"A Citizen"s Eye View"

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Harper Has Never Denied Sharing Flanagan's Belief in Assimilation of First Nations.

The "Idle No More" movement has good reason to be supremely suspicious of Stephen Harper and suspecting him of having an agenda of "assimilation" as far as First Nations are concerned. 

In addition to his legislative agenda - bills passed in the last year, C-38 and 45 in particular which gut environmental protections including protection of the vast majority of our sources of water with out consulting anyone, let alone our First Nations partners - Harper has shown little regard for our nations and people in his mad rush to declare Canada "open for business" 

Like environmental protections, Harper consider's First Nation's land and treaties as nothing more than "red-tape" to be eradicated in his efforts to open up vast tracts of Canada to exploitation to the highest bidder, be they Europeans, Chinese or whom ever else. He has fired, silenced or otherwise discredited and attacked anyone who could in anyway get in the way of his agenda. And he has used his majority government like a sledgehammer to smash any and all legitimate opposition in the House of Commons. He has closed his ears and otherwise ignored critics and bullied his way forward, forcing his will upon the 62% of Canadians who didn't vote for him, all the while spin-doctoring and lying through his teeth about facts, figures and events as he lays waste to the country side and shreds the very fabric of our society to pieces. It would seem on the surface then, that he has treated First Nations no differently than any other obstacle in this regard.  
Some disturbing clues regarding
Harper's First Nations Agenda

But there seems to be something decidedly more sinister about Harper's treatment of First Nations then merely regarding them as one more obstacle to achieving his goal of forever transforming Canada into a Neo-Conservative Oligarchy. One does not have to dig too far into Harper's political past to find some very disturbing clues as to his view of Canada's Aboriginal population. 

It is no secret that Harper is a "Calgary School" alumnus. This is in reference to a particularly toxic school of political and economic thought that closely resembles The Chicago School in the US. Both the Calgary and Chicago schools are heavily influenced by Austrian philosopher Friedrich Hayek and though they vehemently deny it, there is  ample evidence that the Calgary school is also influenced by controversial political philosopher Leo Strauss. Another Calgary School alumnus and close friend of Stephen Harper's is Tom Flanagan. 

Flanagan has been a close personal friend and mentor to Harper in his political career. Both Harper and Flanagan were major policy advisers and strategists with the old Reform Party and though he left politics in 1993 to continue his career in academia, Flanagan returned in 2001 to guide Harper's rise to power, first with the Alliance Party of Canada (which was nothing more than the re-branded Reform Party) and then with the hostile take-over of the Progressive Conservative Party. When Flanagan finally left politics again in 2004, Harper was leader of the Official Opposition and well on his way to becoming Prime Minister of Canada. Flanagan is currently a Senior Fellow at the conservative Fraser Institute and as such, is still  very influential in the creation of current government policy. But what, you might well be asking, has this all to do with Canada's First Nations and the Idle No More movement?
Tom Flanagan, mentor and man behind Harper's throne
openly advocates for assimilation of Canada's
First Nations People.

Flanagan has based his academic career on researching and writing about Canada's First Nations, particularly about the Metis, Metis land claims and Louis Riel. In 2000, Flanagan published the book "First Nations, Second Thoughts" which was meant to be a critique of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal People. In his book, Flanagan dismissed First Nations people as merely the "First Immigrants" who happened to cross the Bering Straight Land Bridge a few thousand years before Europeans arrived, a view of history that all but eliminates Aboriginal land claims. In addition, Flanagan claimed that the only sensible Native policy was outright assimilation.   

So given Flanagan's position as the man behind Harper's throne,Canada's First Nations had every reason to be concerned about Harper's policies regarding Aboriginal land claims. Phil Fontaine, then leader of the Assembly of First Nations, wrote an open letter to Harper asking him if  he shared his mentors views on assimilation. He never replied. 

So while Harper has never confirmed he shares Flanagan's views on assimilation, he has never denied it either. So does he merely view First Nations as another political chess piece to be manipulated in an effort to achieve his agenda, or does he have something far more sinister in mind for Canada's Indigenous peoples? His recent treatment of Native Treaty Rights and his outright ignoring of hunger-striking Chief Theresa Spence and the whole Idle No More movement would suggest the latter. 

Idle No More means First Nations People never having
to bow to men like Harper or Flanagan ever again.