MacLean’s is a magazine that is well past its “use by” date and true to that form they have put up a remarkably provocative and axe-grindy article on economic development in First Nations territories. Mind you, I think it is entirely true that First Nations want meaningful economic opportunities and I hope they get them. Some environmentalists seem to think that aboriginal people are noble savages who will play the role of wildlife in parkland. Leaving aside the MacLeans implicit question of why the hell should they be au naturale when settlers have raped all the rest of the land, the fracture lines between the First Nations and Environmental groups have been clear to me since I worked on the Meares Island case 20 years ago. Anyone working on that project could see that the envirnmental movement and the First Nations were going to have a trainwreck at some point in the future. A balance of park land and economic use is what we should expect on settlement lands. What right do we have to hold the First Nations to a higher standard than to ourselves? Are the Squamish Nation’s billboards less lovely than Surrey, or North Vancouver, let alone the wasteland that is Squamish itself? But MacLean’s magazine: way to completely ignore longstanding, demonstrated First Nations stewardship of the land. That article is a complete waste of 10 minutes of my life, but I am linking to it anyway.
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