, 8 tweets, 3 min read Read on Twitter
This is for Art Manuel who I've been thinking about everyday. As I lay sick in bed watching #wetsuwetenstrong unfold, I was sorting thru hundreds of pages of FOIs from BC that clock internal responses to the Delgamuukw decision in the years immediately following the SCC decision.
As Art pointed out, Ab title scared the hell out of industry & govts seeking certainty. BC pushed hard for modern treaties. See this letter from INAC to his BC counterpart: “I believe that our best response to the Delgamuukw decision may be to get offers on the table sooner."
There was no bottom too low to scrape to compel groups. In this communication, a bureaucrat suggests withholding healing dollars for IRS survivors from communities not at the negotiating table.
Part of this accelerating push towards the tables was contingent upon “First Nations agreeing to support economic stability in British Columbia by refraining from direct action or litigation.” The idea was to capture resistance in the process.
There’s a ton of hand-wringing as well with frantic emails brainstorming risk mitigation strategies, such as “Push the ec dev/capacity building strongly - idea being the if we can include First Nations in the industry then they are less likely to oppose development” and so on.
For the govts, the Unistoten camp was the worse case scenario. In a Government Operations Centre “secret” doc, the risk assessment took stock of blockade against CGL calling it "the ideological and physical focal point of Aboriginal resistance to resource extraction projects."
This resistance was backed by settler law: the Tsilhqotin case. Ab title of Wetsuweten land is a problem bc the court said the proper title holder was the Nation. The state can only resolve this impasse by depicting the land defenders as lawless, creating a space for violence.
Of course, it is Canada and BC that are lawless, refusing to respect both their own laws and those of the Wetsuweten. But watch all the mechanisms of capture here - comps claim policy, carrots and sticks, surveilllance and monitoring, violence against those "outside" of the law.
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