'Nation to Nation'? Indigenous people and the Trudeau government

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swallow
'Nation to Nation'? Indigenous people and the Trudeau government

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swallow

Quote:

If Prime Minister-elect Justin Trudeau wonders how to honour his historic promise of building “nation to nation” relationships with Canada’s indigenous peoples, a growing contingent of First Nations academics, legal minds and leadership is eager to help.

“I think it was a really strong statement, but it’s critical that (the promise) is more than symbolic. We need to start defining it ourselves,” Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chief Perry Bellegarde said.

[url=http://www.thestarphoenix.com/life/First+Nations+hold+Trudeau+nation+nat... Nations hold Trudeau to ‘nation to nation’ promise[/url]

Quote:

There has been a seismic shift in the land. The old colonial minded Conservative government has been defeated and a breath of fresh air is sweeping across Indian country.

Ten Aboriginal members of Parliament, eight of them Liberals, will go to Ottawa with the hopes and dreams of their constituents that meaningful change will now take place. This new crop of young, well educated leaders represent generational change in Indigenous politics.

They are the most members of Parliament elected in our history and the pressure is mounting on Prime Minister designate Justin Trudeau to deliver on the Aboriginal file.

With all the talk of the new educated Aboriginal MPs comes talk of cabinet posts and what role the Aboriginal caucus can play. There has even been some speculation that the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development could be an Aboriginal MP.

I have no doubt that this would be a big mistake. The Department of Aboriginal affairs, formerly the Department of Indian Affairs should more honestly be called the Colonial Office. This moribund department is charged with administering the Indian Act.

[url=http://aptn.ca/news/2015/11/02/what-roles-could-aboriginal-mps-play-as-t... roles could Aboriginal MPs play as they head to Ottawa[/url]

quizzical

well i'm not going to hold my breath in expectation.

pondering's rants in another thread about FN's comprising less than 5% of the "Canadian" population and basically why should the focus be on such a small % indicates to me maybe the Liberals are going no where on nation to nation discussions. it was in the Leap manifesto thread.

swallow

Cabinet is promising. 

Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former BC chief, takes on a top office. Among other things, she can start the proces s of a nation-to-nation relationship, if allowed to do so. 

And there's another indigenous minister, Hunter Tootoo, meaning that Wilson-Raybould will not be a token indigenous person, but will have back-up. 

The temptation to name an indigenous person top head the Colonial Office (aka Indian Affairs & Northern Development) was resisted. Good. But Carolyn Bennett is someone who aspires to be an ally. So that is promising. The Colonial Office can't be abolished overnight, but the demolition and replacement by something designed to serve its constituents rather than colonize them can begin.

Lots of work to do, but this is at least promising. Now, the govenrment needs to be held to account for its promises ot implement all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconcilation Commission, and to actually behave on a nation-to-nation basis with regards to the indigenous peoples who have always been treated as colonial subjects by all past Canadian governments. I don't have high hopes htat this govnerment will end the colonial relationship, but it seems at least possible that change can start. 

Pondering

quizzical wrote:

well i'm not going to hold my breath in expectation.

pondering's rants in another thread about FN's comprising less than 5% of the "Canadian" population and basically why should the focus be on such a small % indicates to me maybe the Liberals are going no where on nation to nation discussions. it was in the Leap manifesto thread.

You are completely mischaracterizing my argument. Generally speaking the relationship between indigenous peoples and the Canadian government has been one of abuse. It is very important that we honour the findings of the Truth and Reconcilliation and take immediate steps to reset our relationship.

If that was what the Leap is supposed to be about, then fine, it's a great opening.

If the intent is to gain mainstream support for a dramatic shift to a green economy which seemed to be the ultimate goal of "The Leap Manifesto", then it's not a good opening from a marketing perspective.

It makes it appear as though it is about indigenous people, not the environment. Trudeau has committed to follow the recommendations of the Truth and Reconcilliation Committee. It's expected that the inquiry into missing and murdered indigeneous women will be among his first orders. Other issues, including national and international treaties will take longer to address.

The Leap also addressed a coalition government. The Leap is already outdated.

I don't label you a feminist because you reject that label. I am not a Liberal and I object to your labeling me and using me as though I am a representative of the party therefore a predictor of what the party will do, not to mention your mischaracterization of a conversation that took place in a different thread.

 

 

Pondering

swallow wrote:

Cabinet is promising. 

Jody Wilson-Raybould, a former BC chief, takes on a top office. Among other things, she can start the proces s of a nation-to-nation relationship, if allowed to do so. 

And there's another indigenous minister, Hunter Tootoo, meaning that Wilson-Raybould will not be a token indigenous person, but will have back-up. 

The temptation to name an indigenous person top head the Colonial Office (aka Indian Affairs & Northern Development) was resisted. Good. But Carolyn Bennett is someone who aspires to be an ally. So that is promising. The Colonial Office can't be abolished overnight, but the demolition and replacement by something designed to serve its constituents rather than colonize them can begin.

Lots of work to do, but this is at least promising. Now, the govenrment needs to be held to account for its promises ot implement all 94 calls to action from the Truth and Reconcilation Commission, and to actually behave on a nation-to-nation basis with regards to the indigenous peoples who have always been treated as colonial subjects by all past Canadian governments. I don't have high hopes htat this govnerment will end the colonial relationship, but it seems at least possible that change can start. 

I am also pleased with the appointments. I agree that it would be naive to think that the relationship will be instantly transformed. There is a lot of work to do. The inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women will be a welcome first step but it is a very tiny step in the grand scheme of things.

quizzical

pondering this is the conversation and stop trying to white wash it:

Quote:
quizzical wrote:
Pondering wrote:
It's a real shame the Leap manifesto isn't presented in a manner that would appeal to the 99%.

Opening with a focus on indigenous people immediately sets it up as something that is for them, less than 5% of the population, rather than for all Canadians.

uh the less than 5% of Canadian population you refer to so distainfully actually owns this country. all of it.

this i your absolute worst post ever. it's racist classist and condescending. i have some choice names for you. but i'll refrain and just call you  a piece of work.

followed by this:

Quote:
Pondering wrote:
quizzical wrote:
Pondering wrote:
It's a real shame the Leap manifesto isn't presented in a manner that would appeal to the 99%.

Opening with a focus on indigenous people immediately sets it up as something that is for them, less than 5% of the population, rather than for all Canadians.

uh the less than 5% of Canadian population you refer to so distainfully actually owns this country. all of it.

this i your absolute worst post ever. it's racist classist and condescending. i have some choice names for you. but i'll refrain and just call you  a piece of work.

Do you want to win or just be right? I think winning is better.

imv it went down exactly how i paraphrased it here!!!

 

Pondering

quizzical wrote:

pondering this is the conversation and stop trying to white wash it:

Quote:
quizzical wrote:
Pondering wrote:
It's a real shame the Leap manifesto isn't presented in a manner that would appeal to the 99%.

Opening with a focus on indigenous people immediately sets it up as something that is for them, less than 5% of the population, rather than for all Canadians.

uh the less than 5% of Canadian population you refer to so distainfully actually owns this country. all of it.

this i your absolute worst post ever. it's racist classist and condescending. i have some choice names for you. but i'll refrain and just call you  a piece of work.

followed by this:

Quote:
Pondering wrote:
quizzical wrote:
Pondering wrote:
It's a real shame the Leap manifesto isn't presented in a manner that would appeal to the 99%.

Opening with a focus on indigenous people immediately sets it up as something that is for them, less than 5% of the population, rather than for all Canadians.

uh the less than 5% of Canadian population you refer to so distainfully actually owns this country. all of it.

this i your absolute worst post ever. it's racist classist and condescending. i have some choice names for you. but i'll refrain and just call you  a piece of work.

Do you want to win or just be right? I think winning is better.

imv it went down exactly how i paraphrased it here!!!

You are still wrong. You still missed the point. You still took a conversation from a different thread into this one to pick a fight.

I'm willing to hear your argument that indigenous rights are the top priority for a majority of Canadians. I would be very happy to be proven wrong. So let's have it. The floor is yours.

swallow

If it's from that thread, maybe you could both take the argument back to that thread? 

quizzical

.

quizzical

.

Pondering

quizzical wrote:

no i wasn't picking a fight. i was indicating why i didn't believe there would be true nation to nation talks. your voice presented here is pretty much the Liberal talking points we hear in the msm. seeing as they are almost identical why should i think the Liberals now in office would perceive any different than what you're sayin.

just because indigenous rights are not the top priority where you come from doesn't mean they aren't elsewhere. i'm still concerned about your underlaying racism. which you call  'telling marketing truths'.

I"m going to take Swallow's advise and take this conversation back to the appropriate thread with one exception.

The accusation of racism was made here in this thread. So I ask again. Present your argument that indigenous rights are a top priority for the majority of Canadians. Not just your friends or your community, for the majority of Canadians.

I have an opinion on how you present your voice here too but unlike you I don't want to pick a fight so I will keep it to myself. It was your intention to insult me and you did. That's picking a fight. Own it.

Unionist

swallow wrote:

If it's from that thread, maybe you could both take the argument back to that thread? 

And yes, I'm pleasantly shocked by the look of this cabinet. Aglukkaq was an unfortunate exception. We can wait and see (as quizzical says) whether this group is better when it comes to substance. Trudeau's action on the 94 recommendations, and concretizing "nation to nation" relations, will be the appropriate barometer.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

quizzical wrote:

no i wasn't picking a fight. i was indicating why i didn't believe there would be true nation to nation talks. your voice presented here is pretty much the Liberal talking points we hear in the msm. seeing as they are almost identical why should i think the Liberals now in office would perceive any different than what you're sayin.

just because indigenous rights are not the top priority where you come from doesn't mean they aren't elsewhere. i'm still concerned about your underlaying racism. which you call  'telling marketing truths'.

I"m going to take Swallow's advise and take this conversation back to the appropriate thread with one exception.

The accusation of racism was made here in this thread. So I ask again. Present your argument that indigenous rights are a top priority for the majority of Canadians. Not just your friends or your community, for the majority of Canadians.

Talk past each other much.

Quizzical thought your post had racist undertones and you challenge her to prove the majority of Canadians have indigenous rights as a top priority.

WTF

Pondering

Unionist wrote:

And yes, I'm pleasantly shocked by the look of this cabinet. Aglukkaq was an unfortunate exception. We can wait and see (as quizzical says) whether this group is better when it comes to substance. Trudeau's action on the 94 recommendations, and concretizing "nation to nation" relations, will be the appropriate barometer.

Why shocked? It seems like the economic players are relatively conservative.

I am surprised Andrew Leslie didn't get a spot. Not surprised Blair didn't.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

The First Nations leadership is offering a hand of friendship to move forward. Puglaas is the name given to Jody Wilson-Raybould by her Grandmother and means a "woman born to noble people."

The real question for a nation to nation relationship is what will Goodale be like as Tzar of the RCMP. Will we see repeats of Elsipogtog in the interior of BC or will he respect the FN's who have vowed to block oil and gas pipelines from entering their teritories?

Quote:

Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – BC First Nations Leaders are optimistic following today’s appointment of the new federal Liberal Cabinet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) are particularly pleased that for the first time there will be two indigenous members of Cabinet, including former BCAFN Regional Chief and FNLC member Jody Wilson-Raybould (Vancouver-Granville), who was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

“I would like to congratulate all newly appointed Cabinet Ministers to the Federal Government, and in particular, former BC Regional Chief Puglaas, Jody Wilson-Raybould. Puglaas has been and continues to be one of our great leaders from BC and she will meet and exceed any challenges that face her in her new role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,” stated Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson.

http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/fnlccabinetappt?recruiter_id=37407

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:

The First Nations leadership is offering a hand of friendship to move forward. Puglaas is the name given to Jody Wilson-Raybould by her Grandmother and means a "woman born to noble people."

The real question for a nation to nation relationship is what will Goodale be like as Tzar of the RCMP. Will we see repeats of Elsipogtog in the interior of BC or will he respect the FN's who have vowed to block oil and gas pipelines from entering their teritories?

Quote:

Coast Salish Territory (Vancouver, BC) – BC First Nations Leaders are optimistic following today’s appointment of the new federal Liberal Cabinet by Prime Minister Justin Trudeau. The First Nations Leadership Council (FNLC) are particularly pleased that for the first time there will be two indigenous members of Cabinet, including former BCAFN Regional Chief and FNLC member Jody Wilson-Raybould (Vancouver-Granville), who was appointed Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada.

“I would like to congratulate all newly appointed Cabinet Ministers to the Federal Government, and in particular, former BC Regional Chief Puglaas, Jody Wilson-Raybould. Puglaas has been and continues to be one of our great leaders from BC and she will meet and exceed any challenges that face her in her new role as Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada,” stated Regional Chief Shane Gottfriedson.

http://www.ubcic.bc.ca/fnlccabinetappt?recruiter_id=37407

I think that would be Trudeau's call not Goodale's. Trudeau has stated that social licence is required and it is up to the oil companies to get it.

swallow

Thanks for taking the arument back to othter thread, much appreciated.

Aglukak and her colleague Peter Penashue were, I think, both unfortunate exceptions. (Surprising for me, since I recall Penashue's day as an anti-NATO protester. Perhaps that was just his mother's influence.) The door seems open a crack for some sort of reconciliation between settler and indigenous societies. It will be very interesting to see how Wilson-Raybould and Tootoo handle this, being members of the Canadian government now, rather than spokespeople for their people. Not that this means they stop being who they are, of course, jsut that their job description makes them employees of Ottawa. Watching with huge interest! 

quizzical

seems i can't tell the difference between edit and quote.

while i'm here i'm going to say i still have little hope. i've been reading and i feel unsettled.

Pondering

swallow wrote:

Thanks for taking the arument back to othter thread, much appreciated.

Aglukak and her colleague Peter Penashue were, I think, both unfortunate exceptions. (Surprising for me, since I recall Penashue's day as an anti-NATO protester. Perhaps that was just his mother's influence.) The door seems open a crack for some sort of reconciliation between settler and indigenous societies. It will be very interesting to see how Wilson-Raybould and Tootoo handle this, being members of the Canadian government now, rather than spokespeople for their people. Not that this means they stop being who they are, of course, jsut that their job description makes them employees of Ottawa. Watching with huge interest! 

The way I see it the reason we strive for diversity in cabinet is to provide views from the perspectives of a wide range of Canadians. Cabinet ministers have specific posts, but they also represent the interests of their communities geographic or otherwise.

I hope to see a dramatic reduction of incarceration rates for indigenous peoples. I know it can't happen overnight but Trudeau has a 4 year mandate and that is long enough to see a statistical difference.

swallow

Sure, absolutely. 

But nation-to-nation implies that indigenous peoples are not Canadians unless they choose to be - and many don't. (Just cross the Mercier Bridge and you'll get an earful on this from the Kahnawake Mohawk community.) The current relation is inherently colonial, forcing people to be citizens of a state that has colonized them, whether they like it or not. 

This is one of the key differences between First Nations and Inuit, on the one hand, and newcomers from diverse backgrounds, on the other. 

Or to put it another way: indigenous rights is not just another matter of "diversity." If the Trudeau government is simply including indigenous ministers in order to show "the perspectives of a wide range of Canadians," then that's fine and in many ways praiseworthy, but it's not nation-to-nation. 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

swallow wrote:

Or to put it another way: indigenous rights is not just another matter of "diversity." If the Trudeau government is simply including indigenous ministers in order to show "the perspectives of a wide range of Canadians," then that's fine and in many ways praiseworthy, but it's not nation-to-nation. 

Very well said.

Unionist

swallow wrote:

But nation-to-nation implies that indigenous peoples are not Canadians unless they choose to be - and many don't. (Just cross the Mercier Bridge and you'll get an earful on this from the Kahnawake Mohawk community.) The current relation is inherently colonial, forcing people to be citizens of a state that has colonized them, whether they like it or not. 

This is one of the key differences between First Nations and Inuit, on the one hand, and newcomers from diverse backgrounds, on the other. 

Or to put it another way: indigenous rights is not just another matter of "diversity." If the Trudeau government is simply including indigenous ministers in order to show "the perspectives of a wide range of Canadians," then that's fine and in many ways praiseworthy, but it's not nation-to-nation. 

Exactly. Yes.

quizzical

yup. good words swallow.

swallow

Quote:

Bennett said she was told to, “Consider yourself the minister of reconciliation.”

And that is what she said she plans to do.

[url=http://aptn.ca/news/2015/11/05/new-indigenous-affairs-minister-speaks-re... Indigenous Affairs Minister speaks reconciliation with sage in her boots, loaned eagle feather in hand[/url]

Pondering

swallow wrote:

Sure, absolutely. 

But nation-to-nation implies that indigenous peoples are not Canadians unless they choose to be - and many don't. (Just cross the Mercier Bridge and you'll get an earful on this from the Kahnawake Mohawk community.) The current relation is inherently colonial, forcing people to be citizens of a state that has colonized them, whether they like it or not. 

This is one of the key differences between First Nations and Inuit, on the one hand, and newcomers from diverse backgrounds, on the other. 

Or to put it another way: indigenous rights is not just another matter of "diversity." If the Trudeau government is simply including indigenous ministers in order to show "the perspectives of a wide range of Canadians," then that's fine and in many ways praiseworthy, but it's not nation-to-nation. 

Well said. Of course I recognize that indigeneous people have rights that must be respected. It's difficult to name a specific top priority in repairing our relationship with indigeneous peoples assuming it can be repaired but if I had to name one it is honoring the treaties. I say, assuming it can be repaired, because the mistreatment is so severe and ongoing. I believe among the list of items to address is teaching the truth about Canadian history but I don't see how reconcilliation can come about until the appalling conditions on some reserves are addressed.

Pondering

I just found this!

http://aptn.ca/news/2015/11/05/new-indigenous-affairs-minister-speaks-re...

Bennett said the new Trudeau government wanted to get their promise right by first focusing on speaking with the families of the missing and murdered about their hopes for the inquiry. She said the Trudeau government plans to launch a pre-consultation process similar to what was conducted by the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples which was triggered by the 1990 Oka Crisis.

“We have heard from many places that is the reason why the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples was successful, because the pre-consultation was very effective,” said Bennett. “It means we can’t just step out and announce an inquiry. It has to actually do the things that the families need. They want not only justice, they want support, but they also want to make sure this doesn’t happen to any other families after this. We have to end this tragedy, this epidemic.”

Bennett also repeated a promise Trudeau made during a town hall interview with APTN that a Liberal government would review all legislation to ensure it respected Aboriginal and treaty rights and reflected the principles of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.

She also said First Nation, Inuit and Metis leaders would be included in the development of new legislation affecting their rights and peoples.

“That is what we will do. As you know, ‘It is nothing about us without us.’ This means a partnership…First Nation, Inuit and Metis will be looking at legislation with us,” said Bennett.

Bennett will also be leading a renamed department. Aboriginal Affairs, known as Indian Affairs until 2011, will now be called Indigenous and Northern Affairs.

The minister said the name change came at the suggestion of Indigenous people she met across the country.

NDPP

 Truth=>>

https://twitter.com/char_lawyer/status/662088435398795264

https://twitter.com/char_lawyer/status/661971001811582980

https://twitter.com/char_lawyer/status/661939586277339136

https://twitter.com/1mohawklawyer/status/662004521720274944

"It's not about Nation to Nation It's about TermiNation This is still about Indigenous interests adverse to the State. How does a nation-to-nation relationship function when you absorb us into your own government? This is not some lofty philosophical concept."

 

Pondering

NDPP wrote:

 Truth=>>

https://twitter.com/char_lawyer/status/662088435398795264

https://twitter.com/char_lawyer/status/661971001811582980

https://twitter.com/char_lawyer/status/661939586277339136

https://twitter.com/1mohawklawyer/status/662004521720274944

"It's not about Nation to Nation It's about TermiNation This is still about Indigenous interests adverse to the State. How does a nation-to-nation relationship function when you absorb us into your own government? This is not some lofty philosophical concept."

That is simplistic. Indigenous peoples are not a monolith with all the same opinions on how to move forward. The best solutions vary by community and even individuals. Wild guess, but in my opinion the indigenous peoples living in the worst circumstances just want help and do consider the above a lofty philosophical concept that has no bearing on their lives.

To many indigenous people getting government services such as educational funding, health care, a place to live and clean water to drink are their top priorities. I have no idea how many people that represents as a percentage but they most certainly exist. There are human experiences that transcend culture.

Indigenous people who have chosen to serve in cabinet and in parliament are not being absorbed. They are individuals choosing to work in government. Just as indigeneous peoples have the right to reject the label "Canadian" they certainly also have the right to choose it.

swallow

Those tweets are important, and should not be dismissed. It's important to acknowledge that Wilson-Raybould and others are choosing to join a colonialist regime - their choice, an honourable one intended to transform and start to decolonize perhaps, but still a colonial regime. There's every possibility that "nation-to-nation" is going in pracetice to continue to mean "termiNation." It always has before, after all. Far from simplsitic to point this out - it's a basic truth, for sure. 

Pondering, not to pick on you, that's not my intent, but since we're discussing here.... You write "the indigenous peoples living in the worst circumstances just want help and do consider the above a lofty philosophical concept that has no bearing on their lives." I'd suggest that colonialism carried out by the Canadian state is the fundamental reality that creates the poverty and poor conditions. In that light, is the colonizing government really the best placed to deliver "help"? It may be able to become part of starting a solution, but it should act with an awareness of its own past and of unequal power dynamics. 

I've heard "they jsut need help" a lot from people working on international development aid. When global trade is skewed to suck wealth from poorer countries into powerful and wealthy Western states, can aid really be considered value-neutral? Can a few development projects really be considered "help" in the face of a global system that harms the poorest people every day? Is it simple and value-neutral to speak of help, or do we need to think more deeply about systems of pwoer and oppression, then seek to change those? 

Also, as NDPP points out, important to recognize that band councils are creatures of the Indian Affairs department, even under its new name. They were imposed at gunpoint by the Canadian state, not created by the people they govern. Mohawks know this better than anyone. Other forms of traditional authority persist. (Bill Wilson for instance is someone who comes very much from the more traditional governance systems of his people.) I think councils have often done amazing thing despite their lack of power, and they at times can be instruments of change and even liberation, but I agree we shouldn't romanticize. 

As to the BC treaty commission process - kropotkin is from BC and can speak about this with more knowledge than me, but I understand the problem to be that BC First Nations were never permitted a treaty process outside Vancouver Island. So when people (including me) use the expression "we are all treaty people," derived from a Saskatchewan/prairie context, we're overlooking the theft without treaties that took palce in BC. The treaty commission process, it seems to me, is an effort by people (like Bill Wilson?) to do the best they can for their people in a tough situation. it's flawed and imperfect and constrtained, but it can also deliver improvements for First Nations people and educate the wider public on just whose land they are on. 

A long time ago, I lived in rural BC for a while. People used to take their trash and dump it on "uninhabited" forest reserve lands. The owners of that land would gather it, bring it back, and return it to the person whose garbage it was. 

Pondering

NDPP wrote:

"When Indigenous peoples decide to vote or indeed run for political office under the federal electoral system, we are accepting that Parliament is the expression of our 'political status' as Indigenous Peoples.

Collectively, Indigenous Peoples never decided to participate in the federal electoral system. So Indigenous individuals who have affiliated themselves with Canadian political parties like the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP are deciding individually to act this way.

Collectively it is extremely important to understand how participating in the federal election will undermine our right to self-determination and we should not overlook this fact when making decisions about participating and running in Candian federal or provincial elections."  - Arthur Manuel

http://rabble.ca/comment/1520780#comment-1520789

 It is also dodgy to speak of 'nation to nation' when one of the parties is in reality an Indian Act Band Council acting as an administrative unit of the Canadian government that has usurped the authority of the 'nation' on Canada's behalf constituting in its place a 'First Nation' which has a specific legal meaning that is not the same as a 'nation' in international law. These are some of the tricky aspects of this very important matter. Termination and extinguishment remains the modus operandi of Canada. The BC Treaty Commission, from whence came the Minister of Justice, is only one, albeit a particularly pernicious example of a Canadian 'extinguisher'.

The lawyer's tweets posted reflect a very real aspect of what occurred in Rideau Hall's feel-good festivities, whether people wish to recognize that or drift away on pleasant dreams of Trudeaumania 2.0 and a nice new 'Indian Agent' minister with an eagle feather.

You write as if there is only one valid choice. I have no idea what percentage of indigeneous peoples want to separate from Canada. If that is what they want collectively then it is their right to strive for it.

It is also the right of those who do wish to remain Canadian to work within the system to better their conditions.

NDPP

Yes indeed. But in doing so and solemnly swearing to be loyal servants of her Majesty, and become Canadian politicians - they work for Canada and Canada's interests. Not indigenous sovereignties. One is the colonizer of the other.

"I do solemnly and sincerely swear that I shall be a true and faithful servant to Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth the Second...Generally, in all things I shall do as a faithful and true servant ought to do for her Majesty." This is the oath taken. A sovereign Indigenous national, an ally of the Crown,  becomes instead its servant. There's no shilly-shallying around that fact. Art Manuel a sovereign Secwepemc national and an authority on such things explains it as follows:

"When Indigenous peoples decide to vote or indeed run for political office under the federal electoral system, we are accepting that Parliament is the expression of our 'political status' as Indigenous Peoples.

Collectively, Indigenous Peoples never decided to participate in the federal electoral system. So Indigenous individuals who have affiliated themselves with Canadian political parties like the Liberals, Conservatives and NDP are deciding individually to act this way.

Collectively it is extremely important to understand how participating in the federal election will undermine our right to self-determination and we should not overlook this fact when making decisions about participating and running in Candian federal or provincial elections."  - Arthur Manuel

http://rabble.ca/comment/1520789#comment-1520789

 It is also dodgy to speak of 'nation to nation' when one of the parties is in reality an Indian Act Band Council acting as an administrative unit of the Canadian government that has usurped the authority of the 'nation' on Canada's behalf constituting in its place a 'First Nation' which has a specific legal meaning that is not the same as a 'nation' in international law. These are some of the tricky aspects of this very important matter. Termination and extinguishment remains the modus operandi of Canada. The BC Treaty Commission, from whence came the Minister of Justice, is only one, albeit a particularly pernicious example of a Canadian 'extinguisher'.

The lawyer's tweets posted reflect a very real aspect of what occurred in Rideau Hall's feel-good festivities, whether people wish to recognize that or drift away on pleasant dreams of Trudeaumania 2.0 and a nice new 'Indian Agent' minister with an eagle feather.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

swallow wrote:

As to the BC treaty commission process - kropotkin is from BC and can speak about this with more knowledge than me, but I understand the problem to be that BC First Nations were never permitted a treaty process outside Vancouver Island. So when people (including me) use the expression "we are all treaty people," derived from a Saskatchewan/prairie context, we're overlooking the theft without treaties that took palce in BC. The treaty commission process, it seems to me, is an effort by people (like Bill Wilson?) to do the best they can for their people in a tough situation. it's flawed and imperfect and constrtained, but it can also deliver improvements for First Nations people and educate the wider public on just whose land they are on. 

The problem with the BC Treaty process is that the provincial government representatives and the business community only ever had extinquishment of the underlying aboriginal title on their minds.  I sat on the Regional Advisory Committee for the Lower Mainland for a number of years as a labour delegate and I only saw pretty words and malicious intent from the business community.

NDPP this is a Cabinet we are talking about. Of course no movement activists were appointed because they would have refused the appointment to preserve their integrity. But I trust Ethel's Wilson's Granddaughter far more than past Ministers when it comes to taking FN's real interests into account.  However you may prove to be correct in your assumption that she is not really a First Nation's leader just a sell out. Only time will tell.

Here are some similar thoughts on Power from my favourite local artist.

Quote:

I belong to the K’ómoks First Nation and we are (light) years deep into the British Columbia treaty process. I truly have mixed feelings about our involvement in this. By choosing to engage in the process, we enter a world of consultants and negotiators and other strange, scary and wonderful creatures. We partake in a world of borrowing and debt; of meetings and fights. We enter without knowing whether we are journeying into the dark side or are on a path towards the light.

What I do know is that under the treaty process, our community has begun to fracture. Our very future as a people is at stake. Will treaty define who we are or will our culture do that? Will treaty lead us to form a “Treaty Empire” or a “Treaty Rebellion”?

Politicians often start out with good intentions. This is true for both natives and non-natives, alike. They get into politics with the idea that they can change the world and make it a better place. The fortunate few succeed in their mission. Many others, however, fail. They become enamored with ego and entranced with power.

They give in to the dark side. They forget about the principles that define us as Aboriginal people. They ignore the wisdom of the elders and instead listen to the counsel of the lawyers. They cater to their family to keep their voter base intact. They ignore the state of our language and instead focus on the state of their bank account. They would rather sing the praises of their accomplishments than sing the songs of their ancestors. They lead us into treaty instead of leading us into unity. We know that this power is simply just a mask; a mask that can be removed to make them one with the people once again.

http://www.andyeverson.com/2012/power.html

NDPP

It's an awful mess and mishmash where money talks and bullshit walks. The grassroots is going to get screwed and all the liberal-lefties will be weeping and cheering on the predatory hustlers. Good mask.

swallow

Should there be a process of treaty making in BC, or only land/aboriginal rights claims in court and public actions? 

Genuinely asking, I'm not up to date on the BC treaty process. 

quizzical

my cousins are part BC Ulkatcho and also Cape Breton Mi'kmaq like me.

my Mi'kmaq family have no treaty. the Ulkatcho do. as Mi'kmaq we weren't able to get recognized officiallly as First Nations or Indigenous until the 2013 court ruling and it's a long process for us individually. the goverenment doesn't seem to recognize if one family member receives status and has proven heritage the other family members would be too (it's matriarchial lineage). but no all the same paper work has to be re-produced each time. maybe it'll be better under the new government. 

looking at family compares at who is better off, with or without treaty, i see no difference other than better teeth.

my family in Cape Breton have what i call a deeded 'reserve' allotment of several thousand acres which can only be handed down through family lines while some of my cousins here live on reserve land and live in housing usually passed down through family lines.

both my reserve dwelling cousins and Cape Breton land allotment ones live in poverty and pretty much dislike white people. the only difference is my Cape Breton family dislike English white people.

i would not want  a Treaty though between the government and the Mi'kmaq. my BC cousins are pretty radical and would like only the courts to uphold their land and everything rights and get rid of colonial constrictures.

Pondering

swallow wrote:
Those tweets are important, and should not be dismissed. It's important to acknowledge that Wilson-Raybould and others are choosing to join a colonialist regime - their choice, an honourable one intended to transform and start to decolonize perhaps, but still a colonial regime. There's every possibility that "nation-to-nation" is going in pracetice to continue to mean "termiNation." It always has before, after all. Far from simplsitic to point this out - it's a basic truth, for sure.

We must find a way to live together in peace. Isn't that what the truth and reconcilliation report is all about?

I don't believe anyone, aboriginal or otherwise, has a moral right to claim ownership of land beyond that which they need to survive on. We rationalize granting ourselves kudos for allowing refugees to land but we have no moral right to stop them just because they happened to be born elsewhere.

swallow wrote:
Pondering, not to pick on you, that's not my intent, but since we're discussing here.... You write "the indigenous peoples living in the worst circumstances just want help and do consider the above a lofty philosophical concept that has no bearing on their lives." I'd suggest that colonialism carried out by the Canadian state is the fundamental reality that creates the poverty and poor conditions.

I agree that it is, but the only way forward is through changing the relationship going forward through following the recommendations in the T&R report.

swallow wrote:
In that light, is the colonizing government really the best placed to deliver "help"? It may be able to become part of starting a solution, but it should act with an awareness of its own past and of unequal power dynamics.

It's the only entity that can deliver help and I am certain they are well aware of the unequal power dynamic.

It is "nation to nation" socially. I was happy to hear the acknowledgement that Rideau Hall sits on Algonquin territory but it won't be given back.

swallow wrote:
I've heard "they jsut need help" a lot from people working on international development aid. When global trade is skewed to suck wealth from poorer countries into powerful and wealthy Western states, can aid really be considered value-neutral? Can a few development projects really be considered "help" in the face of a global system that harms the poorest people every day? Is it simple and value-neutral to speak of help, or do we need to think more deeply about systems of pwoer and oppression, then seek to change those?

Yes, and the separate injustices should be acknowledged, but to those in need it really doesn't matter why they are in need. They don't care if the help comes because they are black, or refugees, or single parents, or living in a depressed area, or handicapped, or mentally ill.

The best way to help everyone is for the 99% to stick together. We can fight each other later.

swallow wrote:
Also, as NDPP points out, important to recognize that band councils are creatures of the Indian Affairs department, even under its new name. They were imposed at gunpoint by the Canadian state, not created by the people they govern. Mohawks know this better than anyone. Other forms of traditional authority persist. (Bill Wilson for instance is someone who comes very much from the more traditional governance systems of his people.) I think councils have often done amazing thing despite their lack of power, and they at times can be instruments of change and even liberation, but I agree we shouldn't romanticize.

I respect whatever self-governance system indigenous people choose for themselves. I think multiple approachs to finding peace and prosperity are valid.

swallow wrote:
As to the BC treaty commission process - kropotkin is from BC and can speak about this with more knowledge than me, but I understand the problem to be that BC First Nations were never permitted a treaty process outside Vancouver Island. So when people (including me) use the expression "we are all treaty people," derived from a Saskatchewan/prairie context, we're overlooking the theft without treaties that took palce in BC. The treaty commission process, it seems to me, is an effort by people (like Bill Wilson?) to do the best they can for their people in a tough situation. it's flawed and imperfect and constrtained, but it can also deliver improvements for First Nations people and educate the wider public on just whose land they are on.

Morally, nobody's land. Claims are based on might makes right and the rules made by the mighty to grand themselves moral justification for laying claim to land and resources.

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Pondering wrote:

swallow wrote:
As to the BC treaty commission process - kropotkin is from BC and can speak about this with more knowledge than me, but I understand the problem to be that BC First Nations were never permitted a treaty process outside Vancouver Island. So when people (including me) use the expression "we are all treaty people," derived from a Saskatchewan/prairie context, we're overlooking the theft without treaties that took palce in BC. The treaty commission process, it seems to me, is an effort by people (like Bill Wilson?) to do the best they can for their people in a tough situation. it's flawed and imperfect and constrtained, but it can also deliver improvements for First Nations people and educate the wider public on just whose land they are on.

Morally, nobody's land. Claims are based on might makes right and the rules made by the mighty to grand themselves moral justification for laying claim to land and resources.

 

Actually the rules we follow in Canada come from British Imperial law.  The SCC has determined that the rights FN's had as citizens of the British Empire included the right to title over the lands they occupied when the British Crown claimed BC.

Swallow the reason why it is so hard to figure out how to go forward is that there is no easy win in the courts and the real possibility of losing and thus losing the miniscule bargaining leverage that FN's bring to the table.

There are two real downfalls with the court route. The first is a FN must prove exclusive use and control over the area they are claiming. FN'S in BC when they filed land claim documents trhrough the treaty process have claimed most of the province but much of the province is subject to disputed claims by more than one FN. The historic win for the Tsilhqot'in Nation was only for a fraction of the lands that they claim are theirs.

Then you have to worry about other British conlonies decisions.  In Australia the courts have ruled that any action by the goverment over a tract of land is enough for the underlying title to have been extinquished. No FN has claimed property title over towns and cities in their territories so the question is what lesser rights will you have at the end of the day. Many FN's chose to negotiate for those kinds of reasons.  Unfortunately the government has never been serious about the process because they insist on extinquishment of aboriginal land rights as a muted but real precondition to reaching a treaty. The second thing is that the cases so far have only given FN's the right to be consulted over devlopment in their territories not the right to decide on the outcome. Again the courts are of limited value and they are very expensive.

The idea that the FN's are now borrowing money to pay for all the lawyers and consultants required to engage in the treaty process is disgusting. I think if Trudeau wants to begin reconciliation then he would immediately pay for all the past costs of the treaty process and not leave the bands facing huge bills for a decade lost talking to people who didn't listen.

 

quizzical

thank you kropotkin

Pondering

kropotkin1951 wrote:
Actually the rules we follow in Canada come from British Imperial law.  The SCC has determined that the rights FN's had as citizens of the British Empire included the right to title over the lands they occupied when the British Crown claimed BC.

That's my point. Legal systems may try to be "fair" they are still a form of "might makes right".  Morally the people living on that island that is going to vanish due to climate change have just as much moral right to live in BC as anyone else.

kropotkin1951 wrote:
The idea that the FN's are now borrowing money to pay for all the lawyers and consultants required to engage in the treaty process is disgusting. I think if Trudeau wants to begin reconciliation then he would immediately pay for all the past costs of the treaty process and not leave the bands facing huge bills for a decade lost talking to people who didn't listen.

That would be a good start. Nothing Trudeau can do will fully satisfy all indigenous people. Conditions are just too terrible for that. Difficult to get to the reconcilliation stage when the harm is still on-going.

Trudeau is going to have to prove that he is in earnest, and even then this is going to be a difficult process.

Even the matter of who has the authority to speak for indigenous peoples is in question.

 

NDPP

An Identification of the Conflicted Relationship Between the Indigenous Nations and the Legal Profession in North America

http://dissidentvoice.org/2009/01/an-identification-of-the-conflicted-re...

"An Indian goes into a law office and says, 'Since my traditional government never agreed by treaty to be governed by your government, why does your legal system apply your government's laws to me on my indigenous nation's unceded national territory?"

Even the most knowledgeable and empathetic lawyer knows from professional experience that the legal system is above the law, in as much as it has the last word on legality.

For some persons of indigenous ancestry the judicial receptivity to the right to be consulted, money damages and practicing the occasional hunting or fishing technique as did their ancestors, is a bird in the hand. For such as these many lawyers exist who are ready, willing and able to get whatever is on offer.

For those Indigenous people who nevertheless still want to pursue the constitutional and international law, I can only suggest they consider...international judicial opinion to persuade the North American judiciary to do its duty: to uphold the truth standard and the principle of constitutional democracy under the rule of law, at home.

There is no legal point to be served in troubling to draft declarations and petitions to the government. The government knows and has heard it all before. Its whole policy as against Indian and foreign nations is to lie and to wear down resistance to the lie by the unconstitutional and mortal use of force.

There is no possibility of negotiations in good faith relative to treaties respecting territory that the government has already invaded, occupied and governed in bath faith. Good faith presumes truth is of determinative relevance to the framework for the negotiations and unless and until the legal profession reforms itself, truth will remain irrelevant..."

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

That is a good article NDPP. However it only somewhat speaks to the BC reality. in 1763 BC was not part of British North America and the language of the Royal Proclamation speaks of the land within the Limits of the Territory granted to the Hudson's Bay Company, as also all the Lands and Territories lying to the Westward of the Sources of the Rivers which fall into the Sea from the West and North West as aforesaid. The BC cases reference the Royal Proclamation but it is not considered determinative instead the main legal cases have been won on the basis of Brtish Imperial law that includes the Royal Proclamation as one expression of the British law. Some cases from Rhodesia in the 19th century have actually been helpful if I remember correctly.  The British unlike the US had rules of cinduct when they invaded your land. In BC at Confederation the BC racists in government successfully convinced the federal government that BC was "uninhabited lands" under British law which meant no one had to be compensated for anything and no treaties were required. When the Indian Act was passed in 1876 BC FN's came under the same jurisdiction as other parts of Canada.

NDPP

The Royal Proclamation was not constitutive of Indigenous rights. It merely confirmed the previously stated imperial law that exists regardless of the proclamation and most certainly applied. Which is why it was quoted by GG Lord Dufferin in a letter to the Min of Justice disallowing BC Crown lands legislation in 1875. After some 'negotiations', it was decided the imperial crown would avert its eyes and let BC continue instead with the fraud, usurpation and genocide. It's grotesque and BC is the filthiest part of this swamp.

Anyway, in a nutshell,  on this issue the Canadian court is a colonialist court. It protects itself and its usurped illegal jurisdiction and further entrenches it with precedents that reduce Indigineous rights to a pale shadow of their actually existing sovereignty and jurisdiction.

It's a fixed game.  It usurped jurisdiction in contravention of its own supposedly binding constitutional law, and has been protecting and defending its criminality ever since.

As one Mohawk nationalist told me - "we had our own jurisdiction as long as we could enforce it. And once we couldn't, we didn't."

The only law in Canada that really matters is might makes right. That's all there is now. The rest is bs and make believe.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

NDPP wrote:

As one Mohawk nationalist told me - "we had our own jurisdiction as long as we could enforce it. And once we couldn't, we didn't."

The only law in Canada that really matters is might makes right. That's all there is now. The rest is bs and make believe.

Which is why many FN's in BC chose the treaty path. It is the only approved way of getting scraps from the table without getting this response from the government. 

 

NDPP

More - a proposal..

Occupier's Justice: Canada's Broken Constitution and Ongoing Genocide

http://dissidentvoice.org/2015/11/occupiers-justice-canadas-broken-const...

"...'In Re Indian Claims' in 1897 is the last case decided by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council when it still was the highest court of appeal, the court of last resort, relative to what is now Canada. It correctly summarized the law as it had stood throughout the 18th and 19th centuries.

In a nutshell it confirmed that - pending the purchase of the land from the Indian tribe claiming it - all land in Canada remains 'subject to' aboriginal indigenous sovereignty, jurisdiction and possession, regardless of a grant of such land by a provincial or federal authority.

In 1949 Canada enacted a Supreme Court Act that made the Canadian Supreme Court  the court of last resort instead of the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council. From 1949 to the present time the Supreme Court of Canada has refused to grant leave to appeal to any case relying upon the constitution as previously settled by the Judicial Committee of the Privy Council.

It is this policy and practice wilfully of ignoring the previously settled constitutional law, in favour of treating provincial land grants under the several Public Lands Acts and the federal counterparts as if those grants were or could possibly be other than 'subject to' indigenous sovereignty, jurisdiction and possession.

It is this policy and practice that broke the Canadian constitution. All the lawyers doing land deals from that time on knew, or certainly in the beginning had to have known, that the whole edifice of land grants, to which the legal profession certified titles as good and marketable in actual possession, was and remains in utter abrogation of the rule of law and Canada's status as a constitutional democracy.

Once the legal establishment - the lawyers and the judges - closed ranks against the constitution, as it was and still is written, the kidnapping of several generations of indigenous children became a necessity. The only solution to the broken constitution was perceived to be to 'take the Indian out of the children,' lest the children grew up to remember and seek to revive the un-repealed previously established constitution.

That is the critical truth that the Truth and Reconciliation Commission overlooked. It is a tribute to the dead hand of the legal profession upon the rule of law and the quintessential doctrine of constitutional supremacy. Since I was the only lawyer in 118 years to have resurrected the case for constitutional supremacy and the consequence of genocide attributable to the wilful ignoring of the rule of law by its guardians, I had to be criminalized and disbarred, or else the law had to be addressed.

The Trudeau government that took office on November 4th, 2015 has no greater task than that of mending the broken constitution, ending the dark era of occupier's justice and establishing Canada as a constitutional democracy under the rule of law.

The genocide must be admitted so that reconciliation based upon the whole truth can occur. It must show that there can be no 'perfect crime' in a constitutional democracy under the rule of law even when - especially when - the legal establishment itself is the criminal.

The burden above all falls upon the Ministers of Justice, Indigenous and Northern Affairs and Foreign Affairs...If Canada does not amend the constitution and apologize for the genocide by the legal establishment, a future generation of Indian children grown to adulthood will, at last, have successfully to prosecute the country's legal profession for its essential role in the ongoing genocide..."

iyraste1313

There is another dimension to the matter of indigenous rights and sovereignty in BC and Canada, which is based on the extensive jurisprudence laid out in case after case of the Human Rights Commission of the OAS, defining rights of indigenous sovereignty, as expressed through the various Conventions on International Indigenous Rights.

Canada is a signatory to the OAS Charter including respect for its HRC´s jurisprudence...

Canada by international law must recognize this jurisprudence within its own Courts of Law,(joke joke!)

This dimension is important because it lays out another strategic avenue for respectors of Indigenous sovereignty within Canada!

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

The pass system: another dark secret in Canadian history

Canadians are becoming increasingly aware of residential schools and their impacts on First Nations people. But many have not yet heard about another system of segregation — one that often kept First Nations confined to their communities.

The pass system was in effect for 60 years on reserves across western Canada. Any First Nations person who wanted to leave their community, for any reason, had to have a pass approved by the reserve's Indian agent that they would carry with them, stipulating the leave's purpose and duration...

(includes the pass system trailer) 

Pass system card 1.png

iyraste1313

The Trudeau government that took office on November 4th, 2015 has no greater task than that of mending the broken constitution, ending the dark era of occupier's justice and establishing Canada as a constitutional democracy under the rule of law........

......thanks for this fascinating discussion...I assume this is Bruce Clark speaking.......lawyer for the Gustafsen Lake defenders.....

But I beg to differ re the way forward......this will come from us as activists and community leaders, to play a greater role, as the credibility of the system continues to erode (and which we must play an important role!)....as we come to undertand the legal nature of the system re ownership and control of the land.....this must become embedded in our vision statements and strategies as we try to engage with the system of hereditary chiefs that have responsibilities for the commons, as we make Agreements, from the ground up!

So we must build from the base and in partnership with the base communities of sovereigntists, where they may exist....and before the State makes it near impossible for us to do so!

iyraste1313

Wampis Nation of Peruvian Amazon Declares Creation of First Autonomous Indigenous Government in Peru By Forest Peoples Programme......

...this is a vitally important precedent, and its stautes must be carefully analysed.......

Pondering

iyraste1313 wrote:

Wampis Nation of Peruvian Amazon Declares Creation of First Autonomous Indigenous Government in Peru By Forest Peoples Programme......

...this is a vitally important precedent, and its stautes must be carefully analysed.......

It is. I hope that due to the ease of worldwide communications that indigenous communities from around the world link up on shared goals. Protecting the environment can be a unifying force.

swallow

[url=http://aptn.ca/news/2015/12/07/liberal-indigenous-mps-propose-forming-cr... Indigenous MPs propose forming cross-party ‘reconciliation caucus’[/url]

This is a counter to the proposal from Romeo Saganash for an indigenous caucus. Interesting idea, in any case.

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