Across our northern border there is a clash taking place between the aboriginal communities of Canada and government intent/support of big business to frack for natural gas in their communities. This standoff is just one of many issues that separate the two as government over the years has attempted to assimilate the “First Nation” peoples, but this one has the potential of starting a civil war. This is a very tiny view of what is going on. One sided I’ll admit, no apologies there.
The quote below is from a person with whom I had a conversation regarding the standoff of the First Nation (FN) people and the governments Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP), which began in Elsipogtog several weeks ago and has spread throughout the country.
Assimilation is what you do with inferior cultures. The rational goes back to British colonial expansion. The “empty-continent” concept that there was nothing here of value until whites showed up. No non-European Christian culture is worthy. Assimilation means they have become good tax paying Christians.If you accept that there were cultures here before Europeans showed up, their claims to resources have virtue. If they are unworthy of anything but assimilation, taking all the resources is “justified.”Elsipogtog: “Clashes” 400 Years in the Making
Under the Peace and Friendship Treaties of 1760 and 1761 in the Maritimes, the Mi’kmaq and the Maliseet signatories did not surrender rights to lands or resources.Oops, that wasn’t the warrior society. It’s actually what the Canadian government said about the treaty. It’s what they have to say, because a long string of court decisions has upheld that the Mi’kmaq nation holds collective rights to the land they share with European settlers.
Let’s put this another way. If the British hadn’t signed a treaty that acknowledged the rights of the Mi’kmaq to the land, British, Scottish and Irish settlement (as well as subsequent waves of migration) might have either not happened at all, or happened in a totally different way.
All those who live on the land governed by the treaty are bound by that relationship, by law and by history. That, at any rate, is how many Mi’kmaq people see it. Non-Native Canadians are more likely to know nothing about the relationship that allows them to live in parts of New Brunswick or Nova Scotia. If they do know, they probably see it as a social studies curiosity rather than the basis of their legal rights in this country.
And that’s where the media comes in. People who have been reading newspapers and listening to CBC News on the radio for years still have no idea about what should be the most basic self-awareness.
It’s hard to say why any given reporter or editor chooses to continue not providing this essential information. But we can identify the effects of this ongoing neglect.Continue reading here.
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