Understading Innu Normativity in Matters of Customary ''Adoption'' and Custody

Understading Innu Normativity in Matters of Customary ''Adoption'' and Custody

Understading Innu Normativity in Matters of Customary ''Adoption'' and Custody

Understading Innu Normativity in Matters of Customary ''Adoption'' and Custodys

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Référence bibliographique [19849]

Grammond, Sébastien et Guay, Christiane. 2017. «Understading Innu Normativity in Matters of Customary ''Adoption'' and Custody ». First Peoples Child & Family Review, vol. 12, no 1, p. 12-23.

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Fiche synthèse

1. Objectifs


Intentions :
«This article presents the preliminary results of a research project seeking to identify alternative means of ensuring the security and development of Indigenous children. More specifically, this project deals with the recognition of Innu law in matters which Western legal scholars refer to as custody and the customary adoption of children.» (p. 13)

2. Méthode


Échantillon/Matériau :
«To pursue this project, we adopted the biographical approach, based on the telling of each participant’s life story in connection with the theme under study. […] We therefore recorded life stories with a dozen participants from Uashat mak Mani-Utenam […].» (p. 14) Authors also use some articles from the Civil Code of Québec.

Instruments :
Guide d’entretien semi-directif

Type de traitement des données :
Analyse de contenu

3. Résumé


«The preliminary results of our research already allow us to take note of the originality of the Innu legal institution of ne kupaniem/ne kupanishkuem, that non-Innu persons call customary adoption, and of its irreducibility to an adoption under Québec law. Indeed, at the risk of grossly oversimplifying, one could assert that Innu customary adoption is a gradual process, based on a tacit or explicit agreement between the original and adoptive parents, that may or may not lead to the creation of additional bonds of filiation, but never to a severance of the original bonds of filiation. The enactment of legislation recognizing customary adoption is a welcome development. However, the tendency to seek an equivalent of an adoption under Québec law and to set conditions in order to guarantee compliance with the best interests of the child leads to a system that risks rendering such recognition illusory or forcing Indigenous peoples to change their laws with respect to family relations so as to make them consistent with the interface that Québec law will provide. […] Other solutions can, however, be contemplated. […] One could, in this respect, follow the model of Aboriginal rights to land. The latter do not fall within the categories of the Civil Code in matters of property rights. Instead, they are overlaid on the rules of the Code and even take precedence over the latter due to their constitutional protection.» (p. 21-22)