This is a very busy day. So allow me to post an image and music by Maurice Ravel. I have featured Ginette Neveu (11 August 1919 – 28 October 1949) in an earlier post. She was a famous virtuoso violinist who died in a plane crash at the age of 30.
My readers from France love Maxine Noel’s art. I think her art is exquisite and others share that opinion.
Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard waves to the crowd at the Quebec Liberal Party convention in Montreal on Saturday. Ryan Remiorz / THE CANADIAN PRESS
I apologize for not posting sooner. Quebec’s Liberal Party held its convention in Montreal and I was a delegate. Premier Philippe Couillard addressed us. He was reassuring. As you know, he and members of National Assembly have made cuts that many oppose. In the 60s and early 70s, Quebec leaders promised a welfare state.
Access to a free education is an admirable goal, but for this goal to be achieved, the government needs taxpayers. Separatism and terrorism caused many to leave Quebec and the money used to cover the costs of a welfare state is collected through taxation. If people leave, the number of taxpayers is reduced.
Moreover, several workers insist on being paid on a cash basis, nothing is deducted from their income. Tax evasion also precludes a welfare state. It isn’t an option. Why should people who pay their taxes support those who are able to conceal more substantial earnings? I am not discussing the wages of cleaning ladies.
young Liberals given a stronger voice
We were amending the constitution. It was a long process. Therefore, I will mention only one topic. It was decided that young Liberals would be given a stronger voice in the Party.
I was a witness to the student strikes of 2012 and felt reticence supporting this amendment. In 2012, students were willing to break the law and they did break the law so their tuition fees would not be raised.
Young Liberals may well be better young citizens than other young citizens, but that is not necessarily the case. Many were brought up at the same time as the students who created mayhem in 2012. In fact, many were brought up in the same milieu.
However, I recognize that they are the future. Let them see the bills and let them also see whether or not they have the money to pay these bills.
We escaped a reenactment of the 2012 student strikes this spring. Students started to demonstrate, but injunctions were issued and the Quebec government decided it would not fund an extra semester if students had not completed their term. The 2012 strike cost millions of dollars.
At any rate, what I had witnessed here in Sherbrooke when Liberals last met was a mere sample of what I saw in Montreal. There was a large number of armed policemen and plainclothes security agents. I saw security personnel carrying machine guns. These were in bags, but the bags nevertheless concealed machine guns. One could tell by the shape. As for the delegates, all of us were meticulously screened. There was violence when members of the Liberal Party met in Victoriaville in May 2012.
Cutbacks are painful, but the government has to operate with the money it levies through taxation. Quebec’s prosperity is not endangered. It has untapped natural resources that should allow it to bounce back in the not-too-distant future. Despite cutbacks, we still enjoy universal healthcare and tuition fees will not be out of reach.
My next post is on the Red River Settlement. It involves Métis, the two fur-trading companies operating in Canada in 1811, the Seven Oaks incident, and the death of a governor of Manitoba.
I could not finish it yesterday because of preoccupations.
In an earlier post, I indicated I was moving to Montreal. This will not happen. So I am trying to purchase a small apartment in a building that has an elevator and adequate soundproofing. I miss not playing my piano or a harpsichord, but as you know, I was worked away from my position as a university teacher and there are consequences.
Ancient Messages by Maxine Noel(Sa-Cinn Native Ent. Ltd.)
Maxine Noel, who signs her art work by her Sioux name, Ioyan Mani, “to walk beyond,” attended a Residential School. It may have been a good residential school. There are times when one good person makes the difference.
After leaving Residential School, Maxine worked as a legal secretary, but decided to take a course on advanced design and was singled out as a particularly gifted and promising artist.
Her work is lovely. The flowing lines, the composition, the stylization (faces, hands), the graded colours. In the print shown above, the fanciful orangey dots gives a very successful sense of unity to Maxine Noel’s artwork.
“The Great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respect with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.”
Enfranchisement is “terminating a person’s Indian status and conferring full Canadian citizenship” (See Enfranchisement, Indigenous Foundations.)
Enfranchisement, i.e. terminating an Amerindian’s status, is the worst problem Canadian Aboriginals have faced since New France was ceded to Britain, and it was not addressed in the Canada Act of 1982. It is not stated that the Canada Act of 1982 terminates the Indian Act of 1876.
The purpose of Residential Schools was to enfranchise, or assimilate, young Amerindians. Therefore, the development of residential schools was one of many attempts to enfranchise Amerindians. Children are vulnerable and cannot defend themselves.
A New Beginning by Maxine Noel(Sa-Cinn Native Ent. Ltd.)
“[t]he Gradual Enfranchisement Act also granted the Superintendent General of Indian Affairs extreme control over status Indians.” (See Indian Act, Canadian Encyclopedia.)
Of “good moral character”
For instance, as per the Indian Act of 1876, an Amerindian’s status did not depend on his or her being born a status Amerindian, but on his or her being considered a status Amerindian by the Superintendent of Indian Affairs, or another “official.” This policy can be construed as assimilative. A “good moral character” became the criterion used to determine whether or not one was a genuine Aboriginal, with all rights and privileges.
“For example, the Superintendent [of Indian Affairs] had the power to determine who was of “good moral character” and therefore deserve certain benefits, such as deciding if the widow of an enfranchised Indian “lives respectably” and could therefore keep her children in the event of the father’s death. The Act also severely restricted the governing powers of band councils, regulated alcohol consumption and determined who would be eligible for band and treaty benefits. It also marks the beginning of gender-based restrictions to status.” (See Indigenous Foundations, UBC [University of British Columbia].)
About a century later, assimilation remained the goal, but the rationale was somewhat different. Pierre Elliot Trudeau wanted to put all Canadians on the same footing. Consequently, the White Paper of 1969 reflected that goal. At the time, Jean Chrétien was Minister of Indian Affairsand Northern Development. The White Paper proposed the assimilation of Canadian aboriginals. It therefore unleashed a furore and a ‘Red Paper’ was written. The furore then fizzled out, but the “white paper” was both the culmination of various assimilatory strategies and the beginning of an era when Aboriginals would be protected.
(See The White Paper, Indigenous Foundations [University of British Columbia] UBC.)
“In spite of all government attempts to convince Indians to accept the white paper, their efforts will fail, because Indians understand that the path outlined by the Department of Indian Affairs through its mouthpiece, the Honourable Mr. Chrétien, leads directly to cultural genocide. We will not walk this path.” Harold Cardinal, “The Unjust Society” (See Harold Cardinal, Wikipedia.)
In order to keep this post relatively brief and precise, I will now use a few quotations.
Access to higher Education
“A First Nations person lost status or ceased being an Amerindian if they graduated university, became a Christian minister, or achieved professional designation as a doctor or lawyer.” (See Indian Act, Canadian Encyclopedia.)
Women could not “marry out,” but men could
Moreover, there was gender discrimination. A woman who married a non-status Indian, lost her status as an aboriginal. Men could ‘marry out.’
“In 1977, the Canadian Human Rights Act was passed. In it, Section 67 exempted it from being applied to provision in the Indian Act, largely understood to be an admission that the Indian Act would not meet human-rights standards. That section was repealed in 2008″ (See Indian Act, Canadian Encyclopedia.)
“In 1981, the United Nations Human Rights Commission ruled that Canada had violated Article 27 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights in the case of Sandra Lovelace — a Maliseet woman who had lost her status through marriage.” (See Indian Act, Canadian Encyclopedia.)
“The Oka Crisis was a 78-day standoff (11 July–26 September 1990) between Mohawk protesters, police, and army [Royal 22e Régiment (the “Van Doos”)]. At the heart of the crisis was the proposed expansion of a golf course and development of condominiums on disputed land that included a Mohawk burial ground.” (See Oka Crisis, Canadian Encyclopedia.)
As for the Meech Lake Accord, it was an attempt on the part of Prime Minister Brian Mulroney to encourage Quebec to sign the Patriated Constitution of 1982. It was proposed that Quebec be looked upon as a “distinct society.” However, one of the ten provinces objected: Manitoba. “Phil Fontaine was one of the Manitoba First Nation leaders who led the opposition of the Meech Lake Accord.” (See Phil Fontaine and Ovide Mercredi, Wikipedia.)
The Commission found that a new beginning was essential. It produced a 4,000 page report recommending another Royal Proclamation and “set out a twenty-year agenda for implementing changes.” (See The Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, Wikipedia).
I should think that the Residential School Settlement Agreement (2007 – 2008) and the formal apology presented by Prime Minister Stephen Harper on behalf of all Canadians for harm inflicted on Aboriginals constitute a new beginning.