Comment 5866

By zox (anonymous) | Posted March 17, 2007 at 02:28:26

The rest of us none-native people aren't indigenous to the Haldimand Tract either. I don't see much of a point in the line of
thinking of the newspaper story author, (Saturday Spectator -?, some time back) unless we tell everyone that they have no claim to it.

If I understand the author correctly, he is saying that 'the Crown gave away land that belonged to another tribe & gave it on a short term lease-like arrangement to the Haudenosaunee. Then the Crown sat silently watching as the new tenants decimated & displaced the former owners-?'
He sees no blame or culpabilty to the government of the day in any of this, but assigns blame to the Mohawks. (?) He also didn't seem interested in finding the decendents of the original owners & handing the land back to them. (Probably because he knows he won't find any.)

Who knows who was there first, second or third? All kinds of factors come into play in all human migrations in every place in the world, & not just wars. Famine, drought, animal die-offs & food shortages, epidemics, religious edicts, cultural changes & adaptations can all cause populations of people to move. Who will ever know what caused the first of the first people to relinqish that land, & who exactly they were? The author of that article is only speaking about 'historical' (European documented) history.

If we deny that European encroachment had effects on all Indigenous cultures, we'd be wrong. As the Europeans moved west from the Atlantic coast, all native populations had to move west to simply accommodate them, & this caused territorial wars, starvation, epidemics, genocides, & great cultural upheavals. I think it's rediculous that the author washes his hands of the effect that colonization had on the continent, & sees no direct effects on the native populations. (The fur trade, religion, & political affiliations with England, France, Spain, or the new nation of America had everything to do with what was going on in North America for over 400 years.)

We have no real way of telling who settled the area first, & do we want to talk about post or pre-glaciation settlements? Unless we want to unearth the oldest graves that we can find in the area (& hope that they are the oldest!), do DNA testing on the remains, then randomly sample native people from all over the continent, do DNA matches, & award the land to those people, then what is the point of that whole argument about 'Who was here first'?

If the present reflects the past in Federal & Provincial land claim settlements, we can all expect no solutions to be forthcoming in this century.

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