Four sparks light aboriginal fires (The Star)

21 Sep Four sparks light aboriginal fires (The Star)

Last week, the Ontario government announced that it planned to pass the Far North Act, a controversial piece of legislation that is designed to reconcile environmental, business and indigenous interests in Northern Ontario.

In response to this announcement, First Nation leaders such as Grand Chief Stan Beardy of the Nishnawbe Aski Nation have threatened to engage in blockades and protests because he and others feel that the legislation ignores their historical treaties and jurisdictions. Moreover, they say it was designed without adequate input from First Nation representatives.

Most commentators agree that conflict is likely to occur because of these reasons.

But the real reasons behind why indigenous groups choose to engage in confrontation are a little more complex.

Recent research suggests that four factors determine whether an aboriginal group is likely to adopt confrontational strategies against the Canadian state.

The first is when aboriginal and non-aboriginal goals relating to indigenous-claimed lands and resources are highly divergent. The more different the goals, the more likely confrontation will occur. …Go to article.