Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Relationships of Governance

Published: July 9, 2008, Author: JayTaber

The root term of dominion defines the relationships of governance that the Continental Congress surmounted by threat of force. Voluntary confederation of equals went out the window. Nostalgia for dominion — above and below the 49th parallel — is a desire to subsume multiculturalism to inherited privilege.

Using contemporary Europe as an example, the bedrock nations (i.e. Catalonians, Sami, Flemish and Basques) are achieving cultural and political autonomy through the principle of subsidiarity — governance at the most appropriate level — which enables civic participation and national identity to flourish alongside modern state constructs.

The administrative overlay of states is less an identity than a fetish of centralized power, a power that requires dissemination in order for democratic principles to prevail.

Regional identities that recognize landscapes as integral to a sense of belonging are probably stronger in Canada than in the largely arbitrary state demarcations in the US, and indeed are recognized in our notions of regions that span these boundaries. Affiliation with place as well as pre-state heritage is an essential aspect of mental health, and ultimately might undo the unhealthy governance customs of dominion, empire, and superpower.

To achieve a more human state, we will first have to dispense with nostalgia for the dominant point of view.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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