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Monday, May 15, 2006

Surprise, surprise-natives back protest

This from the National Post.
Canada's Aboriginals overwhelmingly back the long-running Six Nations demonstration in Caledonia and predict the number of similar land-claims protests is about to rise, a new survey has found.

According to a poll conducted for the National Post, 62% of natives believe protesters in the Hamilton bedroom community and in eastern Ontario -- where natives briefly blocked a rail line in sympathy last month -- were right to demonstrate. That compares with just 12% who said the demonstrators were wrong.

"We're talking about a margin of 5-1 and civil disobedience is involved," said Conrad Winn, president of polling firm Compas full article

The support for the Six Nations and reclamation actions in general is most likely higher than this poll indicates.


At 10:54 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Journal of William Trent, commander of the local militia of the townspeople of Pittsburgh during Pontiac's seige of the fort. Trent's entry for May 24, 1763, includes the following statement:

... we gave them two Blankets and an Handkerchief out of the Small Pox Hospital. I hope it will have the desired effect.

Despite his fame, Jeffrey Amherst's name became tarnished by stories of smallpox-infected blankets used as germ warfare against American Indians. These stories are reported, for example, in Carl Waldman's Atlas of the North American Indian [NY: Facts on File, 1985]. Waldman writes, in reference to a siege of Fort Pitt (Pittsburgh) by Chief Pontiac's forces during the summer of 1763:
... Captain Simeon Ecuyer had bought time by sending smallpox-infected blankets and handkerchiefs to the Indians surrounding the fort -- an early example of biological warfare -- which started an epidemic among them. Amherst himself had encouraged this tactic in a letter to Ecuyer. [p. 108

William Whipple Warren, a Minnesota Ojibwa historian and legislator, offers two very different accounts of an epidemic that took place in Minnesota in the 1780s in his History of the Ojibway People (1885). Comparison of these historians' smallpox stories enlarges our understanding of the history and epidemiology of the disease in the particular period. The smallpox stories also offer insight into alternative conceptualizations of the experience that historians a century later envisioned as the "frontier." One other Ojibwa historian, George Copway, who does not tell a smallpox story, offers in his Indian Life and Indian History (1860) such a paradigm for understanding events of the time - including smallpox epidemics - as they were experienced by the native communities. [pp. 137-138]B. Helen Jaskoski, "'A Terrible Sickness Among Them': Smallpox Stories of the Frontier," in Helen Jaskoski, ed., Early Native American Writing: New Critical Essays (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1996), 136-157


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