Thursday, December 22, 2005

The Ghosts of Elections Past

With Canada's election news coverage so overwhelmingly occupied with the stenography of spins, it's no wonder the rattling of chains down the corridors of several British Columbia ridings is going unnoticed. But it's a sound that's becoming deafening among the aboriginal peoples west of the Rocky Mountains - where one third of Canada's Indian bands are situated.

The clanging sound is coming out of the crypt of the Reform Party, whose windbags told us that aboriginal rights are "rights based on race," that the Nisga'a treaty is "the worst type of Alabama racism in the history of this country," and that an "armed citizenry" is necessary to ensure against "big government" in Canada. Well, they're back, and they're running for the Conservatives.

Lately, Canada has made historic progress in reconciling the federal government with Canada's 13 provinces and territories and the country's First Nations leadership. The New Democratic Party has played its part, true enough, but not so much as to slow a growing trend among aboriginal leaders to openly and enthusiastically support the ruling Liberals.

The stakes are too high. What progress we have seen will disappear even with a minority Conservative government, says Doug Kelly, a member of the provincial executive of the First Nations Summit. “If we end up with a Conservative government," he says, "it will be a government of angry white men who long for the day when they were in the driver’s seat.”


Blogger Dylan said...

Wow! Since reading your post I have stopped clapping only once; and that has been right now to write this comment! Great article, great insight!

1:15 AM  
Blogger Meaghan Walker-Williams said...

Thank you for this! Sometimes, one can get the impression that very few non-aboriginal people are paying attention to Aborigianl issues, and the ones that are often are trying to inflict cheap rhetoric and agenda into the mix.

This is a breath of fresh air. I've added you to my blogroll!

Love the Ethnohistory about Kuper Island by the way!

I'am S'amuna' -- and my great great great grandmother's name Luuluush, comes from Kuper.

9:19 AM  
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