History of Resistance

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by Samhussein
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History of Resistance

ResistanceThe Indigenous peoples of the Americans have been resisting governmental obstucting of land and poltical affairs for a long period of time due to their Native beliefs and world views. However, as time passes the Native peoples of Canada don't back down but keep pushing forward. A couple of examples of this would be the Ipperwash Crisis, Gustafsen Lake and the response to the White paper.

History Of ResistanceBy: Samira Hussein

Ipperwash CrisisThe government decided to build a military camp on reserve land occupied by the Stony Point First Nation and located in Ipperwash Provincial Park, Ontario. The government had initially made an offer to the Stony Point First Nation, but they rejected it, as the land was a cultural and spiritual significance due to a burial ground being there. The government eventually seized the land and promised to compensate the Stony Point First Nation. At the time, the government reassured the Stony Point First Nation that it would be returned to them. However, the land was not returned in years. Then in 1993, members of the Stony Point First Nation began to come and live on the land at the park on September 4, 1995. They planned to peacefully live there. The Ontario premier-then Mike Harris, wanted them removed as quickly as possible. This dispute quickly arisen and got violent which resulted in the government killing a man named Dudley George. After that shooting, there was protests and rallies.{3}

Gustafsen Lake StandoffThe Gustafsen Lake is located in south-central BC. It is also known as Ts’Peten. In 1995, there was a month-long standoff that happened between Native peoples & police over a land that is the ancestral homeland of the Secwepemc (Shuswap). The dispute began after a local white rancher demanded that a Secwepemc Sundance camp leave the land to which he claimed ownership of. The dispute excaladed to the point where people started using roadblocks and protested to prevent the removal of the sundance camp on the sacred land. The police retaliated with the “get tough” law & order stance against Native “terrorists.” Then the police started the “anti-terrorist” operation where they began sending in heavily-armed units to conduct surveillance of the camp. This dispute excaladed to the point where violence struck and people got killed. {1}

The White Paper (Response)In the Canadian legislature system, the white paper is a policy paper. The term ironically implies a reference to racial politics and the white majority. The 1969 white paper proposes the abolition of the Indian Act and ending the special legal relationship between Aboriginal peoples and the Canadian state. The Whtie Paper was met with a lot of opposition from the native communities. The White Paper purpose was to "achieve equality among all Canadians by eliminating Indian as a distinct legal status and by regarding Aboriginal peoples simply as citizens with the same rights, opportunities and responsibilities as other Canadians." Aboriginal people across Canada came together in hopes the White paper would not abolish the Indian. So, they protested. They protested because the white paper failed to address their concerns. It contained no effort to recognize and honour First Nations’ rights, or deal with historical tragedies, land ownership, treaty rights, or incorpriate any significant Indigenous participation in Canadian policy making. Therefore, that is they all Native communities came together and protested against the white paper. For instance, petitioning and marching. {2}

Work Cited1) Gustafen Lake: "Ts'Peten, 1995." Warrior Publications. February 13, 2011. Accessed June 11, 2015. 2) "The White Paper 1969." The White Paper 1969. Accessed June 11, 2015.3) "Ipperwash Crisis." Ipperwash Crisis. Accessed June 11, 2015.


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