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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1 The Aboriginal Orthodoxy
2 We Were Here First
3 What Ever Happened to Civilization?
4 The Fiction of Aboriginal Sovereignty
5 Bands Tribes or Nations?
6 The Inherent Problems of Aboriginal SelfGovernment
7 In Search of Property
8 Treaties Agreements and Land Surrenders
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aborig aboriginal communities aboriginal governments aboriginal nations aboriginal orthodoxy aboriginal political aboriginal rights aboriginal self-government aboriginal title agriculture Alberta Alexander Morris American assertion band council British Columbia Calvin Helin cent century civilization colonial constitution Court of Canada Cree Crown culture decision Delgamuukw Dene Department of Indian Donald Marshall economic European evidence extinguished fee simple Flanagan groups human Ibid inal Indian Act Indian Affairs Indian bands Indian reserves inhabitants inherent right Inuit legislation living Louis Riel Manitoba means ment Metis Nation million nationhood native negotiated non-status Indians northern Ojibwa on-reserve Ontario oral traditions ownership population possession prairie problems property rights provincial Quebec rcap rcap’s Registered Indian Report right of self-government settlement social society sovereign sovereignty specific claims status Indians Stephen Harper Stoney Supreme Court surrender terra nullius territory tion Tom Flanagan tribal welfare word World