the community member who built the now dismantled sweat lodge:
Now I’m all for the right of any First Nation to exercise its right to govern, but doesn’t this cross a serious line? Should any First Nation have the right to limit freedom of religion?