1) So you say you didn’t steal our land. Okay. Well first off….
ARE YOU SURE?
Did you buy a piece of land, or do you live on a piece of land in an area where there is not even a Treaty in place supposedly ceding land? Like pretty much all of British Columbia, vast areas in the North, and most of everything east of Ontario? If you’re not sure, take a look at this map of the numbered Treaties…the only ‘historical’ treaties that even mention land at all.
Are you living on, or did you buy a piece of land in one of the many areas where those Treaties were breached, and promised allotments of reserve lands were never delivered, or were taken without compensation and without consent? That’s a little harder to show you on a map, but we’re talking thousands of square kilometres of lands which have been, or are still to be, the subject of specific land claims against the government of Canada. Lands are STILL being taken from reserve allotments without consent in a process that has never ceased since the numbered Treaties were signed, so I’m not talking ancient history here.
If you have bought land in these areas, or are living on them, then AT BEST you can claim innocence only to the extent that you purchased ‘stolen goods’, and that you yourself were not the original thief. Except that doesn’t play out in the settler judicial system very well, since knowingly possessing stolen goods gets you in hot water too.
2) So you say you didn’t steal our resources.
ARE YOU SURE?
The Treaties talk about allowing settlers the use of land to the depth that can be reached by a plough. If you are benefiting from the extraction of resources under those lands, you are benefiting from theft. I’m looking at you, Albertans…and everyone who receives transfer payments in their own province from Alberta….I’m looking at all the people living in provinces and territories where gold, diamonds and other minerals are being extracted to the tune of billions of dollars a year.
Don’t fool yourself. Canada’s primary resources are what have always fuelled this nation, from the fur trade, to lumber, to fishing, to mining and oil. Farming doesn’t keep Ottawa in new shoes, and our manufacturing sector is a joke. Canada runs on primary resource extraction and all the service industries that exist as a result of the need to ‘service’ the people in those sectors. Without the primary resources from our lands, those unceded, and those supposedly ceded (I’m being generous here, using the Canadian interpretation of the numbered Treaties despite that being bollocks), Canada would be a third-world backwater.
Whether you work in these industries yourself, or are employed because there is enough money from these industries to make your job necessary, you are doing so on our backs. This isn’t historic, this is contemporary.
3) So you aren’t oppressing indigenous peoples in Canada?
ARE YOU SURE?
If you aren’t doing anything about the situation, merely profiting from it, that’s a choice. It is not value neutral. Settlers benefit from the systemic racism which continues to deprive indigenous people in Canada from accessing their lands, their resources, and their culture, as well as denying them any real place in the body politic or in the economy itself.
Whether you are actively promoting the continued theft of our lands and resources, the destruction of our cultures (and don’t worry, there are plenty of people actively engaged in this right now to banish all worries that this is some long lost practice best forgotten), or you are merely passively letting it happen because you agree with it, or youdidn’t know any better…
Then you are involved. You. Right now. Not your long dead ancestors. You. Whether you came here last week, or your family arrived in the 1700s.
You live in a “First World” nation because you live off the largess of First Nation’s land and resources.
You didn’t do any of that stuff? It wasn’t you, personally?
Then give back those stolen goods, because you are guilty of a crime too.
Stop expecting us to support you indefinitely, Canada. The First Nations subsidised Welfare Line For Settlers won’t last forever.
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