Gen X at 40

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Chris Taylor -

Seems pretty logical. Subsistence-living log-cutting gets an upgrade to modern timber harvesting for construction of modern dwellings (as long as it is for non-commercial, individual or community purposes), so long as you reside in an area where, historically, your pre-contact ancestors cut timber. If you move to a new location outside your aboriginal community (like say Scarborough) and want to cut timber on Crown land per your ancestral rights, that appears to be out of the question.

What I'd like to know is what standard of oral history evidence makes the grade for determining the culture's pre-contact practices. A huge chunk of First Nations history survives solely as oral histories, and although Delgamuukw provides for the admission of oral history I'm a little fuzzy on what, exactly qualifies. The oldest dude you can find who vaguely remembers all of this stuff? A kid who heard it from the oldest elder? An agreement among the community leaders that the story told to the court is consistent with those they heard as a kid? What if another First Nations' community challenges the validity of the oral history but neither side can conclusively prove site occuptation or activity via archaeological methods?

Alan -

I think there is a statement about oral evidence by the Supremes in one of the Marshall rulings. So much of the good law comes out of the Mi'kmaq cases as they had such great treaties as well as cultural continuity. I'll check later.

lrC -

I guess you're SOL if you're a descendant of habitants or of other Europeans who came here four or five centuries ago and subsisted off the land.

Alan -

WTF? The only possible answer is "yes. you moron." Classic entitlements ding-battery: "I am due everything that is due anyone else!"

Do you go around dragging your arse about the unfairness that only women can give birth, too?

David Janes -

WTF? Are you saying the gulf between Aboriginals and other humans is like the difference between men and women? They have an extra "aboriginal" chromosone? I thought you said in a previous debate on this matter these rights wasn't genetic.

As for being "good law", I'm not sure if I can agree with that. The elite can fairly divvy up resources as they see fit amongst the little people, knowing full well that _they_ won't bear any of the consequences. Not unlike the British drawing lines on a map of the middle east 90 years ago, I guess. And if I remember correctly, as a consequence of the Marshall decision, you had very close to anarchy for a few days till the SC scurried back to it's lair to issue a few "clarifications".

Alan -

David sings the Song of the Entitlista:<blockquote class="smalltext">The man has the house, I want it, too.<br>First people got their land, I want it, too.<br>The poor man has his welfare to keep his kids from staving, I want it, too.<br>The artist is important. I want to be important, too.<br>I have an opinion that makes less sense than the one people respect. I want to be important, too.</blockquote>Blah, blah, blah. Sometimes you are a voice in the wilderness because that is the only place you deserve to be.

David Janes -

Geez Al, who pissed in your cereal this morning? But since you're on the point, you're the one crowing about entitlements here; and just because it's the way it is now, doesn't mean it has to be that way forever.

David Janes -

If you feel that strongly about it, why don't you hop on the train and have it out with myself (and Flea, maybe).

Alan -

"They got, I want!"<p>You can't understand that the Court has only recognized a right that has existed since Adam but has been ignored, now returned like a property owner whose land was confiscated and and returned after the democratic revolution. You are confused by justice and restoration as you were never injured so only see through foggy eyes gain not restoration. You are forgetting you never had the assets of others you now crave so like a spoiled child scream "I want, I want, I want" - the wail of the toddler and the Entitlista.

Alan -

On that date, I would love to go but I have a date with a US beer store tomorrow and advertising dollars to spend. But next time we meet it is a cherry belly for you.

Hans -

It is a really sad part of recent (very recent) political discourse that, all talk about group rights and ethnic entitlements aside, we forget or ignore that the first nations of Canada are an entirely different phenomenon than other groups of peoples who came to Canada and may be making claims. First nations are different in a legal and political sense not just a social sense. This legal and political reality is hundreds of years old and is recognized by British, Canadian and International Law. Indeed, the courts have said that the status of First Nations in Canadian society is analagous to(but not exactly the same as) state-to-state relations in international law. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS: YES! FIRST NATIONS SHOULD GET THINGS THAT ACADIANS OR NEWFIES OR QUEBECOIS OR THE HUDSON BAY COMPANY OR TORONTONIANS OR VIETNAMESE BOAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT! THEY HAVE A DIFFERENT SET OF RIGHTS BECAUSE THEIR NATIONS OCCUPIED THE TERRITORY THAT IS NOW CANADA BEFORE CANADA EXISTED AND WE HORNED IN ON THAT. When we did sign agreements with them, we ignored their terms. The courts are now interpreting those terms based on the original uninterrupted unpartitioned status. When we didn't sign treaties, we had no legal basis to horn in on their territory. When you break an agreement with another party, they get compensated; when you unlawfully do soemthing to another party in the absence of their agreement, they get compensated. I am not a member of a first nations community, but I am able to acknowledge simple realities and legal concepts.

lrC -

>WTF? The only possible answer is "yes. you moron." Classic entitlements ding-battery: "I am due everything that is due anyone else!"

A legal entitlement is a right; you do remember the business about "equality before the law" that framed the SSM debate, I suppose? Regardless, my point isn't about simple entitlements for every Canadian alive today - it's about other people who lived on the land for several hundred years, but who seem to be overlooked. And where exactly do Metis fit into your racially compartmented little world? Are they descendants of aboriginals who lived here for thousands of years, or descendants of European expats who merely lived here for hundreds of years?

People don't control the place of their births. The overriding ding-battery is the notion that any one person should be treated differently than another.

Alan -

Please do a little research to educate yourself before you embarrass yourself further. Read the recent SCC case on the Metis as well as the Royal Proclamation of 1791. It does not good and no credit to yourself to ask questions about stuff that have been clearly and conclusively settled despite your fondest wishes.

Hans -

To lrC:

"First nations are different in a legal and political sense not just a social sense. This legal and political reality is hundreds of years old and is recognized by British, Canadian and International Law. Indeed, the courts have said that the status of First Nations in Canadian society is analagous to(but not exactly the same as) state-to-state relations in international law. GET IT THROUGH YOUR HEADS: YES! FIRST NATIONS SHOULD GET THINGS THAT ACADIANS OR NEWFIES OR QUEBECOIS OR THE HUDSON BAY COMPANY OR TORONTONIANS OR VIETNAMESE BOAT PEOPLE SHOULD NOT!"

It has nothing to do with race or place of birth. First Nations people have a different set of rights in Canada than other Canadians because of treaty-based terms or because their rights as nations were never extinguished.

lrC -

>First Nations people have a different set of rights in Canada than other Canadians because of treaty-based terms or because their rights as nations were never extinguished.

I can see where you people keep going wrong. The idea that all Canadians should have the same unextinguished rights by virtue of Canadian citizenship never occurs to you.

ALan -

Maybe because it's the stupidest idea I have ever heard. Aboriginal nations have these rights due to their recongition by the British Crown, another nation. You can see where your dopey idea is getting you. You are suggesting the people of Canada have the same standing as Canada as a state and can have a treaty-like right with itself and that, whatever it is, kept the thing that they gave away in 1761 - recognition of the aboriginal nations and their right. But keep it up. That was way stunneder that I though was possible.

Hans -

"I can see where you people keep going wrong."

I am not "going wrong", I am referencing rulings made by the third arm of government authorized to interpret law in Canada a.k.a. the judiciary to support the FACTS that First Nations people have a set of rights that pre-exists Canada period.

"The idea that all Canadians should have the same unextinguished rights by virtue of Canadian citizenship never occurs to you."

It has occurred to me, I have already stated that this has occurred to me and, when faced with actual facts, I have had to amend my thinking to include the idea that First Nations people have, in keeping with a SCC ruling, "super-citizenship".

But don't take my word for it (as you clearly aren't interested and/or capable of following a logical argument); go look up any First Nations' Law textbook in your local law library or go look up rulings by the SCC on line.

And if you still don't understand, I would be happy to explain it to you again provided you avoid suggesting what occurs to me and what doesn't.

If you insist on talking about what you think I know, then have a nice monologue.

lrC -

BTW, 1763.

You are both operating from the premise that the rights of a person should be determined or must be recognized arbitrarily by a state. One of my fundamental premises is that all persons should have the same rights, whether or not we set them forth in legislation for the sake of clarity. Have you an objection to that principle?

I am "suggesting" that every person born in Canada had no choice of ancestry, and should have the same obligations and privileges as every other person. No-one is a guest in the place of his birth. I also "suggest" we extend the same rights to every naturalized citizen, regardless of birthplace, as a matter of humanity.

The law is something that people write. A law is an arbitrary creation. By some, law may very well be an enjoyable and lucrative abstract game to be played according to its rules, but I am committed to the idea that the law should reflect the basic equality of all persons, and be changed expeditiously wherever necessary to do so. There is nothing sanctified about, for example, the trade practices and foreign policies and the favourable treatment of merchants and other interested parties of eighteenth-century Britain, nor are they particularly relevant today.

ALan -

No, we both base our interpretation of the law on the fact we are lawyers and you come off like a cheese-eating school boy with a well worn copy of <i>Atlas Shrugged</i>. Please do not make this a habit.

lrC -

And you come off as condescending and arrogant toward different ideas of what the law should express. Even the constitution can be changed. So our ideas diverge - you converse within the law; I would have the laws change.

Alan -

Ought to be law is utterly useless if you do not know what is - the only point of divergence. I trust that is the end of it.