Is this what sovereignty looks like?

The Globe and Mail reports that the Carcross-Tagish First Nation is worried that self-government will collapse without funding from the Canadian Government.

Some commentary from the Canadian side of the Tlingit Country is that this is not what self governance looks like, anyway. Self governance is about “not being completely reliant and at the whim of another government for our financial survival… this also is about Canada’s inability to honour their freakin treaties!”

This is why I have repeatedly advocated for Tlingit Aani and all tribal nations to seek out de-facto independence from our respective colonizers and conquerors, if not explicit, outright independence. A return to our traditional form of self governance and resource management at the clan and village level would be more in line with actual sovereignty rather than the current system, which keeps us as wards of the state.

There is a long history of trade, alliances, inter-marriage and migration between the Tlingit and Tagish. Much of that history can be explored through documentation of oral histories in the Yukon in the book Life Lived Like a Story.

More from the Globe and Mail below:

Canada’s great experiment in aboriginal self-government is about to collapse – or, at least, it certainly looks that way for a Yukon first nation that has successfully managed its own affairs since 2006.

It may surprise many Canadians, but there are now 17 self-governing first nations. They pass their own legislation. They control their social spending. They design school curricula. They create justice systems and punish some crimes differently. They can levy their own taxes. They have a say in the pace and extent of extraction of their natural resources. The Canadian constitution effectively recognizes them as a new and legitimate level of government, and hundreds more first nations are currently negotiating for similar arrangements.

This is what the future between Canada and aboriginal peoples looks like, a devolution of power following a long-troubled relationship, and there are many indications that self-government works to improve outcomes for communities that are sick of being governed from Ottawa. If the Harper government is as serious about unlocking the human and economic potential of first nations as it claims, it cannot allow bureaucrats to strangle self-government in its infancy.


About Vince

I am a Tlingit, born and raised in Tlingit Country, and a proud member of the Tlingit Nation.
This entry was posted in Building a Tlingit Nation and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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