[A-List] Canadian elections
sjy_estrien at sympatico.ca
Tue Feb 14 11:49:39 MST 2006
>From: Macdonald Stainsby <mstainsby at resist.ca>
>As I've demonstrated before with the sweet sounding talk of the BC Premier,
>what is important is not a electoral platform listing of the various titles
>of concepts "enshrined", but rather what the approach of the Settler State
>is to actual devolution.
It wasn't just in the PQ's platform not to press for extinguishment of
ancestral territory rights, the entente de principe reached with the Innu by
the PQ *gov't* specifically agreed to their non-extinguishment, *a first in
Canada,* as pointed out in so many words by an Innu-side negotiatorr (and
others who follow these matters), who worked for negotiating on the Innu
side for 14yrs beginning in the 70's:
http://www.erudit.org/revue/as/2003/v27/n2/007453ar.html Ever since the
Supreme Court ruling the Fed strategy had always been to "recognize"
ancestral claims only to then "buy" their extinguishment. The Entente de
principe was supposed to lead to a final treaty within 2 yrs, but in the
meantime Charest and the Liberals, leading the "most staunchly federalist
gov't in Québec in decades", retook power and started backpeddling on it and
things didn't take long to run off the rails, with the Innu now suing the
Charest gov't and the Feds for several billions $ for their foot-dragging
(God Bless Canada), which has included letting Kruger log on ancestral
forests of the Innu on René-Levasseur Island without their say-so, a lawsuit
supported by the former PQ minister for Québec-Aboriginal relations Rémy
Trudel. The Betsiamites Innu are invoking these same ancestral rights btw
to defend their controversial project to dam the Sault-aux-Cochons River:
As to your oft-repeated baloney about Québec sovereignists not caring about
indigenous sovereignists, that's been dealt with before, and I'm not a
specialist in treating ADD, but just one of many examples of what shite that
claim is is here: http://soslevasseur.org/en/?q=node/16 , along with the
work of countless other groups and individuals.
>Nowhere is absolute control contemplated.
Nitassinan, the vast national ancestral land of the Innu, has a population
which is something like over 90-95% non-indigenous. All a province is under
the Canadian system is a public unit of gov't covering a certain territory
with shared and exclusive jurisdictions and taxing power vis-à-vis the
Federal centre and one-person one vote. It also requires constitutional
accord to make a new province (ie it's not something Québec has any
independent control over, as was so ideologically inconvenient for you to
Making a territory a province doesn't confer collective title to a nation or
people. The Québécois form a demographic majority in the province of Québec
(whose borders were never put to popular consultation - but over 80% of
Quebeckers incl agree to seeing them altered to meet indigenous aspirations
as has been pointed out before) but they have no collective "title" or
"rights" under the Cdn system. Collective title to a people and
provincehood are 2 different things. Making Nitassinan a province like the
10 others would create a public gov't where the non-native pop. was
massively hegemonic demographically, economically, and politically. And not
only would the non-native population be massively majoritarian, as much as
they are in Saskatchewan or Manitoba, they would consider themselves
Québécois who'd been "ultsterized" from the rest of Québec. So not only
would they be vastly majoritarian settlers, but they'd be settlers with
attitude. Sometimes it helps to put aside the blowhard rhetoric and think
these things thru a bit. Perhaps this too is why another expensive and
ignored royal commission, the one on aboriginal peoples, actually
recommended a whole new level of government for indigenous nations, which
would not be simply a copy of provincehood, since there are lots of
Nitassinan type situations to be taken into account where ancestral rights
over a territory and the demographic facts on the ground produce complicated
situations requiring real-world solutions, since for the most part, as one
Justice remarked, "Nobody's going anywhere." This commission ended up
recommending aboriginal self-goverment incl taxing power and charters of
rights/justice systems etc over territories under aboriginal title and
recognized ancestral rights such as the Supreme Court had directed Canadian
gov'ts and indigenous nations to negotiate and define taking into account
all the legitimate interests of affected populations, and where ancestral
rights can have meaning over territories where the title holders of them are
minoritarian. When the PQ draft bill on sovereignty laid out this scenario
in 1995, it was massacred in the English Canadian media. When the federal
Erasmus-Dussault Commission essentially repeated the scenario it its report
a year later, it showed what a great country Canada is, and then it gathered
dust for a decade.
>It is not true that the PQ initiated [?!] the first process whereby the
>term extinguishment would be removed.
The Innu-Attikamekw put forward a negotiating framework demanding the
non-extinction of rights when the discussions began in Québec in the 70's.
I said the first *agreement* reached in which the principle of the
non-extinction of territorial rights was the PQ gov't's agreement with the
Innu. Maybe if you want to respond to things you could leave them as said
instead of mendaciously rewording them to suit your purposes.
>Provinces retain far greater powers than any territory so administered by
misleading, buckpassing (in the absence of the things I point out above)
>It is simply a fiction to imagine that the same party who helped in the
>white-washing of the >operation on Oka,
Well I agree with Philpot whose excellent book (Oka: dernier alibi du Canada
anglais = Oka: English Canada's last excuse) that the real prize for
whitewashing on Oka should go to the chauvinist cabal of English Canadian
politicians, "opinion-makers", the pushover anglo press and its Stockholm
syndrome, who brought all their phony moral high ground to bear in order to
use the crisis (which co-incided with the collapse of Meech Lake after a
lengthy Canada-wide campaign of gutter Québec-bashing) to, as John Ciaccia
put it, "put Québec in its place" and who airbrushed brilliantly the
Canadian state's primary and ongoing responsiblity in the affair. It was
Canada who'd refused to recognize the disputed land there as belonging to
the Mohawk, who'd refused to give it back in the 70's and who'd parcelled
it out to various interests against the Mohawk's consent, laying the basis
for a long dispute.
It was Canada who sent in the army in 1990 after the Warriors showed up
there, so the feds must have thought they were dealing with a "terror"
situation too. And of course hidebound anti-separatist Gazette editor
Norman Webster called the Warriors "terrorists" just like Parizeau, as did
the leadership of the traditional Iroquois Confederacy, whose
"assassination" had been suggested by Warrior founder Louis Hall, (who also
predicted that René Lévesque would abolish all Québec's native reserves).
And the peaceful Mohawk protesters aligned with Mohawk journalist Doug
George (who supported the traditional Confederacy and not any white-imposed
gov'ts) who manned barricades to try to force a democratic referendum on
casinos at Akwesasne and took high-powered weapons fire from the Warriors
for doing so, producing 2 deaths and the flight of 1000's, seemed to think
they were being terrorized, at a time when the peaceful barricades over at
Oka were operating in a land claim protest the Warriors didn't initiate.
But after their own siege of Akwesasne was broken, they went over to Oka.
Is that how it happened Macdonald?
>From "Tobacco Road Revisited"
Opponents of the Warrior protected businesses in Akwesasne after their
repeated requests for the stationing of a Canadian-American police force had
been rejected in a racist manner by the surrounding governments, especially
that of New York State, resorted to blockades of roads leading to casinos.
They were established on March 23, 1990, with the support of the Canadian
Mohawk police force and tribal council.
Gambling supporters tried to destroy the blockades even as they were being
built. The resistance held, however. Women baked bread, cakes and pies to
feed two hundred people who rotated in shifts around the clock. One leading
gambling foe, Brian Cole, a prominent Mohawk environmentalist, withstood two
beatings by gambling supporters on the blockade.
Faced with the loss of millions in revenues, by late April 1990, the
Warriors began to escalate their violence.
On April 23, the North American Indian [Travelling] College was set on fire.
Gas bombs were fired at blockades. A live hand grenade was tossed into a
crowd in front of the Canadian Mohawk police station, as 15 Warriors lined
up their cars. Several private homes were damaged by firebombs. The police
station was later hit with 200 rounds of fire from unidentified men carrying
AK-47 assault rifles.
During the evening of April 24, 1990, the blockades ended in an explosion of
gunfire. Hundreds of rounds of automatic weapon fire were poured, parallel
to the ground, on the blockades. Warriors at the time of this offensive were
staggering and howling, apparently drunk and high on cocaine. Twenty cars of
gambling foes were torched. The American side of Akwesasne became a no man's
land, rent by bursts of weapons fire.
On April 26, 1990, the Canadian Mohawk council prepared a mass evacuation.
Within a few days some 2, 667 of the 3, 920 people on the Canadian side had
fled, along with 1,000 of the 4,000 American residents. Nearly 2,000
refugees were sheltered in public facilities of the Transport Canada
Training Institute in Cornwall. The gun battles at Akwesasne were the most
intense since the Metis rebellion over a century ago.
----- (end quote)
but then after days of gunbattles, and finally after 2 young Mohawk men were
killed, incl Akwesasne Notes journalist and anti-casino activist Matthew
Pyke, the police broke and the siege, and the refugees began to return. Is
that right, Macdonald? And after Doug George was busted by the Québec cops
on trumped up charges, the Warriors joined the protest at Oka, yes? Never
mind me, it's Doug George who thinks they joined the protest at Oka to get
back their cred after the defeat at Akwesasne, and to manipulate the Oka
demands in order to further their own pecuniary interests, and who can't get
over how they were able to snow all the Canadian journalists. But this was
happening in the province of Québec, and this was a chance to finger-point
and buckpass, and one should never underestimate English Canadians' love of
the principle, « Lorsqu'on se regarde, on se désole, mais lorsque'on se
compare, on se console ».
from "Tobacco Road Revisited" (cont'd):
A few months following the two deaths from gunfire in Akwesasne, another
death from a firefight, involving a Quebec policeman, Marcel Lemay, took
place in the Mohawk community of Kanehsatake.
Unlike the disputes over the activities of organized crime in Akwesasne,
this involved the community's attempt to protect a sacred pine forest and
burial ground. An unarmed blockade against the golf course had been put in
place on March 11, 1990, and had been established with the advice of the
Alliance for Nonviolent Action, a Canadian peace group.
**Doug George maintains the incident at Oka was in direct response to the
Akwesasne crisis. He says the Warriors had lost tremendous face at Akwesasne
as a result of their defeat and arrived at Oka in July 1990, uninvited by
the community with their vehicles stocked with firearms and looking for a
way to assert their power.** [my emphasis-jy]
Such an action, George argues, was certain to provoke the Sûreté, which was
angry over accusations of cowardice rising from its refusal to aide the
Akwesasne Police. George says officer Lemay, who was to die at Oka after
being shot by a Warrior, had been at Akwesasne.
Following the two deaths at Akwesasne, Warriors began to show up at the
blockade in late June. On July 11, 1990, 100 outgunned Sûreté officers
unleashed tear gas against the Warriors. The Sûreté quickly retreated after
they encountered an unexpected barrage of bullets from the Warriors at the
blockade, which lasted less than 30 seconds but left one police officer
The violence at Oka resulted in sympathy blockades at Kahnawake, the most
significant of which blocked the Mercier bridge, a major Montreal traffic
The Oka Crisis
**Aware of the Oka crisis' potential to spread violence across Canada,** the
federal government moved swiftly to buy the disputed land on generous terms,
spending $5.2 million for 39 hectares by early September. Then all but 300
of Kanesatake's 1,500 residents had become the second wave in 1990 to flee
from Warrior terror.
Warriors in Kanesatake openly manipulated the prolonged armed standoff to
legitimate organized crime activities. Not present during the fatal
shooting, Akwesasne Warrior leader and casino operator, Loran Thompson,
showed up the next day and made a rousing speech in a community gym.
Following the purchase of disputed land on July 27, Thompson again persuaded
those taking part in the blockades to maintain them at high risk. Thompson
knew if his various criminal activities were to continue he would need the
cloak of sovereignty and the threat of violence.
An unexpected ally of the Warriors were members of the press, both domestic
and foreign, who put aside their journalistic objectivity in a mad rush to
label the outlaw group as "freedom fighters" waging war against an
Caught up in their own rhetoric, the press refused to investigate the
criminal backgrounds of the Warriors despite pleas by the Mohawk people. The
result was "Oka" became synonymous with legitimate aboriginal struggle
rather than the genesis of a criminal enterprise that would come to
dominate, and contaminate, the Iroquois for the next 13 years.
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