Distinctions between native, non-native must be removed

Dear Editor:

It is a classic case of the use of misdirection by way of false analogy to compare the need for the government to have a warrant to enter my house to the proposed declaration’s requirement that the Canadian government seek some kind of permission to send its military onto or across native lands. A warrant is an internal procedural matter between branches of the Canadian government and is part of a constitutional process meant to protect the rights of the individual from being arbitrarily violated by the Canadian government and is not at all analogous to what the UN declaration is saying.

If our federal government were to be obligated to get even tacit permission from a native community to bring its military on reservation land then our government would no longer be the sole sovereign within its own borders for it would lack the ability to go where it pleases. Therefore, the requirement that our federal government get native permission to transit their lands cannot be equated with having to get a warrant to enter a private residence. Acceptance of this proposal would in effect make a separate government of the native community because the permission would not be granted by a branch of the Canadian government to another branch but rather by a governmental entity that is now “alien” or foreign to the Canadian government.

However, for the native community this would be a convenient way of doing an end run around having to persuade the Canadian people to rewrite the constitution to bring in a separate native governmental structure. Therefore, the UN declaration would garner for the native community de facto status as a semi-autonomous state Distinctions between native, non-native must be removed without our consent.

I will reiterate that any means of denying or granting the citizens of a country differential access to the benefits or penalties of its society, that uses a genetic criteria as opposed to individual merit is racism. The UN declaration and the treaties of both Canada and the United States, are guilty of this sin. We cannot be a society that believes in the responsibility of the individual if we are willing to reward some individuals on the sole basis of their membership to a genetic group.

The use of genetic criteria to determine a person’s status does not differ at all from the practices of the Nazis in their determination of who is a Jew. Or the racism of whites in the American South when genetics was used to determine who was and was not a white person. Or the apartheid system of South Africa Canada fought so hard to end. Or the recent case of Rwanda where the UN failed to prevent Hutus from working to exterminate their fellow Tutsis.

The fact is that this process of maintaining community ethnic purity is at the heart of the treaty system and the native establishment. The distinctions between native and non-native must be abolished and not enhanced.

Julian Ross Hudson