Scottish Metis

Fascinating little article here from 2001!

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Aboriginal Title: Today’s word is…

USUFRUCT.¬† (Sorry, I grew up too Catholic to pronounce it that way! ūüėȬ† )

This is the Common Law principle on which is based the occasional English and successor Settler States (USA, Canada, Australia, I know for certain, maybe others) practice of deigning, that is to say condescending,¬†to let Aboriginal Peoples in “their” countries retain (I say retain) certain rights with regard to their “former” territories and their tribesmembers.¬† It’s the theoretical basis of Reservations, remnant fishing / trapping / hunting / subsistence rights, regard for Tribes’ Sovereignty (to attempt to put it into European terms), Native Treaties, Lands Held in Trust (including royalties [at 18th-century rates]…if only Uncle Sam can remember where he put them!), etc.

The alternative might well have had to be full military defeat, actually wiping out all our ancestors … genocide in its simplest, bloodiest¬†sense — I’ll say it — ala Hitler.¬† And I deduce that conundrum is where the idea came from, IOW, Settler convenience, politics, occasional conscience.¬† The earliest case I know of — though I’m no professional historian — where English courts upheld native legal status is only The Case of Tanistry in the early 1600s.¬† Here the Irish lost by winning (300 years before they won by losing!): the court employed traditional Irish Brehon Law to cheat a rightful traditional clan chief of his chiefly lands in favor of English-Law inheritance previously unknown among traditional Irish … four-and-a-half centuries after first invading.¬† My current point being, the English certainly have become experts at riding roughshod over Irish culture (which is why 1998’s Good Friday Northern Ireland Peace Agreement was such a monumental reversal for them).¬† I guess they didn’t always enjoy how hard it was, and so decided to take a (slightly) less harsh approach in Quebec and North America beyond (to the frustration of the greedy and anti-Catholic eastern seaboard “Founding Fathers”), and Down Under.¬† (In New Zealand, the Treaty of Waitangi is even considered technically part of the national constitution!)

Anyway, as Merriam Webster reminds us, a usufruct is Europeanly-considered technically only temporary — in our case, until the “death” of each Native Nation, envisaged by (unconstitutional) Blood Quantum laws, mandatory dispersion and exogamy, ethnic/racial cleansing, culturecide, divide-and-conquer, even leaving Tribes with the worst-quality land around on which to survive, as well as what I compare to illegal and unjust “constructive eviction” in attempting to claim a Native Community “abandoned” a temporarily-disused right or plot of land.*¬† Conveniently, the U.S. has never recognized Mixed-Bloods as such, as Canada has in its M√©tis since just 1982, otherwise Native Nations¬†might never die!

(*–The Settlers of Maryland Colony did this to my Nanticoke people.¬† Once they interpreted an Abandonment Clause in a colonial treaty to mean temporarily going up the Susquehanna River for their traditional annual hunt relinquished one of their Reservations: But when they arrived to find one elderly man guarding the otherwise-empty village, they burned him alive in his home.)

See Greenland!

Aka, Kalaalit Nunaat.  This tourism etc. site is very user friendly, with downright seductive photos!  Next plane to Reykjavik!!!

They say after WW2 the people wanted to “modernize,” and so traditional Inuit ways are disappearing.¬† I have mixed feelings about that as someone looking into my own Indigenous heritage/s.¬† Recently I saw a documentary, mostly about Inuit in Nunavut Territory, Canada, but one who often trekked more than a thousand miles over ice to NW Greenland in Spring had to fly one recent year because the ice wasn’t there or thick enough.¬† And subsistence whaling and sealing there was said to be becoming alot harder because they relied on the ice traditionally, just like the polar bears we hear so much about now, with Global Warming.

Indigenous issues aren’t all cut and dried, so to speak….

IQ and Thanksgiving

I just read here about Inuit (Canada Eskimo) traditional knowledge being called (in the Inuit language, Inuktitut) Inuit Qaujimajatuqangit, or IQ.¬† LOL!¬† That’s so cool!¬† I know *I* couldn’t pass this IQ test!!!¬† Hell, if what we laughably call civilization collapsed tomorrow, I’d probably unknowingly eat some¬†noxious weed growing out of the ground and croak!¬† That’s right, we’ve all been “taught” how to survive in a supermarket – or worse yet, McDonald’s –¬†and Heaven forbid we should ever find ourselves without one!¬† Seriously, we should all learn some Native knowledge about wherever we live, in case we need it someday;* we probably need it NOW!¬† It might help us more to “walk lightly over the earth.”

(*–Interestingly, it took the Peanuts gang to remind many of us that when Squanto, one of the last Patuxet Indians after a British smallpox epidemic devastated “New England” and the Maritimes,¬†taught the Plymouth “Pilgrims” and Co. how to survive in their accidental new home in Massachusetts [vs. New York], he was passing on to them the traditional knowledge of his by-then-dead village nation, something not done lightly by Indigenous Peoples today because they usually end up regretting it.¬† Had he not done so, the colonists might have died, or abandoned the colony.)

Aboriginals making the difference in Canadian elections?

Could be.  It could be that close.

Political Roundup

Is a rich, powerful White politician like McCain in any¬†position to tell Congressman John Lewis who does or doesn’t remind him of George Wallace and put him in fear of increased racist violence?¬† Is McCain a mind-reader?

Alaskans rally against Palin!

Palin illegally abuses powers in Troopergate and possibly another matter.¬† Isn’t 8 years of abuse of power in the Oval Office enough?!¬† “Political” investigation?¬† Yeah: BOTH parties in Alaska’s Legislature did it!¬† How about her expense-abuse and persecution of rape victims?

Who scares you more in the Oval Office, Palin or Obama, OK?!!  At least Obama has Federal, national, and international experience; Palin barely has State-level experience.

A dozen more people for McCain and/or Palin to denounce / repudiate….¬† And a more poignant look at Palin’s continuing connection with secessionists, from Bobby Kennedy Jr.¬† (The AIP’s citing of the UN Charter and international law is quite laughable to me as a Native American;¬†maybe if it that party wasn’t so White….)

“Palling around with terrorists” charge is racist … against Arabs.¬† I think this is only for the Hard Right “base,” not to flip “independents” or such.¬† So many of them think because Obama has an Arabic name [Named after his father: Can’t get much more “family values” than that!!], he’s a Muslim, so the “terrorists” they first think Palin is referring to are Arab / Muslim, not somebody who belonged to a radical American group when Obama was all of eight years old, and went on to become a respected educator.¬† McCain is little help when his audiences call Obama an Arab, acting like “Arab” is an insult or something bad!!!¬† As if Arab men aren’t “family men,” to use McCain’s expression?

A “hockey mom” only briefly, and many years ago?¬† That tells me what she’s doing is a carefuly-crafted false image for sheer political purposes.¬† Many politicians do it, of course, but to pollute a hockey game with it by letting her drop the puck is unforgiveable to hockey fans like me!¬† Of course, pro sports is just another business, teams are corporations.

My mother recently asked me what was the deal with Palin’s “betcha’s” and Slurvian droppin’ of final G’s.¬† Apparently she’s lyin’, pretendin’, and fear-mongerin’.¬† Just what we need, another “acting President“!

Rage rising on McCain campaign trail,” fear they’ll lose.¬† (Even though we know they’ll steal it again!)

“Negative ads”? “Attack ads”?¬† I think we have to stop equating factual criticism ads with lying, deceiving, or exaggerating ads.¬† I haven’t heard a single truly negative ad for Obama yet.¬† (Although somebody in my house¬†usually mutes them on TV!)¬† OTOH I’ve never heard such a pile of stinking manure as we’re being subjected to from the McCain/Palin camp, so often, so many ways, so constantly.

Arctic Indigenous in U.S., Russia, protest Alaska offshore oil prospect