PREMIUM CONTENT So I’m Watching the 1st Nations Illegal Blockade Drama…It’s Time to Take Action. By Jamie Gilcig Editorial

What a hot mess. At root is the law of the land is being trampled on. IF a society doesn’t have rule of law respected then our laws are not really worth anything.

We have court injunctions not being respected. We have police services refusing to enforce court orders.

We have Canada near paralyzed by rail traffic slow downs and stoppages.

We have 100% of First Nations (20 of 20 negotiated and agreed to the pipeline deal) in agreement with a pipeline plan that will help them and all those sitting at the table of the deal.

So how did we end up having this mess? How do we have a Prime Minister essentially refusing to take a stand other than the stand of not taking a stand?

While this writer would never call for hard core action, at a certain point, which we’ve crossed, some action needs to be taken. We’re now seeing some people taking things into their own hands and this will lead to messes.

And isn’t trouble best avoided than having to be fixed?

The Trudeau government is creating precedents that simply are not acceptable by delaying things and even worse, having discussions with “elders” who really aren’t decision makers at the negotiation table, either by their own choice or simply not having enough support of their own people.

We have a structure in Canada. It’s not perfect. Tribal entities have elected officials. Here in Akwesasne we have the Mohawk Council of Akwesasne. That many residents there don’t acknowledge it or refuse to vote or participate is not the business of ooutsiders anymore than residents of Cornwall who disagree or refuse to vote in Cornwall elections get to have a say at the council table either.

There are rules, there are laws and courts. There are options even if some are difficult, but at the end of the day sometimes we have to live with insanely unjust decisions around us.

I’ve sat and listened in the tents in Akwesasne during the bridge crisis. It’s complicated, but that complication has no bearing in our laws and courts. There are no Canadian rights for those “elders” to stand on legally.

By all means if they wanted to crowd raise to take their case to go to court this newspaper and myself would certainly be empathetic in supporting their cause, but these blockades are not a solution and while they may get some lip service from a weak and woke Prime Minister, and may even get a few gift bags to “dimmer down” it’s not a solution.

Ultimately it’s up to First Nations people to resolve whatever land claims they may have. We just saw a $240M deal in the Dundee Land Settlement which was opposed by many Elders who tried to legally squash the deal. And while some of them refuse to acknowledge the deal, it’s legally valid.

Nobody wants to see anyone hurt, but at a certain point it’s time to take action and if that means clearing blockades that will have to be done, but it will only be the blame of those blocking after being given more than enough time to leave.

Likewise, at the core of this is money. Money is power and many of those protesting don’t have a lot of power.

The government of Canada gives First Nations a lot of slack. Maybe it’s time for people to blockade access to First Nations Casinos, Illegal Cigarette stores, and now illegal Cannibis stores. Maybe it’s time to identify those protesting and for some class actions be initiated against some of the organizations who are instigating and supporting what is causing financial duress to Canadians, include those of First Nation heritage, to be compensated for their losses? Maybe it’s even time to hold bands that allow illegal cigarette sales to those that don’t live in their communities to pay for the health costs to those they sell to which we end up paying for?

And it’s time for our government to due our job and stop this mess, one way or the other.

It’s time for the blockades to come down.

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