In today’s blog post I will be discussing the role that modern land claims have in the reconciliation process.
I think that we all have a need to contribute to the reconciliation process. This means each and every person, regardless of their race, gender or identity. It is everyone’s responsibility to be involved in the reconciliation process. After all, We are All Treaty People.
When the historical treaties were signed there were two very different worldviews colliding that did not align in many ways. The Crown had planned to use these treaties as a quick way to gain control of the land and had no intention of every fulfilling any of the promises. While thankfully this is not the case and we are in some ways still following the treaties. While the historical treaties were meant to be very fluid documents, and it was the intention of the First Nations People’s that these be discussed when any issues arose.
Now as we look at the modern treaties, there are still in many cases very different worldviews involved. The legal process is much more involved in the signing of these documents. While I would argue that the First Nation People’s are not on a level playing field as the Crown, the negotiation is being done with much better intentions.
I recently read an article (and I couldn’t for the life of me find it again) that discussed how a farmer in the prairies gave up a large chunk of his land to a local First Nations Band. He said that it was never his land, to begin with, so why should he continue to own it. What I really find compelling about this story is the fact that he was not the one who stole the land in the first place. In fact he ha paid someone else for the rights to this land. We often hear the argument when we talk about reconciliation that says while it wasn’t me or my parents so why should I have to do something about it. While it may not have directly been someone one we know, as a white settler we benefited from the signing of the treaties.