Playing the Indian Card

Monday, March 07, 2016

The Ancestral Cree Lands of Northeastern Ontario

Map of the various Indian groups of Ontario and their traditional hunting ranges. Note that at first European settlement, there were an estimated 1,800 aboriginals actually living in Ontario. Note also the blank area in Northeastern Ontario.

Interesting. The Cree nation is seeking $495 million in damages from their fellow Ontario taxpayers, AND in addition claiming ownership to 48,000 square kilometers of land in Northeastern Ontario. “[O]ur rights in these lands have never been addressed in any treaty,” complains Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come. Among his laments is that the Ontario-Quebec border cute rigth through the Cree ancetral lands.

This no doubt causes great suffering. To someone. Somehow.

This case is interesting, not to say odd, because so far as I can tell the Cree signed away title to these lands in Treaty Number 9 back in 1905. Maybe I missed something. Read it yourself.

One begins to see how the phrase “Indian giver” entered the language. It appears that no deal is final if the various tribes see a way to shake more money out of someone.

One is reminded of the current behavious of North Korea. Every couple of years, for as long as I can remember, they shake their sabres and threaten war. Then after a time they offer negotiations. The Americans rush to the table, and sign a deal, which inevitably involves more money going to North Korea in return for their standing down. Two years or so later, the cycle repeats.

Have you ever heard of Danegeld?

It is always a temptation for a rich and lazy nation,
To puff and look important and to say: --
"Though we know we should defeat you, we have not the time to meet you.
We will therefore pay you cash to go away."

And that is called paying the Dane-geld;
But we've proved it again and again,
That if once you have paid him the Dane-geld
You never get rid of the Dane.
- Rudyard Kipling

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