Possible Native Canadian Insurgency?

By: Daniel Nardini

According to a report written by Canadian military officer Douglas Bland for the MacDonald Laurier Institute of Canada, the conditions Native Canadians face could lead them to start an armed insurgency against the country. Here are three main factors that Bland cites for why there is the possibility of uprisings. First, Native Canadians overall have a higher birth rate than do all other Canadians. This means that there are more Native Canadians being born every year compared to the overall Canadian population. Second, Native Canadians live in the most extreme poverty and isolated areas. This means that there are fewer resources and funding for Native Canadians than any other group. Finally, corporations and even the Canadian government has been known to take the mineral and natural resources from Native Canadian lands without the permission of the local Native Canadian governments due to laws that favor the corporations and Canadian government.

All of this, according to Bland, adds up to a possible armed conflict. The Canadian government, writes Bland, does not seem to comprehend the seriousness of the potential issue. Native Canadians could start to shoot at people who cross their lands, blow up government and corporate facilities, and engage in terrorist (or guerrilla, depending on your point of view) activities. These things have happened in the past, and according to Bland could escalate. He recommends that the Canadian government start trying to revise the laws used by federal and provincial governments in how they govern the Native Canadians. He also recommends immediately trying to engage with the local Native Canadian government representatives to stave off any potential for conflict before it happens. Native Canadian chiefs have tried to talk to Canadian federal and provincial government officials for years about the plight of their peoples, but more often than not have met with indifference.

Although Douglas Bland is a military expert, he sees the dangers from all of the root social, economic and political causes that could spark a whole set of Native Canadian uprisings. Since Native Canadians make up 1.2 million out of a total population of 34.5 million, this could cause a dangerous fragmentation of Canada itself. The Native Canadians, like the Native Americans in the United States, were the first people on this continent and have been on their present day lands for untold centuries. Like in the United States, the Native Canadians have gotten a raw deal and deserve better. Unlike the United States (recently that is), the Canadian government still seems to have a rather colonial attitude towards the native peoples. Bland is warning that this must change for the sake of the whole country.

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