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Friday, 1 September 2017

Aboriginal Questions

by Peter Goodchild

Aboriginal of Canada
Aboriginal of Canada


The word "aborigine" comes quite simply from two Latin words, "ab origine," meaning "from the origin." But origin of what? The origin of human settlement in the Americas? Says who? There is considerable (though confusing and uncertain) evidence that there were people in the Americas, probably from Southeast Asia, or perhaps from several parts of southern Asia, long before the people who now consider themselves "the first." These earlier people were not Mongoloid, unlike our present "aborigines."1

Why should we assume that the Americas were totally uninhabited for hundreds of thousands of years before the present Iroquois etc. were here? Homo sapiens is a very old species, compared to what we know of the past of the people who now claim to be "aborigines." Our present so-called aborigines probably arrived only about 12,000 years ago.

The word "indigenous" is no better, since it means "born in." Well, that would apply to a great many people now in Canada. And "native" means plain "born." Anyone born in Canada is both an indigenous Canadian and a native Canadian.

Another thing to consider is how much land is being re-classified as "native" land. There seems to be more and more as the years go by. One cannot assume that a walk in the countryside is some sort of "inalienable right" anymore. This loss of land is mainly a problem for people not living in urban areas — most White people who live in rural areas assume they can hunt and fish without great restrictions, and for many people such activities are a major source of food. As more and more areas become Indian land, I suspect White people won’t feel so comfortable being there.

In other words, all the usual distinctions between "aboriginals" and "non-aboriginals" are artificial and meaningless. The only meaningful distinction I can think of is that our "aboriginals" were living literally in the Stone Age before the time of Columbus. They do not seem enthusiastic about returning to a technologically less advanced culture, no matter how many evils they may claim to see in the present world. But they are enthusiastic about receiving billions of dollars annually from government sources. And how is it that, in the name of "employment equity," people are so often hired on the basis of some tiny percentage of so-called aboriginal ancestry?

As with so much of present-day government-enforced hiring practices, "employment equity" means little more than "White male removal." The solution is to remove everything that constitutes "aboriginal status." These people should be given full citizenship in the true sense: all the rights — and all the responsibilities. That in turn would give them pride, and it is the lack of pride that now results in such terrible rates of crime, of alcoholism, and of many other social ills.




[1] See, for example, Stefan Lovgren, "Who Were The First Americans?" National Geographic News, September 2003

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