Another Modest Proposal by Jordan Wheeler
as an Aboriginal person, i am often asked by non-Aboriginal people to explain points of Aboriginality (yes it’s a word, it’s actually one of my favourites). tho i appreciate interest in my culture and honest, earnest questions, sometimes i grow tired of constantly putting on the “ambassador hat” as i call it. … but the last thing i want to do is discourage questions.
the Winnipeg Public Library has recently partnered with the Aboriginal Writers Collective to try and build up the library’s collection of Aboriginal resources. plenty of works, by and about Indigenous people and culture can be found at your local library. check it!
and now that my rant is done, let me introduce a poem that i think explains a lot of points rather well – thanks to Jordan Wheeler for this one….
Another Modest Proposal
Read an Article in the Vancouver Sun
Dude warned Canada that the situation was ripe
For an NDN uprising – military style
And I agree with him
And many reserves straddle key infrastructure
Water supplies, hydro installations, railways
Take a big wrench, loosen two bolts, wait for a wind and that hydro tower will fall.
NDN’s know that
Never mind the weapons caches.
So yeah, trouble brewing.
More involvement for NDN’s in the political process
And I agree with him
And I think we should take the Maori model in Aotearoa and adapt it
In the 2008 New Zealand elections the Maori had seven guaranteed seats in Parliament – seven seats out of sixty-nine, roughly ten percent. Yet the Maori make up fifteen percent of the population. Not a perfect model, but a decent one.
So let’s adapt it to this land they currently call Canada.
Except the Maori are one Nation, one language
On the land they currently call Canada, there are many nations and many languages
Therefore, each should be represented with at least one guaranteed seat in the House of Commons.
One for the Abenaki
One for the Assiniboine
An honourary one for the Beothuk that should always remain empty as a grim reminder
One for the Blackfoot… I guess
One for the Carrier
One for the Cayuga
One for the Chilcotin
One for the Ch(j)ipewyan
One for the Dakota
One for the Dogrib
One for the Gitskwan
One for the Gwitchen
One for the Haida
One for the Huron
One for the Innu
One for the Kootenay
One for the Kwakiutl
One for the Maliseet
One for the Metis
One for the Miq Maq
One for the Mohawk (though they’ll probably ask for two)
One for the Nuuchahnulth
One for the Oji-Cree
One for the Okanagan
One for the Oneida
One for the Onandaga
One for the Ottawa
One for the Salish
One for the Seneca
One for the Shuswap
One for the Slavey
One for the Sahtu
One for the Tlingit
One for the Tsimshian
One for the Tuscarora
One for the Wit’suni(t)in
Two for the Anishinabe (Plains Ojibway and Woodlands Ojibway)
Three for the Inuit (Western Arctic, Nunavut and Nunavik)
And four for the Cree (Plains Cree, Swampy Cree, Woodlands Cree, James Bay Cree)
Forty-four seats out of what would be three hundred and fifty two – roughly thirteen percent. Yet, according to the 2006 census, we make up only four percent of the population.
But worry not – I believe that percentage is much higher. Many NDN’s, like me, don’t fill out the census. And many of us were never registered at birth so they could be hidden from the Indian Agents and RCMP during the residential school roundups. And give us a generation. At the speed we’re procreating — we’re gonna be a hell of a lot more than thirteen percent of the population.
Not a perfect model, but a decent one.
Now I suppose the greater population would fear an all Indigenous party with the power to determine governments but that, alas, would require national Indigenous unity and that, my nervous, non-Indigenous friends, has never, ever happened.