Idle No More: Educate yourself

Reader recommends reading two good books on aboriginal matters to help understand Idle No More, which has swept the country.

To the Editor,

To help understand the present ‘Idle No More’ movement, I urge all my non-aboriginal brethren to read 2 books: Rupert Ross’s Dancing With A Ghost and especially Daniel J. Kuhlen’s A Layperson’s Guide To Treaty Rights in Canada (University of Saskatchewan, Native Law Center, 1985).

Dancing With A Ghost (and its sequel) helps one better understand how First Nations people view the world and how to respectfully engage with them.

Incidentally, it would be nice if Canada’s government engaged it’s First Nations in a “nation to nation” fashion just like it would do with any other nation it does business with (like China).

A Layperson’s Guide to Treaty Rights in Canada is particularly timely as it helps one understand First Nations as a treaty-people, how treaties were crafted and their content. It’s an eye-opener, as it soon becomes obvious how “first-contact” colonialists took advantage of the treaty process, positioning themselves to eventually expropriate the land from First Nations.

The colonial government viewed treaties as “obligatory agreements” that carried no legal weight.

But beyond the understanding of the colonialists, First Nations were used to entering into treaties with each other as they conducted their affairs with the independence and autonomy of soverign states amongst themselves. They took signing treaties with first-contact colonialists very seriously.

Failure to appreciate the reality of First Nations nationhood prior to European contact is to everyone’s detriment.  We cannot hope to sustain a 21st century version of colonialism.

By treaty protection, First Nations have been protecting the land from unfettered development for generations.

The status quo is no longer acceptable, which is why First Nations and their supporters are Idle No More.

Liz Stonard,

Port Alberni

Just Posted

Heavy snowfall closes Mount Washington for the day

Road to ski resort deemed unsafe, “high avalanche danger”

Alberni Valley Community Foundation seeks grant recipients

The Alberni Valley Community Foundation is accepting applications for grants to be… Continue reading

BCHL: Bulldogs beat Cowichan in double OT

Teams are 1–1 in three-game home-and-home stand; play in Cowichan Jan. 20

Port Alberni city council to ‘stay on course’ for five-year budget plan

Next budget meeting is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 29 at 6 p.m

Alberni businesses nominated for Island excellence

Coulson Ice Blast, Port Posh Wash, the Blue Marlin Inn and Totem… Continue reading

Floods, power lines down on Bamfield Road

Power outage affecting more than 400 customers

Philadelphia Eagles headed to Super Bowl

After routing the Minnesota Vikings 38-7, they will face Tom Brady and the New England Patriots

VIDEO: Dramatic video shows return of rescued B.C. snowboarders

Two snowboarders were rescued near Rossland, B.C. on Sunday after being lost overnight.

Tom Brady leads Patriots back to Super Bowl, top Jaguars 24-20

New England to face winner of Sunday night’s game between Minnesota and Philadelphia on Feb. 4

UPDATE: Ferries sailing again after stormy weather caused cancellations

B.C. Ferries cancelled numerous sailings around Vancouver Island today, Jan. 21

Homes, roads flooded in Whiskey Creek following downpour

Crews aid flooded homeowners while roads near Hwy 4 closed Sunday morning

Vessel washed ashore in Campbell River during last night’s storm

A vessel appears to have gotten loose and washed to shore on… Continue reading

Liberals quietly tap experts to write new paternity leave rules

Ideas include creating an entirely new leave benefit similar to one that exists in Quebec

Insurers say Canadian weather getting hotter, wetter and weirder

Average number of days with heavy rain or snow across Canada has been outside norm since spring 2013

Most Read