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Monday, February 04, 2008

New at the Standard

In "A New Declaration of Independence," Western Standard reporter Terrence Watson assesses the recent attempt at secession by the Lakotah-Sioux, and compares it with Canada's deal struck with the Nisga'a. What he discovers is surprising.

Posted by westernstandard on February 4, 2008 in Western Standard | Permalink


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The Nisga'a Treaty is not what outsiders think it is. I am now serving my people on a volunteer basis, doing Advocacy work as in all walks of life, the disadvantages are being discriminated, oppressed more, our people are treated like they don't exist. Starting January 2008, I am taking on clients dealing with denial of Social Assistance, Labour issues, etc. When employees speak out against what they know is wrong, they are terminated and to date, I have been successful in winning two cases. I will not give up the fight for a just society, first, it was Indian Affairs and now we have to deal with our very own corrupt leaders and this starts right from the top, the Executive level, the President, the Secretary-Treasurer, they know that we were not ready for self-government but they did not care. We are in a total mess, financially and emotionally. I speak the truth and I will be damned if I am told to keep quiet. They pay high-priced lawyers like Jim Aldridge to win cases that are brought to Canadian Human Rights Commission. I know because I was a victim of discrimination-8 jobs I applied for and was denied. I now qualify for 2 degrees from University of Northern British Columbia and I wish to pursue the Aboriginal Law Program, to enhance my knowledge in the Justice Program. With all the experience I am now getting, I will be a good candidate for that program. I am a 59 year old Nisga'a woman who will dedicate my life to helping others who are treated unfairly. Every native community needs and Advocate for Change.

Posted by: Sylvia Stephens | 2008-02-05 9:20:51 AM

Hi Sylvia,

I don't know if you'll see this response, but thank you for your comment on my article. I wish you luck in the Aboriginal Law program, as well as in your pursuit of justice.

I wish more people like me -- that is, white guys, or outsiders -- would listen and unite around issues of justice and oppression. You say the Nisga'a were not ready for self-government, and you could be right, but do you agree that self-government is something the Nisga'a are entitled to, eventually?

Thank you again for your comment!


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-02-07 4:46:53 PM

The Western Standard has obviously become an organ of the left wing propaganda machine and I am bitterly disappointed.

Posted by: Barry Brummet | 2008-02-29 3:34:41 PM

Hi Barry,

I'm the author of the piece you apparently take to be an example of "left wing propaganda." Can you please explain why you think this way?

Personally, I'm a libertarian. While researching the article on aboriginal self-government, I had to ask myself if the concept of aboriginal title is compatible with personal liberty. It seems to me that the answer is yes: when the courts recognized aboriginal title, they basically recognized pre-existing aboriginal property rights.

I happen to think property rights are a good thing. I wish the court would recognize that all Canadians have property rights, since they were omitted from the Charter. But if property rights existed prior to the Crown, that means the legitimacy of Crown holdings depends on the Crown being able to show that the property rights of the previous owners were respected.

From what I've read, in parts of British Columbia, this was not the case. Land was seized -- stolen, in fact, without treaty, and without compensation. I think it's wrong when a government steals property... don't you?

There's nothing left-wing about this kind of reasoning, at least as far as I can see. Indeed, it could be argued that the court's recognition of aboriginal title might compel it to recognize property rights on a wider scale. But if you can see some way that my emphasis on property rights makes me a Marxist, I'd like to know.

Thanks for the comment!

All the best,


Posted by: Terrence Watson | 2008-02-29 3:53:37 PM

Well if a muslim/mafia drug-dealing statelet like Kosovo can do it, why not the Lakotah-Sioux? They at least can claim to have a unique ethnic identity and a geographic base. The real kicker would be if Russia and China were to recognise the new state.

Posted by: Tom | 2008-03-26 9:06:35 PM

I will admit to not having that much knowledge on the legalities of treaties and how they were negotiated, but I agree with you terrance the the government should not have the right to steal property (or children..but that is another topic on another blog). I beleive the first nations people (from all parts of the world) to be the keepers of the planet, some people might see that as idealistic or naive so be it. Our culture (white) has time and time again proven that we are for progress..but at what cost? It seems to me that as we progress things of true importance suffer ie; family, ethics and our planet. If the Lakota have taken a stand to say that they no longer want a part of the american(farce)dream then good for them! Governments the world over have shown that their interests are not that of the natives but of their economies and the bottom line. As our society continues to "progress" I fear that we may look back in time to find the bottom line lands at rock bottom. keep up the good work...let your light shine and don't let the haters get you down! :)

Posted by: maya | 2008-06-10 2:10:38 PM

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