It’s a question of identity

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I’m a member of the Pontiac Native Community situated in Mansfield. The organization’s founders are: Mary-Edith Blakeney, Nicole Jolicoeur, Madeleine Hérault, Steve Lévesque, Richer Lévesque, Richard Fuoco and Jérôme Hérault with the support of other people. The date of  registry for the Pontiac Native Community was December 21, 2011.

I’m a member of the Pontiac Native Community situated in Mansfield. The organization’s founders are: Mary-Edith Blakeney, Nicole Jolicoeur, Madeleine Hérault, Steve Lévesque, Richer Lévesque, Richard Fuoco and Jérôme Hérault with the support of other people. The date of  registry for the Pontiac Native Community was December 21, 2011. The founders were a group of people belonging to other organizations who we’re not satisfied with certain progress. They decided to join together because of the passion they had for their ancestors dating back to the First Nations.
No, we are not Indians of the First Nations and we do not have Indian status. We are aboriginals (Métis) and descendants of our Indian ancestors. Our blood is the same as the people of the First Nations.
The members of this association share a passion for our First Nations ancestors and together we reunite as a family. We try to share the knowledge of our ancestors and some of us still practice our ancestor’s       traditions and habits. We have a limited base of knowledge, but we learn from our Elders and other people who share their passion. We are always searching for new adventures, stories, and knowledge.
The founders of this organization hoped to reunite the people of different cultures such as American Indians, the Inuit’s and the Métis and to protect their wellbeing, to safeguard their interest.
The founders have developed strict rules to ensure members can benefit from this: respect; the right to speak; no physical or verbal abuse will be tolerated; and no  intimidation or threats will be accepted. But one very important rule is that the         organization demonstrates its transparency without shadowing its members. They also wanted to promote goodwill and cooperation between the different associations.
In our short existence, our community has helped our student members get school bursaries, and have helped and supported some of our members.
The Pontiac Native Community has about 150 active members from as far away as Vancouver and a few in the United-States. A vast majority of these members have roots here in the Pontiac.
A lot of people in the area know there is more than one aboriginal community existing in Fort-Coulonge-Mansfield. The different aboriginal organization are: Alliance-Autochtone du Québec, Algonquins Hors-Réserve and Pontiac Native Community (Communauté Autochtone du Pontiac).
By identifying ourselves, I’m hoping to help the people know us for who we are and not get confused with the other aboriginal organizations.
Jérôme Hérault
PONTIAC NATIVE COMMUNITY