Sunday, September 28, 2008

Crazy White Woman Hauled Away Screaming From Re-enactment of Douglas Treaty

i dunno, is that a real headline? it wasn't me ....

i was going to attend the 'ceremony,' just to see who the traitorous ones are, to capture this treasonous re-theft of land for my own historical record, but i couldn't. i was afraid that, if i showed up at government house this afternoon, and saw those people destroying any hope the peaceful, earth loving anarchists might survive into the future, i would have started screaming. i would have screamed and screamed and they would have hauled me away to the loony bin. i couldn't take that chance.

today, the queen's representative lieutenant governor stephen point, and those who claim to represent the malahat, pauquachin, tsartlip, tsawout, and tseycum first nations (was there a vote?) endorsed that offensive treaty that james douglas, representing the hudson's bay corporation, thrust upon the unsuspecting native ancestors those hundreds of years ago.

making lemons from lemonade (what else can one do), i suppose i and my white euro-trash ancestors are relieved of some of our collective guilt. today they made it clear that some of us are more honourable than others, that it's really not fair to paint with a common brush. we can move away from the 'natives good/europeans bad' dichotomy and move toward an understanding that you really really can't judge a book by its cover.

what do we call them now? they're not really 'first' nations anymore, they're more like 'apple' nations (white on the inside .... but that's not really fair either, to folks like me). i don't consider them 'native,' as they've done something that their ancestors would not endorse and their behaviour resembles colonialism. and we can't even call them 'indians,' since those folks courageously stood alongside gandhi and kicked the british out and reclaimed their land. these are in cahoots with their colonizers .... like sarah palin, they've embraced their own oppression and they're forcing it upon innocent others.

i think the aliens must have landed, and are inhabiting positions of power. they've taken themselves to be leaders. it's always a nasty day when the oppressed become the oppressors.

here's a related article my friend wrote, published in the june 08 street newz.

The Best Colony on Earth?
by C’daoim

I was truly caught off guard the other day. I don’t watch much television and this is an example of why. I saw a commercial that told me “James Douglas read a Proclamation that put a name to the best place on earth.” Before I finished the first shake of my head I shuddered to imagine what First Nations People, anthropologists, and archaeologists thought about that. I went and got myself a copy of the Proclamation [the original is available in the archives at the mcpherson library at uvic].

It’s colonialism they were talking about; we are celebrating 150 years of colonialism. The place already had names that were given by the original occupants of the lands, and also a European name on top of that. Colonialism is an inappropriate thing to celebrate partly because we still haven’t lived up to certain parts of the deals our ancestors made with the First Nations Peoples.

So if we are celebrating the reading of the Proclamation let’s have a look at what else we are celebrating according to this Proclamation of 1858 entitled “An Act to provide for the Government of British Columbia” dated “2d August 1858.”

It wasn’t read until Nov. 19th 1858 at Fort Langley.
Page one of the document states “and it is desirable to make some temporary Provision for the Civil Government of such Territories, until permanent Settlements shall be thereupon established, and the Number of Colonists increased…” (Pg 1 Victoria). Then, in Section 1 it sets the boundaries of British Columbia. Section 2 allows the Queen to appoint a Governor of British Columbia and this person, James Douglas, will “make Provision for the Administration of Justice…Laws, Institutions and Ordinances…for the Peace, Order and good Government of Her Majesty’s Subjects and others therein…” (Pg 3 Victoria).

The “others therein” becomes an interesting statement because within 12 years of this reading it would be recognized that 25,000 of the 37,000 residents of British Columbia were First Nations Peoples and they were not given a voice in what was happening.

Some of the newsworthy items not mentioned in the Proclamation, or the commercial for that matter, are that things were getting crazy in British Columbia due to the gold found in the Fraser Valley. The 1858 gold rush brought thousands of Americans north to seek their fortune. The idea of American annexation created fear for the British. James Douglas requested warships and military forces from Britain and make the decision to create a new colony. There was in “…Victoria [a] Mr. John Nugent, the newly arrived ‘Special Agent of the United States,’ charged with looking after American interests north of the 49th parallel” (Pg 135 Akrigg and Akrigg). This was a very similar scenario of what had happened when “Special Agent of the United States” Thomas Oliver Larkin “conspired with American residents to take California from Mexico” (Pg 135 Akrigg).

First Nations Peoples had big problems with the Americans because of the fact that the land was theirs and the Americans did not respect the First Nations Peoples or their land. It began when Americans started murdering and robbing them of food stocks and committing more horrid crimes. Douglas quashed the American aggression, but he also stole these same lands from the First Nations Peoples.
The First Nations People were less important to the British than the land and the resources. The Proclamation states that “…after the passing of this Act…British Columbia, and the islands adjacent, [will be used] for Mining and other purposes…” (Pg 1 Victoria).

The First Nations were not consulted in the creation of the new colony British Columbia. We still haven’t dealt with them fairly over land issues.
Of course I realize this situation was era specific and we have no real choice but to understand it in the terms and conditions that were prevalent at the time, but we do not have to continue to accept the actions of the past just because they happened.

Colonialism has become a dirty word in the 21st century, but apparently we are going to celebrate it here in British Columbia. If we are truly celebrating the European name given to the colony, it already had a European name - New Caledonia. It wasn’t an officially recognized colony at that time, yet that may be difficult to explain to the First Nations Peoples.

Become informed…society needs you.

Works Cited:

Akrigg G.P.V. and Helen B. Akrigg. British Columbia 1847-1871 Chronicle Gold and Colonists. Vancouver, British Columbia: Discovery Press 1977

Victoria. Queen 21/22 Chap.XCIX An Act to Provide for the Government of British Columbia. 1858