OPINION: What is the true cost of land theft from indigenous people?

Trudeau and the Federal government seem no closer to reconciling with Indigenous First Nations than before the onslaught of COVID 19. Trudeau and respective provincial governments are poised only to take more “Canadian” resources without adequate compensation to the original nations.

Recently Marc Miller, Indian and Northern Affairs Canada announced that the pandemic would slow federal ability to bring the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) into Canadian law. Miller’s statement speaks to the “indigenous organizations” that will be involved in the inclusion of UNDRIP.

Apparently Miller has forgotten the fiasco of involving incorporated organizations such as the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) who are compromised voices. AFN under Perry Bellegarde pushed forward Bill C-92, which now sits gathering MOU dust at some federal office.

Canada sits on this precipice. They are squatters on stolen land trying to get the rightful owners positioned into corners so that the Indigenous First Nations will finally acquiesce and give total control of these lands to the settler inheritors.

Canada wants the land for economic development. The Indigenous First Nations who stand between this usurper successor state and their corporate overlords are being threatened with increased policing and legislation that obliterates individual and collective freedoms to gather, protect or protest.

It is laughable that Canada is being held hostage to an archaic energy source housed in historic treaty lands. Canada was so panicked that it bought the run down TransCanada venture to try to pacify the one part of the country that seeks to control the Canadian economy. Kenney’s shortsighted Albertans believe that like the tooth fairy, there will be a restoration of a magical time in western Canada.

Canada and the optically challenged cannot see that natural resources are dying a necessary death because they are interconnected within a global survival system. Indigenous First Nations philosophers, seers, and medicine people who are our scientists, doctors and engineers, have been warning that global survival is dependent on all people and infrastructure.

One type of infrastructure does not take precedence over another because a whiteman made price tag is attached to it! You cannot equate the value of tar sands with the value of preserving forests or climatic indicators like glaciers. Indigenous people have been looking at the quantum relationship that exists so that all life can exist. Indigenous people have been placed in global communities to maintain balance. This balance is so that all life can survive.

The Indigenous people do not care about stocks, bonds, shortfalls or complex failing economic formulas. They look to the birds, the plants, the waters and the animals and they know the prognosis. This is the message that Canada has continued to undermine.

If Canada can stereotype the Indians into some brutish people without focus, then the doctrine of discovery can assuage their theft of life, liberty and culture. Canada cannot stand to have the reminders that the Indigenous First Nations were succeeding in their own governance systems, ecological approaches and in development through non-capitalist societies.

Canada rewrote the history of this land for a reason. They wrote it to justify theft of a country. Canada has continued with their doctrine of discovery tenets rebranding them as “reconciliation”. Today federal departments and their ministers all speak about reconciliation and also glumly hang their heads (for effect) for a moment to state that yes, the Indigenous First peoples of this land have been treated unfairly.

What is the cost of undercutting the original prairie First Nations who could have been the most progressive farmers if not for the Indian Act? What is the cost of undercutting the original seafaring nations who were the first fishing industries in this land? What is the cost of taking all the land without fair compensation to the original owners?

The reconciliation of monies wrongfully taken versus monies grudgingly meted out is the first act of reconciliation that Trudeau and his federal government must meet. The Indigenous First Nations are tired of living as classless citizens in a land where they roamed freely, controlling their own destinies, in sync with the universe.

Canada’s reconciliation is forcing historic nations into settling for federally defined “self-governance”, “land codes” or “new financial structures”. Canada has forgotten that Britain “won” this land with the help of Eastern First Nations. Canada has forgotten that this land is part of the original people. If the original people are treated with disdain, then the land will so treat Canada.

Trudeau and other party politicians all spout the same message – they want equality for the Indigenous First Nations in this land. This is a limited view that places mankind above all other things in Creation. The land, the waters, the rivers, the plants, the animals and even the smallest insect have purpose. It is not for the Indigenous First Nations to question this purpose. It is for the Indigenous First Nations to protect this life and purpose.

The world is changing with this pandemic. The selfish society of capitalists and money money money and me me me are not equipped to think of anyone other than themselves. The uprisings south of the medicine line show that people in a capitalist society are selfish. They have been programmed to kill or be killed. They have adapted to ever increasing technological speeds so that standing in a line for more that ten minutes is an affront to their privilege.

Indigenous peoples teach patience. They teach that this world, this universal entity has far outlived each human life and will continue to do so. The challenge for man is to find purpose in this life that also carries a note in the cosmic symphony. It is only when mankind sees that human life depends on global life that change will begin to happen. My hope is that our young people and future generations will bring forth the songs that complete this world in a greater stadium than anything man made. It is for this hope that I will play my part.

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