Getting to a new relationship

Chelsea Vowel considers #IdleNoMore and what needs to change.

In short, you cannot expect things to improve if we have no real control over our lives, our lands, and our resources. This is the sort of control that Canadians have for themselves, and take for granted as necessary, though its expression in our context will not look exactly the same.

What successive Canadian governments have repeatedly attempted is a top-down approach that puts the relationship last. Report after report shows that this approach has failed miserably. Canadians need to understand that the current relationship makes it impossible for indigenous peoples to truly govern their own affairs. What the wider public sees as an inability to self-govern is a nothing of the sort. We governed ourselves for centuries without interference, mitigating our differences via treaty relationships. We have not somehow lost that ability simply because we now share these lands with Canadians. Indigenous peoples have been prevented from exercising this power for too long.