Respect aboriginal rights
Re: First Nations sovereignty demands a new point of conflict, Jan. 26. In his opinion piece Douglas Bland overstates the prospects of First Nations insurrection as “the central and most dangerous issue in Canadian/First Nations issues today” and as “a dangerous, smouldering conflict over who in Canada is sovereign and where.”
Bluntly stated, First Nations communities as presently configured possess none of the attributes, nor do they display any of the behaviours recognized at international law as comprising sovereignty. These include militarily defensible borders, a stable population accepting citizenship, and economic infrastructure generating gross domestic product. In brief, they offer no prospect to any other country outside of Canada for acting as an economic partner in peace, or as a military ally in war. Credible First Nations governments and leaders recognize this.
A true nightmare scenario involving First Nations militancy and presenting an existential threat to the very survival of the Canadian state would be the receipt of credible reports from foreign intelligence services that disaffected First Nations individuals from inside Canada were in training abroad with a spectrum of anti-Western state and non-state actors, having internalized radical ideologies with the intention of unleashing these within Canadian borders.
In reality, the exemplary service of First Nations soldiers on behalf of this country during two world wars, Korea and more recent conflicts, is a more accurate indicator of First Nations aspirations for a strong and stable Canada that respects aboriginal rights.
This year marks the 250th anniversary of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 recognizing Aboriginal title, and it is in this context that we should be imagining Canada’s future.
JOHN MOSES, Ottawa Delaware band, Six Nations of the Grand River