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Saturday, 3 July 2021

What's Behind the Rise of the Native Rights Agenda: Native Studies and the Power of Academia

by Henry Fuller Davis





Not a lot of people know this, but the most potent tool of the native rights agenda is the academic field of Native Studies. This cultural-marxist interdisciplinary academic field is the source of almost all the legal and political gains native people have made in Canada over the past few decades. All Native Studies produced academia is directed towards fulfilling the native rights agenda. This is in stark contrast to traditional Western academia where education and inquiry are ends in themselves. The field of Natives Studies has now moved past the phase where it is largely disregarded as a quaint way for disaffected pseudo-intellectuals to vent their frustrations before they succumb to their futures as low-level public servants. In today’s academic climate, one must take the Field of Natives Studies seriously and at least pretend to share their concerns if one wants to get anywhere in a Canadian university.

In this article I want to shed some light on how the academic field of Native Studies originated, how Native Studies is the primary force behind the rise of the native rights agenda, and finally conclude with some thoughts on how and why white advocates/nationalist can use this information to gain a foothold in the universities ourselves. Most of the information in this article comes from my own time as a Native Studies undergraduate student about a decade ago.

Reflecting on the outlook of Canadian native people in his seminal 1932 work The Indians of Canada, legendary Canadian anthropologist Diamond Jenness wrote:
Doubtless all the tribes will disappear. Some will endure only a few years longer…Some will merge steadily with the white race; others will bequeath to future generations only an infinitesimal fraction of their blood (pg. 264).
Here we are in 2021 awaiting the enshrinement of the native rights agenda into federal law with the inevitable passing of Bill C-15 taking place sometime this year. Bill C-15 will make carrying out the articles contained with the United Declaration on the Rights on Indigenous Peoples a legal requirement of all parties that interact with Canadian Indian Bands (fashionably referred to as “First Nations” these days).
 

Diamond Jenness was a great man and one Canada’s preeminent anthropologist in his day. His thoughts on the future of natives in Canada were pretty standard for his time. Obviously, he and most others were completely wrong. Natives in Canada are doing better than they ever have in the entire existence of their race. You might hear some propaganda about having to boil drinking water, but the reality is natives have lots of money, free healthcare, their population is much higher than it ever has been, and many privileges that normal Canadians will never have, all while being able to have full access to the highly successful Canadian society that our ancestors created out of a vast wilderness.

However, you could hardly blame Jenness and his contemporaries for their thinking. Native people in Canada were in b ad shape in the 1930s. Before the 60s the native rights agenda made very little headway in the Canadian political scene. They gained a footing within Canadian academia in the early sixties. From there they have begun a slow and consistent rise to power within the Canadian political landscape. Their infiltration into Canadian universities by way of the field of Natives Studies allowed them to use the reliable well-developed infrastructure of our universities as a base from which to organized themselves. Before the sixties there were multiple attempts to organize modern native political advocacy groups but they all fell apart due to corruption and ineptitude. Once they figured out how to latch onto our universities they had someone else to look after their offices, pay the electricity bills and maintain office supplies.

ORIGINS


I have not come across much documentation on the history of how Native Studies came about, but I am familiar with the careers of a number Natives Studies academics that were there from its beginnings. Its origins appear fairly organic.

It all probably started with a few natives getting PhDs and minor teaching jobs within Education, History and Anthropology departments in the 60s. From there they brought along more native academics and made alliances with sympathetic professors and administrators. They wrote more papers, put on conferences and started native student committees. After they produced enough research, scholarly articles and a few books, they were given a sub-department within their faculty until by the late 80s most major Canadian universities had their own Native Studies department. Today Native Studies in the main force behind the rise of the natives on Canada’s political landscape. The scary part is that for them things are just getting started.

It is interesting to note here that early Canadian Native Studies scholarship was quite benign. Scholarly articles focused mainly on improved education, judicial reform and better social supports for natives in Canada. It was not common for their scholarship to question the validity of Canada as a sovereign nation at all. As each decade has passed their arguments have become more and more radical. Currently in Native Studies it is explicitly assumed that Canada is an illegitimate colonial occupier and having a different position is just not allowed.

PRODUCTION


In the realm of political activist academia universities are battlegrounds and every piece of writing is like a unit of ammunition.

The native rights agenda uses university Native Studies departments like military bases where arms production takes place. They produce ammunitions and create new weapons by developing new arguments. They use university facilities to host think tanks, committees, conference and native political groups. They train and deploy activist researchers into areas where they can best further their agenda and undermine Canadian sovereignty.

All projects that PhDs and professors in Native Studies engage in are designed to be politicized. There are no dissertations like “How the Algonquin Peoples Cooked Moose Knuckle.” Instead, you get “Tears in Forest: Brave Algonquin Women Reclaim Their Stolen Moose Knuckle Recipes That Were Stolen by Residentials Schools.”
 
There are over two hundred post-secondary schools in Canada. Almost all of these institutions have a well-developed Native Studies program. Some are very large, some are quite small; from my own experiences, I would say on average than there are about ten professors or PhDs working on some native rights related project per Native Studies department in Canadian post-secondary institutions. So, every year, Native Studies activists scholars are producing around 2000 substantial academic works (books, articles, research projects). Add on to that all the bachelor and master’s student’s contributions.

About two million people have attended post-secondary education each year over the last ten years. I think it is reasonable to suppose that at least 1% of these students took at least one Native Studies class. 20,000 per year for ten years gives us 200,000. It is entirely probable that over the last decade approximately 200,000 people have taken a three-credit native propaganda course where they have been mandated to familiarize them selves with 10-15 Native Studies produced scholarly works.

Why does it matter how many academic works are produced by Native Studies activist scholars? As I stated earlier, it is because every piece of writing is a unit of ammunition. Native Studies and their Cultural Marxist allies have been waging war on Western European society for years. Academia is one of the main battle grounds and they have been firing artillery against our defenses for years with impunity.

THE EFFECT


One example of the power of Native Studies is the notion of Aboriginal Title. The idea behind Aboriginal title is that before Europeans arrived natives in Canada had fully realized societies that constituted sovereign nations and therefore have the right of sovereignty over their traditional lands unless they agreed to extinguish their sovereignty through treaty. Up until fairly recently, Canada did not legally recognize the concept Aboriginal Title because the prevailing wisdom of the time was that native peoples lived in primitive tribes that did not constitute a society or nation.

There are many reasons why this view has changed, but one of the main reasons is the Cultural Marxist concept of cultural relativism. The absurd notion that all cultures have their own societies that are basically equal. Cultural relativism began as a fringe anthropological theory around the turn of the century. Native Studies from its earliest days has always been intellectually a cultural relativist project. Every piece of work that has ever been produced by Native Studies academia is a piece of activism that relies on cultural relativist arguments to make its case. By consistently pumping out scholarship year after year and accusing all those who disagree with them of racism, Native Studies activists scholars and their Marxist allies have imposed their position on the supremacy of cultural relativism through sheer will. Gradually, the cultural relativist view of society has come to influence Canadian jurisprudence, which combined with natural law theory on the rights of prior occupancy has created a lot of success for the native rights agenda in the courtroom.
 
UAlberta Launches Massive Online Course: Indigenous Canada

Most of the non-archeological evidence used by the native plaintiffs in the courts is created through Native Studies Scholarship. Native Studies has produced millions of pages of material that lawyers for native group plaintiffs can go through and use to support their arguments. I doubt that there are any academics who do research and write articles with the purpose of arguing against the notion of Aboriginal title in today’s Canadian universities.

They influence the findings of other academic departments. For example, it has long been a preoccupation in Native Studies that Native bands have control over how archeology and anthropology fieldwork is carried out on their land. Thanks to the campaigning of Native Studies activist, most archeology and anthropology departments have made it official policy that “First Nations” input and consultation be woven into all research projects pertaining to native bands. So, they end up with a lot of control over academic findings in these fields because they will only grant access to projects and researchers that won’t conflict with their own interests.

Land claim cases are almost always won by the native plaintiffs and the main reason for this is the influence of Native Studies and its academic output. That is why it matters that Native Studies has produced so much academia.

When the Canadian colonial project fully asserted itself in 1800s, our ancestors used our laws and judicial system to dispossess and dominate the native tribes. It is ironic that today, thanks mainly to the field of Native Studies, natives are using our own legal order against us. We should admire their resourcefulness. They methodically put in the work for decades and that work is clearly bearing fruit.
 

In many ways the situation of native peoples during the colonial era mirrors our own today. Natives were seen as a people whose time was over, an out-dated people that must accept their demographic destiny and relinquish their control over their land because that is their fate. They had nothing more to offer and it was time they were swept aside to make way for a new inevitable society. I think this is how most Canadians see white EuroCanadians today. We are being written off the way the natives were in the early 1900s. They are wrong. We are going to go through some very hard times, but those that make it through these hard times will be stronger than we have ever been. Our best days have not passed us by, they await our strongest.

One of the ways to help this process along is to gain our own foothold in the universities. We must work towards developing an academic field that advocates for us the way Native Studies advocates for natives peoples. “School of European-Settler Studies” has a nice ring to it. A place where we could get funding and space to create historical research articles that correct the present bias against settlers, sociological studies that prove instances of structural-racism against EuroCanadians, legal theory papers that argue against the concept of prior occupation in favor of terra nullius, conferences in nice rooms where we can share ideas, organize ourselves and make connections. We could draw upon and advocate for other European-settler societies. We could do everything that Native studies does for natives, but do it better because we won’t need to rely on guilt, pity, social pressure and suspension of disbelief, we will only need to expose the truth.

This process will take decades to yield dividends. We will have to start small and be firm in our intentions, yet innocuous. The trick will be to finesse the twain between white advocacy and the bogey-man of “white supremacy.” Start with a tenured history professor who understands the plight of EuroCanadians, write poignant historical papers that illustrate a blatant and incorrect negative bias against EuroCanadians settlers in modern Canadian histography. Build a PhD off this subject. Start using the university’s resources to foster a cadre of students to work with and further develop your area of research. Help grow a roster of graduate students that focus on revealing bias against EuroCanadians in Canadian academia. Slowly, but surely, we have a few of our own PhDs. Books, doctoral thesis, dissertations and scholarly articles are produced. After a while, some of our arguments become legitimized, a tenured professor of history specializing in the European-settler experience is appointed. The foothold is made. New students grow the field, more scholarly works are produced. Voila! The academic field of European-Settler studies established. I am being a bit cheeky here, but you get the point. We can make it happen.

I think trying to save Classic Canada is a dead end. We have already lost. People that are concerned about the fate of our EuroCanadian peoples should look to the future and dream bold alternatives to our current predictiment. We live in Nu-Kanata now. Nu-Kanata will balkanize and be dominated by identity politics whether we like it or not. I think that we should join the identity politics arena as soon as possible. Carving out our own area in academia will give us a space to articulate our positions, strategize our next moves and develop new generations of skilled advocates to take on those who seek our dispossession.

I have read thousands of pages of Native Studies scholarship and most of it is not very good. Despite that, Native Studies has become a force to be reckoned with on the Canadian political landscape. I think that one of these days in the near future Canada will officially become a post-national state that will renounce its own sovereignty in favour of a “First Nations” led U.N. government. If that happens Native Studies will be major contributor to the scenario. I do not resent Native Studies scholars for this. They are just doing what they think is best for their cause and they put the work in to make it happen while EuroCanadian academics either betrayed us, cowered or were too busy partying in Cancun over springbreak to care. Natives in Canada were in a bad spot, but somewhere along the lines a few brave native students started what everyone thought was impossible.

Many of you reading this article will be incredulous of my suggestion. That is how many natives felt when they first saw their brethren going to the universities in the sixties. They could not have known how things would end up, but they went for it anyway because they had nothing to lose and wanted to do what they thought was right.

I feel that encouraging and supporting young EuroCanadian intellectuals to work towards creating a “EuroCanadian Studies” academic field is a worthwhile use of resources for those concerned about future generations of EuroCanadians.

I watched an interview with native activist Arthur Manuel on the Steven Paiken show awhile back. Typical of all interviews with native rights activist the interviewer lobs a series of softball questions that allow native activist to spout their earthy platitudes and victim stories. Until to my surprise, Paiken asked a real question: "if, as you assert, that the sovereignty of the British crown over Canada was never legitimate, what then is the place of Canadians within this land?" Manuel reassured Paiken there was still a place for Canadians, but only because they should be afforded the basic human rights. Take a listen.

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