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George Victor
Question: Can the FN case be advanced without a "Brant" (i.e.) going for PM?

 

George Victor

The African American people have just won a new place in American society. It took someone who, years ago, bought into the idea that where there is not a helluva lot of equality of opportunity, you had better see what the old idea of meritocracy could be made to mean.

There is something Abe Lincolnish about his route. And, of course, he won't be asked to immediately defend the nation against dismemberment. But he has a very clear idea of what that nation means - for the vast majority.

Question. Can the FN case in Canada be advanced by political participation, even though the route to national leadership is an altogether different one. An FN politician, another Harper,as I recall, skewered a national attempt at accord with Quebec some moons ago, pointing to at least a powerful potential force - albeit negatively exercised, in that case.

It seems to me that a participatiory route could be helpful as hell in bringing about reforms - starting with new treaty provisions that provide a sound financial base for building new schools and medical facilities and infrastructure generally.

Isn't that route going to be necessary, in fact, to convince Canadians, as president-elect Barack Hussein Obama is continuing to convince more Americans, that change is possible?

I advance these questions in the continuing hope of developing a dialogue, something to overcome the quiet that sits over the FN case in Canada almost in contradiction to the litany of racist accounts against the European's 500-year assault continues to build.

The quiet is based on ignorance, as babblers have come to see, recently. And if the unread could be forced to read, for instance, Ronald Wright's What is America (he's the author of an earlier CBC Massey Lecture series, A short History of Progress), more progress could be made by the FN people.

And I believe that just as correspondence across cultural lines was necessary for building the African American's case, it will be critical to a people who are still trying just to get a hearing.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

By "Brant" you mean Sean Brant?

George Victor

He came immediately to mind, cue. I admire him. And there are lots others, of course.

Do you think I'm being silly in trying to develop some correspondence on this subject around here?

Your thoughts?

Cueball Cueball's picture

I don't think Sean Brant is the guy you are looking for.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

George Victor

No, cue, he's not "the" guy. Look for the " i. e. " in my post. I don't want to hang up things on a name.

The late Jake Tootoosis, the FN lawyer who was responsible for publishing "Treaty Implementation: Fulfulling the Covenant (2007)(see the obit I posted the other day) is "the type"...but the Brants are getting a point across too.

Anyway, your thoughts on a general discussion - while hoping for lots of input from all over the map.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

I am not much into electoral politics. Nor am I sure that posing these question in terms of getting the right POC into the right position is the best approach. Rather I would think of it more as looking at ways to developing organizational linkages that allow for emergenece of FN leaders generally, as opposed to "targetting".

George Victor

And what do they do when they "emerge"?

Guess I'm arguing for a political role valid for the majority "out there" in the political world (and I don't understand any other approach). At least, for anyone who, as 2 ponies hinted in his post the other day, the endless unfocused talk gets a bit much.


quote:

I don’t think the piece has done much to encourage discussion about the issue she was probably trying to get at; that there’s probably too much time spent discussing our FN cultures & not enough time trying to figure out how we’re going to get out of the mess we’re currently in. It’s largely considered heinous & hateful to suggest that we allocate resources to teach science, math & grammar in our FN communities than we do to teach Cree, or about Sweat Lodges & religious practices & traditional medicinal treatments. I never learned a single kilobyte of information about Cree culture in 12 years of school, but learned plenty from my mother, grandparents, aunts & uncles, Elders – all in an informal setting. But now there’s a large cultural industry developing & a significant number of FN people (at least in my part of the country) believe without question that the solution to our problems is to force every FN kid to learn an FN language & culture in school. It’s basically not even open to debate. In my view, there is a significant “drift” towards the establishment of theocracies in several FN communities; at least 75% of the meetings I go to in FN communities start off with a prayer I take offense to this type of practice because I like to decide when & how I pray; with a braid of Sweetgrass in the privacy of my home – but sometimes I’m forced to hear a prayer to Jesus (from a FN person), other times a prayer to the Creator, the point is I’m basically forced. But is this open to discussion? No. And to suggest any other practice often results in being labelled with some pejorative term. There isn’t enough debate in our communities by & large; there isn’t enough discussion on how we’re going to allocate limited resources in an effort to ensure that youth have a chance at succeeding in this rapidly changing world, for instance. There’s a significant tendency for groupthink, and disagreements are largely solved by way of finger-pointing & allegations- at least in my experience as a 32 year old FN person with 14 years working in FN communities & organizations.


I was hoping to hear more from him ...and something from others in the FN community.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

Cueball Cueball's picture

Well, I am not sure it is clear that the key demand of FN people is enfranchisement within the system, or that this idea is universally shared. It seems to me that there is also a quantity of flat out opposition to Canada per se, especially among activists. I think being enfranchised as Americans of equal standing had been primary to the struggle of black Americans in a way that it is not so for FN people.

African-American were enslaved and robbed of their entire historical legacy and made nationless, in a greater white paradigm. FN peoples relationship to the colonial construct is somewhat different, I think. Though there are obvious similarities too.

Can't say for sure. It's mostly a feeling.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ]

George Victor

quote:


Well, I am not sure it is clear that the key demand of FN people is enfranchisement within the system. It seems to me that there is also a quantity of flat out opposition to Canada per se, especially among activists. I think being enfranchised as Americans of equal standing had been primary to the struggle of black Americans in a way that it is not so for FN people. Though there is definetly that too.
African-American were enslaved and robbed of their entire historical legacy and made nationless, in a greater white paradigm. FN peoples relationship to the colonial construct is somewhat different, I think.

Can't say for sure. It's mostly a feeling.


I'm also not sure. And from 2 ponies' post, perhaps there are marked divisions in the FN community itself on those very points.

Hence my "provocative" post inviting discussion.

-------------------------------------

Gotta hit the sack now. Just needed to divest the old head of the above thoughts to be able to sleep.

Will do this again.

Glad we could keep this an open question...

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: George Victor ]

Fidel

quote:


Originally posted by George Victor:
[b]The African American people have just won a new place in American society. It took someone who, years ago, bought into the idea that where there is not a helluva lot of equality of opportunity, you had better see what the old idea of meritocracy could be made to mean.[/b]

I think Obama might be a good man in the wrong party. Whether black or white or black and white cats, they're all cats. Obama won't be able to end their cravings for barbequed mice or Tom catting it around the world in general. Jesus Christ himself couldn't change the appetites of a rich and powerful cat-ocracy. The next four years will be more of the same catastrophe but perhaps a slightly more humane feeding frenzy.

George Victor

Try and keep it to the Canadian situation and the FN please.

TVParkdale

quote:


Originally posted by Cueball:
[b]Well, I am not sure it is clear that the key demand of FN people is enfranchisement within the system, or that this idea is universally shared. It seems to me that there is also a quantity of flat out opposition to Canada per se, especially among activists. I think being enfranchised as Americans of equal standing had been primary to the struggle of black Americans in a way that it is not so for FN people.

African-American were enslaved and robbed of their entire historical legacy and made nationless, in a greater white paradigm. FN peoples relationship to the colonial construct is somewhat different, I think. Though there are obvious similarities too.

Can't say for sure. It's mostly a feeling.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: Cueball ][/b]


You're closer to the way I view it Cueball.

Our relationship to the "colonial construct" in some cases, is to view Canada as an imposed, foreign government.

The problem with lumping together the Black struggle and the Native struggle, starts right there.

The Black struggle is to be equal in a Euro-American/Canadian political arena.

The Native struggle is that we are many sovereign nations that bargained treaties as sovereign nations and those bargains were not honoured.

The brain struggle is to understand that Canada didn't "give us" *anything*. We had it all. Our ancestors treatied Canada/England/France places to provide for themselves. Europe/Canada didn't "give us" treaties because they didn't have any land to give. We gave THEM treaties that allowed them to live here.

Ask yourself--what is the cost of the real estate in Toronto? Caledonia? Vancouver?

My sister put it best, I think.

A woman meets a man. He courts her. She is happy to let him move in and share her house because it is her nature to think the best of people and he is being very charming, generous and accommodating.

Slowly starts a pattern of beatings. He rapes her. He intimidates her into letting him take over room after room in her house or he will kill her children. Now, he has so much of HER house, she is terrified of dying and for her children and she can't get him out.

Eventually, he locks her and the children in a closet. He occasionally opens the door and throws in some food and water--usually when the neighbours complain about hearing them cry. Meanwhile, since he does toss in just enough to keep her alive the neighbours are not willing to intervene because he's the neighbourhood bully.

Then he marches to the land registry office with her identification and forced signature, and has the house signed over to him.

Meanwhile, he complains about the cost of that little bit of food even though he has all her property.

He tells everyone the house is his because she let him beat her and that's just the way it is in this world. Her and the children will have to "get over it" and "move on" because he 'legally' obtained her house "a long time ago".

He tells her children that it's HER fault they have to live in a closet.

So I ask you, why would one of her children acknowledge this man's sovereignty over the house he stole and her property he benefits from?

If a child did this, that child would be admitting that this man had some RIGHT to be head of the household and to do what he did, rather than an abusive interloper.

[ 06 November 2008: Message edited by: TVParkdale ]

George Victor

Here is my unexplored, purely intuitive take on what should be tried:

quote:

It seems to me that a participatory route could be helpful as hell in bringing about reforms - starting with new treaty provisions that provide a sound financial base for building new schools and medical facilities and infrastructure generally.

Isn't that route going to be necessary, in fact, to convince Canadians, as president-elect Barack Hussein Obama is continuing to convince more Americans, that change is possible?


Just took at look at the Maori situation in New Zealand where there is PR voting. The Maori Party was last polled at getting 2.7 per cent of the vote...not yet up to the 5 per cent threshold that bring representation in parliament.

I get two different sets of figures from a quick google...one says the Maori make up 10 per cent of the population and another says 15 per cent.

As 2 ponies seems to suggest (above) isn't it time to work for real change in living conditions, lifestyle, and graduate the people that would make up FN local government (the intention of the Inuit and Inuvialuit people who are looking to fill the top bureaucratic posts with their own). Maybe a lot more Jake Tootoosis's who are knowledgeable about the law. etc.

Surely the basic institutions of the invading culture are a necessary element for the advancement of the FN cause?

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Makwa Makwa's picture

I thought of Joseph Brant, i.e. Thayendanegea. Thanks for the topic, moving to FN issues.

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