Friday, May 13, 2011

A Harper Majority and Native rights


Someone sent me a link to the above video. An interview on Fox News North between longtime Conservative insider, Ezra Levant, and Gary McHale, an anti-native rights activist.

McHale runs a website Caledonia Wake up call, that focuses in part , on Caledonia land claims, an issue that has sparked, often violent, protest.

He also runs a group: CANACE (Canadian Advocates for Charter Equality), that "exposes" racial (white) discrimination. He goes after the OPP for not arresting the native "terrorists" and was once arrested himself, for attempting to tear down native flags and replace them with Canadian ones.

The Caledonia situation is a complex issue, and the protests necessary before the subdivision was built, when it may have been too late. The provincial government reimbursed the developer and the matter, I believe, is still before the courts.

However, what I find troubling about the piece, is the constant referral to "Indians" and "white people". They stopped short of saying "Settlers and Injuns".

Can we expect more of this kind of inciting "white people" against "Indians"?

I'd written before of Randy Hillier, an Ontario Conservative MPP who once headed up a group called the Lanark Landowners Association, whose motto was “This Land is Our Land: Back off Government”. McHale represents a similar "settlers uprising".

Recent Wikileaks cables reveal concern shown by the United States toward native protests, that could hamper Harper's Border Security deal.

Environmental protests, especially against the tar sands and anti-war protests, are mentioned frequently.

Will we see more of an "us vs them" mentality, where men like Gary McHale, a blowhard "white man" is seen as an authority on First Nations issues?

When Stephen Harper was first elected in 2006, there was a great deal of concern shown by Native Canadians, given his close relationship with Tom Flanagan, who has written often trivializing land claims, and expressing the need for taxes to be collected on reserves.

With a majority, will Harper now become more forceful? Less tolerant of legitimate protest? We'll have to watch the situation closely. I don't like the tone of the arguments at all.

3 comments:

  1. There's no telling what he will do, of course, but my bet is he'll promote the "us versus them" and then back whichever group ("white man" or "Indian") seems to be backing his party. Meanwhile, I'm sure there's nothing Harper likes better than Canadians fighting amongst ourselves. Confrontation-R-Us, that's his style.

    ReplyDelete
  2. This is appalling. I cannot believe that this sort of tv programming is even allowed to be transmit on Canadian airwaves? (is there any hope of it dying soon?)

    As for Aboriginal issues in Canada, Harper is pretty clear I find -- he cancelled Kelowna as soon as he became PM, and there has been a chill cast across negotiations ever since. He has eliminated the court challenges program, and everything which provides any support to minority rights. I have yet to come across a rigid neo-con who supports Aboriginal rights. I would be very surprised if his personal views did not mirror those of Flanagan.

    I cannot believe that we are in this situation.

    ReplyDelete