Week 2- The Collectivist Logic of Life Among First Nations 17 September, 2012
I. From Katarokwi to Kingston: The Historical Present
-Kingston and Queen‟s sit on the traditional lands of the Anishinaabe and Haudenosaunee (Iroquois)
-Katarokwi-> Cataraqui-> Frontenac-> King‟s Town-> Kingston
-think of First Nation‟s history as a long time ago; that makes us feel better about our stressful present so
we give those names to shiny new commodities.
-Dodge Dakota, Jeep Cherokee, Cataraqui Centre, etc.
II. The New First Nations History
-Historiography: trying to figure out why historians study what they study
A. Demolishing Some Myths
-17 century constitute the majority of population in North America, strong enough to expel the
Europeans if they wanted to.
-After 16 century, First Nations Peoples significantly outnumbered the French, but it was still
called New France
III. Overview of the Major Language/ Cultural Groups
-Spoke 12 major langue groups, many dialects. Many people spoke more than their own language.
-Used the term „Iroquois‟ to classify people who spoke a language group; same with Algonquin
-Prairies, main focus was hunting buffalo for meat, hides. Incl. Blackfoot, Plains Cree
-Ran buffalo off cliffs to kill them… Head-Smashed-In Buffalo Jump in Alberta
-West Coast oriented to salmon fishing “The Salmon People” rich, secure life due to the bounty of the sea
-North, Inuit. Chase caribou, created kayaks and sophisticated tackle to hunt whales and seals.
IV. A Kin-Ordered Social Formation
-Social formation was dramatically different from our own
A. What is a Social Formation?
-Social Formation: tool to compare the economic, political and social characteristics of different
-How, when, why different social formations came into contact and replaced each other to find
out how we became a liberal capitalist society.
B. What is a Kin-Ordered Social Formation?
Social Formation #1: longest running; associated with First Nations.. Kin Ordered Social
Formation. (Society organized by kinship and family/clan, related by culture and heritage)
Social Formation: Kin-Ordered
Economic System: Political Organization:
•Production for use, not private gain •non-state, non-nation
•No private property •Non-hierarchal; leaders with strictly
limited authority •consensus decision-making
•Needs determined on collective, not individual basis
•no class division between producers and non-producers Social Relations:
•Based on kinship
•Beyond binary gender; included 3rd /4th
•Generally more equal status a