Saturday, December 17, 2005

Dawg's Blawg: "A simmering 66-year-old injustice against an Indian Nation known as the Lubicon Lake Nation is being perpetuated in Canada, with the active connivance of Paul Martin. In fact, it is nothing less than a mini-genocide, but, done over time, genocide seems somehow less...like genocide. Nevertheless, here's the definition of the term: 'A systematic attempt to annihilate a racial group or nation. The word was first used in 1944.' Read on, and judge for yourselves.

Throughout the unfortunate history of the Lubicon, the outlines of classic colonial administration unmistakably emerge. Native people in Canada do not even have the right to determine who is, or is not, 'Indian': that is a (white) government responsibility, under the Indian Act. The construct 'Indian' is imposed by lawmakers and courts; and 'culture' in Supreme Court of Canada decisions such as R. v van der Peet appears to be frozen and reified in pre-contact timelessness, with 'central' and 'non-central' elements to be decided by the Canadian judiciary, an anthropologically-illiterate position as some lawyers, at least, have grasped. As Calgary law professor Nigel Bankes put it, for example, 'aboriginal peoples of Canada have rights so long as they remain in a fossilized or primitive state, but their rights are progressively diminished to the extent that they avail themselves to the benefits and burdens of the twentieth century.'"

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