Terrance Nelson: Time for economic sanctions against Canada
Terrance Nelson recommends a walk to New York from all parts of North America to demand economic sanctions against Canada
By First Nation Terrance Nelson
Roseau River Anishinabe
If the Defenders of the Lands and Idle No More want to change how we are treated in Canada, we need to change our strategy and First Nations people cannot wait for AFN to lead the charge. The fight must be taken to AFN, by making those Chiefs who voted for Shawn Atleo stand up and be counted.
The Government Ministers and Indian Affairs bureaucrats lobbied and made promises to Chiefs in the 2012 AFN election to vote for Shawn Atleo. The Government denied it but they wanted Shawn and he has proven that he is exactly what the Government wants, he cannot (or will not) leverage any of the protests to force Government to change.
The Governments understand economics, the First Nations still don't seem to understand how we finance all Canadians. Unless, the Defenders and Idle No More develop a strategy based on economics there will be no change of Government policies.
I have been called an "economic terrorist" since 1993 because I used the Bond Rating Agencies to pressure Government on the Treaty Land Entitlement and Land Claims issue.
In 2007, as Chief of Roseau River, I would have used blockades on two rail lines going into the United States on the issues of unfulfilled TLE land. We forced Minister Prentice to the negotiation table. Over 100 First Nations "actions" took place on June 29 2007. It is the largest coordinated action that went all across Canada on a single day. We got 75 acres of land converted to reserve status near Winnipeg but also as a result of 2007, in Manitoba 450,000 acres of land have been converted to reserve status since 2007. Roseau River also got $80.6 million on a land settlement from 1903. It was deposited on July 29th 2011 on Friday morning.
Like Theresa Spence, I was targeted. They used a forensic audit, (which found no criminal activity) to label me with "mismanaged" $1.5 million money over six years of administration. Of course, they fail to admit we had unqualified audits in those six years or that mismanaged is simply a tag that means missing documents or just a need to ask our finance people for clarification. I will continue to face more accusations as we move forward, even if they have to manufacture the evidence.
The Conservatives are prepared for negotiation on Natural Resource revenue sharing with First Nation but the problem is Shawn Atleo and the AFN.
The go forward strategy this summer and for the next few years must involve Americans if you are to succeed in taking charge of the negotiations. I would suggest that an American boycott on British Columbia lumber be a goal for those of us who will use economics to hit the governments back for their actions. The next steps for me is pushing the boycotts on the American side. If you and Idle No More are to the lead in negotiations, you need American backers.
The Governments have used economics as a weapon. They have criminalized the Mohawk Tobacco trade and they will jail many of the people involved in tobacco. IF the Mohawks want to strike back, they need to hit the Government with economics, not politics.
Shawn Brant knows how Government uses economics to force First Nations to comply. In 2007, he organized a railway blockade. CN took him to court, sued him for millions of dollars and bankrupted him.
I organized about 60 people from AIM WPG and we blocked a major CN railway link in Manitoba on January 16, 2013. We got all the news media networks at the blockade. We only blocked it for six hours. It cost CN over ten million dollars. I am in court on June 24 2013 in Winnipeg to face motions from the Attorney Generals of Manitoba and Canada and CN will sue me for millions of dollars. I knew that this would happen but I am the only one that is fighting the CN injunction. I attach my court arguments but i don't expect to win in court. I stand alone in court as I had expected. Shawn Brant knows how that works. Economic blockades has consequences, blocking powerless people in the cities only angers people, it does not affect the economy. Until, we affect the economy, there will be no change in government policy.
APTN failed to get a freedom of information request, CSIS used National Security to block the application for information. That is how scared Government is of First Nations. IF APTN had succeeded in getting the information, it will contain the fear of government of First Nations using Americans to help us change things in Canada.
CN wants me to be scared. They want the courts to punish me and anyone who dares to use economics as a pressure tactic. The government can criminalize the Mohawks and jail all those in the tobacco trade but nothing will come of it because we are not using economics to hit back at the government.
I would recommend a walk to New York from all parts of North America to demand economic sanctions against Canada. We have to go the United Nations with more than paper. Going to New York cannot be about "begging" the United States government. It must be a strong statement on our commitment to change the way the immigrants treat us. AIM and many organizations in the United States would support us in this action. We have tremendous support across the world but as long as First Nations continue to limit their protests to Canada, we will fail to change the policies of government.
Trade between Canada and United States has been $4.5 trillion in the last ten years. Unless we seek international sanctions and get American media on these issues, there will be no change. Mayor Ford of Toronto has created a Media Firestorm in United States and if we organize an event in the United States this summer, we can force the government to take action.
On the CN injunction, I will not let them walk over me. The immigrants want us all to be scared. As long as we continue to play their game within their system and we never protest outside of Canada, we will fail. I have a lot of plans on how we can proceed after the court decision but I want to meet only with those who will not compromise and those who will not fear the immigrants. Idle No More lost the support of the people, because the people want more than just speeches from the Chiefs. We carried out the January 16 blockade and as our youth go forward, they will take more drastic action because they are already tired of talk.
CN thinks that a court decision against me and AIM WPG will solve their problem. The decision against us will simply move us to the states side to promote boycotts against the companies who use CN to transport stolen property to the United States. The Canadian products carried by CN that can be boycotted by Americans is a long list. BC lumber is a big one but by no means the only one that will force the immigrants to stop stealing our resources.