Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Native Inuit Eskimo Muslim From Canada


As a young Inuit woman, Maatalii Okalik-Syed is exceptional in many ways.

From a very early age, the 21-year-old native of Pangnirtung, Nunavut committed herself to helping others. She’s worked with several grassroots Aboriginal and Inuit organizations, all the way up to the Government of Nunavut. And now she’s set to graduate from Carleton University with a Human Rights and Political Science degree, minoring in Aboriginal Studies.

But an impressive resume is not the only thing that sets Maatalii apart. Maatalii is a Muslim, one of a small but growing number of Indigenous women in Canada converting to a religion most associate with the Middle East.

It’s not known exactly how many have converted, but some Indigenous Muslims report seeing more and more people like them praying at Ottawa-Gatineau mosques. People like Linda Soliman. A Cree woman originally from Fort Albany in northern Ontario, she credits Islam with strengthening her parenting skills and improving the relationship with her parents.

Note: May Allah bless her with stronger iman and islam in her life journey !

2 comments:

  1. Another Red Indian Muslim:

    My name is Mahir Abdal-Razzaaq El and I am a Cherokee Blackfoot American Indian who is Muslim. I am known as Eagle Sun Walker. I serve as a Pipe Carrier Warrior for the Northeastern Band of Cherokee Indians in New York City.

    There are other Muslims in our group. For the most part, not many people are aware of the Native American contact with Islam that began over one thousand years ago by some of the early Muslim travelers who visited us. Some of these Muslim travelers ended up living among our people.

    For most Muslims and non-Muslims of today, this type of information is unknown and has never been mentioned in any of the history books. There are many documents, treaties, legislation and resolutions that were passed between 1600s and 1800s that show that Muslims were in fact here and were very active in the comunities in which they lived. Treaties such as Peace and Friendship that was signed on the Delaware River in the year 1787 bear the signatures of Abdel-Khak and Muhammad Ibn Abdullah. This treaty detailes our continued right to exist as a community in the areas of commerce, maritime shipping, current form of government at that time which was in accordance with Islam. According to a federal court case from the Continental Congress, we help put the breath of life in to the newly framed constitution. All of the documents are presently in the National Archives as well as the Library of Congress.

    If you have access to records in the state of South Carolina, read the Moors Sundry Act of 1790. In a future article, Inshallah, I will go in to more details about the various tribes, their languages; in which some are influenced by Arabic, Persian, Hebrew words. Almost all of the tribes vocabulary include the word Allah. The traditional dress code for Indian women includes the kimah and long dresses. For men, standard fare is turbans and long tops that come down to the knees. If you were to look at any of the old books on Cherokee clothing up until the time of 1832, you will see the men wearing turbans and the women wearing long head coverings. The last Cherokee chief who had a Muslim name was Ramadhan Ibn Wati of the Cherokees in 1866.

    Cities across the United States and Canada bear names that are of Indian and Islamic derivation. Have you ever wondered what the name Tallahassee means? It means that He Allah will deliver you sometime in the future.
    Article from The Message, July 1996

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  2. @zhou that's an amazing information I did hear about the existence of Muslims or their arrival to the region(the americas)

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