On October 12, 1492, Christopher Columbus arrived to the American continent. Bourgeois historians conclude this was the demonstration of the circumference of the terrestrial globe and the discovery of a “new world.” But the truth is he was lost and a new era of massacres started. Natives of the West Coast estimate the killing of 250 millions Natives by the European settlers in North America. Other sources estimated the Native population in South America in 1492 about 50 millions: after 150 years of European colonization only 8 millions natives were still alive.
From North to South, Native poeple were killed under slavery, victims of rape and starved. Children, elders, men, women, were victims of the first bacteriological wars. Settlers of the United States received a reward for each Native scalp. In Canada, Native children were kidnapped and forced to live in the horror of the residential schools. Canadian bourgeoisie prohibited the Native children to speak their language. We are still searching the bodies of some children who disappeared in those sinister institutions.
Today, Native women are disappearing and are victims of rape, but authorities do not seriously investigate those crimes. The Canadian Centre for Justice Statistics revealed that 19% of all prisoners in Federal jails are Aboriginals; despite the fact they are only 3% of the Canadian population.. Natives are struggling for the recognition of their aboriginal rights still under the uncertain decision of the Canadian jurisdictions. But Canadian imperialism is certain on one thing for sure; their statistics stated the Native people are in the front line of extreme poverty.
The methodic elimination of Native people is an undeniable fact. This genocide started under the feudal period; and today, under capitalism, this genocide isn’t found his end. News from Ecuador, Peru, Columbia and British Columbia (among others) regularly report attacks on Native people. The capitalist states want to chase away the First Nations from their territories in order to secure the exploitation of natural resources to the profit of multinationals.
Since 1492, Native rebellions have found their path. Despite the unequal balance of power, Natives have always found a way to beat off the expansionist wars; the courage of Native warriors have given them the strength to stay alive. But the main reason of the struggle doesn’t have found a solution. The First Nations are not able yet to administrate their land, the waterways and the airspace of their territories, which are a necessary condition to their full sovereignty.
In those Canadian colonies, a New Democratic power must replace the old one. To attain their sovereignty they must reach the status of Nation-state. The Canadian government established the Indian Act to ensure the colonial status of the First Nations. Via the monopole of the Council Bands, Native administrators are ruling the economy and the political and social life of the First Nations in the interest of Canadian capitalists. Those bureaucratic capitalists are an obstacle to the self-determination of the Native people.
Others only insist on the folkloric character of the national liberation struggle of the aboriginal people. They refuse to acknowledge the communist science under the pretext that communism is a culture imported from Europe. Those apparatchiks want to keep the Native people in the ignorance in order to prevent the emergence of a new form of power. This new form of power would certainly have the strength to defend their culture and their territories—that is their full sovereignty—by laws and a well-organized army.
Some anarchists also rebuff the logical conclusion of recognizing Natives’ right to self-determination—that is the possibility for the First Nations to establish an independent national state. For them, this option must be opposed because “all states are oppressive by nature.” By thus denying Natives’ right to political separation, those people are supporting in fact the actual power of the imperialist Canadian state.
Guevarist theories are no better for the First Nations. We must learn from history. The “foco” never helped any nation to break off the chains of oppression. We must acknowledge the First Nations real situation; many of them are facing two big imperialist countries, Canada and the United States.
We must not deny either that Canadian imperialism has been shook by Native rebellions. The war of extermination against the First Nations has found a resistance but it is not over yet. Figures are clear, Native people are in the front line of extreme poverty; this situation will only change if met by a strong and powerful movement, that is a protracted people’s war for national liberation and New Democracy.
The current world economic crisis is far from over. Unemployment rates are the highest since the Second World War. Governments and bankers are planning new ways to “stimulate the economy.” The Canadian state is spending 40 billion dollars (2,5% of the Gross Domestic Product) to help preserve the system. Canadian capitalists and their governments want to go back to the “good old days” when the system was working well for them, but somebody will have to pay the bill. And according to them, it is clearly not the rich who should pay, but the proletarians and the oppressed.
They are explaining that their lost of profits and the huge budget deficit will force them to cut the social programs. They are promising highest fees for public services. Regarding the First Nations, they recently announced the opening of the Northern Projects Management Office (NPMO) and are changing mining jurisdictions around the country. They are asking cooperation from the Native “communities” because they want to secure the huge profits they are making by occupying the aboriginal territories. Meanwhile, mine workers are dying. Mining companies’ criminal negligence is destroying the land and nothing has changed for the First Nations.
Capitalist system is in bankruptcy. The bourgeoisie is asking us to make sacrifices for their benefit and their lackeys are claiming clemency for the oppressor. They’re dividing us with lies. Their tactics is to divide and conquer; ours must be to unite. “Solidarity is our weapon” must become our slogan; we must unite and fight the oppression and the exploitation. Certainly, the struggle will be a long walk and we have many rivers to cross along the revolutionary path. But the sun will shine for all victims of the capitalist system under the banner of the protracted people’s war.
Proletarians and Oppressed Peoples of the World, Unite Against Imperialist Aggression!