Wahnapitae First Nation
A Native scholar said, “A basic human and intellectual right is to have one’s own historic identity.” The history of the Metis and the Ojibwe of the Wahnapitae First Nation exists in the collective memory of elders and knowledge keepers. These are Raven Plante’s people. She lives on her Ojibwe traditional homeland—a home that was denied to her people for decades after the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. Her mother’s family were some of the first people to live there and it was her mother’s activism that led to a boundary claim agreement. A return to homeland. This story is not told. It is now held by Raven.
The lived experience of a silenced history is what motivates Raven’s research with passionate devotion. She is deeply engaged in historic research of not only her Ojibwe Nation, but also individual tribal citizens and their families. Because they were denied their homeland, many became part of the Wikwemikong Indian Reserve where they were residing. Raven’s Greatuncle Norman Recollet maintained his membership and was one of the first to return to their homeland. Indian Affairs allotted him his Certificate of Possession. That was in 1972. Years later, Raven’s mother Caroline returned. Caroline’s research led to a boundary claim agreement. The courage and activism of a single family resulted in profound change for their nation.
Raven is committed to carrying on the traditions and examples of her relatives. Her life has been dedicated to gathering the stories and history of her people. She is not afraid to raise her voice to the numerous historic grievances that persist today. She imagines a library, a historic society, and research center in her own community. In this center she envisions a space for elders and a space for sharing, lectures, and dialogue. Raven’s hope is that traditional governance with families and clans will rise from this work. As she describes her dream, you feel her fire and spirit to see it realized.