First Nations? Second Thoughts
Controversial and thought-provoking, Tom Flanagan's First Nations? Second Thoughts dissects the prevailing orthodoxy that determines public policy towards Canada's Aboriginal peoples. Flanagan argues that this orthodoxy enriches and empowers a small elite of activists, politicians, administrators, middlemen, and well-connected entrepreneurs, while bringing further misery to the very people it is supposed to help. Over the last thirty years Canadian policy on Aboriginal issues has come to be dominated by an ideology that sees Aboriginal peoples as "nations" entitled to specific rights. Indians and Inuit now enjoy a cornucopia of legal privileges, including rights to self-government beyond federal and provincial jurisdiction, immunity from taxation, court decisions reopening treaty issues settled long ago, the right to hunt and fish without legal limits, and free housing, education, and medical care as well as other economic benefits. Underpinning these privileges is what Flanagan describes as Aboriginal orthodoxy - a set of beliefs that hold that prior residence in North America is an entitlement to special treatment; that Aboriginal peoples are part of sovereign nations endowed with an inherent right to self-government; that Aboriginals must have collective rather than individual property rights; that all treaties must be renegotiated on a "nation-to-nation" basis; and that Native people should be encouraged to build prosperous "Aboriginal economies" through money, land, and natural resources transferred from other Canadians. In First Nations? Second Thoughts Flanagan combines conceptual analysis with historical and empirical information to show that the Aboriginal orthodoxy is both unworkable and ultimately destructive to the people it is supposed to help.
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aborig aboriginal communities aboriginal governments aboriginal land aboriginal nations aboriginal orthodoxy aboriginal rights aboriginal self-government aboriginal title agreements agriculture Alberta Alexander Morris American Athapaskan band council Blackfoot British Columbia Canadian cent century Charlottetown Accord claim colonial colonists concept constitution contemporary Cree Crown culture decision Delgamuukw Dene Department of Indian Donald Marshall economic European evidence extinguished fishing Flanagan groups Hawthorn human hunting Ibid inal Indian Act Indian Affairs Indian bands Indian reserves Indian Treaties inhabitants inherent right Inuit Lamer languages living Louis Riel Manitoba means ment Metis Nation nationhood Native negotiated Nisga'a North America northern Ojibwa Ontario oral traditions ownership population prairie provincial Quebec RCAP RCAP'S Report right of self-government Royal Proclamation Saskatchewan settlement social sovereign sovereignty St Catherine's Milling status Indians Stoney Supreme Court surrender term terra nullius territory thousand tion treaty rights tribal Tsuu T'ina Vattel welfare word World