‘The Folly of Land Acknowledgements’


“There are very good reasons for rejecting the land acknowledgements — on the basis that they are simply wrong.”

“Whenever somebody tells me I am occupying the unceded land belonging to this, that, or another group of ‘Indigenous’ {sic, Aboriginals are ‘Indigenous’ to Mongolia and Siberia} people, I confess, the information quickly recedes from my memory. Many other Canadians have likely experienced something similar. Despite the prevalence of ‘Indigenous’ land acknowledgements these days, most people probably cannot say whose {claimed} land they are allegedly occupying. According to a recent poll, only 25% of Canadians believe they live on unceded ‘Indigenous’ territory {Because most of them don’t. Read the Treaties!}.

“Still, there is more agreement than disagreement that politicians should make regular land acknowledgements. But why? Do land acknowledgements impart any useful knowledge?

“As Sherlock Holmes once said to Dr. Watson, a brain is like an attic: it can store only so much furniture, so it pays to be selective about what goes into it.

“Suppose for the sake of argument that non-‘Indigenous’ Canadians {That’s everybody!} really are all occupying stolen land. Then what? Even the most committed land acknowledgers do not actually return the land, pack up their belongings and move back to the continent of their ancestors. Even they, it would appear, do not think the issue to be of much practical consequence today. Slavery, tyranny, violence and other injustices have been widespread throughout human history, so that it is neither feasible nor sensible to attempt to make reparations today for the grievances that have long receded into the past.

“Moreover, there are very good reasons for rejecting the land acknowledgements — on the basis that they are simply wrong. As Peter Shawn Taylor wrote in the ‘Post’ several years ago {See below}, acknowledgements are “rife with historical inaccuracies and are “creating confusion and conflict” instead of reconciliation.

“Taylor, who lives in Waterloo, pointed out that the land on which he resides was in fact sold by ‘Indigenous’ groups to the British many years ago for a sum of money. And though the details of the agreement are complicated, the ‘Indigenous’ chiefs did intend to sell off the land — to attract ‘white’ settlers, in fact.

“Or consider the case of Winnipeg. In 2017, school trustees in that city voted that public schools should include in their morning announcements a statement recognizing that the schools are located on Treaty 1 land known as ‘First Nations’ territory. However, the reality, as Taylor put it, is that

“in exchange for explicit compensation, natives on the Prairies did, in the words of Treaty 1, ‘cede, release, surrender and yield up to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever all the lands’ described by the document, with a remainder set aside for reserves.”

{TREATY 1: “The Chippewa and Swampy Cree Tribes of Indians and all other the Indians inhabiting the district hereinafter described and defined do hereby CEDE, RELEASE, SURRENDER and YIELD UP to Her Majesty the Queen and successors FOREVER ALL THE LANDS included within the following limits…
{There follows a lengthy description of the territory ceded, released, surrendered, etc.}
“To have and to hold the same to Her said Majesty the Queen and Her successors FOR EVER…”

https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1100100028664/1581294165927 }

CREATOR: gd-jpeg v1.0 (using IJG JPEG v90), quality = 82

“Similarly, the land which makes up Toronto, where I live, was purchased from the First Nations by the British in 1787 for money and various goods, including gun flints, kettles, hats, and rum. The agreement did not properly document what lands were included but it was followed up with a treaty in 1805 to make revisions and clarify the issue. The British underpaid and the land ceded in 1805 was more than was agreed to in 1787 — but neither mutually agreeing to revise the terms of an earlier purchase nor paying less than market value for something is theft. Even so, the federal government, noting that “the current ownership of the land is not in question”, paid $145 million to the Mississaugas of the New Credit ‘First Nation’ in 2010 in compensation for the British Crown having obtained too good a price for the land over two centuries earlier.

{‘Pan Am Games Perpetuate Fraud’ (‘The Toronto Purchase’) {August 13, 2015}

This foolishness {“our traditional lands”} went by with virtually no comment from Canadian historians or our governments; indeed, our governments were complicit in spreading what amounts to an historical lie. This has become commonplace, with Canadian officials constantly thanking the ‘traditional’ landowners, even when — as in this case — their claim is ridiculous…”

https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/08/14/the-toronto-purchase-3/ }

“At bottom, the lands were legally transferred, and in any case it does not make sense to suggest, as the land acknowledgements do, that people today owe apologies or reparations for things that other people did over two centuries ago. For most Canadians, then, knowledge about who previously lived on their land is not something that needs to be kept in their brain-attics, and the space could be used to store other knowledge of more practical usefulness.”

–‘The trouble with land acknowledgements’,

Matthew Lau, Financial Post, June 30, 2021

https://financialpost.com/opinion/matthew-lau-the-trouble-with-land-acknowledgements

COMMENT: “I would support the acknowledgements if the Bands would start their days with the acknowledgement that they are relying on gifts of the Western civilization – free medical care, free education, security and law protection, and money…”

^^^^^^^^

“This stupidity must be a Cdn thing. I doubt it exists outside of Canada/US and only white liberals feel this ‘guilty’.”

^^^^^^^^

“Finally, a journalist willing to take on the fake narrative and report the facts. Despite what mainstream media, left-wing politicians and other woke people want you to believe, the indigenous people were not all master stewards of the land. My great grandmother immigrated to Canada during the 20’s, was widowed with a large, young family during the start of the Great Depression – all the while working the land. No indigenous peoples were vying for the land. If you want to acknowledge someone, acknowledge the people that made Canada great.”

^^^^^^^^

“Canadian taxpayers ANNUALLY spend $15 billion at all levels of gov’t to benefit Canada’s 1.7 million indigenous peoples. At the federal level, there are two (count ’em, 2!) ministries dedicated to improving the lives of FN’s, Metis and Inuit peoples. Is that ‘erasure’? … Here’s another dichotomy to ponder: Is it better to spend limited public funds attempting to resurrect moribund languages spoken by a handful of people or to educate indigenous children in STEM subjects so they can join the workforce and enjoy a standard of living comparable to their non-indigenous counterparts – i.e. your children?”

^^^^^^^^

“What does reconciliation look like? Is there a schedule to achieve it? Is it possible to schedule? What is the cost? Can we afford that cost? Is it cruel, racist, unjust, hateful, irredeemably wrong to even ask if, in the best interests of indigenous children, limited public funds are spent preparing them for the future rather than dwelling on the past? Is it really helpful to spend limited time and resources restoring moribund languages spoken by a handful of people? Are we allowed to even ask if all cultural practices are equally useful in the 21st century?”

^^^^^^^^

“Well to be fair, a stone-age society that did not even have the wheel, metalworking or any fabrics other than animal skins – which also were used for “housing” – would probably not have developed the medical, educational, security, laws and prosperity that the European ancestors and their descendants have developed, never mind human rights and equality by law.”

^^^^^^^^

“The gift that keeps on giving. It’s like me selling the house and having the next owner to recite every morning that this house was originally mine. Unfortunately, even asking the question “why are we doing this?” (or asking any other question, for that matter) attracts the labels and problems at work. Freedom of speech – what freedom of speech?”

^^^^^^^^

“These acknowledgements, further to the point are false in many cases and certainly have no place in the schools. Kids used to say the Lord’s Prayer and they’ve removed that and replaced it with this falsehood.”

“A new poll shows that while Canadians want politicians to acknowledge the ‘Indigenous’ {sic} history of the land they’re standing on, they don’t think it applies to their own land.

“‘Indigenous’ land acknowledgments in which speakers, usually politicians, mention the ‘Indigenous’ history of the land they are speaking on have become common in recent years. As an example, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau often mentions when he is speaking from Ottawa that he is sitting on ‘unceded’ Algonquin territory.

“Support for the statements was generally highest among younger people, with 67% of people in the age group agreeing with it.

“Despite the support for having politicians say it, when asked if they personally are living on unceded ‘Indigenous’ territory, only 25% of people agreed.

{And that’s because most Canadians are living on CEDED-by-Treaty land…}

“Jack Jedwab, president of the association, said it shows there is work for people to do in understanding what the acknowledgements actually mean…

“Unceded ‘Indigenous’ territory generally refers to lands that were controlled by ‘Indigenous’ communities before French and British settlers arrived.

{No, it doesn’t!!! “Unceded” land is land not covered by treaty!}

“Courts have since recognized those claims, and land claim settlements have been underway with ‘Indigenous’ communities to compensate communities for the land.

“Mostly in Western Canada, ‘Indigenous’ communities entered into treaties with the Canadian government of the time.

{Nonsense. Treaties cover Ontario, the Prairies, part of northern B.C., and the Maritimes…}

“Land acknowledgments in the Prairies generally mention those treaties, which were often not fulfilled {More nonsense. READ the Treaties!}.

“Goverrnment is engaged in negotiations over land claims with ‘Indigenous’ communities across the country. Jedwab said these views could be a political barrier to those negotiations, but generally he believes Canadians just need to better understand the process…

“The poll used an online panel and reached out to 1,539 respondents between June 4 and June 6.”

–‘’Canadians appreciate Indigenous land acknowledgements, but don’t think it applies to them: poll,

Ryan Tumilty, National Post, June 21, 2021

https://nationalpost.com/news/politics/canadians-appreciate-indigenous-land-acknowledgements-but-dont-think-it-applies-to-them-poll

Montreal Canadiens scoreboard shows a ‘land acknowledgement’, Oct. 19, 2021. (Photo by Ryan Remiorz – Canadian Press)

From 2018:

“Has Canada acquired a second, tuneless national anthem?

“Prior to public events of all sort — city council meetings, school classes, concerts, sporting events, church services, conferences, etc. — it is now widely accepted practice to acknowledge the ‘fact’ participants are on the {claimed but unproven} ‘traditional territory’ of various ‘Indigenous’ {sic} peoples, and that the rest of us are merely guests on their land {Utter nonsense…}.

“Arising from the work of the {Partial} Truth and Reconciliation Commission, this routine is meant to promote greater understanding between ‘Indigenous’ peoples and the rest of Canada. It’s not working. Instead of conciliating, these statements are creating confusion and conflict. They’re also rife with historical inaccuracies.

“The current popularity of these statements ought to be taken as a sign many non-natives honestly care about native issues. Paying homage to ‘Indigenous’ stewardship of the land in this symbolic way seems like a nice, polite and very Canadian thing to do. The Winnipeg Jets, for example, open every home game with an acknowledgement that they’re playing on “Treaty 1 land”. But what are the practical implications of such symbolism?

“Last month, during the Jets’ exciting run through the Stanley Cup playoffs, native grandmother Gerry Shingoose caused a fracas at one of Winnipeg’s famous “Whiteout” street parties by taking the Jets’ pre-game invocation literally. Standing on a sidewalk inside the designated party area, Shingoose was asked to move to the street since city regulations required the sidewalks to be kept clear at all times. She refused.

I can stand anywhere … you guys are on Treaty 1 territory”,

she defiantly told security personnel as she filmed herself with a cellphone.

“No, it’s not”,

exasperated staff responded.

This is ‘Indigenous’ land”,

she repeated determinedly.

This is Treaty 1 territory.”

The numbered treaties of the Canadian west were contractual arrangements between the Canadian government and various ‘Indigenous’ tribes. In exchange for explicit compensation, natives on the Prairies did, in the words of Treaty 1, “cede, release, surrender and yield up to Her Majesty the Queen and successors forever all the lands” described by the document, with a remainder set aside for reserves. This was a mutually-agreed-upon deal no different from buying a house today; land was exchanged for certain considerations, all sales final.

“Shingoose was eventually dragged off by police, her claims to traditional ownership of Winnipeg’s sidewalks notwithstanding. But the notion that she could stand wherever she wants because it’s all “treaty land” is certainly not without argument {?}, considering the prominence this exact claim is given prior to every Jets home game, as well as before countless other public meetings and events across Canada. Repeat something often enough, and people start believing it’s true.

“The Shingoose affair really points to the yawning difference in understanding about the meaning of our newly ubiquitous land-acknowledgement statements. Non-natives tend to see them as purely symbolic demonstrations of concern. Natives, however, interpret them as evidence they still retain some sort of residual moral or legal right to territory their ancestors long ago sold to the rest of Canada.

Such a massive gap in perception between cultures will eventually lead to a reckoning, warns Frances Widdowson, an academic at Mount Royal University in Calgary and an outspoken critic of land-acknowledgement statements on campus and elsewhere.

What happens 10 years down the road when some ‘Indigenous’ people suggest it’s time we start paying rent on this land, given that we’ve admitted over and over again that it isn’t really ours?

she asks.

“It’s a good question.

Land acknowledgements are also becoming a way to control legitimate debate and compel speech. In a recent vote, the Ontario Medical Association rejected making a land-acknowledgement statement prior to their meetings as a meaningless form of tokenism. Dr. Nel Wieman, president of the {segregated} ‘Indigenous’ Physicians Association of Canada, instantly denounced this decision as proof that “privilege and racism” run rampant throughout the doctors’ group. Once you had to do something explicitly racist to be declared one. Now, anyone who chooses not to fall in line with current political fashion can be smeared with this horrible epithet.

{‘Sound The Retreat!’ {May 5, 2018}

“The Ontario Medical Association governing council decided, quite rightly, that there was no need for them to acknowledge the surrendered, former territory of whichever tribe happened to have lived there last, before the development of Canada. In an all-too-familiar Canadian pattern, they are now apologizing…and this abject retreat is particularly pathetic…”

https://endracebasedlawcanadanews.wordpress.com/2018/05/05/sound-the-retreat/ }

“And, as with the mischaracterization of “treaty land” as a legally meaningful concept, land acknowledgement statements elsewhere in Canada also fail as honest history.

“I live in Waterloo, in southwestern Ontario, where the standard pre-event acknowledgement states we’re on the “traditional territory of the Anishinaabe, Neutral and Haudenosaunee peoples”. Not exactly.

“The Haudenosaunee currently in the Grand River area of southwestern Ontario traditionally lived in New York state. During the American Revolution, Chief Joseph Brant and his Haudenosaunee Mohawk warriors fought as allies of the British. When that ended in defeat, Brant asked the British Crown to relocate his people to more congenial surroundings.

“So in 1784, Gov. Gen. Frederick Haldimand bought a tract of land 10 kilometres wide on either side of the Grand River from the Mississauga people (members of the Anishinaabe group), as a new home for the Haudenosaunee. Brant and his 2,000 followers showed up around the same time as many ‘white’ loyalist refugees were also making their way to southwestern Ontario to claim similar British land grants. They are no more “traditional” owners of the land than anyone else living on land bought from someone else.

{The Myths of Caledonia‘ {November 20, 2015}:

The ownership history of Six Nations lands in Ontario has been ignored, as has the legal basis of the Six Nations claim to those lands. It’s time for the politically-incorrect truth to be told. In short, THE SIX NATIONS HAVE NO LEGAL RIGHTS TO THE LAND IN QUESTION, AND HAVE HAD NONE FOR OVER A CENTURY.”

https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/11/19/the-myths-of-caledonia/ }

“The Mississauga had held sovereignty throughout the Grand River area since 1700, but sold the entire tract of 385,000 hectares to the British for £1,180. Again, this was an outright land sale no different from Prairie treaty negotiations, or selling your house today. 

“As for the Neutral tribes, they were indeed the original residents of the Grand River area. But we know very little about them today because they were wiped out during the devastating wars between the Haudenosaunee and the Huron that erupted long before any European settlers arrived.

{What Happened To The ‘Neutrals’?‘:

This is the tribe that occupied southwestern Ontario until the 1650s, when fellow Iroquois tribes from what is now the U.S. rendered them extinct. In modern terminology, they were ‘victims of genocide’…”

https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2016/08/23/what-happened-to-the-neutrals/}

A truthful land-acknowledgement claim would thus have to recognize that the original owners of the land had it stolen from them by other native tribes, who have been squatting on it ever since, along with the rest of us ‘settlers’.

“Further, it is often pointed out that ‘Indigenous’ groups today control a mere sliver of the original Haldimand Tract; the implication being that Brant’s followers were swindled out of their birthright. And while the details of the land deal are endlessly complicated, it’s important to note that Brant had always intended — with backing by hereditary chiefs — to sell off large chunks of the land to attract ‘white’ settlers into his new territory for, in Brant’s own words,

“the purposes of making roads, raising provisions and teaching us the benefits of agriculture”.

Brant sold the land because he wanted to bring ‘white’ and native societies closer together and, in doing so, give his people the opportunity to learn and prosper from Western culture and technology. Maybe someday we’ll acknowledge that.”

–‘Indigenous land salutes a nice idea that will backfire badly’,

Peter Shawn Taylor, National Post

June 08, 2018

https://nationalpost.com/opinion/peter-shawn-taylor-indigenous-land-salutes-a-nice-idea-that-will-backfire-badly

“Today, {foolish} ‘land acknowledgements’ often show up at the beginning of most events, the bottom of many webpages and email signatures, and in “about us” sections.

“They usually go a little something like this:

“[Insert organization here] would like to acknowledge that we are on the traditional and unceded lands of the names of local nations, whose relationship with this land continues to this day.”

(You can read The Tyee’s on the website’s contact page, under “Acknowledgements”, for example.)

{Here’s their foolishness:

‘Acknowledgements’

“The Tyee is based in what is commonly {legally} known as Vancouver, British Columbia, on the ‘unceded’ {‘claimed’, former} territories of the xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam), Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) and Sel̓íl̓witulh (Tsleil-Waututh) ‘nations’.

“Our team reaches across the province, to the ‘unceded’ {‘claimed’, former} territory of the lək̓ʷəŋən peoples on the {‘claimed’, former} ‘traditional territory’ of the Songhees and Esquimalt ‘nations’ on Vancouver Island, commonly {legally} known as Victoria; the {‘claimed’, former} territory of the Gidimt’en Clan of the Wet’suwet’en in the Interior, in what is commonly {legally} known as Smithers; and qathet in the {‘claimed’, former} ‘traditional territories’ of the Tla’amin ‘Nation’ on the Sunshine Coast, commonly {legally} known as Powell River.

“Members of our editorial and business team also extend east, to the {‘claimed’, former} ‘traditional territory’ of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca and the Mississaugas of the Credit, in what is commonly {legally} known as Toronto, Ontario; and north, to {‘claimed’, former} Chief Drygeese territory and the {‘claimed’, former} ‘traditional land’ of the Yellowknives Dene ‘First Nation’, commonly {legally} known as Yellowknife, Northwest Territories.

“We are grateful to work on the {‘claimed’, former} territory of these ‘nations’, and through The Tyee, to expand knowledge of ‘Indigenous’ relationships to the land commonly {legally} known as Canada.”

https://thetyee.ca/contact/ }

“Land acknowledgements, also known as ‘territory acknowledgements’, can be used as an act of ‘decolonization’, by naming ‘Indigenous’ {sic} ‘nations’, recognizing their {claimed, former, often stolen} ‘traditional lands’ and stating that these lands were taken in ‘colonization’ {And had often been taken by other tribes before the coming of ‘White man’}.

They can be a way for organizations, people and places to recognize and encourage the remembrance and research into Canada’s history of ‘colonization’ {‘modernization’}. They can even signal the support of the organization or person to return ‘Indigenous sovereignty’ {There is no such thing} to these lands.

“But land acknowledgements can also become performative in nature — what starts as an act of support can quickly become just another checkmark to tick on the “things to do” column.

“Are there ways to make such acknowledgements more meaningful? What is the difference between a “land acknowledgement” and a “territory acknowledgement”? And how do ‘Indigenous’ people feel about the practice? Those are some questions I’ve set out to explore in this article. (A note: this article explores several perspectives, but does not reflect the views or opinions of all ‘Indigenous’ peoples — no single article could.)

‘The history of land acknowledgements’

“Land acknowledgements are a practice used in some ‘Indigenous’ cultures {Such as?} to recognize other ‘nations’ homelands. They’ve been adapted to fit a mainstream purpose. They have risen in popularity since the {Partial} Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s “Calls to Action” came out in 2015. While the calls to action don’t directly address the need for land acknowledgements, they’ve become common as a show of support and as a ‘decolonizing’ action in the wake of the TRC.

“The ‘National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered ‘Indigenous’ Women and Girls’ also found that responsibility, accountability and acknowledgement are important and necessary to promote further change in Canada.

“The City of Vancouver first recognized that Vancouver was on ‘unceded lands’ via land acknowledgement in 2014.

{Who Owns British Columbia?’:

“Vancouver city council formally acknowledged Wednesday {June 25, 2014} that the land on which the city is built actually belongs to three local ‘First Nations’.But landowners shouldn’t worry, according to Mayor Gregor Robertson. Rather than accept the Mayor’s assurances, we at End Race Based Law would like to ask what exactly does “aboriginal title” mean?”

https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2016/07/22/who-owns-british-columbia/ }

“Similarly, the City of Toronto began implementing land acknowledgements in 2014; the language was most recently updated in 2019, after discussion with their Aboriginal Advisory Committee.

“The City of Montreal notes that their “historical steps” towards reconciliation started in 2017 — but land acknowledgements aren’t listed as one of the steps they utilize.

https://montreal.ca/en/topics/indigenous-peoples

“The City of Ottawa created a formal action plan for {One-way} ‘reconciliation’ in 2018, stipulating they would: “promote a standard process to honour Algonquin Unceded {claimed, former} Territory at the opening of city events”.

https://documents.ottawa.ca/sites/documents/files/rec_actionplan_en.pdf

‘How land and territory acknowledgements differ’

Land acknowledgement” and “territory acknowledgement” are used interchangeably nowadays. But their connotations are slightly different: “territory” tends to make people think more about things like jurisdiction and governmental authority.

“‘Your Syilx Sisters’, a communications company founded this year by sisters Lauren Marchand and Kelsie Kilawna (Marchand), who are members of ‘nk̓maplqs’, or the Okanagan Indian Band, leans away from the term “territory”.

“‘Territory’ always makes everything sound like it needs to be a fight”,

Kilawna says.

There’s territorial conflict, all those things.”

“Kilawna says “territory” also ties a land claim to a specific ‘nation’ {tribe}, when ‘nations’ lands can and often do overlap {Because tribes so often stole land from one another}.

“Land acknowledgements”,

she adds,

“honour the place where you are. Because in a lot of places we have ‘shared’ lands with other ‘nations’ that are neighbouring”.

{“Shared” is simply revisionist history attempting to gloss over the inter-tribal warfare…}

‘Avoiding ‘cookie cutter’ acknowledgements’

“When ‘done right’, land acknowledgements can be a meaningful act of reconciliation {Nonsense…}. This means taking the time to ‘self-locate’, rather than seeking out a cookie cutter template to adapt for one’s own purposes. It can also mean recognizing that land acknowledgements by themselves are not enough.

“Marchand and Kilawna stress that it is also important to connect with local ‘nations’, participate in education about culture and colonialism, and find ways to move forward. Without meaningful actions like these, land acknowledgements will seem performative in nature.

“Another way to look at it is that land acknowledgements are the bare minimum, says Marchand…

‘Honouring the land’

“So now you are up to speed on some of the history and nuances of land acknowledgements as practiced today. But how do ‘Indigenous’ peoples feel about them? And how do they relate to ‘reconciliation’ and ‘decolonization’ — or do they relate meaningfully at all?

“‘Ta7taliya-men Paisley Nahanee’, from Squamish ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 4,388 people}, is a workshop facilitator for ‘Nahanee Creative Inc.’, a DJ {Cultural appropriation?} and an event producer for the ‘Indigenous’ dance party ‘Hotlatch’.

“I think [land acknowledgements are] a really important beginning step on someone’s ‘decolonizing’ journey”,

she says. As a workshop facilitator, Nahanee says she often sees people in denial that ‘Indigenous’ lands were ‘stolen’ {Read the Treaties!}. Seeing people ‘progress’ {?} and begin to use land acknowledgements, she says, is a good first step.

“The next step, she says, is to learn more about place names, ‘nations’ and the land itself…. Nahanee is happy to see land acknowledgements becoming the norm in event spaces…

“Nahanee encourages people to consider what further practices they can do to help ‘reconciliation’ and ‘decolonization’, and ‘build relationships’ with ‘Indigenous’ peoples after they practice land acknowledgements.

“The act of land acknowledgements might not be the “most meaningful thing”, she says, but it helps promote change in some people, even if it doesn’t change everyone.

{Yes, it is a manipulative, deceitful political tool…}

“Nahanee also notes the ‘progress’ Canada has made when it comes to land acknowledgements and noting ‘Indigenous’ peoples — and how quickly this change happened {! The power of the billion-dollar Aboriginal Industry}

‘It depends on who’s speaking and who’s saying them’

“Belinda Daniels, a member of Sturgeon Lake ‘First Nation’ {a ‘nation’ of 3,067 people}, is a teacher and a professor with a PhD in ‘Indigenous’ {sic} language. Without meaningful action, she feels, land acknowledgements are often performative.

“How I feel about land acknowledgments? I think it depends on who’s speaking and who’s saying them”,

she says.

“If it’s the ‘colonial settler’ {Aboriginals are also ‘settlers’ from Mongolia and Siberia}, acknowledging the land that they’re upon, sometimes I feel like they’re an empty gesture. While at the same time, I think it’s a beginning of something, maybe it’s the beginning of something more to hope for.”

“Her preference to see change within the mainstream practice of land acknowledgements includes learning how to acknowledge the ‘nations’ within the language of the land.

“I want them to say it like they mean it”,

she adds.

“Also, when people are acknowledging land and doing the land acknowledgments, maybe practice saying the ‘nation’s names correctly.

“More often than not, I hear again, ‘settlers’ mispronouncing {unpronounceable} ‘nation’ names.”

“Daniels encourages those who are non-‘Indigenous’ to become involved with ‘relationship building’ with the local ‘nations’. Daniels also prefers the term “territory acknowledgement”.

“Territory seems like more of a ‘shared’ concept”,

she says.

“Like we have ‘Treaty Six Territory’. Do you know how many ‘nations’ are within ‘Treaty Six Territory’? There’s quite a bit.”

{And there’s NOTHING about ‘sharing the land’ in that Treaty:

TREATY 6: “The Plain and Woods Cree Tribes of Indians, and all other the Indians inhabiting the district hereinafter described and defined, do hereby CEDE, RELEASE, SURRENDER and YIELD UP to the Government of the Dominion of Canada, for Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors FOREVER, ALL THEIR RIGHTS, TITLES and PRIVILEGES, whatsoever, to the LANDS included within the following limits…”
{There follows a lengthy description of the territory ceded, released, surrendered, etc.}

“And also their rights, titles and privileges whatsoever to ALL OTHER LANDS wherever situated in the North-West Territories, or IN ANY OTHER PROVINCE OR PORTION OF HER MAJESTY’S DOMINIONS, SITUATED AND BEING WITHIN THE DOMINION OF CANADA.

“The tract comprised within the lines above described EMBRACING AN AREA OF 120,000 SQUARE MILES, be the same more or less.

“To have and to hold the same to Her Majesty the Queen and Her successors FOREVER…”
https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1100100028710/1581292569426

“When it came to, like, historical partnerships like the Cree and the Blackfoot and the Dene”,

she added,

[they] shared the same territories but at different seasonal times”.

{And when they overlapped, they fought…}

‘Land acknowledgments can be highly problematic’

“Kolin Sutherland-Wilson is a ‘Gitxsan’ member and a household name when it comes to ‘Indigenous’ {Race} ‘rights’, ‘Land Back’ ‘advocacy’ and protesting.

“He takes issue with lawmakers who perform land acknowledgments — and then turn around and say ‘Indigenous’ rights do not matter.

[It’s like] your title to this land has been extinguished by the Crown for this reason. Or we cannot recognize your jurisdiction for this reason”,

Sutherland-Wilson explains.

“Or simply that you’ve been so assimilated, that you don’t have any of your original rights that come through your governance.”

“So, you know, within that context, I think land acknowledgments can be highly problematic.”

“These acknowledgements, he continues, are

“a way to address that agency within ‘colonization’ and ‘genocide’ {that didn’t happen} and without actually having to provide any redress.”

{Aboriginals have received hundreds of billions of dollars in ‘redress’…}

“Sutherland-Wilson says he would like to see real movement on issues surrounding ‘land governance’, and hostility towards ‘Indigenous’ land governments within the court system.

{“Hostility”? Aboriginal activists are constantly bragging about how they always win court cases. In addition, the Canadian government refuses to fight these often-phony claims in court. Then, we have this:

How The Aboriginal Industry Wins In Court

In Indian treaty rights cases, the standards of evidence and logic are not what they are elsewhere… In these trials by history (i.e, law office history), watching the highly-skilled, forceful attorneys at work serving the Indian cause was a thoroughly eye-opening experience. From them, I learned much about the selective use — and suppression of — historical and anthropological evidence…”

https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/2015/09/17/how-the-aboriginal-industry-wins-in-court/ }

“I always think of the old analogy of a simple bicycle. Or as someone explained to me, OK, like if I stole your bike, and then told you later that I was sorry for stealing it, that acknowledges that it’s your bike but I never gave the bike back to you”,

he says.

{READ THE TREATIES! https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1370373165583/1581292088522 }

“It’s not truly an apology. It’s not truly redress. What does it solve in that situation? For some folks, it might even be considered a bit of an insult on top of the original action.”

“The fact of the matter is, we still face a Canadian society that is aggressively trying to undermine the very thing they’re acknowledging”,

he concludes.

“The fight continues on.”

{You’re damn lucky it isn’t a fight!}

–‘What Do Land Acknowledgements Really Mean?’,

Jenessa Joy Klukas, TheTyee, 12 Sept. 2022

https://thetyee.ca/Analysis/2022/09/12/What-Do-Land-Acknowledgements-Really-Mean/

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“I love it when they do land acknowledgements in Tofino, whose ‘Indigenous’ name is ‘Esowista’, which means:

Captured by clubbing the people who lived there to death.

“The current tribe murdered the previous tribe. So let’s apologize to the genocidal crazies.”

https://twitter.com/FowlesMurphy/status/1582748582125658117

Esowista” is a transliteration of the original Nuu-chah-nulth language word, hisaawista – “Captured by clubbing the people who lived there to death“.

(Source: Ha-shilth-sa newspaper, 2003. All translations were compiled with consultation from Nuuchahnulth elders. Ha-shilth-sa (meaning ‘interesting news‘) is the official newspaper for the Nuu-chah-nulth ‘nation’.)”

–‘Esowista Indian Reserve No. 3’,

https://www.wikiwand.com/en/Esowista_Indian_Reserve_No._3

^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^

“Before my kids school Christmas play, there was a land acknowledgment presented by an ‘indigenous’ woman. Another ‘indigenous’ woman in the audience took exception to what the speaker was saying. She said that the land had been stolen from her tribe by the tribe of the speaker.”
https://twitter.com/Steveseliotis/status/1578596424845230080

So-called ‘land acknowledgements’ are the latest token, peurile and often historically-inaccurate nod towards the fact that Aboriginals once occupied some of the land now known as Canada…

Haudenosaunee people, some of them, don’t want to recognize that the Anishnabe took control and were here historically. Some Anishnabe people will not recognize that the Haudenosaunee people were here. And both those people sometimes want to erase the Wendat.”

“Every morning, at the start of the school day in Toronto, my children hear the following inelegant little paragraph read aloud, just before the singing of “O Canada”:

“I would like to acknowledge that this school is situated upon ‘traditional territories’. The territories include the Wendat, Anishinabek ‘Nation’, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississaugas of the New Credit ‘First Nations’, and the Métis ‘Nation’ {There was never any ‘Metis Nation’ in Ontario}. The treaty that was signed for this particular parcel of land is collectively referred to as the ‘Toronto Purchase’ and applies to lands east of Brown’s Line to Woodbine Avenue and north towards Newmarket. I also recognize the enduring presence of Aboriginal peoples on this land.”

“I hear the same little speech, or a version of it, at gala events—literary prizes, political fund-raisers, that sort of thing—when whichever government representative happens to be there reads some kind of acknowledgment before his or her introductory remarks. But you know a phenomenon has really arrived in Canada when it involves hockey. Both the Winnipeg Jets and the Edmonton Oilers began acknowledging {claimed, but unproven, often stolen} ‘traditional lands’ in their announcements before all home games last season. ‘Acknowledgment’ is beginning to emerge as a kind of accidental ‘pledge of allegiance’ for Canada {!}—a statement made before any undertaking with a national purpose.

“In 2015, the {Partial} Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada released its final report, with ninety-four ‘calls to action’ {‘things they’d like’}, and Justin Trudeau was elected to great gusts of hope that we might finally confront the ‘horror’ of our history {??}. In the time since, the process of ‘reconciliation’ between Canada and its ‘First Nations’ {‘Aboriginal communities’} has stalled, repeating the cycles of overpromising and underdelivering that have marred their relationship from the beginning.

“The much-vaunted {and foolish} commitment to “Nation to Nation{If anything, it should read “Nation-to-nation”} negotiation has been summarily abandoned. The National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing ‘Indigenous’ {sic, they mean ‘Aboriginal’} Women and Girls—another Trudeau election promise—has been plagued by resignations, inertia, and accusations of general ineffectiveness {Because they never really investigated abuse on the reserves, or the involvement of Aboriginal gangs}. Nonetheless, the acknowledgment is spreading. No level of government has mandated the practice; it is spreading ‘of its own accord’.

{Nonsense. There is a billion-dollar Aboriginal Industry CONSTANTLY pushing for more “acknowledgments”…and money…}

“There is no single ‘acknowledgment’. There are many ‘acknowledgments’, depending on where you are in the country. If my kids’ school happened to be east of Woodbine Avenue in Toronto, for instance, they would hear a slightly different acknowledgment, recognizing the Mississaugas of Scugog, Hiawatha, and Alderville ‘First Nation’. The acknowledgment forces individuals and institutions to ask a basic, nightmarish question: ‘Whose land are we on?’ {And a simple answer: Canada’s!}

“Sometimes it’s relatively easy to figure out an answer. When Canada acquired Rupert’s Land and the North-Western Territory, in 1870, the government negotiated a series of Numbered Treaties covering the territories stretching from northern Ontario to the Rocky Mountains. So, if you’re a professor giving a talk in Sudbury, Ontario, say, you can go to the government Web site and look up that Sudbury was part of the ‘Robinson Huron Treaty’, and then figure out from there whom to ‘acknowledge’. A simpler method is to go to the Web site of a local university in whichever town you happened to be in. In Sudbury, Laurentian’s acknowledgment reads,

We would like to begin by acknowledging that we are in Robinson Huron Treaty territory and the land on which we gather ‘is’ {No, ‘WAS’} the {claimed, probably stolen} ‘traditional territory’ of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg”.

“Not that complicated.

“In other places, particularly in the bigger cities, the ‘acknowledgment’ can become exponentially more difficult. The British Crown acquired Toronto, or, rather, the 250,880 acres that include present-day Toronto, from the Mississaugas, in 1787, for two thousand gun flints, two dozen brass kettles, ten dozen mirrors, two dozen laced hats, a bale of flannel, and ninety-six gallons of rum. The British government officially purchased the land for an additional ten shillings, in 1805.

“But even before the ‘Toronto Purchase’, as it was called, the land was a contested site between indigenous peoples. That history is also reflected in the question of who should be named in the ‘acknowledgment’.

“For the sake of current land claims and also for the sake of basic respect, you have to name them, and you have to be ‘correct’ about it”,

Jesse Thistle, a historian at York University in Toronto, says.

“Haudenosaunee people, some of them, don’t want to recognize that the Anishnabe took control and were here historically. Some Anishnabe people will not recognize that the Haudenosaunee people were here. And both those people sometimes want to erase the Wendat.”

{That’s why it’s best to just leave it be. All it does is stir up further division…}

“Historical truth is always subject to the structures of power. Always. The erasure of the Wendat

“is, in a way, a kind of ‘indigenous’ way of doing what the British were doing, in terms of writing other people out of the narrative”,

Thistle says.

“But writing ‘marginalized peoples’ into the narrative is not always the correct instinct, either. Thistle, who is himself Métis-Cree, believes that the Métis should not be included in the list of traditional land acknowledgments in Toronto {!}; he has brought his concerns to the authorities at the Toronto District School Board, as well. There were Métis in Toronto—they constituted a “historical presence”—but it was not a homeland, and to claim otherwise {is a lie}, for Thistle,

“disempowers the Haudenosaunee or the Anishnabe, who do have a ‘rightful’ claim.”

“Even the phrasing of the “acknowledgment of traditional lands” raises immense difficulties of basic meaning. What does “traditional” mean in this case? … Whose tradition are we referring to? There are six hundred and eighteen ‘First Nations’ recognized by the government of Canada. They speak more than sixty different languages, and practice different religions {And frequently stole land from each other}.

Traditional land” is, in many cases, a colonial concept {?}. The English traded for land, but to many ‘First Nations’ the waterways were what mattered.

“There are some scholars who say that the traditional homeland of the Métis was the travelling they did”,

Thistle says,

“so that totally goes against our modern conception of a rooted, bounded territory that comes out of nation-state-building”.

{Well, we’re in the modern world now, not the hunter-gatherer stage of nomadic tribalism. It’s called ‘social evolution’.}

“The political consequences of a differing lens are unimaginably vast. There has never been a purchase of the Great Lakes, just parcels of land beside them…

“If Toronto’s ‘acknowledgment’ captures the complexity of history, Ottawa’s reveals its underlying brutality.

“We would like to begin by acknowledging that the land on which we gather is the {claimed but unproven, often stolen} ‘traditional’ and ‘unceded’ territory of the Algonquin ‘nation’ {‘tribe’}”,

it reads. The country’s capital is built on land settled without any negotiation or treaty or compensation, not even ten shillings and some frilly hats. The country’s capital is on straight-up filched land {Like most of the planet!}.

“‘First Nations’ in Canada have practiced territorial acknowledgments for generations {They’ve stolen each others’ lands for generations!}. The Western trend toward the ‘purification of speech’ is simply catching up {?}. A major constituency of the ‘progressive’ {actually ‘regressive’} Left, particularly in academia, operates on the assumption that to speak is to produce either violence or safety; they have set themselves busily to work out ever more elaborate refinements to the new etiquette. Purifying language, to the new Left, is purifying ourselves. The idea behind the Canadian ‘acknowledgment’ is that if we repeat the truth {but it’s often not true!} often enough, publicly enough, to children who are young enough, it will lead us to ‘reconciliation’ {At the cost of historical ignorance?}

“In Canada, hypocrisy is a uniquely potent force. Saying sorry and not meaning it is what we are best at. The great mid-century novelist Margaret Laurence once wrote,

“In some families, ‘please’ is described as the magic word. In our house, however, it was ‘sorry’.”

“No one will ever have trouble convincing English Canadians that they need to improve their manners. Speech is easy. Speech is free, unlike, say, paying for the education of ‘First Nation’ schoolchildren, who still receive thirty per cent less funding than children in non-indigenous Canada.

{Because their leaders don’t want legal equality with the rest of Canadians. They’d rather fight over segregated funding. Simply accepting legal equality with other Canadians would end up providing equal educational funding through the provincial educational systems.

P.S. “non-indigenous Canada” means everyone not born in Canada. That was obviously NOT the author’s intention but that’s what happens when you misuse language…}

“I wonder if ‘English Canada’ has the strength to face the ‘truth’ in the 2015 {Partial} Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report: that the evil inflicted on the ‘indigenous’ populations of this country was not done by our worst people but by our best. The colonists believed that hope for the ‘indigenous’ population meant stripping them of their language and culture and imbuing them with a spirit of thrift—they were trying to prepare them for the future, for progress. And the only future and the only progress that they could imagine was the one presented to them as an inevitable fact by Britain and America {And they were right about the future! Imagine Aboriginals today if they couldn’t read or write, for example…}. The essence of the colonial mentality is the belief that history is happening in some other place. While history rolls over us, we stutter constant apologies.

“The ‘indigenous crisis’ goes to the heart, not just of the legitimacy, of our law and of our desire to grow up as a country. Canada has never had a revolution, but we’re too old to be a colony anymore. It’s getting embarrassing. The potential of the Canadian multicultural future is intimately bound up in overcoming the colonial past. They are, in essence, the same project: ‘decolonization’. When Syrian refugees arrived in Calgary, shortly after Trudeau’s election, a Blackfoot elder greeted them with a smudging ceremony, the traditional sage-burning welcome. (Last year, the oath of citizenship was changed to require new Canadians to pledge to honor ‘indigenous’ treaties {Another foolish mistake}.) The new Canada contains a terrible incongruity: every refugee is a ‘settler’ {We’re all ‘settlers’. Aboriginals were once Siberian settlers}. Reckoning with that contradiction will be figuring out who we are…

“At least the ‘acknowledgment’ has shifted the question of the ‘indigenous crisis’, from “What is wrong with them?” to “What is wrong with us?

{And that ‘shifting’ just guarantees more racial division, as so-called ‘progressives’ continually encourage Aboriginals to live in the past, deny accountability, and to suppress their own individuality as part of a racial collective…}

“This isn’t nothing. In the United States, the ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ points all Americans to a mutual expression of loyalty. Instead of unity of purpose, instead of a shared future, the ‘acknowledgment’ of ‘traditional lands’ points Canadians to a fractured origin. But there is a terrible beauty in the ‘acknowledgment’, too, a beauty and a terror that transcends Canada, that transcends politics, even {???}.

“At bottom of the ‘acknowledgment’, unintentionally, are essential human questions of ethics and the ephemerality of all history and what it means to live on the earth. Whenever I hear the ‘acknowledgment’ read out loud, it provokes strongly-conflicted feelings in me. It reveals to me the sinking burden of my own ignorance—who are the Wendat? It reveals the gap between intention and action in my country—seeing a lieutenant governor read the ‘acknowledgment’ out loud is a living allegory of Canada’s striving absurdity. But, the more often I hear ‘acknowledgments’, the more I hate how they’re written—the passive constructions, the useless adverbs, the Latinate jargon, and, in the case of the ‘acknowledgment’ at my children’s school, that last sentence, about the continued presence of ‘indigenous peoples’ {Canadians} on the land, comes as pure afterthought. They are written, it seems to me, so that we may express a sentiment without, as far as possible, feeling it, a natural result of being written by academic committees and government lawyers. They sound like microwave warranties, not the desire for atonement.

{And Canadians living today have no need of “atonement”. They are guilty of nothing in this regard…}

The ‘Pledge of Allegiance’ went through more than half a century of revision before it attained its current aura of near-perfect platitude. The ‘acknowledgment’ needs to be simpler, less legalistic, less hypocritical {That would best be served by abandoning the practice}. It must be more than just a guilty excuse. It must capture the sense of the basic contradiction at the heart of the new Canada—every refugee is a settler—and that responsibility begins the moment you enter history.

{Every Aboriginal is a ‘settler’!}

“I acknowledge that the Wendat, Anishinabek ‘Nation’, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit “First Nations” lived here before us and keep living here now, as we live here and keep living here.

“Maybe every Canadian needs to write her own ‘acknowledgment’. Maybe we all need a personal rendering of the atonement we impossibly dream of attaining.”

{Speak for yourself!}

–‘Canada’s Impossible Acknowledgment’,

Stephen Marche, New Yorker, September 7, 2017

https://www.newyorker.com/culture/culture-desk/canadas-impossible-acknowledgment

“Do land acknowledgments mostly only benefit the person who is publicly reciting them? Are Canadian-born ‘white’ people actually uninvited visitors/guests on {fictitious}Turtle Island’? Are ‘indigenous’ people the God-given “caretakers” of the earth? I examine the phenomenon of land acknowledgements, and the issues they’re connected to, as they become increasingly prominent in Canadian schools/universities and beyond.”

VIDEO:

–‘Why I Reject ‘Indigenous’ Land Acknowledgments’,

Lindsay Shepherd, YouTube, Oct. 15, 2018

https://youtu.be/M8AJytIpCq4

See also: 

Rejecting ‘Land Acknowledgements (Surrey) {Jan.18, 2021}:

Surrey City Mayor Doug McCallum. (PHOTO BY RICHARD LAM -PNG)

Considering the unproven nature of most Aboriginal land claims, and the fact that many of the claimed ‘traditional territories’ were stolen from other tribes, the rush of unthinking do-gooders to ‘acknowledge’ what might well be fiction is laughable at best…

“Surrey {NDP} Mayor Doug McCallum has defended his refusal to back a motion to ensure Aboriginal lands are recognized at the start of council and committee meetings. Speaking to council on Monday night after the motion was voted down 5-4…”

http://endracebasedlaw.ca/2021/01/18/rejecting-land-acknowledgements/

CBC Keeps Pushing Phony Land Acknowledgements (Richmond Hill, Ont.) {March 29, 2019}:

Richmond Hill councillors Tom Muench, left, and David West, disagreed about the motion to begin meetings with a land acknowledgment. (Martin Trainor-CBC)

“City councillors in Richmond Hill, Ont., rejected a motion to begin their meetings with an acknowledgement of the area’s ‘indigenous’ {they misname ‘aboriginal’} community and history…”

https://endracebasedlaw.ca/2019/03/29/cbc-keeps-pushing-phony-land-acknowledgements/

Political Correctness At Its Finest (Beaverton Land Acknowledgement) {November 5, 2018}:

‘Activist begins ‘Tinder’ date with land acknowledgement’

“Internet activist Dillon Sanders introduced himself to his date Rebecca Holder by way of a ceremonial acknowledgement of the ‘traditional caretakers of the land’ on which they were meeting.”

http://endracebasedlaw.ca/2018/11/03/political-correctness-at-its-finest/

We’re NOT on Treaty Land {May 16, 2018}:
“Retired Judge Brian Giesbrecht explodes the myth that we are all living on “treaty land” as per fashionable pronouncements prior to hockey games and assorted public events…” (AUDIO)

https://endracebasedlawcanadanews.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/were-not-on-treaty-land/

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Websites:
ERBL inc. Canada News
https://endracebasedlaw.ca/

END RACE BASED LAW inc. Canada
https://endracebasedlaw.wordpress.com/
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