Repost from Oct 3, on ravensview.substack.com
Sharing the Land
When is a Treaty Not a Treaty?
Yes, it’s been a while, but I’m back.
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 Christianit
y, 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.