“Where a rebellion is feasible it will occur.” Report: Canada, First Nations and the threat of Insurrection

The analysis paper titled "CANADA AND THE FIRST NATIONS Cooperation or Conflict? (MAY 2013)" by Douglas Bland and the Macdonald-Laurier institute is anything but Bland. In fact, anarchists and others towards the confrontational end of the left-to-postleft spectrum should find the piece to be fascinating reading for several reasons. First off it confirms a suspicion that at times can feel a bit paranoid: that corporate (in this case energy) interests work closely with government and academic institutions not only to devise basic/generic security plans, but also to actively and specifically target and neutralize the potential causes of immanent insurrection (even in first-world, industrialized, western democracies). It also advances a view which some of us may find comforting, if not merely interesting for its cognitive value: that insurrection will happen if it is feasible, almost regardless of the specific political will or impetus to foment revolt. I personally do not find the argument to be entirely convincing, but I do find it and its supporting evidence to be pertinent at the very least.

The report opens on a decidedly optimist tone, one which provides some important background. From the preface:

"The Aboriginal Canada and the Natural Resource Economy project (of which this paper is a part) seeks to attract the attention of policy makers, Aboriginal Canadians, community leaders, leaders and others to some of the policy challenges that must be overcome if Canadians, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal alike, are to realise the full value of the potential of the natural resource economy. This project originated in a meeting called by then CEO of the Assembly of First Nations, Richard Jock, with the Macdonald-Laurier Institute. Mr. Jock threw out a challenge to MLI to help the Aboriginal community, as well as other Canadians, to think through how to make the natural resource economy work in the interests of all."

Namely, that the First Nations Assembly was instrumental in helping to catalyze this undertaking and that it views charity and philanthropy to be its ideological underpinnings.

From there the introduction starts to get at the real meat of the matter.

"For all the meetings, plans and requests by prime ministers and native chiefs, conditions within some First Nations communities languish. While a growing number are improving, others suffer from severe deprivation. The poorer communities often seethe with frustration. Expectations raised by legal victories and government announcements seem to lead nowhere, or fall away. As the frustrations of unfulfilled expectations rise, anger in the communities festers, especially among young people. The outcome? An idea that most Canadians would have seen as preposterous a year ago, but which is now very real: the possibility of a disruptive confrontation between Canada’s Aboriginal and non- Aboriginal communities. This paper examines that possibility in the context of five determinants central to an accepted ‘feasibility hypothesis’ developed by an Oxford researcher:

-Social fractionalization
-The ‘warrior cohort’
-Economic and resources factors
-The security determinant, and
-Topography "

The contours begin to reveal themselves. From this point on things start getting pretty interesting. We start seeing comments like these:

"The young warrior cohort is here to stay. By 2017, about 42 percent of the First Nations population on the Prairies will be under the age of 30, over twice the 20 percent in the non-Aboriginal community. To reduce the feasibility of an uprising in the First Nations, Canada needs educational and employment policies that immediately transform future First Nations cohorts aged 15 to 24 into productive, self-reliant people."

"The minimal capabilities of Canada’s security forces are well understood in Aboriginal communities. Native leaders also understand the reluctance in governments, in the Canadian Forces and police organizations (as demonstrated at Caledonia) to intervene in Aboriginal demonstrations, even when there are urgent and lawful reasons for doing so. This reinforces the feasibility factor, and makes more certain future challenges to civil authority at times and places of Aboriginal leaders’ choosing. Finding the right balance between legitimate protest and armed confrontation may be difficult, but it must be found. An indispensable part the solution will be policing regimes that assure peaceful Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people of their rights and freedoms under the law."

Eventually pretense largely falls away.

"The key assertion is that feasibility, and not root causes, provides the incentive to challenge civil authority. As we shall see, it follows that the prevention and/or suppression of insurgencies and rebellions requires a determined effort directed not at so-called root causes, but at the factors that make such uprisings feasible."

"Others might ask: if the conditions of young Aboriginals provide a motive that ought to ignite an uprising, why has the uprising not occurred? A quick and credible answer is that it has and is occurring – as a quick head count of the Warrior Cohort inside our penal colonies will demonstrate. In any case, this dismissive question cannot be left to answer itself: no rebellion, no problem."

As I hope these quotes have indicated, this report deserves to be read by students and advocates of insurgency just as much as it is already being studied by the architects of counter-insurgency.

The full report can be found here: http://www.macdonaldlaurier.ca/files/pdf/2013.01.05-MLI-Canada_FirstNati...



They could throw LaBatts bottles!

"Where rebellion is feasable, it will occur" Gee. I'll bet this guy has a PhD! And a high prison population is a gauge of revolutionary activity? OookeeDokey!

burning cars on railway tracks may be the aboriginals 'strike action' substitute [hearking back to the pre-emasculation labour union era]

as the new aboriginal activist leaders publicly state; “There’s only two ways to deal with the white man. Either you pick up the gun or you stand between him and his money.”

I don't see them doing either??? Also, this is supposed to be an Anarchist news website. Not one for racial nationalists.

"Racial nationalists" ?!... this article was written from the perspective of law enforcement trying to spread fear of a potential new uprising by the indian in Canada.

Even if some first nations do hold what could be construed as "racialized nationalism" (through the white man's lens of politics of course) you'd still be a fucking idiot.
The potential of alliances between anarchists and indigenous land defenders is probably the only interesting thing happening in north america right now ... which is sad but still!

if one is going to use the term 'racial nationalists', it would have to be distinguished from 'racial sovereigntists' since the indigenous anarchists don't recognize sovereign nations, only nations as peoples. elsewhere in the world, the conflict is between secular sovereigntists and religious sovereigntists, although 'secular' is just a cover for 'thinly veiled white mediterranean christian culture' [i.e. even atheists of mediterranean christian cultural descent perpetuate the christian notions of 'independently existing creations' and 'we are all born equal' and the like.

the root causes of conflict between christian colonizing culture and indigneous anarchist aboriginals don't matter any more since the problem is now understood as two incompatible cultures. you can't have a culture that believes that they own the land and have the right to sell it off (its resources) living in the same spatial Unum with a culture that believes that the land is sacred and they are part of it. the development of the north is getting up a head of steam and so are the indigenous anarchists [in a rather different way, of course] who are the predominant inhabitants of the north.

The indigenous anarchists don't recognize sovereign nations, you say? You are full of shit. The Zapatistas recognize the sovereign state of "Mexico" and speak of it often. And they have done nothing to challenge it directly.

And "Emile": is that your indigenous name? or one given to you by Catholic France? Why do you continue to use this name if you are an "indigenous" anarchist? BECAUSE YOU ARE FULL OF SHIT, that's why.

Nothing to challenge it directly? Really? One could lay out other valid criticisms of the zapatistas but this is not one of them. Do you remember 1994 and how it rattled the mexican state?

other than that rattling, which was almost 20 years ago, they have done nothing since. and they are more Maoists than anarchists.

Not one for idiots like you. A racial nationalist is what you sound like for getting upset that this site dares mentions indigenous resistance. It's kind of fucking important whether or not they share your precious politics (which are probably shit anyway).

Yes! Of course! A few dozen "indigenous" revvies are going to smash the Canadian State!

You're a dick. Nobody around here is successfully smashing the state, remember?

What's interesting about this struggle is if a lot of different anti-capitalist allies can rally around the only land defenders with any credibility ...

It would make for a strong start to some resistance with teeth and staying-power.

First, you gotta stop smokin that kinnickinick, and drinkin that cheap booze!

There you have it kids, Cpl McDuff supports a semi-sober revolution. Just do your drinking on your downtime like the pigs do.

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