Bury the hatchet on Plains battle, natives advise

Finally, someone is talking sense about 1759


Finally, someone is talking sense about 1759. Having watched the history buffs slug it out rhetorically with Quebec sovereigntists, the Huron-Wendat First Nation of is offering to perform a hatchet-burying ceremony on the Plains of Abraham, where a federally supported group had planned to re-enact the 18th-century battle that led to the conquest of New France. The re-enactment was cancelled due to nationalist outcry, and tempers have been thin ever since. It’s fun to think of the natives’ offer as mockery: if we can let this kind of thing go, they seem to be saying, why can’t you? But the aboriginals appear serious, saying their ceremony—which would include some sort  of treaty—would be modeled on the 1701 Grande Paix de Montréal, between France and 39 First Nations. “A treaty,” says Konrad Sioui, grand chief of the Huron-Wendats, “would be a beautiful way to bring people together.” Kumbaya, chief. Kumbaya.

The Gazette

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Bury the hatchet on Plains battle, natives advise

  1. Wonderfully good sense displayed by this 1st nation! A peace treaty is the kind of event we should be celebrating, not a conquest.
    The Federalist idea of reenacting the battle was questionable at best; when there were signs of “sensitivity” it should have been dropped immediately with apologies to the French speaking Canadians.
    I am English speaking, and am sometimes annoyed at concessions made to “sovereignists” (separatists); From my point of view (and any point of view, for that matter) why rub salt in the wounds of French speakers and give ammunition to separatists? Fair is fair.

    • I don’t really know, but my guess is that the reenactment wasn’t the brainchild of the National Battlefields Commission, it was probably an idea from the Reenactment Community which, AFAIK, has lots of francophone Quebecker members who will have been eager to take the part of the French regiments, the coureurs de bois, and last but not least the Canadian militia (who had probably the most heroic moment in the battle).

      People who view the Plains of Abraham as the moment of Conquest are living in the day before yesterday. Firstly, the “Conquest” took place 4 years later, when Louis XV ceded Canada at the Treaty of Paris. Secondly, the battle itself was by no means the end of the war in Canada itself: there was another, bloodier battle in the spring of 1760 (the Battle of Ste. Foy) that the French won. Only Quebec ultra-nationalists and English-Canadian Colonel Blimps (a dead breed) could still be looking at this event in terms of winners and losers. It was a major battle, unique in that both generals were killed, full of amazing incidents on both sides — nothing more than that, unless we’re eager to enroll in the Milestone School of History — also dead.

  2. God forbid we hurt the feelings of the mostly artsy-fartsy sepratists types who’s sole source of income is Canada Coucil Arts Grants. Most Quebecers couldn’t give a rat’s ass about the Plains of Abraham. Ya Cliff, let’s rewrite history for the sake of that bunch. While were at it let’s rewrite the map of Canada the way they do and give Labrador to them as well. I don’t see the Indians getting over anyting either. At 10 billion a year(budget of Indian Affairs), that would sooth my grievances as well.

    • And yet, the government still pays less per child on their education and health than we do for white children.

      Too bad, if they were out from under the thumb of indian affairs and had their own property and income, they could tell us to go suck it. I hope that day comes someday. I wouldn’t wish dependency on the bureaucracy and their social experiments on anybody.

      • Wrong they pay more. Any Indian can have their education paid for up to and including a Phd. They can have any trade tech training, anything they want paid for by the taxpayer. Over and above Indian Affairs insane budget, Health Canada doles out more billions for what can only be characterized as the mother of all health plans. It includes all drugs, medical equipment, glasses, dental, including braces. No one else in Canada has that. We just pay for it. The experiment you talk about will never end because corrupt native leadership wants it that way. My brother worked on a reserve years ago. Canadians don’t know 10% of what goes on there. Insanity then and 1000 times worse now.

        • No, they pay less. There are a million First Nations Canadians — that’s 1/3rd again more than New Brunswick — and a large proportion are young. They’re underfunded.

        • If they had their own independent property and income, and didn’t depend on the leadership to distribute favours and resources, they could tell the corrupt native leadership to suck it too.

          Whenever I consider voting for a party that advocates centralization of resources and authority to proper thinking progressive elites, I remember native reserves.

        • You forget a fundamental aspect of the discussion, all newcomers, past and present, to Canada are here living and enjoying the fruits of the land because the people who were living here first agreed to share the land. Treaties were negotiated on behalf of all Canadians that are as legally binding today, as the day they were signed.

          It is easy to let the passage of time dull our memories to the obligations we still have in honouring the Treaties. You do raise an important point regarding the most opressive and parternalistic piece of legislation in Canadian history the Indian Act, this more than any other policy of the federal government has contributed to the circumstances we witness today. The Indian Act fostered a culture of dependancy while denying the practices of traditional aboriginal cultures and languages.

          Canada has come along way on the path of resloving differences through thoughtful discourse, this should be celebrated and continued. Battles on fields left nothing but blood stained hands and grief stricken hearts. Remember why you have the pleasure of living in the peaceful country we call Canada, it is because We Are All Treaty People.

  3. It was part of my public school curriculum to visit the American Civil War battlegrounds in Gettysburg, PA. Pivotal battles are the most exciting history. The study of the place of a major battle gives new meaning to how you understand your own country’s boundaries and political system. I think it is too bad that soveriegnists have tried to censor historical enquiry when the best course would be to participate in it. The more perspectives that are brought to bear in any historical study, the better.

    • well truemuse you sure arn’t in Kansas anymore. Can’t hurt anyone’s feelings here. Might get the thought police(human rights commission) sent after you. I’m sure they moniter this site. They hauled this magazine in front of it kangaroo court for critizing radical Islam.

  4. I’ve been playing “what-if” the last couple days. I’m thinking that New France surviving the Seven Years’ War would have only been a setup for the Louisiana Purchase.

    So maybe it was win-win.

  5. I am amused by the media opinion that somehow separatists have ‘won’ on this issue.

    What they have won is the hostility of the Chambre de Commerce, which has lost millions on tourism,

    What they have won is the anger of all those whose livelihood has been affected.

    I say let them win a few more like that, till Quebeckers rise up and put them away once and for all.

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