It is clear from his and his Reform Party pals politics, and political statements over the years, that they think little of Native or Metis rights which they see as 'collectivist'.
To Morton the idea that Aboriginal peoples and Metis should have hunting rights goes against his Republican grain. Instead he practices what his pal Tom Flanagan preaches. As we can see by the actions of provincial government over Metis hunting rights.
Frontier Centre: Your new book, First Nations? Second Thoughts, presents a view of aboriginal history that challenges what you describe as the prevailing orthodoxy on the subject. Could you describe that orthodoxy?
Tom Flanagan: The orthodoxy could be summarized by the term "nation to nation" -- that aboriginal people have to relate to the rest of Canada "government to government". I think the relationship should be more person-to-person.
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 order to become self-supporting
and get beyond the social pathologies
that are ruining their communities,
aboriginal people need to acquire the
skills and attitudes that bring success
in a liberal society, political democracy,
and market economy. Call it assimilation,
call it integration, call it
adaptation, call it whatever you want:
it has to happen.
Tom Flanagan, First Nations?
Second Thoughts, pp.195-196.
While it is convenient
to distinguish between
Europeans and aboriginals on the
basis of Eurocentric notions of civilization—
indeed, Flanagan defines
the term solely by reference to its European
etymological and historical
context, just as he does with concepts
such as sovereignty—such distinctions
cannot deny the operation of
English law. Although the events of
the past 350 years have resulted in a
de facto sovereignty of the British, and
later Canadian, Crown, the foundation
of its claim to sovereignty is
This is not simply a question
of morality, which Flanagan freely ignores
to substantiate his conclusion
that agricultural societies have a fundamental
right to deprive hunter-collector
populations of their land base.
Morton and the rest of the Calgary School have long lobbied to force Metis and Aboriginal hunters to assimilate into the licensing and quota system used for (white) sport hunters and fishermen.
Now he is getting his way. While Steady Eddie looks the other way. That the Journal with all its resources failed to see this would be the result of the appointment of Morton as Minister of Sustainable Resources is laughable. It was all too predictable.
It has been the agenda of the right for years, and in the position of power to do something Morton is doing just that.
In April, Aboriginal Affairs Minister Guy Boutilier invoked a 90-day termination clause to be followed by three months of good-faith negotiation to try and devise a permanent solution.
Those negotiations failed; and in July, the province then came up with new rules to govern where the Métis can hunt and who can qualify for subsistence licences.
The Métis nation is unhappy and rightly so. First, they were not consulted about the new rules now enforced by Sustainable Resource Development Minister Ted Morton's fish and wildlife officers.
Moreover, the province's definition of where Métis can hunt is far more restrictive than was being negotiated by the previous Klein government.
Under the new rules, only Métis from 17 northern communities can qualify for subsistence hunting licences and they can only hunt in a 160-kilometre radius of those communities north of Edmonton. The Métis nation says that ignores Métis who live elsewhere in the province.
Morton's department says a Métis from outside those communities who wants a licence must bring historical documents to the government -- but the Métis nation says it's their job to determine who has Métis identity, not the provincial government's.
Why didn't the province continue negotiations when it appeared a long-term agreement was in the offing? In fact, an MLA committee reviewed the hunting issues in 2006 and recommended the government continue negotiations on the basis of the interim agreement.
Because this government ignores MLA committee recommendations and reviews, like they have with rent controls. Eddies view is that it's good enough to have a review and recommendations, but the government doesn't have to follow them. Not if it conflicts with their paleolithic conservative ideology.
But much to the governments chagrin Morton's political racism has been exposed by the Metis Nation while the Journal still doesn't get it. They give him the benefit of the doubt. As if this is not a long planned for campaign against Metis hunting and fishing rights. Instead the Journal thinks this is a mistake. It is no mistake.
It is Morton first battle in his war against Native and Metis rights.
Prepare To Challenge Ted Morton's Policy
on Métis Harvesting
'Métis Will Continue To Harvest As We Have For Generations'
Over the weekend, Métis from across theprovince unanimously rejected the Métis
harvesting policy put into place byTed Morton, the current Alberta Minister of
Sustainable Resource Development.
The decision was made at the Métis Nation of Alberta (MNA) Annual General
Assembly held in St. Paul, Alberta, where delegates also unanimously made the
historic decision to adopt a harvesting policy to govern the Métis harvest in
"Our people have spoken. We reject Mr. Morton's heavy-handed and
unilateral approach that attempts to abolish Métis rights in this province,"
Audrey Poitras, President of the MNA said. "Our people will continue to
harvest for food, as we have for generations, regardless of Ted Morton's
ill-conceived and unconstitutional policy. We will defend our harvesters based
on our laws; since the Alberta Government's current harvesting laws fail to
accommodate our rights."
On July 1st, Ted Morton implemented his own unilateral policy that
completely excludes Métis living in southern Alberta, arbitrarily limits
traditional Métis harvesting practice and creates a regime where his Ministry
will decide who is Métis and where they will have the right to harvest.
A proposed Action Plan on Métis Harvesting was brought to the MNA
Assembly for direction from Métis citizens. The MNA Assembly unanimously
adopted the Action Plan which focuses on four areas: (1) exercising Métis
rights, (2) defending Métis rights, (3) political action on Métis rights, and
(4) public education on Métis rights.
"We now have a solid and strong mandate to challenge Ted Morton's
regressive policy and to defend our harvesters who are following our
Métis-made harvesting laws," Cecil Bellrose, the MNA Minister of Rights and
Citizenship said. "Also, since Ted Morton made cancelling the IMHA an issue
for his failed leadership bid, Alberta Métis will make his faulty policy an
issue for the next provincial election. It is unacceptable that one man can
attempt to abolish and ignore the constitutional rights of an Aboriginal
people who have helped build this great province."
Métis harvesters are being cautioned that they may be charged by the
Alberta Government for harvesting, however, the MNA will provide legal support
to harvesters meeting the requirements and following the terms of the MNA
Morton is a right wing ideologue and curbing First Nations and Metis rights is key for his social conservative base, which backed him in his run for Premier. It is also the underlying ideology for his pals in the Conservative Government in Ottawa. And it based on good old fashioned assimilationist policies, racism by any other name.
Morton and his right wing pals refuse to recognize that Louis Riel Died For Their Sins and for Metis Rights. In doing so they neglect the reality of Western Canadian populism and reformism which was birthed from the Riel Rebellion which itself was inspired by the earlier Reform Rebellion of 1837. Their ideology is more Republican than Western Canadian Populist.
Welcome to the new Indian war. A war that pits American Republicanism against Canadian and First Nations sovereignty.
In Canada the Royal Mounted Police (established in 1874) were empowered to treat with the Indians--and then back the treaties against the encroachments of settlers. As a result Canada did not suffer the Indian wars that plagued her southern neighbor. While the several thousand soldiers of the US Army struggled to preserve peace on the American frontier, no more than 300 Northwest Mounties were sufficient to do the same in Canada's West, even after the settlers came.SEE:
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