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What Do Treaties Mean to Settlers?

In an attempt to reach out to more Settler Allies for participation in this commons, I googled a number of versions of Settler Allies to First Nations in Canada and got very little. In fact the only info I found was aligned with #IdleNoMore, a blog post on what Settlers need to know about Treaties posted on the #Media Co Cop site, an "local, independent Media" organization. Here is the full article.

I have copied and posted the passage as it really hits home about how hard it is to find Settler Allies, even as a Settler and WHY. The bottom line is that #European relationships are #TRANSACTIONAL, and always linked to money, private property law and DEBT. They do not seek or #transformative relationships. Hence why I arrive at the notion of Collective Karmic #Debt. Here it is:

The problem seems to stem at least partially from differences in how #treaties are understood. For #government officials, treaties seem to be largely a matter of creating the appearance of consistency for #legal purposes, after which #colonial #policies can continue apace.

For #Indigenous nations, treaties are a #ceremonial #commitment to #mutual #understanding and #co-existence. Their spokespeople may sign the treaty and participate in the ceremony, but the commitment and the relationship lives among the #people. For Canadians, the opposite is the case. The ceremonial relationship and the commitment begins and ends with the #treaty #negotiator, and ignorance reigns among the beneficiaries. The #courts handle the details, but knowledge stops with the #lawyers immediately concerned, for the most part. It's a small wonder that Canadians don't consider themselves party to treaties."

This being said it is time for me to get on the phone and call organizations across Canada to find out if they know of any Settler Allies that might be interested in participating in UX Research for this Commons! This should be fun. :)

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ann rogers
ann rogers
Mar 22, 2019

We all suffer under the particularistic ways in which first nations #treaties are represented to us. Settler governments are fighting small, under-resourced groups and individuals through settler courts and draining energy and talent in endless "negotiations". The problem is presented as being very big and general ('none of our business - let the feds handle it") and very very small, with every square inch of land and rights around it legally contested. I wonder how many court cases are underway right this minute?

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