Well it has been an interesting week since I posted here and began asking on social media “which treaties are being violated?”
You see, there is a myth being perpetuated in Canada that somehow native treaties are being breached or are soon to be breached by some new legislation. While some native activists and indignant hipsters have almost been chanting and screaming that treaty rights are being violated; not a single one to date has been able to point to a direct violation.
I have tried to make things as easy as I can. I posted links to all the treaties (very straightforward documents) and invited people to read them and point out where violations are happening.
Since asking those questions, I have been called a moron, uneducated, stupid, uncaring, evil, heartless, despicable, and of course I have been called a racist many times. Somehow I have also been accused of being a Christian fanatic and somehow a homophobe out of all of this too.
I am not sure how simply asking a question makes me any of the above things. What I think is that I have hit the issue on the head. People have not read the treaties and upon being asked they respond by attacking rather than admitting that the breach in treaty rights that they have been claiming simply does not exist.
People have also tried to sidetrack. I have been dragged down discussions on the Charter, the Constitution, the United Nations, the Indian Act and even somehow the Magna Carta. I was sent links to open letters and blogs claiming treaty violation without specifics. Still, nobody could point to a simple ongoing treaty violation.
The closest I saw to a contemporary treaty breach was a link sent to me to this site where it appears that there has been some land allocations of the past that were miscalculated making a breach in some treaties. As can be seen though, it is being addressed efficiently. No mad breaches in rights or need for hunger strikes.
What is great with today’s information age is the ease with which one can dispel myths and untruths. Only 15 years ago it was damn near impossible to simply counter a person’s false claim that treaty rights are being violated. I wouldn’t have even known where to begin to find a treaty in it’s original and full text. Now with a few minutes on google the documents can be found in full and the facts exposed.
The downside of the fast exchange of information is that myths and untruths can be spread more quickly than ever too.
Normally I would not pay much attention to the vapid, profanity laden ramblings of a young shallow urban dwelling lady like Natasha Hynes that are in the video below.
One really does not have to listen long to see that this young lady has nothing much to add to political discussion aside from simplistic repetition of statements on treaties and a blistering number of swears. What is disturbing though is that in a short time apparently nearly 70,000 people watched that video.
VIDEO BELOW NOT SAFE FOR WORK!
It can’t be assumed that all of those watchers checked Natasha’s broken facts and sadly a myth spreads even further.
Bear has been hosting a series of guest postings by Peggy Tupper that I can’t suggest strongly enough as essential reading on the “Idle no more” trend. Policies, reactions and treaties are addressed excellently and the misconceptions of the moment are laid bare excellently.
The web is full of information but it is still nobody’s responsibility aside from our own to ensure that we seek facts and see through misinformation.
Social media provides us with a means to make a point using humor and simplifying things too. I made the video below to show how ridiculous Theresa Spence’s public tantrum is and to again point out that treaty rights are not being breached.
It is a simple cartoon but it makes a couple points and is free of expletives.
My challenge stands; show me the treaty violation.
No sidetracking, no namecalling. Just some facts thanks. I will make it even easier with a template:
Treaty (insert treaty name or number here) is being being breached by (insert action or legislation here) due to obligations in (insert treaty clause here).
I don’t deny for a second that there are some very serious and important issues with natives and Canada’s native policies. If we really want to address these issues though, we must stick with facts.