RP - Royalty in Canada
RP - So many choices, so little time.

RP - Sharing the Land

Repost from Oct 3, on ravensview.substack.com

Sharing the Land

When is a Treaty Not a Treaty? 

Conference-with-First-Nations-Chiefs-during-Manitoba-Indian-Treaty-1871-Glenbow-Archives-UMTodayYes, it’s been a while, but I’m back.

Last Friday (Oct 30) we observed the National Day for Peace and Reconciliation. We also observed Putin signing treaties with several provinces of Eastern Ukraine.
A treaty is a legally binding agreement, usually done between sovereign nations, governing such things as trade, land use, or security. In Canada, several treaties were drawn up between the monarchs of Europe, and the First Nations leaders of Canada. When Canada was first ‘discovered’ by Europeans, they found a rich country, ready to be explored and exploited. There already were people living here, but thanks to the Doctrine of Discovery from the Church, they weren’t a concern. They were not Christians, so the land was terra nullius, territory without a master, and thus up for grabs. At some point, the various European rulers must have decided that rather than using brute force, treaties to share the land would lead to better trade and a safer place for settlers. And I suppose the various native rulers, seeing a market for their goods (mainly furs) and a new supply of beads and blankets and knives and axes - maybe firearms, maybe whiskey - and the chance for a peaceful co-existence, signed up. Agreeing to share their land with their new guests/invaders. I wonder if they assumed these treaties were the same as the ones they had signed amongst themselves, with people who tended to act in good faith, people who valued and respected the land? As opposed to a growing capitalist nation, fuelled by corporate greed, willing to bend morals as needed, all justified by religion? A religion hell-bent on converting a number of the inhabitants to Christianity, stemming from the belief that they were all basically without any religion. A conversion that would help to assimilate the converts into European culture and consumerism.

In Putin’s case, he is basically signing an agreement with himself. These are treaties of accession, where several regions in the east of Ukraine have supposedly accepted an invitation to join Russia. Rest assured, there will be no congenial sharing involved, and they were given little choice in the matter. It’s true that many in this area, right next to Russia, speak the language and identify with parts of the culture, but they are still Ukrainian. These are regions where the government consists of puppets installed by Putin, justifying their actions with the results of a supposed democratic referendum. Results that claimed a vote of 90% in favour of joining - unbelievably high unless you notice the guns pointed at voters. At any rate, those results are for domestic consumption in Russia, for the common people, to show them that this “military exercise” is to save their own countrymen. And to convince them to keep sending their spouses, their sons and daughters, off to join in the battle. I think that, other than some people back in Russia, nobody believes this farce, least of all Putin. He may be too late with this propaganda move, though. More and more dissenting voices are being heard in Russia, including those of senior military leaders. And Ukraine keeps pushing back, reclaiming its own territory.

BTW - read more about ‘our’ treaties here, from the University of Toronto.

As always, comments are welcome. Sign up for SubStack newsletters here



Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been posted. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)