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Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Metis vs Thomas Flanagan

For the record a certain professor asked us to wish him luck in court this week. It is difficult to do that being metis from Manitoba as it is almost like your obligated to hate him. You get filled up with the constant propoganda from the MMF and MNC which include little excerpts from his books but never the whole thing. The battle begins and propoganda is half of it. The beginning:

Métis lawyers are getting ready to counter testimony that is expected from demonized historian Thomas Flanagan, who is expected to testify for the government side in a historic land case now under way in a Winnipeg court.

Flanagan, a former advisor to Prime Minister Stephen Harper, has angered both First Nations and Métis with his writings. During this year’s federal election campaign Métis officials expressed fear that Flanagan would have a role in influencing policy if the Conservatives were elected.

Jim Aldridge, one of the lawyers representing the Manitoba Métis Federation, said Flanagan is expected to testify for the government side during the first part of the trial that could take three months.

One of the arguments that Flanagan is expected to make is that the Métis received fair payment for land that was provided to them, but which they later sold, Aldrich told delegates to a National Métis Council meeting last weekend. (h/t Will Goodon)

One definitely gets the notion that it isn’t the Metis vs somebody who is representing part of the defence for the government and is therefore doing a job like everyone else, but it is the Metis vs Thomas Flanagan.

It will be simple human nature to demonize the man in the chair and I imagine the next few press releases from the Metis National Council and the Manitoba Metis Federation will be pretty damn interesting. The standard expected buildup has already begun (in regards to the throne speech):

Yesterday, the historic Manitoba Métis Federation v. Canada trial started in Winnipeg. The case is about Canada not fulfilling its Treaty and constitutional promises to the Métis people in Manitoba in 1870. President Chartier concluded, “We are in court 136 years later in order to hold Canada to its promises and the honour of the Crown. Unfortunately, our history with government has more often than not, been corrupted by broken promises and sharp dealing. I sincerely hope that the Kelowna Accord does not become a part of that shameful legacy.” #

The Flanagan quotations should be making an appearance fairly soon in the clipped format not unlike MMF President Chartrand’s treatment of an email from Swan River MP Inky Marks. Any perceived losses will be blamed on the Conservative government with tales of Thomas Flanagan backroom manipulation (they never note he once worked for the liberals) and any wins will be all their own.

Irrational and childish but its human nature.

Posted by Darcey on April 5, 2006 in Aboriginal Issues | Permalink


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I believe one of the original founders of the AFN has also stated that natives have been well compensated for the undeveloped land they held at the time.

Posted by: Kevin | 2006-04-05 4:07:58 PM

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