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Our home and Native land

in Featured/View From The Mainland by

We have a very interesting set of demographic and economic conditions coming out of Asia that the world hasn’t seen since just after the dark ages. Back in the 1500s and 1600s massive booms in the European population were creating (and created by) a long era of industrial development and major competition for resources.

This great upwelling of economic development coupled with the population boom pushed European nations to burst onto the world (locustular) devouring every resource in its path. This trend has continued, with the Americas absorbing most of the brunt of European migration and ‘development’.

The same kind of second wave is now rapidly swelling in Asia. Particularly with countries like China and India, which combined, make up a quarter of the world’s population and are rapidly becoming just as good at consuming (and wasting) as North Americans.

The flood gates are opening

Can you think of any decent sized cities in North America, or around the world for that matter, that don’t have a China town? And if you’ve ever been to one, you might start questioning how well our new (or even second or third generation) Canadians are integrating. Take Vancouver as Canada’s example.  Within a few decades it is expected that the Asian population will outnumber the previously Caucasian population. Once that happens, public policy could start to be dictated no longer by Euro-Canukistan values, but perhaps by new perspectives.

While Newfoundland and Labrador have generally been less appealing to immigrants, all these resource development projects are bound to start attracting new populations and people. And with the demographic situation of our province, it doesn’t take that many people to move to, say, Goobies, before that local population has been usurped. It’s pretty noticeable. It’s not like our typical history of other white folk migrating around: these new comers are brown, have different shaped eyes and speak their native tongues with each other, especially when their population grows to a comfortable level.

But we trust they’ll respect our ways

I mean they move to our country, knowing full well that’s it’s our land, and our value system they have to respect in order to remain here. They make pledges with us that they’ll respect the same. PLUS their home nation and our nation have internationally respected treaties and laws in order to enforce that respect – that they’ll respect our sovereignty and that they’ll abide by our rules if they move here.

But, as we see in other parts of the world (France, Netherlands) when the newcomer populations start to rival the traditional local populations, they start to impose their ideals and rules. They start to introduce things like Sharia law, wearing daggers to school, or Burkas in public and all of that stuff. Some integration eh?

And for us?

This province currently don’t have any semblance of control over immigration. So when, say, a few hundred thousand Indians decide to settle here (and all it takes is another bubonic type plague, or natural resources shortage in Asia, or a serious of natural disasters or food shortages) and kapow! Newfoundland could have a million people – with White folk in the minority.

Or we could keep bringing in foreign workers, temporarily at first because we all know they need the natural resources, and the income from the work to send home to their families; plus we’re addicted to having the economic benefits of the development here.

It doesn’t take long

Once enough immigrants move in they’ll set up their own settlement areas, and start imposing their own cultural norms, maybe even informal law systems. And heck, with just a hundred thousand moving to, say, Labrador they could simply declare it New India and secede from the mother province of Newfoundland.

Or with a little more than half a million they could do the same with Newfoundland from Canada. Seems ludicrous right, I mean we could stop all that right? Even if we set up a treaty with India or China to take on thousands of refugees from a major catastrophe and established new temporary settlements, it would be quite hard to control the growth after a certain point. They could simply ignore that treaty and eventually take over the whole province.

Let’s take it a step further

What if we actually integrated them somewhat into our society by interbreeding with the new immigrants? Or even some small pockets of them. Do you think that would be enough to alienate your right or your children’s right to be a Newfoundlander? Your right to govern your territory?

I mean you did just breed with an outsider – that must absolve your children of their proud Newfoundland heritage and their rights as citizens of the province. And that of Canada – right?

But you say, it’s still be our land! Our sovereign land! Our title. We live here, it’s ours and they have to adapt to us….

Right?

Because nothing should be able to alienate your right to Newfoundland, or your deed to Labrador.

I trust you are a clever person, and have figured out that of course I’m not talking about the Indian takeover of your cold, ocean swept rock. No. Of course I’m using that example to point out that in fact that is precisely what happened here in our own history. What Euro ancestors did to the Aboriginal ancestors.
(though it would be an odd wry bit of historical humour if this once again became Indian land)

I have heard the arguments that on the one hand it’s okay to continue to alienate Aboriginals from their heritage, cultural practices, and indeed title and that those Aboriginals should just get with the times. But I suspect the reasoning is that it’s ok is because Europeans did it, and their decendants (you) benefit from it.

But it’s bad if India (or whoever) does it to you

Indigenous people, in the 1600s and today, have rights protected under international law (the very same ones used to claim negotiation rights in North America and create various treaties in the first place). Rights and title to land may only be ceded by the indigenous people. This has so far only been done by some Mi’kmaw, some Labrador Inuit, and is underway by some Innu.

(All the Beothuks were genocided away, so that pesky problem was solved that way.)
This leaves a hunk of land in Labrador and a strip through western Newfoundland (where the proposed power lines from Muskrat falls are going to be built by the way).

Which means – in short – that piece of land can’t even be said to be part of the province, legally. Unless, of course, you respect the Treaty of 1765.) This makes it real awkward when you’ve started a $7-10 billion dollar project, but can’t move the power to the buyers on the island or Nova Scotia.

This my friend (if you still let me call you that) is ‘part one’ of what-in-the-hell-those-pesky-half-breed-Eskimos up in Labrador (or Labradores, or Kublunangajuit) are trying to tell you – just because they integrated Europeans into their society, creating a hybrid culture, it did not alienate them from their indigenous rights or title to the land. (I would accept that perhaps mixing could partially alienate title if the original indigenous people still occupied, or laid claim to, the same tract of land)

I’d recommend dealing with those guys through negotiations, because it probably won’t go so well in the courts, where Aboriginal people tend to win cases dealing with rights on our home on Native land.

Just sayin’.

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