Lee Maracle and John Ralston Saul in Owen Sound this Saturday, 1 to 4 pm.

June 1, 2015

We Are All Treaty People.

John Ralston Saul

From the Owen Sound Sun Times, Native discussion at Harmony Centre June 6:

OWEN SOUND – Author and social justice thinker John Ralston Saul will share the stage at Owen Sound’s Harmony Centre June 6 with aboriginal studies professor and author Lee Maracle.

They’ll share their points of view, sign their books and answer questions from the floor between 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. at an event called “Wasa-Nabin — We Are All Treaty People”.

Event organizer Michael McLuhan said he’s hoping native and non-native people people attend. They did for last event like it two years ago, when 200 people came but this time he’s hoping that number will double.

Ralston Saul’s last three books have dealt with aboriginal peoples’ issues and their influence on Canadian society.

His latest book, The Comeback, calls on Canada to honour its treaties with aboriginal people, the fastest growing demographic group in the country.

Maracle is a native culture and history expert who is “easily as well known in the native community a Ralston Saul is in the white,” McLuhan said.

She’ll be doing workshops with young native women the day before she speaks.

See previous post of JRS at Osgoode Hall and The Comeback to see how it relates to Springwater Park’s future.


Hello newly-elected municipal leaders: John Ralston Saul says aboriginal rights are a “simple matter of rights denied”.

October 29, 2014

How about every level of government (starting with municipalities) simply following the law, human rights and the direction of the Supreme Court when it comes to First Nations’ relationships?
john ralston saul toronto star

Who is afraid of a little “meaningful consultation and accommodation” about land use?

An interesting article by Jim Coyle of the Toronto Star, about allowing justice (not bequeathing charity) when first nations are concerned:

“What we face is a simple matter of rights — of citizens’ rights that are still being denied to indigenous peoples. It is a matter of rebuilding relationships central to the creation of Canada and, equally important, to its continued existence.”

The stakes are that high, he says. And — given history, the power of demographics and the rise of an educated aboriginal class — the issue is not going away.

“Enormous efforts are being made to stop it, to sideline it, or to slow it down,” he says. “It cannot be done.”

Saul’s message to newly-elected municipal officials?:

He leaves no easy out for guilty liberals merely satisfied to have their hearts in the right place. “We — you and I — have not elected or defeated people on this basis.

“That’s what we need to do now. We need to be saying to people who want to be our representatives: ‘I will vote for you or against you depending on your willingness to come full front on this issue, spend the money, act with respect, listen to the courts,’ ”

And since we are all Treaty People (aboriginal and non-aboriginals) we have 2 things to do:

“We must reinstall a national narrative built on the centrality of the aboriginal peoples’ past, present and future. And the policies of the country must reflect that centrality, both conceptually and financially.”

Protecting legal rights not giving bleeding-heart charity, begins at home.

John Ralston Saul’s new book is very good news for those wanting to understand the future of Springwater Park.

October 26, 2014

To explain Canada’s fundamental Métis  past, read Sauls’ A Fair Country.

Penguin JRS1

I suggest his The Comeback will go a long way to explaining our future and how Springwater Park fits within this important national dialogue.

Posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca.

What would it take to invite Joseph Boyden and John Ralston Saul to visit the Minesing Wetlands?

April 16, 2014

I believe they eat: so keeping 1,900 acres of Ontario foodland producing food is worth a look.

Joseph Boyden Orenda

That Springwater Park – Camp Nibi may be evolving into an internationally-significant Anishinaabe and Midewiwin Lodge teaching and healing centre .

John Ralston Saul Dark Diversions

And they may also know Margaret Atwood who is helping out with a petition.

Why are the Midhurst sprawl-miesters running scared by doing an “end run” to get their re-zoning orders?

March 24, 2014

The poor boys thought scoring was a “Done Deal” but others and the law appear to disagree.

Demanding the Ontario Municipal Board, OMB give them their precious re-zoning orders “RFN” (full 10,000 houses):
  • before the environmental assessments are done (a no-n0, especially see RAMSAR certified Minesing Wetlands),
  • before the  current house negro township Council majority gets their increasingly-apparent doofus rubber-stamp on the crucial re-zoning orders,
  • before Margaret Atwood  and Friends (Michael  Ondaatje, Joseph Boyden, Maude Barlow, Neil & Pegi Young, and John Ralston Saul) show up at Nursery Road and Springwater Park-Camp Nibi,
  • before  the township’s Oct 27th township election allows democracy to do its purging work again,
  • before a new Minister (Linda Jeffrey quits Ontario cabinet to run for Brampton mayor) is appointed,
  • before a former Kingston municipal politician retires and passes Ontario’s 1st anti-SLAPP law, and
  • before Premier Wynne calls a spring provincial election, which would give her ….

….the pretense for a ministerial order overthrowing 100% of the financially reckless, environmentally-catastrophic Midhurst Secondary Plan.

With the stroke of a pen.

End Run Analogy: Colloquially, it has come to mean an attempt to avoid a difficult situation by dodging it without confronting it directly, or to attempt to circumvent someone’s authority by appealing to a different authority. Wikipedia

Come out to Council meeting tonight at 5:30 pm or the county museum tomorrow night to smell the fear and loathing.

Posted on voteLesStewart.ca and iLoveMidhurst.ca.

April 30, 1849: The mob that burned down Parliament. rages through the streets of Montreal.

December 26, 2013

Democracy is fragile.

When it twisted to serve power instead of justice, history shows hate and violence rise up.

“Five Thousand (5,000) anti-democratic, Family CompactChâteau CliqueOrange Order have taken over the streets of Montreal.”

 Louis-Hippolyte LaFontaine and Robert BaldwinJohn Ralston Saul

Cross-posted on iLoveMidhurst.ca.

John Ralston Saul suggests aboriginal peoples are central players in Canada’s future.

August 11, 2013

And the promise of this whole magnificent country of ours, of the 100% of us are who are “Treaty People”, is being acted out at Springwater Park – Camp Nibi in boring Midhurst, ON.


An interesting article in The Globe and Mail by John Ralston Saul, Wake up to the aboriginal comeback. pdf

Saul claims from a population at contact of 2,000,000 First Nations, it dropped to 150,000. But what some may consider a racial genocide has ended. Forever.

Those 150,000 or so aboriginal people are now approaching a million and a half, and they’re on their way to two million. Those who were forbidden the right to hire lawyers as recently as the Indian Act of 1927 now have more than 1,000 lawyers of their own. They are in an increasingly strong legal position, having won case after case at the Supreme Court over the past 40 years. Having been forbidden the practice of their own spiritual beliefs, an increasing number of their young are embracing them. Forty years ago, there were virtually no aboriginals in colleges and universities. Now, there are more than 30,000 and the number is growing.

As a whole, Canadians have not yet woken up to this reality. Worse still, our governments, bureaucracies and most of the legal community are still lost in denial of the aboriginal reality. They go on fighting every detail of every negotiation in order to slow down this return in force. There is still no willingness to admit that Ottawa funds far less for the education of each First Nations child than the provincial governments fund for each non-aboriginal child. Officials at all levels are still ducking and weaving over the lack of clean water and housing, inadequate sewage systems, malnutrition, child poverty and other poor reserve services. They continue to hide behind numbers and narrow arguments.

He suggests that we get used to a fundamental shift of power, similar to the anglophone and francophone relationship.

The simple truth is that we are all witnesses to the remarkable comeback of the aboriginal peoples. This will mean fundamental shifts in power, in financing and in how we all live together. We can pretend this is not happening; we can manoeuvre in order to delay it. But it is going to happen. We have everything to gain and nothing to lose by embracing this comeback as living proof of the strength of these cultures and peoples. We are witnessing how central they are to the future of this country.

Now is the time to listen to what they are saying and understand what they are calling for.

And the role of Idle No More and many similar actions like Springwater Park – Camp Nibi?

What indigenous peoples are after is their full and proper place on this territory. They are the original founding pillar of everything done here. Their influence on the shape and habits of this country has been and remains enormous.

Yes, Canadian authorities began acting badly once they saw they could get away with it. Yes, the indigenous population plunged in the second half of the 19th century from as many as two million to fewer than two hundred thousand people. And so the racist policies aimed at assimilation, as well as cultural and even physical disappearance, gained traction.

But those days are long past. That is, the aboriginal position has changed radically. And that was the underlying message of last winter’s protests and fasts, of Idle No More.

For more detail, see Dr. John Ralston Saul Osgoode hall lecture notes: “Aboriginal Peoples and the Law”

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