extracted from another thread , as it is a different topic I would like to see discussed:


The concept of water as a commodity is not innate to [ the First Nations]. Water is a necessity of life and it belongs to everyone.

One cannot "own" what was given to all. you can only charge for your work to make use of it.

It is fundamental to native ideation that ownership is merely temporary use or custody of what the earth has given.

Processing and making something of something the earth provides is your contribution to creation. You have no more need for reimbursement as a DUE (as we think of it in our culture) than we think of "God" requiring payment.

You chose to create. If it is useful for someone they will use it (without thinking to first ask you - why should they? If you did not mean for it to be used, or why did you create it?

Nor will they thank you. ("I honoured your skill and creation by USING it well and respectfully. I helped you fulfill its purpose - as you wanted - so why would do you expect "thanks?" And that is genuine bewilderment.

Thus the constant clash of values and natives running afoul of our code of laws. What we consider as patently obvious (this is Mine, I found it),to the ingrained pattern of thinking, is for animals, not people.

Thus, by their behaviour, my mother's ancestors quite firmly believed the white invaders were animals - not to be feared any more than any other dangerous animal borne of nature. Other tribes lived by the same code - hence they, too, were "people" ("Dene" - pronounced "deh-NAY."

Poor naive people. We occupied the lands they hlived on for generations, declared "New House Rules!" gave them as few hectares that WE deigned to call "reserved" for them - the people who were there first.

Very magnanimous of us. Who gave us the right to write those rules and impose them on them?

How could we expect them to understand that "i just drew an imaginary line down here and you cannot cross it." It was like a madman to them. What do you mean, of course I can. I did this morning and I can do it now - I what do you mean I "cannot cross it?" but I just did?!" It just didn't make sense.

Yet we expected them to change in centuries the patterns of thinking that goes back thousands of years - be able to think "irationally: -like we do (as far as they could tell).

"Stop walking - remember? There is an imaginary line "
"Yes, but the rabbit ran there and he is my dinner.

"No he crossed the line. It is now that man's dinner.

"But I loosed the arrow that struck..."
"It;s over the line - it;s his."

"what line?" icon_eek.gif





This is how it was explained very sadly to me by a MiqMa'aq elder, as we talked about the incarceration rates of First Nations peoples - and mostly for trangressions of our laws regarding property.

(doing harm to others is unacceptable in their culture, as it is in ours - and it is the Elder mothers of the tribe who decide what constitute harm. The Elders together
(male and female) would traditionally decide on punishment.