One Rant at a Time

Whatever heaves into view........better keep its head down.

Monday, May 22, 2006

Of roadblocks and racism

This post by The Corporal over at Curbed Enthusiasm made me think.

From what I understand, there's some little unpleasantness going on between the native population and the immigrants, that is, the ones whose ancestors weren't born in Canada. Which is fine. I don't know enough about the ins and outs of the argument (something to do with roadblocks and racism).

Corp puts it like this: "The Native spokesperson said "any inconvenience the aboriginal blockade may have caused area residents is negligible, compared to the hundreds of years of abuse and neglect experienced by Six Nations members." (How about the last 30 years of you guys getting whatever the hell you want, while we pay your way. You use the healthcare, roads, and social programs that you don't pay for. You get all the hunting and fishing you want."

At which point my glasses started to mist up a little.

See, here's the problem. Corp says the native Canadians should be happy with their lot, with having been hounded, chased, massacred, shoved, abused, ripped off and finally bought off with a parcel of blasted earth so far north that the Pole's closer than the federal capital. "Neglect" doesn't even begin to cover it.

At exactly which point in history did the native Canadians (or native Americans, for that matter) give up their dominion over the land they inhabited? Never. Who signed the deal giving up control? Nobody, that's who. They were hoodwinked systematically into allowing the immigrant population to share their space, take over, and finally run them off their own land.

Government-supported enterprise slowly ate then up and spewed them out. And now the immigrants are growing fat off the land, digging it up for minerals, oil and whatever else they can extract. And who gets the royalties from every barrel of oil or every cubic meter of natural gas the oil companies extract? You can bet your bottom (Canadian) dollar it isn't the native population.

Hell, if I were them I'd be ticked off, and I might go a little further than the odd roadblock, too. I'm not sure that 30 years of free healthcare covers the damages.

Here's the irony. Much of the early settlement of Canada was carried out by dispossessed Scots, who had been unceremoniously kicked off their land by the Earl of Sutherland and other landowers in what became known as the Highland Clearances, after the landowners decided that their land would be more productive if they used it to raise sheep.

Now, I'd hate to think that any people that came out of Great Britain were ever involved in what was effectively a forerunner of "lebensraum" (cf. Nazi Germany), but between the Americans with their native population, the Canadians with theirs, the Australians with theirs and the Earl of Sutherland with his, it makes you think.....


At 3:11 AM, Blogger The Corporal said...

I can't remember how I found this post, but, I thought it was a great argument.

Awesome, actually.

I guess I never really looked at the hard issue. The 200 years of history is nothing to me, and I'm only able to go by what the last 27 have been.


Post a Comment

<< Home