Good Reading
Essays (37)
Our Home Or Native Land?
©William Gairdner

     The drums continue to beat hard all over North America for "Native Rights," a code-phrase for ambitions to claim vast tracts of land - up to 85% of some provinces - natives say was wrongly appropriated. Unless it is stopped, millions of us will soon have new landlords, some of them armed with machine-guns. Many of these claims are being settled administratively, or in quiet court rooms out of the public eye. No public consultation. No means of protest.
     What frame of mind could make possible, even thinkable, this legal dislodging of a conquering, settled nation? Could it be that after thirty years of so-called pluralism and diversity, those who understand the true, concentric, and vivifying nature of real culture - such as the Quebecois, and native people - are moving in for the kill on their prostrate anglo masters? Believe it.
     In part, this flood of (tax-funded) claims has been created with the help of ecology-minded liberal lawyers who   seek forcibly to recreate what they imagine was a superior, more "spiritual" communal society ruined by nasty Europeans when, with their evil sense of private property, they stomped on all those peaceful, happy, sharing indian tribes.
     But as Professor Brian Lee Crowley explains in Road To Equity, this is a myth that happens to blend nicely with the post-196Os middle-class fantasy of "living in accord with nature, away from city, factory and office, being able to share rather than compete, enjoying a way of life in common with their fellows." Stewart Brand, an environmental catastrophist in the obvious grip of a death wish, actually wrote in Whole Earth Catalogue, "We have wished, we eco-freaks, for a disaster or for social change to bomb us into the stone age, where we might live like Indians in our valley...guilt free at last." Indians, guilt free?
     For a sobering education on some of the all-too familiar human foibles of native peoples of the world, including their practices of infanticide, wife abuse, torture, human sacrifice, cannibalism, and slavery, read UCLA Professor Robert Edgerton's Sick Societies. It certainly comes as a shock that many tribes such as the California Chumash, and the Kwakiutl of British Columbia, kept, traded, and often ate, large numbers of slaves.
     Most natives had a well-defined sense of property, harsh laws against theft, and kept a whole warring class to protect their well-defined territory. And native groups such as the Five Nations of the Iroquois did a lot of subduing of their own. In the The Iroquois Book of The Great Law (1916), by A.C. Parker, we read that their approved method for forging what they cheerfully termed "The Great Peace" of the Iroquois, was to visit all non-conforming tribes, and "club the chief to death." In this manner, wrote Parker, "every rebellious tribe or nation, almost without exception, was either exterminated or absorbed." It was plain old massacre.
     Such confusion is likely why Chief Justice Allan McEachern ruled in 1991 that all aboriginal property rights, even if they ever existed, were "extinguished" at the time of settlement by Europeans. This is what most of us would conclude is the normal aftermath of any conquest. But other judges have disagreed, arguing for two equal sets of rights. However, no federal system can exist which encourages equal authorities for competing rights to its lands, for this unleashes a domino effect of disastrous consequences.
     The hidden disaster behind the native rights ruse, however, is that hundreds of thousands of native citizens - women in paricular - are going to be re-subjected to a new and oppressive radical tribalism camouflaged under self-government, against which they will have no meaningful appeal. For the general public, this gets buried by Indo-babblers who say the native concept of ownership is simply incompatible with "Eurocentric" Western assumptions.
     So a lot of gaga modernists and New Agers are busily promoting nativist theology. Summer before last, On Canada Day, The Toronto Star ran a special section called "Earth Spirit Day," showing a full-dress Brave in front of his teepee, inviting other Canadians to participate in "Earth Worship." We were asked to worship stones, lakes and trees, not God as the Creator of these lesser things. This is old paganism resurgent, a direct assault on the Judeo-Christian worldview. Soften the mind before you grab the land.
     On a recent bicycle trip around Ontario's beautiful Muskoka area, I saw the Mohawk flag flying over a number of houses. The official road signs that used to say "Mohawk Reserve", now say "Mohawk Territory." Well, this might be a lot easier to accept if it weren't that Canada's 400,000+ natives (projected to be 700,000 by the year 2,070) are among the most highly-subsidized people on earth, currently enjoying $7 billion annually from the public coffers every year.
     There is something repugnant about the idea of financing our own internal takeover. Without any permission asked, in May of 1993 Canadians quietly surrendered their sovereignty over a million square miles (!) of their own northland - now renamed "Nunavut" - to 15,000 mostly Inuit people, who will have their own government, living in what columnist Trevor Lautens aptly described as "Affirmative Apartheid."
     Write to your Member of Parliament.
     Say you want nunavut.