Saturday, August 18, 2007

Cowboys and Indians: Introduction


Over the next while I’m going to deliver a series of posts whose focal point is Canada and her aboriginal people. A lot has been said on this topic, and most of it caustic in nature. My goal isn’t to shout across the divide, but to speak of my personal understandings and attitudes as I’ve experienced them over the years whenever I’ve dealt with native people. I’m going to be frank and at times blunt, but keep in mind that my posts will be as much about my evolution in thinking, as about where I stand on issues today. I’m going to give a non-native perspective based on my many experiences and changes of heart over the years. Please understand that my experience is limited to Manitoba and Saskatchewan, so my perspectives may come as an affront to people from different regions of the country. In other words, I’ll be talking of what I have personally experienced. I invite comments, criticism, and observations from all. Please keep it polite. Shouting is not necessary to heard.

Why am I posting on this topic? Because I believe that frank discussion is the best way to close up the divide that often separates people of different groups. As well, I believe that the only way for Canada and her aboriginal people, is forward. Not in reverse, as some have suggested.

15 comments:

Dr. Dawg said...

Bring it on, DT.

Publius said...

Expect an MWW attack anytime soon.

Debris Trail said...

Actually, I suspect I'll have as much support from MWW as I'll have debate. This is an exercise in building bridges, with some frank and honest talk. Platitudes and smarmy arrogance, from all sides, get people nowhere. I think it's important for native people to know where non-natives get some of their ideas and biases, and visa versa. The only thing that I'll reject in any discussions, will be the notion that because I'm not Indian, I can't have an opinion on Indian things. Or, because someone is not, say white, they can't have an opinion on things "white".

I invite as much discussion as possible; just keep the name calling minimal.

Cheers All... I'm writing number one as we speak.

v said...

Good show, DT!

DazzlinDino said...

Good idea DT, i'll be keeping my eye on this one.....

Meaghan Champion said...

Hey Debris Trail I appreciate your invitation. Can we lay out some ground rules for an actual discussion?

For instance... how bout basic rules of logic and discussion.

For example ie..

a) no unsupported assertions allowed..

b) terms shall be defined, and people will stick to the definition, and not just fuzzy things up and redefine those terms arbitrarily, when the heat gets too intense.

c) contradictions in thinking will not be accepted as "reasonable" and will be dismissed as such. ie.. show your work.

d) Logical fallacies will not be allowed to be passed off as "debate"

Here is a guide to logical fallacies that should prep anybody who cares about this sort of thing...

http://www.datanation.com/fallacies/

e) No smuggled premises. When asked to explain your premises: Do so.

f) provide cites when making a case for or against something, based on emperical evidence, or newspaper articles or texts

g) The onus is on the person who is making an assertion to prove their assertion... not upon the person refuting it to try and prove a negative.

If an *actual* debate or rational discussion is what you are looking for, those are my *rules of engagement*

I'm really not interested in dicking around in another 20-30 rounds of completely ridiculous bumper-sticker sloganeering, by ignorant fools who are more interested in scoring cheap political points, than in actually trying to examine what's going on, what's happened, and what some reasonable solutions might be.

Otherwise what's the point.

Publius, you say that you are an objectivist... is there anything that I have suggested above, that you think contradicts the philosophy of Objectivism? And are you willing to debate/discuss on these terms?

(ie... not jumping into a discussion that I haven't even been present for with an ad-hominem?)

Oh.. and how bout the following... since this is supposed to be starting from scratch... The first person to name-call, concedes the debate?

Meaghan Champion said...

Suggested Topics In This Catagory

1) Sovereignty... what is it? Do Indian "Nations or Tribes" within Canada who signed treaties have it?... do Indians who have not signed Treaties with Canada have it? Why, or Why Not? Please provide historical facts, legal analysis including both domestic Canadian law, and standards of International law. Opinions are fine... but provide *facts* to make your case on this.

2)What are individual rights?

3)Can individuals jointly own property?

3)What are "Native Rights?"

4)Are "Native Rights" "Race-Based?"

5)What is "assimilation"? Is assimilation always a one-way proces? Was/Is Canada's policy to "assimilate" Indians by force of law moral or just?

6)Do people in Canada actually support the concept of property rights? What about contractual obligations?

7)Does stealing something, and holding it for 10 minutes make it "yours". What about for 10 hours? 10 days? 10 Months? 10 years? 100 years? At what point does "theft" become legitimated, and why? or Why not?

8)Does the Crown have a moral and legal duty to meet it's contractual obligations with Aboriginal peoples?

9)Should any individual indian person be held responsible for the poor conduct of all other indian people?

10)Should Canadians today be free from "collective guilt" (feeling) for the things that the Canadian Government did to Indigenous people 150 years ago? 100 years ago? 50 years ago? 25 years ago? Today?

11)Should non-natives in Canada be responsible for the policies of their government?

11)Should native indian people be responsible for their government's corruption and predations upon them, and upon non-natives?

That should certainly open things up.. I hope.

ELP said...

A treaty is a contract between nations (i.e. people of distinct jurisdictions).

Citizenship in a jurisdiction is defined around the world by geographic birth location and/or ancestry (who are your parent or grandparents etc.)

Within nations are rights not necessarily available to those who are not citizens of those nations.

Aboriginals have treaty relationships with Canada. They are dual citizens of two peoples by virtue of where they were born and their ancestry. They have citizenship rights that are unique to the nations that they belong to.

Aboriginal citizenship is little more race-based than is claiming Canadian citizenship based on who your parents are.

Aboriginal rights via aboriginal citizenship are no more unusual than a Canadian claiming rights of citizenship that come from being Canadian.

Treaty rights between aboriginals and Canada is no more unusual than say Britain’s treaty relationships with the Channel Islands, Monaco, Singapore, Scotland, or Wales.

The denial of treat status, which aboriginals have, is a culture bias and not founded in fact, history, or common law. The denial is a bias based on race discrimination.

Eugene Parks

Debris Trail said...

Meaghan: I think that your list of expectations is reasonable, except that formal debates have a moderator, and we aint going to have one here, unless of course things get wacky. I suggest two rules: No name calling or sweeping generalizations. Name calling is for people who don't have anything good to say (reference: Bambi where Thumper's mother scolds him). Vast generalizations about a group of people is racism, bigotry... whatever you want to call it. I'm sure anyone trying that will get their wrist slapped anyway.

As far as topics: For now I'm going to control that of course, and I'll be concentrating on the formation of attitudes using my personal experience. I'm hoping that any aboriginal people reading will perhaps understand better why non-natives may view them as they do, and I hope that non-natives, especially those hidden away in large urban centers, get some insight into the complexity of aboriginal issues.

I'll be sharing with folks tragic and some victorious and some downright ugly things.

Have fun.

Meaghan Champion said...

I would just like it noted for the record... that despite all the caterwauling and moaning by various right-of-center types about the irrationality of myself and other Aboriginals on the subject of Indian Policy in Canada...

Not a single one of your guests commentators has accepted the terms of debate outlined above, and proceeded from there.

Debris Trail, I respect what you are trying to do here. I appreciate it.

But the sad reality is... most people on the right who blather on about Indian policy really *don't* want an actual debate, or dialogue, or even a fruitful discussion that establishes from the outset that terms be defined, and stuck to, and that unproven assertions not be passed off as fact, instead of what they are... mere opinions.

Ian Scott asked me to make some posts about my own experience in going after Indian Act corruption. I really don't even have the heart to do it anymore.

It is one thing for people to be ignorant. It is another for them to absolutley insist upon it.

Unfortunately, my experience is that a majority of right-of-center people on this issue do not want to actually get informed, or deal with facts, or discuss arguments on their merits...

They just want to spew rage, and vile bigotry, and propagandize.

You are setting a good example with your willingness to *actually* discuss these issues. But I doubt very very much that a single one of these commentators (with the exception of Eugene) is going to follow that example or take me, or anybody else up on the debate/discussion, on the terms I have proposed.

ELP said...

A treaty is a contract between nations (i.e. people of distinct jurisdictions).

Citizenship in a jurisdiction is defined around the world by geographic birth location and/or ancestry (who are your parent or grandparents etc.)

Within nations are rights not necessarily available to those who are not citizens of those nations.

Aboriginals have treaty relationships with Canada. They are dual citizens of two peoples by virtue of where they were born and their ancestry. They have citizenship rights that are unique to the nations that they belong to.

Aboriginal citizenship is little more race-based than is claiming Canadian citizenship based on who your parents are.

Aboriginal rights via aboriginal citizenship are no more unusual than a Canadian claiming rights of citizenship that come from being Canadian.

Treaty rights between aboriginals and Canada is no more unusual than say Britain’s treaty relationships with the Channel Islands, Monaco, Singapore, Scotland, or Wales.

The denial of treat status, which aboriginals have, is a culture bias and not founded in fact, history, or common law. The denial is a bias based on race discrimination.

Eugene Parks

v said...

Good show, DT!

DazzlinDino said...

Good idea DT, i'll be keeping my eye on this one.....

Publius said...

Expect an MWW attack anytime soon.

Meaghan Champion said...

I would just like it noted for the record... that despite all the caterwauling and moaning by various right-of-center types about the irrationality of myself and other Aboriginals on the subject of Indian Policy in Canada...

Not a single one of your guests commentators has accepted the terms of debate outlined above, and proceeded from there.

Debris Trail, I respect what you are trying to do here. I appreciate it.

But the sad reality is... most people on the right who blather on about Indian policy really *don't* want an actual debate, or dialogue, or even a fruitful discussion that establishes from the outset that terms be defined, and stuck to, and that unproven assertions not be passed off as fact, instead of what they are... mere opinions.

Ian Scott asked me to make some posts about my own experience in going after Indian Act corruption. I really don't even have the heart to do it anymore.

It is one thing for people to be ignorant. It is another for them to absolutley insist upon it.

Unfortunately, my experience is that a majority of right-of-center people on this issue do not want to actually get informed, or deal with facts, or discuss arguments on their merits...

They just want to spew rage, and vile bigotry, and propagandize.

You are setting a good example with your willingness to *actually* discuss these issues. But I doubt very very much that a single one of these commentators (with the exception of Eugene) is going to follow that example or take me, or anybody else up on the debate/discussion, on the terms I have proposed.