Justin Trudeau promised reconciliation with indigenous peoples of Canada, but has not delivered

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2017/09/14/more-broken-promises.html


“nation to nation” negotiations

Is a sad f’ing joke on the very peoples it’s meant to help

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With over 600 Indian bands across Canada, some numbering only a few hundred people, establishing “nation to nation” relationships with them all is a challenge. As for the pipelines, consultation does not equal veto. Many bands along the pipeline route are in favour and have signed benefit agreements. Some are not. Should any one band have a veto?

That’s one thing the U.S.A. has going for it – it recognizes many Native tribes as sovereign nations of a particular class called “domestic dependent nations” – and there’s a series of very important supreme court decisions which reinforce this. In Canada, not so much.

So you’re only a nation if you’re over a certain size?

Why not?


Sure. A nation has to be able to provide basic services to its people…health care, government, a tax base, etc. A village of 150 people can’t do that.

If every nimby has a veto nothing will get done… No highways, no airports, no condos in cities, etc…at some point the good of the many outweighs the desires of the few.

Since when?

So when do the rest of us get to overrule the US?


Nation: “a large body of people, associated with a particular territory, that is sufficiently conscious of its unity to seek or to possess a government peculiarly its own”.

In a modern system, self government means providing the services that people utilize…raising taxes, providing health care, power, drinking water, etc. You think a village of 200 people is able to do that? And if that village relies on someone else for those services, a nation they arent.

I would dispute your requirement for providing services people utilise. That’s a state not a nation.

But even taking that on board sure a village of 200 people can do those things. Perhaps not very well but all of that has been and is still done by groups far smaller than you seem to allow to be possible.

And if you’re going to say that relying on some outside body to provide any of the things you set out disqualifies a group from being a nation, then you are either a believer in one global nation or you think there are no nations.

Can you name any country in the world which provides all those things based entirely on its own resources?

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White leader breaks promises to indigenous Americans. That sounds familiar.

No band has a true veto, i.e., can block the entire pipeline regardless of its route. They should absolutely be able to deny access to their territory. The pipe can go around. If that makes it infeasible, make a better deal or tough beans.

At this point, a pipeline is hardly an unambiguous good, and is almost certainly a waste of time, land, and money. Utilitarian arguments for overriding the rights of the few don’t hold here.


Federal Liberal Party MO, I’m afraid. Campaign on lofty goals and high principles, govern as if you never had them, then dump money into swing ridings toward the end of your term.

Of all the things they promised this time around, pot legalization is the only thing they might pull off. And it’s the one I cared about least. (Vs electoral reform, First Nations reconciliation, tax reform)

ETA: should give them kudos on gender balance in govt, but not many. It’s not hard anymore.

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