A breathtaking policy of criminalization, assimilation and extinguishment has been vigorously carried out against Indigenous Peoples where now there is a Canadian province called British Columbia.
Present day governments have re-named those programs many times and continue to manufacture support for them within Indigenous communities, relying on the element of duress to force change. They are, to quote the 1948 Genocide Convention, “deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part.” They have not yet succeeded.
Why do the people of BC seek the dissolution of some thirty distinct Indigenous nations? Why do they cry,“ One law for all Canadians” in answer to Indigenous efforts to exercise their right of self-determination? Eighty percent of BC’s economy today comes directly from extractive industries using natural resources in lands and waters that have never been ceded, sold or surrendered to them by the owners.
The ongoing displacement and dispossession of Indigenous Peoples relies on the settler population’s indifference to their human rights. The interests of resource industries have dominated accounts of Indigenous Peoples throughout the mainstream media, the academic presses and the courts, impoverishing their histories and disappearing their futures.
The indigenous have suffered excruciating losses. But the highest expression of government reconciliation has this bottom line and none other: release title to the traditional territories and resources; accept a small financial, land and program funding settlement; and become a BC municipality.
The Colonial Present documents the colonizer’s manufacture of a new mythology to rationalize this ultimatum. This book is an unprecedented history and chronicle of British Columbians’ continuing attempts to leave the question of Indigenous Peoples’ rights in the past, without ever recognizing them in the present.
Kim Petersen, Dissident Voice –
“If the reader is concerned about social justice, especially in their own backyard, then The Colonial Present is an important read. It is jam packed with urgent human rights and sovereignist issues that affect the Original Peoples, not just of BC, but throughout Turtle Island and on down to Tierra del Fuego.”
KIM PETERSEN, The Dissident Voice
NATSU TAYLOR SAITO, Professor of International Law –
“A timely, thorough, and readable exposé of the persistence of colonialism in British Columbia, the genocidal policies of Canadian settler society, and their ongoing effects on First Nations peoples. The Colonial Present integrates historical context and contemporary political and cultural dynamics into its compelling assessment of urgent questions affecting indigenous land, natural resources and sovereignty. This fascinating study provides a template not only for understanding but transforming colonial realities throughout North America.”
NATSU TAYLOR SAITO, Professor of International Law, Georgia State University,
author of Meeting the Enemy: American Exceptionalism and International Law
WARD CHURCHILL, –
“Kerry Coast lays bare the putrid sophistries through which the Canadian state purports to legitimate its genocidal expropriation of the indigenous homelands comprising what is officially known as “British Columbia.” This is history as it should be done.”
— WARD CHURCHILL, author and activist