So said the Governor-General of Canada, and this highlights that most egregious colonial equivocation, that a Colonial-Settler State and an Indigenous People are both the same thing: a Nation. Canada is the sorriest excuse for a real country this side of the Soviet Union, let alone a “nation.” East of Cascadia where the treaties begin, many Indigenous Nations have treaties with “The Crown,” AKA the British Empire. Many of these treaties originated with the same 1763 agreement between the Brits and the Indians that prompted the “Americans” to stick it to the Crown 13 years later and head west past Appalachia, guns blazing and hungry for blood.
My point is that Canada is nothing but a puppet colonial administration and the grassroots Indigenous People have it exactly right when they try to block “their” AFN Chiefs from acting like Kanada is a legitimate “nation” on the same level as the real Nations of Turtle Island: ‘Earlier, some protesters attempted to block the door to the Langevin building where the meeting was being held. Chiefs from Manitoba spread tobacco on the steps to protect their people, and several dozen women linked arms to try to stop people from entering. When Coon Come entered despite their pleas, one woman broke down in tears.’
Now, all this business with hunger strikes, crying women, and making deals with “The Crown” takes me back to the experience my Nation, the Irish People. We were not interested in making a “peace treaty” with the bastards, we kicked The Crown out of our country. (almost, that is. And the sell-out agreement our “chiefs” made with the Crown had us shooting each other at the drop of a hat, don’t forget it). The year before I was born (1981), 10 Irish People died on hunger strike, and “The Crown” couldn’t care less. And today, Ireland is still swinging from an economic noose because, despite our “recognition”, the island must still try to swim in the waters of the same global economy with hands tied. This is what the Indigenous Nations in Kanada have to look forward to even if the AFN chiefs win the day. Open pit mines and suburban development on reserves? What a victory.
The Crown has nothing to offer Indigenous Nations, especially in Cascadia where deals with the devil were never signed (Douglas and Nisga’a treaties aside). Signing a sell out deal caused the Irish years of suffering, just as the “Crown” knew it would. It was an act of predatory state-craft. Churchill, Chamberlain, Thatcher, Harper: all peas in the same pod. Literally. And if we can see US occupation as legitimate as Hitler in Poland, then perhaps we can start thinking clearly.
So here’s to the grassroots! In the poster below, replace “Ireland” with any Indigenous place name. Replace “Irish” with the name of the Indigenous People therein. Replace “unit” with ‘a decentralized alliance of autonomous bands, clans, villages, kindship groups and families.’ Just don’t change “British”, because some things never change.