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Robert Brym

Questioning Sociology Ch. 18 What is Sovereignty for Indigenous People Pg. 231 Intro: the post-confederation treaties w/ the Aboriginal peoples, permitting them their territory; indigenous sovereignty (i.s); study of it emerged from constitutional orthodoxy & aboriginal people’s perceived as ‘constitutional outsiders’ who became part of Canadian federalism and emergence of ‘charter politics’ & ‘constitutional minoritarianism’ Pg. 232 Ladner: federalism in Canada exclusively constitutes provinces, territories & government; neglects history outdating constitution, i.e Aborignal people’s history; we’ll approach s.i. from history of relationship of Canada & aboriginal people treaties between crown and Kanien’kehaka; although not every tribe has signed treaties (treaties in BC still ongoing topic); crown recognized indigenous people’s right to make choices for themselves; according to Ladner: ‘a treaty was an agreement between 2 independent powers that created shared responsibility than supreme powers’ shared + exclusive territory + 2 classes of British subjects; -pg. 233 studying specific first-nations (f.n.) peoples such as Nehiwo(Cree), Kanien-kahaka (Mohawk), etc, we see each nation is governed by certain laws: eg. Miyo-wichetowin, ‘having good relations w/ others (i.e. w/ individuals or other nations)’ governs Nehiowe [see pg. for details (seriously, probs on exam!!)+; for f.n government = ‘our way of life’; Canadians see government as detached from people; f.n see it holistically, that government involves relationship between family + tribes rather than strangers governing strangers; -pg. 234 both indigenous people & people of the crown have treaty rights; how come we only hear about i.p rights?; shows power essential in this analysis; eg. Treaty 6, non-idig. People have right to share land up to plow (6’); did you know about that? No, because you get to exercise that right as freely as you can breathe; some people not able to however, even though it is their right; -Aboriginal studies in sociology; 1974 James S. Frideres, Canada’s Indians: Contemporary Conflicts, followed by works by Rick Pointing & Roger Gibbins: much of It focused on: demograohy, Aboriginl persons & nations as “issues”, social conflict, deviance, race + ethnicity: - Vic Satzewich & Terry Wotherspoon: since the ‘70s this has been thrown in the “backburner” -pg. 235 the big problem has been that abor. People have been seen as a social problem rather than in a different category, and have been viewed at an individual level rather than approaching the problem from a structural point (Frideres); note also aboriginal people only entered academia around 1980s, and not many due to poverty, lack of basic education, etc. Challenging Myths, Stereotypes & Discrimination -pg. 236 must get rid of stereotypes we have against aboriginal peoples; eg. John Tobias explains that Cree peoples were the opposite of what the government claimed, flexible, promtoting their lifestyle but accepting of others; Candian authorities wanted to control Cree, and were willing and did, waged war on them; ‘power is always a factor that shapes whose cultural values are seen as legitimate, whose values are accommodated and how.’ –LeBaron -pg. 237 very hard to eliminate the stereotype so ingrained in society; eg. ‘special rights of aboriginal peoples affront to Canadian unity’ stupid because their rights are in the constitution; aboriginal elders teach ‘one must know where one came from, to know where one is going’; Ken Coates (historian): slowly stereotype of aboriginal people being meager handful living in packs has been turned around, and f.n people have struggled against unflattering pictures in trying to demonstrate diversity of indigenous experience. Notice that prevalence of stereotypes rather than degree of seeking to understand the f.n. people is the result of who has been in control of power –LeBaron; 1 stereotype; naming aboriginl people; in constitution, says “Indian, Inuit, Metis”; but abo. People very diverse, can’t put them all into one category, like “Native”, or “First Nations”; -pg. 238 Monture-Angus: “growing up Indian is always being denied being able to say “I am”, and always saying “I am not”; 2 stereotype; idea that ‘real’ Indian come from reserves; reserves result of paternalism and belief of assimilation; a reserve is rather a small community, rather than the “nation as a nation” approach; -pg. 239 stereotypes also result from colonisation (the intrusion, then takeover of land from indigenous people); also stereotype of mistreatment of their women, also false; all rooted in ‘inferiorizing’; -pg. 240 Betty Osbourne. Refused to consent to sex, was beaten to death; sisters in Spirit (aborig. Women’s group) say 500 abo. Women are missing or have been murdered; shows gender discrimination by not investigating into cause Sociological Understandings of Indigenous Sovereignty -pg. 241 Bruce Johansen Forgotten Founders: How the American Indian Helped Shaped Democracy; found that a lot of ideology was influenced by First Naion’s beliefs; reason we don’t know much about it is because of poor crediting; eg. Marx read a book by Lewis Morgan, friends w/ Ely Parker, a Seneca (one of six Iroquoian nations); Marx very fascinated & influenced by how Iroquoian democratic political organization and how they achieved economic equality w/out coercion; [Johansen’s description pg. 241] -pg. 242 thanks to more indigenous students, are now more aware of this contribution; however, language also restricts our understanding (as language also
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