Well surprise surprise, Harper is fucking everyone.
It’s just the Harper government against, Tibetans, Chinese (citizens), Canadians and wait for it…FIRST NATION. I know, surprising right? except sadly, for some Canadians, this isn’t sarcasm.
A reader alerted me to this blogpost: The Natives are Restless. Wondering why?
Things have been and still are really fucked, especially for the Indigenous community in Canada. But aside from this alarming situation, the section on treaties made me ask, is this our present and possible future in Tibet? even with “genuine” autonomy-treaty?
Go to the original to read the whole thing. It’s short. But here’s an excerpt that made me think about Tibet:
Then what? What is the problem?
I’m going to go to the Idle No More page and click on “Manifesto”. I think it’s important you read this in its entirety rather than just have me excerpt it for you:
We contend that:
The Treaties are nation to nation agreements between Canada and First Nations who are sovereign nations. The Treaties are agreements that cannot be altered or broken by one side of the two Nations. The spirit and intent of the Treaty agreements meant that First Nations peoples would share the land, but retain their inherent rights to lands and resources. Instead, First Nations have experienced a history of colonization which has resulted in outstanding land claims, lack of resources and unequal funding for services such as education and housing.We contend that:
Currently, this government is trying to pass many laws so that reserve lands can also be bought and sold by big companies to get profit from resources. They are promising to share this time…Why would these promises be different from past promises? We will be left with nothing but poisoned water, land and air. This is an attempt to take away sovereignty and the inherent right to land and resources from First Nations peoples.
We contend that:
There are many examples of other countries moving towards sustainability, and we must demand sustainable development as well. We believe in healthy, just, equitable and sustainable communities and have a vision and plan of how to build them.
Please join us in creating this vision.
In short, this is what we have always been talking about. Whether the particular focus has been on housing, or education or the environment, or whatever else. What lies at the heart of all these issues is our relationship with Canada. And Canada? This relationship is abusive.
I don’t get it, I thought things were getting better?
You’re right, you don’t get it. Things are not getting better. In fact, many of us feel that things are getting worse. Many of us feel that the reason things aren’t getting any better, is because Canada has forgotten it is a Treaty nation too.
When the relationship between indigenous peoples and Europeans first began here, we had a relationship based on Treaties of Peace and Friendship. As indigenous peoples understand this relationship, it is one that should work to the mutual benefit of all involved. That relationship quickly became overshadowed by one more focused on extinguishing (getting rid of) aboriginal rights, particularly as they relate to the land. I am not speaking about events hundreds of years ago. I am telling you that Canada continues to focus on stripping away all of our rights and land while at the same time telling the world that it is doing the opposite.
In this document (PDF) Canada clearly lays out its interests in any negotiations it enters into with indigenous people. The term ‘certainty’ has replaced ‘termination’, but the intent is still the same.
I can go find dismal statistics on pretty much any aspect of life for indigenous peoples in this country; trot them all out and say, ‘look it’s really bad’ and you will nod and say, ‘wow it sure is’, but that still won’t make it clear for you. I need you – WE need you, to see the forest and not just the trees.