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By Alan C. Cairns

In Citizens Plus, Alan Cairns unravels the historic list to elucidate the present deadlock in negotiations among Aboriginal peoples and the country. He considers the assimilationist coverage assumptions of the imperial period, examines more moderen govt projects, and analyzes the emergence of the nation-to-nation paradigm given monstrous help through the Royal fee on Aboriginal Peoples. Citizens Plus stakes out a center flooring with its aid for constitutional and institutional preparations that might concurrently realize Aboriginal distinction and toughen universal citizenship.

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117 Many of these materials were collected in ways that now appear ruthless and insensitive. ”118 The ruthless collection of Native artifacts assumed the disappearance, either by assimilation or by disease, of the societies that had produced them. The belief that these societies had no future was interpreted to mean that they had minimum or no entitlement to possess what could not be transmitted to succeeding generations. The survival of Native societies undermines this colonialist logic. Museum collections acquired when Native peoples were believed to be dying out “must once again become part of the cultural heritage of their creators’ descendants.

History changed direction on us. We are like the new élites of Eastern and Central Europe and the countries of the former Soviet Union, whose bookshelves groan under the weight of tomes dealing with the transition from capitalism to communism but have very little on movement in the reverse direction – from communism to capitalism – which confronts and baffles them. The materials on our bookshelves also assumed a goal – assimilation – which we are moving away from toward a goal whose specifics are unclear, but which will combine difference and commonality in fruitful ways, if we are lucky.

In these circumstances, “the adversarial imperative to present the best possible case”99 is transmitted from lawyers to their expert witnesses from the disciplines of history and anthropology, who may face conflicting tugs from their disciplinary norms, their courtroom role, and their sympathies for one side or the other. 103 His judgment, which contained numerous negative evaluations of Gitksan and Wet’suwet’en culture, held that Aboriginal people had not been sovereign over the claimed territories, and held no Aboriginal title, but only limited-use rights.

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