Category Archives: Issues in Society

Learning about creating change in our society with examinations of important issues that are/may be viewed as irrelevant by government.

Pope Alexander IV and Inter Caetera Divinai

aprchmtpprBHistory writes that Columbus ‘discovered’ the Americas and the Indigenous peoples while in search for treasures for King Ferdinand and Queen Isabella, of Spain. Spain was part of the ‘mercantile‘ empires and strived for profit to the nation, moreso than settlement. They would gain control of mainland South America and also have colonies, in North America located in Florida, Mexico and California.

Upon this ‘discovery’ of the America’s, other European nations questioned Spain and the legalities, to make such claims of the America’s, due to the ‘potential‘ resources that would fall into control of Spain. A common practice in Europe, in regards to ‘discoveries of lands and resources’ was to seek out the advice of the Pope and have ‘Papal Bulls‘ awarding the state, these new lands.

Pope Alexander IV was the reigning head of Church in Spain. He is considered one of the most corrupt Popes yet admired for his diplomatic, political and administrative skills, for avoiding outright wars against the Church. As a graduate in law and rise through the ranks of Church, thanks to familial ties, along with gaining influence amongst his peers, he would learn to balance and take full advantage, of building the power base of his family, The Borgia’s, with his papal position.

The year of 1455, Pope Nicholas V had issued a Papal Bull called the ‘Romanus Pontifex‘ to Portugal, which awarded permissions to conquer and claim lands of Indigenous peoples NOT subjects of European Christian monarchs. Following this precedent, Pope Alexander IV met with lawyers and provided the Spanish monarchy, May 4, 1493, with their own Papal Bull, the Inter Caetera Divinai, which would declare the following:

The Pope could place non-Christian peoples under the tutelage and guardianship of the first Christian nation discovering their lands as long as those peoples were reported by the discovering Christian nation to be ‘well disposed to embrace the Christian faith‘.  ~ (‘Our Elders Understand Our Rights’, by Sharon Helen Venne)

The Inter Caetera Divinai papal bull, would lay the foundations, and be applied to all Indigenous peoples, for the next 500 + years. It would be followed by many European nations to treat the Indigenous peoples, as ‘objects’ rather than as human beings. This papal bull would justify the rationale, that non-Christians could not own lands when faced with Christian sovereigns.

European colonizers would relocate, displace and strip lands from the Indigenous peoples and deny them rights, to govern themselves. It would become the ‘Doctrine of Discovery’ which would prevent recognition of the Indigenous peoples as ‘Nations’ and be used to make ‘racist laws’, such as a few of the following, practiced in the United States:

  • Fugitive Slave Law, 1793
  • Indian Removal Act, 1830
  • Slavery, 1500- 1865
  • Suppression of Native American Indian Religion, repealed 1978
  • Anti-Coolie Act, 1862
  • Residential Schools System, 1879-1900
  • Jim Crow Laws, 1876-1965
  • Lynching, 1700-1960

Canada would also enact laws, that were not favorable for their Indigenous peoples and can be found under the Indian Act (IA), 1876, but other laws were also created, to control immigration of the Chinese. They would get some relief after their support in WWII. Canadian Aboriginals would continue to suffer with laws designed to continue removing lands and rights even after they had also served in WWII. A few of these laws are as follows:

  • 1881, prohits the sale of agricultural produce by Aboriginals in the Prairie provinces without a permit from an Indian agent. As of 2008, this law still stands in the Indian Act though it’s not enforced.
  • 1885, IA is amended to prevent potlatches and religious ceremonies
  • 1911, IA is amended to allow municipalities and companies to expropriate portions of reserves, without surrender, for roads, railways and other public works. Further amended to allow a Judge to move an entire reserve away from a municipality if it was deemed ‘expedient’. Also known as the ‘Oliver Act’.
  • 1927, IA is amended to prevent anyone, Aboriginal or otherwise, from soliciting funds for Indian legal claims without a special license from the Superintendent-General. It would stop any First Nation from pursuing a land claim.

Today, the Doctrine of Discovery (adopted in 1823, and) remains part of US laws, as implemented in the Johnson v. McIntosh or the recent Sherrill v. Oneida Indian Nation (2005) court decisions. Efforts, by Aboriginals in both USA and Canada along with the Episcopal Church (US and Canada), have been made to request the Pope and Queen of Britain, to revoke the Inter Caetera Divinai papal bull, but recieve no co-operation. It has been considered ‘not juridically valid‘ but remains in existence therefore still endangering Indigenous peoples around the world.

Society is said to be continuously evolving for a better world. This can be seen with the co-operation between nations (United Nations) and use of diplomacy along with a rise of human rights. Yet, this particular document, the Inter Caetera Divinai, continues to allow, for continued acts of atrocities and inhumanity, against Indigenous Peoples, right in their own homelands, globally. Do you believe that God blesses those who commit crimes against others?

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Extra Reading

Timeline of Efforts/Remove Papal Bulls

Keep Tabs on Parliament

Native American Encyclopedia, USA

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your own observations or experiences. Use the ‘Contact’ form to make a request on a topic of your own interest. It is FREE to subscribe by email or RSS feed.

Article(C)2009 An Informal Cornr, all rights reserved. Ginsense writes articles on business skills, development, health, science, technology and society and enjoys advocating for independence, security and a better world for all of us.

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Calling Canada – Idle No More

Idle No More
Idle No More

Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel wrote ‘The Communist Manifesto‘ to present their social philosophy on the devastation of industrial life and how, as a whole, humankind has to realize and balance the proper use of physical nature, to produce the goods, necessary for life. These gentlemen provided a framework for socialism in Europe and much controversy exists to this day.

Idle No More has grown into a collective body of concerned Citizens from around the world, to support the Indigenous Peoples aka First Nations, of Canada. It was recognized by four First Nation ladies the damage to their Treaty rights are to near extinction and threat to over all culture would be affected, the First Nations must be informed and refusal to the changes enacted be known, peacefully. Next to this was concern how the major Omnibus Bill C-45 would affect Canadians across the nation as a whole and not just the First Nations.

Changing a bundle of laws, is called an Omnibus bill and the Canadian government, have recently created and passed, Bill C-45 which directly impacts the ‘traditional’ lives of the First Nations but also endangers Canada’s environment, for all Canadians. These have become major concerns since the Canadian government had done so, without participation or consent, of the First Nations. Every effort by snail mail, email, lobbying, appearing before the Senate and Parliament, were IGNORED. A new measure of communication had to be put in place.

A historic view of relationships must first be examined. This begins with the First Nations people have created and agreed upon individual Treaties with Britain. King George III would recognize Aboriginals as having original land titles, which exists even to this day, visit the Royal Proclamation, 1763.

Canada would later gain ‘Patriation’ with creation of their own ‘Constitution of Canada (based on the Magna Carta) and considered as the ‘supreme law‘ of Canada. They would eventually gain control over the affairs of their Nation, including the responsibility of upholding Treaty agreements with the First Nations of Canada. Britain no longer had rule over Canada without the ‘consent’ of Canada.

The ‘Indian Act‘ (IA) was created to consolidate all existing legislations regarding Aboriginals and their relationship with Canada. It is touted as stating, the IA exists to ‘Protect‘ the little lands left, for First Nation communities, as ‘Crown land set aside for the use by a Band of Indians‘ but maintaining with the rule, that transfer of lands can only occur between Crown and Aboriginals. Recent court cases have also required that government must ‘consult‘ with First Nations when they are, or may, be directly affected.

The version of the Canadian IA would be used to re-state ‘title’ of Aboriginal lands belonged to the Crown (contrary to the Royal Proclamation, 1763) therefore giving the Canadian government self-appointed legal rights, to ‘administer on behalf‘ of Aboriginals through a agent, the Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs, all lands, resources, monies and ‘regulate‘ many aspects in the lives and customs, of First Nation communities.

The realities are that the IA, is a ‘continuation‘ of the British ‘Civilization of Indian Tribes Act, 1857‘, the first of many such Acts – it’s goal to ‘assimilate‘ First Nations people, remove all culture, beliefs, language, land, property and legal rights. These documents are in existence and can be found in Canada’s Library of Archives, Britain, and online through various educational websites.

What is a ‘traditional’ life in a community? It is partly when a community still relies upon the lands for foods and their Spiritual practices. No First Nation community is the same and each will have different sources of food depending upon their surrounding landscape but they still depend on it. Hunting for community and family gatherings, fishing in the surrounding lakes and rivers, and plants for medicinal, spiritual or as secondary food sources. Each generation always teaching the next one. A people that believe and respect that Life cannot exist without the bounties provided by the land, we are dependent on each other. Remember the controversial philosophy of Karl Marx and Friedrich Engel?

Today, Bill C-45 once again, intrudes and violates First Nation lives but now also threatens the very lands for ALL Canadians across the nation. Major changes in decreasing environmental protections, to allow for fast-tracking industries under the guise ‘to create employment‘ and ‘improve economic benefits, along with sweeping changes in the Fisheries Act, Navigable Waters Protection Act, Criminal Code and Labor Code.A few reports online have questioned why such changes were needed and deemed unnecessary.

The changes in the various acts are considered to herald easy entry of toxic industry and poor regard towards safety of all Canadians, with their introduction of such allowances, a few of them, as follows:

  • industries can be exempt from environmental assessments
  • reduced protections of waterways, lakes and rivers
  • industry can provide compensation for damage to fish habitats, exempt from environmental review
  • exemptions from Hazardous Materials Information Review Commission
  • increases age of retirement
  • reduces SR + ED (Science Research and Experimental Development)funding

Laws begin in Cabinet consisting of Advisors chosen by the Prime Minister whom are chosen from the majority party. It is then presented to the House of Commons for ‘First Reading’. Reports can be found online that where a few MP’s have stated, they didn’t get a chance to fully read a 457 page Omnibus bill. A discussion and vote is done again in the House of Commons now the ‘Second Reading’. Small committees’s of their own members, are given the opportunity to make revisions and view in detail. This bill now comes up once again for a vote and if passed, moves onto the Senate, where it is reviewed and voted for approval. A bill’s final stage prior to becoming law is receiving Royal Assent. I highly recommend visiting the Legisinfo website for details of the bills.

A ‘traditional’ practice of First Nations is that their leader seek out and consider the community opinion which would be equivalent to Canada putting out a ‘Referendum‘. In a FN community, a question is put to the people, short and long term effects, past and present are considered and weighed in discussion then a vote is made. Direction is given to the leader for the community as a whole with this system. A good leader that follows this practice shows and earns great respect, for self and with their respective community. Amendments to the IA will change this process altogether which have First Nation communities outraged. Many First Nation communities feel that if changes to the IA are to be made, it should be done by the First Nations themselves.

Today, we have Chief Theresa Spence and four other Aboriginal participants on a hunger strike in protest of Bill C-45. They are quite willing to sacrifice their lives for their First Nations, families, and communities, to require the government of Canada to meet with Aboriginal leaders and removal of Bill C-45. Critics say it’s horrendous for the children but War upon anybody does create deaths and unnecessary ones at that. It is already understood by First Nations that Death is a very real outcome but will continue due to the continued inhuman acts against First Nations. How many parents would not sacrifice their Life willingly, if the future of their child is at stake? Would you want your child’s future endangered?

Idle No More is about protecting our lands, water and air then ultimately, our food chain. Recent environmental reports have come out with results of the extensive damage across the lands, the tar sands have created. Bodies of water are polluted with varying levels of carcinogens (PAH, polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons) found in core samples taken from the bottom, up to 90 miles away. Can you imagine the long term effects along the food chain with plants? Animals? Humans? We can’t forget the mercury poisoning that affected Grassy Narrows First Nation and surrounding area and it’s remaining presence after 40 years and other ‘spills’ that have occurred and how poisoning ‘magnifies‘ through the food chain.. How much MORE land will be considered enough? Should business and profits truly trump over Human life? Is poisoned land, waters and air in Canada wanted for our children?

Violence against First Nation citizens are being committed as happened in Thunder Bay, Ontario to one First Nation woman. High levels of racist comments and death threats are made to Idle No More supporters and participants. Can you imagine yourself living under such conditions? It’s been verified by news sites that the government has hired people to ‘disrupt‘ the Idle No More movement online. One incident that was ‘under-reported‘ in Winnipeg, a First Nation mother and her three children were ignored and passed by a bus driver, and it’s winter in Canada! It’s a well known fact amongst First Nations that the Canadian government will and has, taken extreme ‘measures‘ to ‘oppress and suppress‘ and control of media, to send out ‘propaganda‘ to demonize First Nation peoples. We have only to look at the ‘financial’ leak recently released regarding Chief Theresa Spence. Are these ideal qualities of a truly great leader for Canada?

Studies have stated for every movement there is a countermovement. Martin Luther King Jr.’s Civil Rights movement gave birth to the KKK and the horrific crimes they committed. It’s understood with First Nations that the ugly face of racism would show itself. A book once stated, in reference to the Jewish Holocaust that ‘Hitler had the largest gathering of racists, thieves, sadists, pedophiles, rapists and every known criminal element, in his army‘. If you look at all the ‘comments‘ and recent actions against Idle No More and First Nation citizens, one must begin to wonder, what is Canada? Where is government of Canada going? Why does the Government of Canada not act? The ugly under belly of Canada is exposed. This exposure of outright racism is proving to be ONE consolation for many First Nations, as Idle No More is gaining global support.

Idle No More is about Canada’s land, water and air for ALL Canadians next to recognition of the Sovereign rights of it’s First Nations people. Supporters from around the world send in photo’s declaring their support ranging in professions from Church officials, Amnesty International, Environmentalists, Anonymous, other Indigenous groups, not to forget, citizens from exotic nations around the world in places such as The Netherlands, New Zealand, Indonesia, Mongolia, Europe, South Africa, Hawaii, Central America, and our own neighbors and friends in Canada and the USA. Their support is proving to be a SECOND consolation for Idle No More. Check out the Map.

Canada is touted as a wealthy nation with a diverse population of every culture. Each citizen brings and are are allowed to share and celebrate aspects and knowledge, of their cultures and histories of their respective ‘Home’ nations, in the privacy of their homes. They add a unique beauty to Canada next to enjoying great freedoms and beautiful country. Other nations around the world have extremely rich histories, of their own societies yet the Indigenous peoples of Canada, have been continually pursued by two Governments, to be permanently ‘extinguished’. No amount of ‘assimilation‘ will, or can, ever change the ‘skin color‘ of Canada’s Indigenous nation. Animosity and resentment of a Treaty between two nations has and is, instead, continually encouraged amongst the populace, as seen in our daily news reports.

Nobody wants to accept changing their perspectives of Canada as especially unique, with potential to be recognized worldwide, as a ‘living partnership‘ between two Peoples, that is OLD. Can you imagine the reaction of the world, to learning that Canadians literally ‘live‘ a piece of their history?

The Idle No More hold protests may gather in flash or organized mobs, to do nothing but sing and dance. No acts of violence will be committed nor is condoned. These protests have blocked flow of traffic in both residential and business areas. It is to announce the refusal and demand that the Canadian government meet with First Nation leaders, remove Bill C-45 and to provide spiritual support of Chief Theresa Spence and three other participants during their hunger strike and have them hear their world in song and unity.

The First Nations have the ability to stop toxic industry from entering their lands and the Omnibus bill C-45 will remove their voice permanently. Idle No More invites YOU to join in their dancing and singing to Protest Bill C-45.

Find Idle No More on Facebook, gatherings, and their Website. Join in the conversation, offer your help and suggestions, send letters to the Canadian Government, Queen of England and Governor General.

Idle No More only wants a beautiful Canada for you, friends, family, guests and our children.

I hope you found this article informative. Please feel free to leave your comments and share your thoughts. Send me a email if you have a request on a topic of interest or to say hello. It’s FREE to subscribe by Email or my RSS Feed.

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Article(C)2012, all rights reserved. Ginsense creates and posts articles online about business development, second income idea’s, health, science, technology and society.  

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