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Additional info for Aboriginal and Treaty Rights in Canada: Essays on Law, Equity, and Respect for Difference
This kind of interdependence between places and peoples, this kind of conviction about the connections between spiritual and material subsistence (which is ultimately indistinguishable from a conviction about the connection between material and spiritual sovereignty), and this kind of respect for language, is implicit in comments by Aboriginal peoples about both subsistence and sovereignty. To construe either subsistence or sovereignty, or the set of relationships between them, in purely instrumental terms is to miss the mark by a mile.
Edward Chamberlin challenges they saw before them. For both, anarchy was not the opposite of culture but what William Blake would have called its 'spectre/ a fallen or lapsed version of culture that comes into being when the institutions and ceremonies of society are no longer informed by a civilized and civilizing imagination. But that said, there was still a fundamental difference between Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal approaches, one that we often forget. Perhaps the best way of understanding it is by reference to our contemporary scene, where the clash between local nationalism and a kind of international cosmopolitanism is agonizingly apparent - as the urgent and awkward nationalisms of Eastern Europe or the Middle East or Russia or Africa or wherever are castigated by the urbane cosmopolitan emissaries of the world for their benightedness and backwardness, their regression to tribalistic filiations that inhibit full participation in the wider community of international, postnational affiliations.
16 With this policy came a complication, however. Indians were recognized as separate peoples through the treaty process, and the British 27 28 J. Edward Chamberlin Crown accepted a responsibility to protect their separate interests. But the assumption was that as they advanced, again with the help of the British Crown, at some point Indians would assimilate with British (later Canadian) society, and be fully integrated into its political as well as its economic and social structure. One question was how to provide for a formal recognition of this change in status.