‘Leading Canada Backwards…’

“Who ever thought a federal election would generate a new discussion of ‘What exactly is the Canadian nation?’

ERBLLeadingCanadaBackwards800x800“I had thought that was already settled: the Canadian “nation” being the sum of all its parts … a cohesive society made up of all its citizens … peoples originating from all around the world…

“In the New World … where EVERYBODY’s descendants came from somewhere else … “nations” (Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Australia, etc.) have been regarded in modern times as a compendium of all the people … from everywhere … that is, ANYONE holding citizenship is part of the Canadian ”nation”.

“But apparently, Mulcair and Trudeau do NOT see Canada this way.

“Both of them, during the course of the campaign, have expressed the view that Canada is composed of TWO nations: those of us from all around the world, as outlined above …  and aboriginals.

“Because both have said, if elected, they will establish a new relationship and regard any negotiations between the government and aboriginals as being on the basis of “NATION TO NATION”


“Amazing that NO MEDIA have questioned that, because it raises very serious questions/issues regarding the NDP and Liberals’ view of Canada … and the place our ‘First Nations’ occupy within it.

“I have always seen aboriginal Canadians as a full, equal part of our Canadian “nation” … to be INCLUDED within that great family encompassing ALL of us…. together as the Canadian ”nation”.

“Of course, our founding peoples (aboriginals, the French, the British) enjoy special historical status that should be respected.

“BUT … EVERYONE holding Canadian citizenship is an EQUAL part of the Canadian “nation”, deserving EQUAL rights, EQUAL status and EQUAL respect from our politicians. Including Canada’s natives…

“Negotiate “nation to nation”??? Note the clear SINGULAR reference by Mulcair and Trudeau for each side … trying to win votes by dividing Canadians, instead of uniting us. (And by the way, if Harper has also done that kind of pandering, please let me know where and when, because I’ve tried to find an instance.)

“And how will these “nation to nation” discussions/negotiations actually take place?

“I guess the federal government will represent the “Canadian nation” … you know, all the rest of of us from all over the world … but which “nation” will represent Canada’s aboriginals from coast to coast at the table?

“The Mohawks from Kanhawake, Quebec? Bet the Cree won’t like that! Nor will the Haida, the Tsimshian or the Assiniboine.

“The pledges by Mulcair and Trudeau to view and negotiate with Canada’s hundreds of aboriginal bands, tribes, nations as “nation” to “nation” is either pandering at its worst, or a warning to taxpayers they do intend to literally negotiate everything with each and every aboriginal “nation” separately.

“Well, I guess that’s one way of creating jobs! Think of all the lawyers who will become millionaires if an NDP or Liberal government tried to keep THAT election promise.

“As for me, I will continue to treat Canada’s aboriginal citizens as an integral part of the Canadian nation … yes, with grievances to be dealt with WITHIN our family … but not segregated out and categorized outsiders, to be dealt with separately … as was done under apartheid.”

–‘NDP/Libs’ APARTHEID View of Canadian ‘Nation’,
Harv Oberfeld, August 16th, 2015


By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator
By Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator

“There is a common thread stretching from the ‘Idle No More’ protests, to the Rexton anti-fracking riots, to the Indian occupation of Caledonia, to the blockades faced by resource companies across Canada. And it is the theory that all of Canada is still Indian territory.

“Part of it comes from the politically-engineered phrase “First Nations”, which is the favoured alternative to the term “Indian band”. Calling 600 little towns across Canada —
that’s really what an Indian band is, a race-based municipal government —
“nations”, blurs reality. Under the Indian Act, reserves are racial homelands, not sovereign nation-states.

“But ideas have consequences. You can’t tell someone they live in a “nation” without them one day believing you.
“Rising in parallel is a new ethnic supremacy.

“Again, look to the words: Indian extremists use the phrase “settler” to describe non-aboriginals, as if Canadians who immigrated here are illegitimate. But the term refers even to Canadians whose ancestors immigrated here generations ago.

“Settler isn’t just an insult; it’s designed to undermine the legal status of non-aboriginals…

“This isn’t just the conversation of fringe elements. This is the standard vocabulary of many Indian chiefs, especially the noisiest…

“Radical professor Pam Palmater, whose standard attire is camouflage fatigues; Manitoba’s Grand Chief, Derek Nepinak, who threatened to bring Canada’s economy to a halt; Attawapiskat’s Theresa Spence, whose band regularly blockades the nearby diamond mine.

“All use the language of militancy and a claim to an unextinguished sovereignty.

{Then Canada will have to extinguish it…}

“A typical demand now is to negotiate “nation to nation” with Canada — or even directly with Queen Elizabeth herself. Imagine that — 600 ‘First Nations’, some with as few as 30 band members.

“Even some ‘settler’ politicians are now parroting the ‘nation-to-nation’ framework.

“But it’s false. Here is an excerpt from ‘Treaty No. 7’, typical of Canadian treaties:

“The Blackfeet, Blood, Piegan, Sarcee, Stony and other Indians … do hereby cede, release, surrender, and yield up to the Government of Canada for Her Majesty the Queen and her successors for ever, all their rights, titles, and privileges whatsoever to the lands.”

“That is standard wording.

“Some treaties are even more abject. The 1760 ‘Peace and Friendship Treaties’ {Maritimes & Gaspe} required Indians to send prisoners to “reside as Hostages” with the British, to ensure their submission.
{Actually, it was to ensure that they kept their word. Some tribes had a bad habit of switching sides whenever it proved convenient …}

“It must be difficult for proud young Indians to accept that their ancestors surrendered to Britain.
But they did. Just as French Canada did, too.

“Indian supremacists who prefer to talk about a fantasy future, where all “settlers” are thrown off the land, are just as utopian as Quebec separatists who think they can undo 250 years of history, too.

“Except Quebec separatists know they have to obey the Constitution. ‘Idle No More’ pretends they don’t.

“But daydreaming is easy. Easier to blame “settlers” than, say, to fix the 65% unemployment rate in Treaty No. 7 bands.”

–‘Ideas have consequences: You can’t tell someone they live in a “nation” without them one day believing you’,
Ezra Levant, Toronto Sun, Nov.4, 2013


ERBLTheMythOfNationToNationDealings800x800“Modern Indian leaders propagate the general falsehood that the treaties their forefathers entered into with Canada were the result of “nation to nation” dealings, in the sense of two sovereign, independent nation-states entering into a treaty agreement and then, subject to the carrying out of the treaty obligations incurred, carrying on as before on their own sovereign, independent tracks…

“The above well summarizes this false, even mythological, historical view of the original treaties that Indian elites, and the Indian industry generally, are currently propagating. And, as non-Indian Canadians continue to cower in silence in this whole area of Canadian life, such FALSE ASSERTIONS ABOUT CANADIAN HISTORY and the resulting legal situation of Indians in Canada today…are becoming more prevalent and getting ever more wild, grandiose and DELUSIONAL. They need to be countered, but no one seems to be willing to, even though most people know they’re RIDICULOUS.

“Canada’s governing classes and our academic and media elites (the people ordinary Canadians in the past instinctively looked to for leadership and to “mind the store” on such matters) are all failing the Canadian citizenry in this regard by refusing, or neglecting to — in every case where THESE FALSE AND SELF-SERVING CLAIMS come to their attention — quickly and strongly challenge them and, in some cases, chastise those asserting them.

“Because the longer these INTELLECTUALLY-JUVENILE ASSERTIONS go unchallenged, the more they become thoughtlessly regarded as received truths. And so, the greater the sense of entitlement engendered by them becomes. This in turn hardens and emboldens the expectations and demands of Indian elites and makes fundamental reform that much more of a messy and daunting concept — that much more to undo — that much more of a reckoning for frightened politicians to avoid and delay.

“It’s the civic duty and responsibility of our governing classes to challenge these FALSE ASSERTIONS at every opportunity, just as it’s their duty and responsibility to defend our non-Indian ancestors and their legacy, which they are irresponsibly failing to do.

“And meanwhile, while politicians and other Canadian leaders fiddle, fidget and bite their tongues, and by their timid silence contribute to the further debasement of the public discourse — the further demoralization of our non-Indian citizenry; the further erosion of Crown sovereignty; the further alienation of non-Indians from politics; and the further diminishment of their own moral right to govern and to be entrusted with positions of leadership and power — all of this worsening the present dysfunctional situation — the suffering of the vulnerable vast majority of Indians continues and increases.

“The Indians who signed the treaties constituted “nations” only in the early racial, linguistic and people-of-common-experience sense of the word. They were cultural/racial nations only. Great Britain or Canada, as the case was, signed the treaties as nations in the more recent political, sovereign, precisely-defined territory, “nation-state” sense of the word.

“It’s a clever bit of sophistry for modern Indian leaders to talk of there having been “nation to nation” dealings, and just leave it at that, assuming (usually correctly) that no one will dare to challenge them and point out that it was in fact a situation of very small, semi-nomadic, band and clan-oriented Indian cultural/racial aggregates on the one hand, treating with the large, modern, sophisticated British or Canadian nation-state on the other hand — a complete ‘apples dealing with an orange situation’, political mice dealing with a political elephant…

Treaty 9 Negotiators
Treaty 9 Negotiators

“In the political context, “nation” is an English word of Latin derivation with a relatively precise nation-state meaning. It’s unlikely that the ancient Canadian-Indian languages ever had or have now their own word of similar meaning. It’s also unlikely that the word “nation” can even be accurately translated into any of those ancient languages, so foreign was the concept of the nation state to pre-contact Indians.

“There can’t be a “nation” in the modern nation-state sense of the word when the highest loyalty of members of it is to other members of their same extended family. That’s characteristic of a small tribe, band or clan only, not a “nation” in the modern sense of the word. The situation may have been a little different in western and northern Canada, but not so much as to constitute any of the Indian groups or tribes in Canada at the time of the original treaties as nation-states, or as nations generally, in any modern sense of the word.

“Consider the ‘Robinson-Huron Treaty of 1850’ as an example. It specifically refers to treaty money being paid annually to the chiefs “and their tribes”. The words of surrender in the treaty say that “…the said Chiefs and their principal men, on behalf of their respective tribes or bands…” surrender their lands to the Crown. The retained right to hunt and fish over the surrendered lands is retained by the “…Chiefs and their tribes…” The Serpent River reserve, of which Mr. Day is now chief, was the seventh on the list of seventeen reserves created by the treaty. It is stated to be reserved for chief Day’s predecessor, Chief Windawtegawini “and his band” — not “and his nation”. The phrase “and his band” is used in the description of all seventeen reserves created.

“William Robinson, in his report to his superiors on the treaty, wrote that there were only 1422 Indians inhabiting all of the Lake Huron area, “…including probably two hundred half-breeds; and when I paid the Indians, they acknowledged they knew of no other families than those on my list.”

“Seventeen different band chiefs, representing all the bands from Penatanguishine to Batchawana Bay on Lake Superior signed the treaty, meaning that each chief signed for a band of only about 85 people! 85 people, or 1422 people in total, can’t make up a nation in the modern nation-state sense of the word that current Indian leaders like chiefs Madahbee and Day incorrectly use it. That was the case then and it’s still the case today, even with respect to the mainly British Columbia Indian bands which have not yet signed treaties with Canada.”

CP PHOTO - Jonathan Hayward
CP PHOTO – Jonathan Hayward

“As Globe and Mail columnist Jeffrey Simpson wrote in 2010, in relation to the air-evacuation to Sudbury of the population of Kashechewan because of contaminated drinking water there…: 

“Dozens of Kashechewans are scattered throughout Northern Ontario and many exist all across Canada: clusters of native people living on unforgiving land, far from urban centres, yet asked by their leaders to be treated as ‘nations”.

“The rhetoric is uplifting, but the task is insuperable by dint of small numbers, isolated locations and forbidding geography that would render the most skilled among us incapable of building a functioning economy, let alone the bare superstructure of a modern government.

“The royal commission on aboriginal affairs, established by the Mulroney government, took up the cause of these “nations” and designed an entire parallel political superstructure of “nation’ to ‘nation” dealings. That the majority of these nations had fewer people than a small Saskatchewan town and that many of the members had drifted into cities, did not seem to matter within the commissioners dream palaces.”
“The negotiations that are presently going on with Indian bands in Canada, whether in relation to land claims, treaty entitlements or entering into treaties themselves, are not modern “nation to nation” negotiations. They are negotiations which our Crowns honourably choose to participate in between the remains of small, tribal, cultural/racial aggregates and the nation-state of Canada. They should be viewed and conducted accordingly.

“Political nations, the highest form of which is the nation-state, are the product of a certain type of historical evolution characteristic of post-tribal societies. This evolution never occurred with respect to Canada’s pre-contact, essentially stone-age culture Indian peoples, nor did it occur between the time of contact and the time of the original treaty era. Nor has it occurred to date…

“Examining in more detail the events and circumstances surrounding the making of some of the treaties themselves highlights and confirms that in no way was the making of the treaties a result of political nation to political nation dealings.

“Also, looking at what actually occurred when some of the treaties were signed, how and why the parties came together, what different people actually said — looking at what some of the treaties themselves actually say — confirms that, contrary to what Indian leaders like chiefs Madahbee and Day say, these were no “nation to nation” dealings.

“These were pathos-filled, de facto surrender talks between small, broken tribes of cultural nations only, and a powerful, modern, political nation-state…”

–‘The Myth of Nation to Nation Dealings’,
Peter Best, No Difference {CAPS added}


crown-logoFB“The European concept of nation does not properly describe aboriginal tribal communities. Unless we want to turn Canada into a modern version of the Ottoman Empire, there can be only one political community at the highest level — one nation — in Canada. Subordinate communities, such as provinces, cities, & ethnic or religious groups, cannot be nations…”

–“First Nations? Second Thoughts”,
Tom Flanagan, McGill/Queen’s U. Press (2008)


ForwardRecent recognition of ‘Metis’ as ‘aboriginal’ by our logic-challenged Supreme Court of Canada has exposed just how ridiculous this whole concept of ‘nations’ has become.

“Jason Madden, a lawyer representing the Métis National Council, told CBC News Network that

“it’s a good day for the Métis “nation”… “We know what door to knock on,” Madden said. “We have a solid court decision to start THE ONSLAUGHT OF LITIGATION.”…

“We have to be very cautious about the decision because being classified or bundled together as just Indians… you know, categorized as one group … we are our own nation,” said David Chartrand, who is also vice-president of the Métis National Council of Canada. 

I must admit that i’m laughing as i inform you of the following new “nations” within our borders:

“Metis Nation of Ontario”
“Manitoba Metis Federation”
“Metis Nation — Saskatchewan”
“Metis Nation of Alberta”
“Metis Nation British Columbia”
“Eastern Woodland Metis Nation (Nova Scotia)”
“Labrador Métis Nation”
“Quebec Metis Nation”
“Northwest Territory Métis Nation”
“Red Sky Metis Independent Nation”
and lastly: “Metis Nation of Greater Victoria” (“The purpose of Métis Nation of Greater Victoria is to do all things necessary to represent the interests of the Métis people in the ‘territory’ of Métis ‘Nation’ of Greater Victoria”.)
“In 2003, the Supreme Court of Canada clarified the definition of the “Métis Nation” and their rights under section 35(1) of the Constitution Act, 1982 in ‘R v. Powley’, also known colloquially as the Powley ruling.

“Presently, in order to be recognized as a Métis in Canada, a person must have a Métis card. Several organizations are registered with the Canadian government to provide Métis cards.”
The pattern is entirely predictable – They approached our courts as a single “nation” in order to get legal recognition. Now, as the court cases and settlement negotiations begin, these regional groups will demand their own “special” recognition; the 2 B.C. groups will both demand their own “nation” recognition and the resulting land and compensation, and we will find — just as with the Indian “nations” — that there is no single person or organization to negotiate with.
This will result in countless negotiations and court cases, going on for decades…

For British Columbians, this now means not only approximately 200 Indian “nations” demanding “sovereignty”, but at least two mixed-race “nations”, as well… Sheer lunacy! I guess that the Chinese in Richmond and the East Indian community in Surrey will just have to get used to shelling out money to these pseudo-nations, and British Columbia will have to export tons of marijuana to pay for it all. Our immigration department should be warning immigrants of what they’re getting into, should they decide to come to Canada…

IMAGES: Ryan Remiorz – The Canadian Press


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