I once heard a former minister of Indian Affairs, Warren Allmand I believe, describe the Canadian Government’s so-called “land claims policies” in just those words. Legalized theft.
For a Google page full of: “We stole your land, fair and square.” (WARNING: be prepared to woof your cookies.)
The federal government’s refusal to end this form of state-sponsored theft makes a mockery of numerous court decisions affirming Indigenous rights to land and a share of resources, and all but condemning the same to continued dispossession and poverty.
It flies in the face of too many royal commissions and judicial inquiries to list here recommending that governments respect decisions by the Supreme Court of Canada upholding Indigenous rights.
The federal government’s refusal to heed mountains of reports prepared by their own officials, reports that underline all of the above, is proof of inept and incompetent ministers who prefer to waste money and lives…. and for what?
This much is certain: lands and resources continue to be ripped out from beneath the feet of Indigenous peoples, denying them benefit, despite too many pious statements from the mouths of folks like Robert Nault, Jim Prentice, and now Chuck Strahl that such travesties will never, ever happen again. Hypocrites one and all.
Indigenous “land claims” are adversarial, needlessly drawn out and lengthy, hugely wasteful and expensive to everyone. So why do Canadian governments adhere to a policy that is morally and ethically wrong, would be illegal if put to an international tribunal, and costs all sides – wastes – hundreds of millions of dollars in legal fees each year?
For more from that same reel (Idiots Gone Wild?), there are on-going attempts by some lunkheads in parliament to keep the status quo, or even go back to the good old days when white was right, black – step back, and better dead than red. Head on over to read John Cummins, an MP from British Columbia, in the National Post (a former journalistic publication). Cummins apparently wants everyone from judges to politicians to remember what side of the colour line they belong.
Strange that Cummins would try to sabotage Campbell’s campaign, a fellow conservative, for re-election in British Columbia. The Libs are over on the right-hand side of the political quad in BC. But then, these race-based political parties really confuse me.
(update: I should add that Allmand used the sentence to condemn Canada’s record on land claims)