Simpson on First Nations

25 08 2009

Jeffrey Simpson has an interesting piece in today’s Globe and MailFirst nations aren’t big enough for true sovereignty: Aboriginal nationhood goals crash repeatedly against the reality of the numbers

Simpson’s argument in superficially plausible, at least insofar as it applies to very small Native bands living in regions in which Natives are the majority. (Simpson, however, overlooks small European microstates like San Marino which are indeed sovereign). Moreover, Simpson’s argument doesn’t really apply to regions where Natives are still in the majority, which is much of Canada’s landmass. The Inuit of Greenland are currently debating independence from Denmark. If Greenland can become a UN member state, than Nunavut probably could also. Moreover, Canada’s legal claim of sovereignty over much of the Arctic rests on Inuit sovereignty/nationhood. See Terry Fenge, “Inuit and the Nunavut Land Claims Agreement: Supporting Canada’s Arctic Sovereignty” (Dec. 2007 – Jan. 2008) Policy Options .


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