Conference at LEO, March 12, 2015

Speakers: Élise Dubuc and Carole Delamour

Title of the paper: “The Mashteuiatsh teuehikan at the crossroads. The multiple echoes of a drum.”

The event is part of the LEO (Ethnomusicology and organology laboratory) conference cycle and will take place in Room A-873 of the Université de Montréal Music Faculty, next March 12, at noon.

The Ilnu community of Mashteuiatsh, in Lac Saint-Jean, has been asserting its intention to repatriate its cultural heritage since 2005. Since 2011, several community organizations have collaborated with the Community University Research Alliance — Tshiue-Natuapahtetau-Kigibiwewidon Community, directed by Élise Dubuc, that addresses the restitution and reappropriation of Aboriginal cultural objects and knowledge.

As part of the process of regaining control of their heritage, we will focus our reflections on the variety of meanings of the teuehikan, or drum. The teuehikan is more than a musical instrument, as it is traditionally used to communicate with animal spirits and ancestors. In a context where the practice of teuehikan is being lost, it is of major importance for the Ilnuatsh. The process surrounding their request for repatriation raises several issues. We will first discuss the museum and political issues and then we will explore the cultural issues involved in the restitution and reapropriation of the teuehikan and the knowledge connected to it.