Friday, May 12, 2006

Caledonia Op-Ed

This article, which is posted on Z-Net but I think originally appeared in the Ottawa Citizen, is by Andrew Orkin, a prominent attorney based in Hamilton, where I used to live. I have never met him but I know friends who know him. I also remember that years ago when a few of us were talking about options for finding a lawyer in some activism-related court proceeding, his name came up. I had never heard of him, but one of the people I was with had -- my friend said something to the effect that it would be great if we could get him because his courtroom reputation would intimidate the presiding Justice of the Peace. We didn't end up getting in touch with him, and frankly I don't even remember what the specific matter at hand was or what we did end up doing, but I doubt it would've made much difference because though he is not Aboriginal himself, Orkin's primary interest and expertise is in disputes related to Aboriginal peoples.

Anyway, the linked piece says, among other things:

Canada, it now seems to me, is a colonial country that is still insistently in the very depths of its colonial experience. It is not meaningfully discussing or commencing its long-overdue decolonization any more readily. Rather, it is still engaged in ignoring, perpetuating and entrenching, or even denying it. Wilson, Dussault and their fellow [Royal Commission on Aboriginal People] commissioners reported a decade ago that "We have before us an agenda of decolonizing the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people in Canada -- an agenda that the experience in other societies demonstrates is not an easy road to follow."

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