Decolonising Canada

by: EJ on 01/30/2013
Posted in: Activism

Today on Aljazeera website, Stefan Christoff writes an in depth blog about the colonial reality of Canada's relationship with first nations.  Most of Canada's economic wealth is dependent on resource extraction and the historical agreements between the government and first nations should play a critical role in any resource development. This is not always the case, however. 

Christoff writes, "Recent changes to Canadian law, introduced by the Conservative government, in relation to aboriginal rights, are directly rooted in Canada's growing economic dependence on natural resources. Canada's major mining and oil and gas sectors are largely wired to totally ignore and undercut previously signed treaty agreements and Canada's international legal obligations to aboriginal people."

"Attawapiskat First Nation, Chief Spence declared a state of emergency in 2011, to draw focus to serious poverty on the isolated reserve, where many families live in wooden sheds, without running water or adequate insulation to face Canada's northern winter winds." Chief Spence ended a six week hunger strike last Thursday but her action has served as a catalyst for nation wide protests." 

Christoff concludes, "Idle No More presents an incredible opening to collectively reenvision Canada, to finally address Canada's unjust past and present policies toward aboriginal people. A call to collectively explore a new social contract, rooted in indigenous traditions and contemporary conceptions of social justice, that can unravel the violent colonial roots to current economic modes that are destroying mother earth."

Visit our facebook page for photos of the Nanaimo event, and check back to our blog for updates. For advice on how to become an effective ally to first nations and other minorities, we recommend reading Uprooting Racism: How White People Can Work for Racial Justice by Paul Kivel.



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