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  • Article

    'Mimkwamlis Potlatch (Memkumlis Raid)

    On 25 December 1921, a Potlatch ceremony was held in the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw village of ‘Mimkwamlis (also spelled Memkumlis, and also known as Village Island). The Potlatch ceremony was illegal at the time. Officers of the federal government’s Department of Indian Affairs (see Federal Departments of Indigenous and Northern Affairs), as well as the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and, according to some sources, the British Columbia provincial police learned of this Potlatch. They arrested 45 people for participating in the Potlatch. Approximately half of the people were sent to prison for periods ranging from two to three months. Hundreds of precious Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw ceremonial objects were confiscated. Some of these items were sold to collectors and wound up in museums without the consent of the Kwakwa̱ka̱’wakw people. The arrests related to the ‘Mimkwamlis Potlatch of 1921 were an example of police and government abuse of Indigenous Peoples. It is a further example of the attempted cultural genocide of Indigenous Peoples in Canada (see Genocide and Indigenous Peoples in Canada).

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  • Article

    Saint Patrick’s Basilica

    Saint Patrick’s Basilica is a minor basilica located in Montreal. It was constructed between 1843–47 as a parish church for Montreal’s growing Irish Catholic population (see Irish Canadians; Catholicism in Canada). The church was elevated to the status of a minor basilica in 1989. In addition to playing a significant religious and cultural role for the city of Montreal’s Irish community, Saint Patrick’s Basilica is recognized as the mother church for English-speaking Catholics in the city (see Canadian English; Languages in use in Canada).

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  • Article

    Turtle Island

    For some Indigenous peoples, Turtle Island refers to the continent of North America. The name comes from various Indigenous oral histories that tell stories of a turtle that holds the world on its back. For some Indigenous peoples, the turtle is therefore considered an icon of life, and the story of Turtle Island consequently speaks to various spiritual and cultural beliefs. This is the full-length entry about Turtle Island. For a plain-language summary, please see Turtle Island (Plain-Language Summary).

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  • Article

    Votive Painting

    Congratulatory ex-votos, offered for a favour received, are the most common.

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