Thursday, May 10, 2007



This comment was left from the issue of the student who refuse to stand up for the singing of our National anthem

Here's the blog -

As a Native woman who lives in NB, I think all you non-natives need to be educated.

You thank the English for the diseased blankets, you thank the French for almost starving to death, but you neglect to thank the Natives.

If you knew our history maybe you might think differently, maybe you would be less ignorant. But then thats why you have to be educated.

You can thank everyone you wish, I thank that Micmac Student for standing up for who he is, and I agree with Charles when quoting the national anthem.

Do you think we thank the government and the churches in Canada for cultural genocide, for trying to eliminate a race of people, for outlawing our traditions, cultural ways and spirituality, or for our language loss????

I can tell you no, I know I don't thank Canada, and I stand in the odd protest and I believe in fighting for what is right.

Do you think we thank the government and churches for the intergenerational impacts on the individual, families, and communities?

It's one thing for people to post their opinions for all to see, but it would be great if atleast the opinion is an educated one.


thankyou said...

It is good of you to assist in peoples becoming more informed in the history.
I was wondering,in the Indian history,did the Indians ever war with each other tribes,and why?
Was wondering if any other nation or peoples suffered from massive death from disease and war or are the natives exclusive territory?
And would the Natives find it better to have reached the year 2007 in Canada or in some other country.I ask because a native in my area still owes me 50$ from a loan when he was broke.He now head of the nbfn and a millionaire.
Regardless of your help,I have always defended the Natives and will likely always will.
I do have more questions.Like knowing that nations would spread out and attempt to seize territory,who would you have preferred,French england,Spain,japan,Portugal,Russia,Italy,etc?

Thanks Again said...

I am the one who Thanked You in the other post. I am Acadian and I look like you.

HUH? said...

Sorry nope,according to the chromsomey thing you don't look like me,unless,naah!

Anonymous said...

To answer some of the questions above, people don't have to be native, there is ample information out there.

Firstly, native tribes did occasionally have confrontations, usually over the same things as other peoples (we are all the same species after all). However, archeological evidence shows that in the eastern area this was rare, especially by european standards, where people were constantly at war.

The question is sort of irrelevent though. It may be mentioned to make it seem like "you'd have done the same to us if you could", when that is clearly not the case. Natives were more than welcoming, and early diaries showed an overwhelming sense of friendliness. That changed at many locations, for example in the Gaspe, because some early ships kidnapped natives and took them back to europe as captives.

As for 'why', nobody knows because natives didn't keep written records, although belts are kept by many tribes in various places as records of treaties and friendships. By most accounts, there were relatively few people in this part of canada, so with ample space and no tradition of private property, natives had little reason to war with one another. However, there is some evidence that territorial disputes broke out. By many accounts the Innu were driven out of maritime areas.

I'm still not sure whether the above questions are tongue in cheek to dismiss the claims of natives or at least belittle them. However, if the person really doesn't know then the field of history is wide open. South America and the states had the same thing, and the history of most of the world shows similar trends.

That natives can be jerks and stiff you on a loan isn't surprising, but is pretty irrelevant. Likewise, whether people would rather be conquered by another power is pretty moot as well.

In some ways the british were better than other powers, in other ways worse. Where there is injustice, the relevant questions are exactly what are they, and how can they be overcome?

I agree with the poster above, and think that's just one of the many failings of the mainstream media, which virtually never talks about native issues, until there is a flare up somewhere and so it seems as if all natives do is cause trouble. Natives all across the country are saying that their patience has run out. The only time the native issues are mentioned seems to be to talk about TJ Burke!

youwantWHAT? said...

Well,so there are two of us!tongue in cheekers I mean.
It looks like I will have to wait for you to read the same amount of books on early history as me before we continue.Which is a lot.
You would have to drop the saying, "pretty irrelevant".
Nearly all natives made some kind of agreement to go back to england and loved it,and if they survived the good living and disease,were returned to their home and forever bragged up the King,hence their treaties were always dealing with the king.
Reaccess your Ideas of the native wars,(which were constant,in summer)and the end of natives selling their captive natives to the white man farmers.
Admit that the natives enjoyed and encouraged trade with the europeans.
And that natives never met a written paragraph they couldn't make into several different meanings.
The Natives follow the quebec way,in that no one has a clue to what they want.But I do know what a lot of my family and friends want and it ain't given to them.
And I have no idea who TJ Burke is,but like a native I am always leary of people who wear dark sunglasses or use initials for names.
PS: IT was not the Gaspe area.

Anonymous said...

If your claim is that 'nearly all natives made some kind of agreement' to be kidnapped you should back that up with sources. When you meet an entire new race with a completely different language you can't talk about 'agreements'. Especially since that natives kept no written records.

The first boat in the Gaspe area took a native back to europe, and though we only have the written record it SAYS that they kidnapped him. After that, the next reception wasn't quite so cozy.

However, we are talking about two different things. I thought the post meant what native society was like BEFORE europeans came. That we don't have a whole lot of info on, but archeologists come up with new findings all the time.

Once europeans came natives became embroiled in european wars, which changes everything. Charles does an interview with a native lady who claims that the Maliseet 'don't like the micmac'. Whether and to what extent that is true should be addressed to them.

Obviously the questions WEREN"T an attempt at getting answers since you claim you already know them.

HOwever, it is well known that natives had slaves, just as the europeans did. And we don't know whether that is something they 'learned' from europeans. There is considerable evidence that many tribes always did, but there are many tribes we know nothing about.

Natives encouraged trade, nobody disputes that, and many encourage trade still.

There's nothing wrong with debating issues, but that is completely false information that 'nobody knows what they want'. Quebec is almost always very forthright in 'what they want', and natives are the same. In virtually every incident natives have a clear plan of what they want. In fact, look at the Burnt Church issue. Here, the native groups actually employed fisheries scientiests and came up with their own fishery plan.

Scientists agreed that it was easily implemented, but the Minister, Dhaliwal, admitted that he hadn't even read it before rejecting the idea outright.

In land claims they are usually even more forthright-simply look at treaties. The government pretty much simply avoids doing the court ordered negotiation on disputed lands. Under CANADIAN law, people and groups are entitled to a 'speedy trial', yet it has half a century since the highest court maintained that the government had to get land claims settled.

Currently we even see the government cancelling an agreement that took decades to work out.

That is often the claim that 'it is too complicated' or 'the two sides can't agree' or 'we don't know what they want'. The purpose of that is to make it seem it can't be resolved and so the government is just 'doing all it can'. That of course makes natives seem unreasonable when they finally say they've had enough and begin actively protesting in a way that actually has an effect.

However, like Quebecers, not all natives are the same and just like you won't find two 'white' people agree on everything, the sam e holds true for native groups. Many leave reserves and don't give them a second thought. Their issues are usually different.

To use a New Brunswick example, go to the website Here is an active group that is lobbying and protesting for band accountability of finances. At another blog a prominent media personality made the claim that a Minister was fired because of the political pressure by native groups arguing against opening band finances.

That shows the same problem we off reserves face, namely, that the interests of the population are usually far different than the interests that 'leaders' represent. SOME band councillors, like the rest of canada, are in politics to get as much out of it as possible. So arguing for financial transparency is in the interests of natives, but not native leaders who have the loudest voices.

In that natives aren't that different than everyone else. There is a good reason why politicians rank below lawyers and used car salespeople in the 'trustworthiness' department.

So the easy way to find out what natives want is to simple ASK them. However, dont assume you will always get the same answer. Yet as far as land claims go, there is one side that is clearly breakign the law..and it isn't theirs.

For another example look at forestry in NB. We know what they 'want', they want the right to use the forests. Pretty simple right? Of course it gets complicated, because our government is currently in the process of clear cutting all of them for the benefit of foreign investors.

Even when the 10% of the cut was given, as one native leader remarked, they felt they 'had to clear cut, otherwise we wouldn't get any more'. So native forestry is long as it is done in the same non-ecological way as our forestry is done.

What they want, according to them, is first of all to be able to 'live' from the resources of the land. Not only is that what they want, that is what OUR courts have said they are entitled to even under our bad rules. What they 'want' now is the ability to 'make a living' from those resources, something the courts haven't accepted, and even if people share that view, its hardly true 'we don't know what they want'.

Nearly all natives made some kind of agreement to go back to england and loved it,and if they survived the good living and disease,were returned to their home and forever bragged up the King,hence their treaties were always dealing with the king.
Reaccess your Ideas of the native wars,(which were constant,in summer)and the end of natives selling their captive natives to the white man farmers.
Admit that the natives enjoyed and encouraged trade with the europeans.
And that natives never met a written paragraph they couldn't make into several different meanings.
The Natives follow the quebec way,in that no one has a clue to what they want.But I do know what a lot of my family and friends want and it ain't given to them.
And I have no idea who TJ Burke is,but like a native I am always leary of people who wear dark sunglasses or use initials for names.
PS: IT was not the Gaspe area.

Anonymous said...

As for wearing a hood and sunglasses the Globe and Mail reported that the boy was 'roughed up' on his way home. So anonymity is hardly surprising. Even most of the bloggers in New Brunswick do so anonymously, which says a lot.

woeisme said...

Good Job.I like it when i come away thinking,I just learned something.But
. "When he sailed back to France he took with him Taignoagny and Domagaya, sons of Donnaconna, a Huron Indian chief. They told Francis I a story about a kingdom called Saguenay, a country where yellow metal could be found practically everywhere.
Upon reaching North America, he sailed along the northern shore of the St. Lawrence basin, eventually linking up again with the Huron tribe, bringing Donnaconna's two sons home safely to him. Donnaconna took him to their village, which was close to a huge rock that loomed up on the horizon. The place would later be called Québec".(more like friends)
You see natives were very familiar with foreign ships by this time and on both sides of north America,many natives had sailed to Europe.Being of Asian decent traveling would be normal.Being native,the world was everyones.
The BC agreement stopped was a liberal Paul Martin agreement,enough said.
Was Etienne Brule kidnapped?
The history of the natives is known because it was told to the missionaries and different people along with archaeologists and written.
I said nothing bout hoods,and people I know would sooner work the lumbering for the Natives rather than the big rippers.
And so far I have no use for quebec and don't expect to.
If you want to see Natives treated badly go to northern Ontario or BC,you won't believe how ignorant the people treat them.
I know of no Natives in my area who wants to join us in our way of life,meaning,i would think,they are doing fine which i hope.
In fact I have always been envious of the many good qualities of the Natives.
More power to you,while stiking to the facts.

Anonymous said...

Fair enough, however those first stories are told by europeans, not natives. First, if you want at least the most accurate telling, from a European perspective, go to a university library and find "The Voyages of Jacques Cartier". He wrote it.

However, natives were friendly when europeans came to trade, particularly the micmac, but quickly turned hostile when they came to STAY. At least in the gaspe area.

Here's a quote from a historical website:

"Cartier tricked Donnaconna andh is sons onto his ship and convinced (or kidnapped) them (and others) to go to France, where they learned French. They were brought back as interpreters. The King of France, hearing stories of the 'Kingdom of Saguenay' sent Cartier back to Canada in 1540 but under the command of Jean-François de La Roque de Roberval. All but one of the hurons brought to France made the trip back and Cartier was no longer welcome at Stadacona."

Obviously if he wasn't welcome then it wasn't as 'voluntary' as some would think. Like I said, we really only have one side of the story. Even missionaries did not know the language and natives were called 'panis', which is another word for 'slave' or 'barbarian'.

As for the treatment of natives nobody need go as far as that. Like I said, go to Up in Tobique they have some youtube video where you can see 'the third world'. And do some research on burnt church as well as Campbellton and you will find lots of info about injustices against natives.

The Kelowna Accord had little to do with Paul Martin, Jean Chretien was PM for most of it but it began under Brian Mulroney. This was over a decade and a half worth of work by many levels of government and thats why native leaders are saying that natives are going to start actively protesting and disrupting because our government simply can't be counted on.

I'm not sure what Etienne Brule is mentioned for. He was enslaved primarily because he was a huron by adoption and then was captured by the iroquois, who at that time were enemies. There is a completely different history in ontario than the maritimes because they were completely different tribes there.

I agree with the above, if our society had more similarities to native societies we'd be far better off. My grandmother used to teach both natives and whites and often wondered why there was such a huge difference. She absolutely loved native children. People gripe because the natives and quebec want self government, then go back to that great canadian pastime, hating their own government! However, since we play no part in making the decisions, its not an unusual situation.

As mentioned above, natives hire more people to work in their limited forestry per acreage than the large five lease holders who now have the government serving up New Brunswicks forests to them on a silver platter.

Meanwhile, taxpayer funded 'technology enhancements' are putting more and more workers out of work. Current forestry policy has almost virtually no benefit for New Brunswickers, you can't even go tap a maple tree for syrop. Yet the last I checked, the stumpage fees were hideously low, almost a giveway. In fact I seem to recall that more comes to the New Brunswick budget from gambling than comes from ANY natural resource, including gas.

So when the feds laugh in Graham's face when they come begging for handouts to become 'self sufficient', people should keep all these things in mind. If you are going to hand over all the resources for nothing, don't be surprised when the feds won't bankroll any new investments.

Take a look at the poverty in Fredericton and Saint John and the comments at blogs about politics in general. I get the impression that if NB bands started talking about 'self government' loud enough, a good percentage of New Brunswickers would say "wait, we'll join you!"

50/50? said...

You are doing a good job and making me work for every inch.
Gaspe is not the saguenay or quebec.
Cartier made two trips as head.
He got on well with the natives.
And in reading any history,the British for accuracy was far Superior.Because the British very strict in their recordings and the french well you know the french.
So thats why even Cartiers own writings were not fully accurate.

And how did you get so misled on Étienne Brûlé .He was Samuel de Champlain man and went to live with the natives for learning about the natives.He loved it and married native,NOW how did he die?
I reiterate,you want the more accurate of anything in history read the British writers,they were so stubborn,they would lie for no one.

Anonymous said...

Wow and just to think that I want people to know the history of Indian Residential Schools, and we got a full history debate going on here. Way to go guys, keep reading books, and if you would like more on Residential Schools, I can recommend some books and websites.

But when you stop and think about the history of First Nations people in Canada, if it wasn't for the English, French, (European)newcomers to this land, alot of things and our traditional ways would not have been outlawed. Don't get me wrong yes, we all have to evolve with time. But I also believe that as a First Nations - Maliseet woman I am proud of my heritage. Would I stand for the national anthem - no. Do I believe that we never gave our land to early settlers? No we did not give it - but they took it.
Do we know what we want, I too know what I want as a Native woman.
And if you think that just because a Native person borrowed money from you and hasn't repaid you. I can count alot of people who have ripped me off too and I think the color of their skin is irrelevant. It would do more with their own personal morales.
Would I stand up for my rights, yes I took part at Burnt Church and Tobique last summer, I'd support my Six Nations brothers n sisters. Would I encourage my son to take part - yes even as a child he took part in standing up for his rights. If we stand united as one Nation (even with our American Brothers n Sisters) - Our power and strength as a people would be incredible.
Would we want you to be Native - or to join us? Sorry I personally believe we have enough Wannebe's and sorry we really don't need anymore.

Anonymous said...

Yes, I always like a good debate that raises new questions and issues. However, we have to part ways on the idea that the british can speak for natives. I say read Jacques Cartiers book because it is his experiences, it is a first hand account. If you read french, so much the better. The british were imperialists and documented things in their own way, often different from the french, yet with the say imperial view. There is NO historical record that you can simply say "this is accurate". There is no way of knowing that.

What you choose to believe about Cartier is your own business. It really doesn't matter one way or another to current native debates anyway. I suspect he got on with some, not with others.

For Brule, I know well how he died, as a result of torture in one of the most convoluted tales that ever occurred on canadian soil and if he hadn't died so violently perhaps we'd see a drama made of it. As the first courieur de bois he is an important and tragic figure and its a shame he's not better known. However, his life doesn't 'prove' anything about native society, at least not what we are talking about.

However, that's all ancient history, and few native groups go that far back to verify claims, in fact that convolutes them in ontario since Iroquois movement into Huron territory happened primarily after european contact (or at least happened again).

The above poster can post any books she wants, I enjoy good reads. I've read 'enough is enough' which is the story of the Tobique women who fought for rights of native divorced women. Once again, that shows how disparate native life can be. One of their biggest opponents was the men of the Assembly of First Nations, and also trudeau. Ironically, tory leaders like Hatfield and Mulroney were the ones who finally recognize their rights and gave them support.

The same goes for the above group in Tobique that is currently trying to lobby to find a way to get some fiscal accountability over their 'leaders'. In a way they are looking for 'rights'. Yet as with any marginalized group, as the woman above indicates, when one is threatened, they stand together. Thats also just human nature. If you have common interests you put them aside when the going gets tough.

I'm not a native wannabe, I do have native blood, but I think perhaps the poster above is thinking of the flakes who change their name to 'windtalker' or 'skywalker' and go to the mountains to do peyote or smoke grass.

You don't have to be native to care about the environment, and you don't have to be native to care about basic human rights.

Ithink! said...

I keep noticing a twisting around of what I have said.
I am in fact quite stunned by that.
Just one example was ,I said the British were the most accurate in historical knowledge recording,and nothing was said about British speaking for natives.
I beginning to see the difficulties in negotiating with the natives or the French.The wants keep changing.
No salmon has ever made it over the top of mactaquac dam without help.And
You can't roller skate in a buffalo herd.

Anonymous said...

First, if your historical knowledge comes from european observers, then yes, they are 'speaking for natives' because quite simply we have almost no records written by the natives. So historically, we only have 'one side'. That's all thats being said. The british only recorded very specific things, and in a very specific way, and just a quick look at native languages show you that there are all kinds of words that are simply not even translatable even if recorded accurately.

However, the other comment is disingenuous, because native demands are NOT always changing, however, the issues can be different.

The Tobique women wanted equal rights for divorced native women who didn't have them. In Burnt Church, a supreme court of canada ruling said they could make their own harvest from the sea. Yet were harassed and arrested when trying to do so.

In each of those cases what is being fought for is rights, yet different rights in each case. Currently, if you go to the website I mentioned, a group of Tobique natives are arguing for the 'right' to have access to the financial records of their band. That is a very common demand at many reserves, although not all. Like canadian municipalilities, it all depends on the town. Some are very happy with their government, many are not. In Fredericton we don't hear huge cries, but in Moncton and Saint John we hear very large protests about the decisions those city councellors make.

However, it simply boils down in most cases to the canadian government obeying its own laws. Like the province in the abortion issue, if you have a government that doesn't obey its own laws then it can easily be argued that the social contract has been broken, which means the government is essentially a criminal organization no different from any dictator. Then it becomes an issue for those within that jurisdiction as to how to oppose it.

As we've discussed, natives have gone through the route that courts and policies dictate, that's where the Kelowna Accord came from, Yet although a government will insist that 'contracts' with corporations and investors are sacrosanct and cannot be changed, we see a new government simply tear up ten years worth of work.

Unfortunately the media never covers the day to day actions of court proceedings and government stalling, so canadians move on to other issues and then only hear about it when "those natives are acting up again".

And yet stuff goes on all the time. Apart from knowing that native forestry gets 10% of the allowable cut who knows anything else about it? Why did native foresters have to go to Quebec to find workers? How much are they clear cutting and why? What progress has been made to increase that allowable cut or to get investment for their own mills? Every native reserve is different and has different problems, yet how many New Brunswickers can even name HOW MANY reserves there are in the province? How many even know that the Tobique reserve in northern NB has a fishing fleet on the Bay of Fundy?

I certainly didn't know any of this until recently and that came through internet searching. Yet there is a daily media that comes out every single day which never even mentions native issues. Meanwhile, there are other issues that get almost daily, or at least weekly coverage even when they have no bearing on the day to day lives of New Brunswickers.

So these are BIG issues, and complicated ones, becuase we aren't talking about one group. However, that WE don't know about them is not the natives fault. Even bloggers virtually never mention native issues. Charles does occasionally, because he is also interested in that one issue - rights.

Natives have always been clear what they want, they are just surrounded by a society that refuses to listen. To a large extent that is not OUR fault, I've never seen ANYBODY say they are quite happy with Irvings owning virtually all the media. However, like natives, we simply are powerless to do anything about it. So we try other ways, we try to drum up some interest in blogs, and natives, quite logically, start doing some shit disturbing so that the issue gets into the paper and people are at least aware of the issues.

Many simply blame the natives, its easy because they have no media system to 'fight back' with. However, polls show that canadians are far more sympathetic to natives , and to rights in general, than our government is. Once again, there is little we can do about it. We can at least talk about it, and then SOME people who may know little may change their views a bit.