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Aboriginal Rights.doc

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Western University
Philosophy 2801F/G

WEEK 4 LECT 1 - ABORIGINAL SOVEREIGNTY CONNECTIONS • Deng and internal conflict as a conflict over identity • R2P and trust territories • justifications for previous and current interventions and violations of sovereignty • Legacies in relation to global justice and HR • Terra Nullis: the land wasn't owned by anyone so you can just take it • you may be responsible to amend a problem even though you didn't directly caused it • post colonialitiy - on going participation in a colonial context which further benefits land for us our prospects have been bettered from the colonial practices of appropriation ear- lier, we benefit now • colonial justifications make 'not like us' the natural inhabitants to the land, animalize them most of the time - they don't have justice or proper society THE MAP 1. Rules defining indianness are discourses 2. function of gender in discourses of indianness 3. function of race in discourses of Indianness 4. incoherence of colonial definitions 5. race is not a natural category 6. her normative claim and why it is risky and necessary to enact 7. if you lose your status you lose all citizenship and you can't pass it on to your chil- dren IDENTITY • the indian act in canada in this respect is much more than a body of laws that for over a century have controlled every aspect of Indian life. Ads a regulatory regime, the Indian Act provides ways of understanding Native identity, organizing a conceptual framework that has shaped contemporary Native life in ways that are now so familiar as to almost seem natural CHANGING INDIAN DISCOURSE • its overarching nature as a discourse of classification regulation and control that has indelibly ordered how Native people think of things Indian. to treat the Indian act merely as a set of policies to be repealed or even as a genocidal scheme in which we can sim- ply choose not to believe belies how a classificatory system produces ways of thinking - a grammar- that embeds itself in every attempt to change it. Evidenced by attempts at change and yet agency and revival IDENTITY • you dont have any essential identity • Is not: give natural, neutral fixed • Is: individual and relational, made up of actions and attributes. About interpretation, negotiation, authority and understanding common experiences that people have had and what the meaning behind them is • political - for native people, individual identity is always being negotiated in relation to collective identity and in the fact of an external, colonizing society NATURAL IDENTITY CATEGORIES • indian as an external, imposed and reducing descriptor that creates racialized hierar- chy • Indian versus other ethnicities, language groups all lumped together. Parallel: Africa • people were trying to do this with colonial identities A COLONIAL RIGHTS VIOLATION Janice Acoose.. as described how being classified by the Canadian government as a • status Indian under the Indian act represented a violation of the rights of her Cree/Metis and Saulteaux cultures to define her as something else which removed her in common- sense ways from any sense of being part of the destiny of her own nations and instead placed her as a powerless and radicalized individual at the bottom of the hierarchy of EuroCanadian society • for indigenous people to be defined as a race is synonymous with having our Nations dismembered RESISTANCE AND IDENTITY • Racial versus identity framework - in general Native resistance to colonization rejects notion of pan-Indian identities that can at best only aspire for equality within a settler state famework, For indigenous people resisting colonial relations involved a refusal to accept the authority of Canada or the US as settler states and a focus on rebuilding the nations that destroy indigenous land claims NATION TO NATION RELATIONS • when Britain was proclaimed as victor over France in 1763 it laid claim to much of eastern NA in a context where is lacked any real ability to actually wrest context where it lacked any real ability to actually wrest the land from the Native nations who occupied it, or to control how the nations of these regions would choose to act. Because of this, Britain sought another way to consolidate its imperial positive by structuring formal con- stitutional relations with the Native nations on the territories it claimed for itself. THe roy- al proclamation of 1763 recognized aboriginal title to all lands no ceded and acknowl- edge a nation to nation relationship with the indigenous nations. Under this policy the British Imperial indian department was a foreign office in every sense • once the transfer of powers happened, the shift was made to nations recognized to a colonizer refusing to recognize the sovereignty of the nations to which it had power be- fore • INCOHERENT INDIAN ACT DEFINITIONS • race treated as both socially legislated, changeable and as inborn natural fact • arbitrary definition of race via gender • ethnicity reduced to race. Nationhood, difference, self interpretation ignored • arbitrary creation of Indian and half breed distinctions • strict binaries falsely imposed on messy reality • no natural way to use blood quantum UNDERSTANDING DEFINITION in Canada, populations are legislated out of existence (both pre and post Bill C31) and • the scale of cultural genocide caused by gender discrimination becomes massive. Land appropriation is accomplished and dividd populations in different legal positions as well as continuing gendered power imbalances and vulnerabilities make resistance more dif- ficult. Make things so strict so that no one meets the criteria - thats how you get rid of an entire population altogether GENDER AND HUMAN RIGHTS • you have a right to pass on citizenship to their children, this didn't happen for aborigi- nals BILL 31 • Lovelace, Canada was violating her human rights by not letting her m
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