MESSAGE FROM ART MANUEL (via Russell Diabo @RussDiabo):
You are at the crossroads. You need to decide.
I think we need to understand that the federal government is relentless in pushing to extinguishing our Aboriginal and Treaty Rights. The federal comprehensive land claims policy clearly spells this out in the final agreements Canada has reached in BC. This is the policy and process they are implementing in the Maritimes. Russell is correct in his talk about the termination policy.
We are at the crossroads where Indigenous Peoples need to decide if we follow our Indigenous leaders who support the governments extinguishment policy or we continue to fight to have our Aboriginal Title and Treaty rights recognized and affirmed.
This fundamental threshold question is what is facing our peoples in the Maritimes. It is up to the people to decide. In BC we wasted 20 years negotiating under the existing Comprehensive Land Claims Policy and the BCTC Treaty Process. Indeed the federal and provincial governments spent over a billion dollars negotiating under this policy and process. Plus Indigenous leaders borrowed over $500 million to pay themselves to negotiate under this policy and process. It is the grassroots that need to pay it back.
These loans are a real problem are used in the BC annual financial statements to make us look economically childish in standing up for our proprietary and economic rights as the rightful title holders to our Aboriginal Title and Right Territory.
In fact the Comprehensive Land Claims Policy and Process is simply a “risk management” strategy of Canada and BC to manage their financial liability for not recognizing and affirming our Aboriginal Title and Rights. Once you negotiate with the federal and provincial governments under the existing policy and process you give Canada and the province the power to tell the credit rating agencies that their are legitimately taking care of their financial responsibility for so called “Aboriginal Land Claims”.
We do have the power to build our own Indigenous based economy in Canada and the provinces
We have moved a long way down the road to building an Indigenous based economy in this country and Canada and the provinces knows this, so do industry and the commercial community. In fact the media calls this economic uncertainty. It is up to us to determine what this means in terms of economic risk. We do have the power to build our own Indigenous based economy in Canada and the provinces if we do not get sucked into negotiating under the existing Comprehensive Land Claims Policy.
I think Russell gets what to look our for under the existing policy and process and I think that a meeting should be held in the Maritimes to talk about this more. You are at the crossroads. You need to decide.
cell: 1 (250) 319-0688
Cover photo from Muskrat Magazine