Habs land acknowledgment

Audacious comments follow Habs land acknowledgment decision

One columnist said that the team recognizing Mohawk territory symbolically expels Quebecers from their own home.

Leave it to the Journal de Montréal and Parti Québécois to take a nationalist, wounded white man stance on a plainly respectful gesture like land acknowledgment. The Montreal Canadiens announced over the weekend that a land acknowledgment will be part of all future home games at the Bell Centre. The Habs started recognizing their presence on unceded/traditional Mohawk territory at the season home opener on Saturday, and are due to make it a more elaborate pre-game ritual once Carey Price returns, given the significance of his Indigenous heritage.

Audacious comments from pundits and politicians follow Habs land acknowledgment decision

Most other Canadian NHL teams already include or have included land acknowledgments in their pre-game introductions. While Quebec Liberal leader Dominique Anglade welcomed the news, Parti Québécois leader Paul St-Pierre Plamondon denounced the declaration today, saying “facts and truth matter and are not optional.” He also questioned why a sports team would make a pronouncement on a “historical question.”

UPDATED Oct. 20, 12:55 p.m. Quebec Indigenous Affairs Minister Ian Lafrenière told reporters that the Habs’ land acknowledgment is faulty because historians are split on whether Montreal is unceded Mohawk territory.

Even worse were offensive comments by not one but two Journal de Montréal columnists — the usual suspects, Mathieu Bock-Côté and Richard Martineau. Bock-Côté had the audacity to claim that the team’s recognition of Mohawk territory “symbolically expels” Quebecers from their own home and serves to “delegitimize the presence of Quebecers in Quebec, to make them feel unwelcome on their own land, to create in them a guilty conscience paralyzing them politically, to present them as invaders in the country that their ancestors have built over the course of history for more than four centuries.”

Invaders? In their own home? What a choice of words.

Le Journal de Tiohtiá:ke, champion of the wounded white man

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