Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems – Idle No More
Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal
by Sylvia McAdam
A book that explores relationship between land, violence against Indigenous women
written by Andréa Ledding, dated March 16, 2015
There is said to be a tie between how the land, and Indigenous women, are treated in this country right now. The relationship goes even deeper than colonial treatment, as nêhiyaw author Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) explores in her book, “Nationhood Interrupted: Revitalizing nêhiyaw Legal Systems.”
Sylvia, raised on the lands in the north, and Big River First Nation, is an educator with degrees in law and human justice. More than that, she has an extensive knowledge of traditional teachings, language and protocol via her own family, and many Elders. Sylvia’s book, a lifetime of her own in the writing, but many countless lifetimes’ worth of knowledge and repository of wisdom and experience in the teachings, in part addresses how everyone in the territory called “Canada” needs to understand the treaties through the laws of the land which pre-date colonial law and co-occupation. In this process, First Nations will also find their way forward in restoration rather than continued colonization, for everyone’s mutual benefit: and women will regain their natural place in home, nation, governance, and negotiation table.
“I am defending and protecting the lands but I’m not an environmentalist – these are my homes. My people are buried out there. If someone broke into your home and you were defending yourself and your property, you wouldn’t be an activist,” she explains. “It’s a life-long thing – from the time I was born until I go to my final resting place I will continue this work because it’s important that all women understand the role that we have and continue to have.” Sylvia McAdam. Read Andréa Ledding’s Full Review Here.
Release day April 15th 2015
Written by Idle No More co-founder, Sylvia McAdam, this book is the first of its kind. Traditionally and through custom, nêhiyaw (Cree) laws are shared and passed down through the generations in the oral tradition, utilizing stories, songs, ceremonies, lands, waters, animals, land markings and other sacred rites. The loss of the languages, customs, and traditions of Indigenous peoples as a direct result of colonization has necessitated this departure from the oral tradition to record the physical laws of the nêhiyaw, for the spiritual laws can never be written down.
Sylvia McAdam (Saysewahum) is a citizen of the nêhiyaw Nation, who holds a Juris Doctorate (LL.B) from the University of Saskatchewan and a Bachelor’s of Human Justice (B.H.J) from the University of Regina. She is a recipient of the Carol Geller Human Rights Award, Foreign Policy’s Top 100 Global Thinkers Award, Social Justice Award, 2014 Global Citizen Award, and has received several eagle feathers from Indigenous communities. She remains active in the global grassroots Indigenous led resistance called “Idle No More” (www.idlenomore.ca).
Sylvia McAdam bio shared from the Purich Publishing Website.
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