We’re all immigrants? Not so fast

We're all immigrants? Not so fast I've noticed a disturbing trend from some individuals who attempt to erode First Nations claim to our lands here in the Yukon. It's the attempt to claim that Yukon First Nations are just immigrants no different from the

I’ve noticed a disturbing trend from some individuals who attempt to erode First Nations claim to our lands here in the Yukon. It’s the attempt to claim that Yukon First Nations are just immigrants no different from the new immigrants who more recently arrived here, just that we’ve been here longer.

This is flawed in so many ways that it can only be explained by an underlying racism that believes that us Yukon First Nations are a substandard culture of nomads without a society. A little better than animals.

Well, this is a simple uneducated view that fails to recognise the complex societies that existed in this land for over 20,000 years. DNA evidence traces our ancestors settling this virgin land in multiple waves. And our origins are the same as everyone’s no matter what race… we all come from Africa, even Europeans. So really Africa is our true first home and we all migrated around the world and settled it. So First Nations were the first to settle North America and after 20,000 years there immigrants arrived

from Europe at first then from around the world.

When these new immigrants arrived the Americas were already populated by complex societies who owned specific areas with their own languages and cultures. It was not the Terra Nullis (nobody’s land) as proclaimed by the Catholic Church at the time and is obviously still believed by some still stuck in the Middle Ages.

I’m blessed to belong to both peoples of this land. My mother’s Tlingit people have been here for tens of thousands of years… this is their home. My father’s Acadian people immigrated to North America in 1640 from their “first” home, France. When they arrived to their “new” home they recognized and respected the original owners of that land, the Mi’kmaq. The Mi’kmaq helped these new immigrants survive in their new home and they lived in harmony and peace.

Recently the Supreme Court in their Tsilhqot’in descision recognized this original ownership of this land by the original peoples of this land. In recognizing “aboriginal title” the Supreme Court helped dispel the Doctrine of Discovery that still persists to this day.

Yukon First Nations also had their original ownership recognized and reaffirmed when Canada signed the final agreements with us. This was also our way of sharing our home with the new peoples who also call Yukon their new home.

It’s only by working together to implement these final agreements that will help benefit all Yukoners: us Yukon First Nations and the new Yukoners. Then hopefully we can finally put that annoying papal bull to rest and start living in peace and harmony!

Duane Gastant’ Aucoin

Teslin

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Crystal Schick/Yukon News
Calvin Delwisch poses for a photo inside his DIY sauna at Marsh Lake on Feb. 18.
Yukoners turning up the heat with unique DIY sauna builds

Do-it-yourselfers say a sauna built with salvaged materials is a great winter project

d
Wyatt’s World

Wyatt’s World for March 5, 2021.

g
Yukonomist: School competition ramps up in the Yukon

It’s common to see an upstart automaker trying to grab share from… Continue reading

The Yukon government responded to a petition calling the SCAN Act “draconian” on Feb. 19. (Yukon News file)
Yukon government accuses SCAN petitioner of mischaracterizing her eviction

A response to the Jan. 7 petition was filed to court on Feb. 19

City councillor Samson Hartland in Whitehorse on Dec. 3, 2018. Hartland has announced his plans to run for mayor in the Oct. 21 municipal election. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Councillor sets sights on mayor’s chair

Hartland declares election plans

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley receives his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine from Public Health Nurse Angie Bartelen at the Yukon Convention Centre Clinic in Whitehorse on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
State of emergency extended for another 90 days

“Now we’re in a situation where we see the finish line.”

The Yukon government says it is working towards finding a solution for Dawson area miners who may be impacted by City of Dawson plans and regulations. (Joel Krahn/Yukon News file)
Miner expresses frustration over town plan

Designation of claims changed to future planning

Team Yukon athletes wave flags at the 2012 Arctic Winter Games opening ceremony in Whitehorse. The 2022 event in Wood Buffalo, Alta., has been postponed indefinitely. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News file)
2022 Arctic Winter Games postponed indefinitely

Wood Buffalo, Alta., Host Society committed to rescheduling at a later date

Housing construction continues in the Whistle Bend subdivision in Whitehorse on Oct. 29, 2020. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Yukon Bureau of Statistics reports rising rents for Yukoners, falling revenues for businesses

The bureau has published several reports on the rental market and businesses affected by COVID-19

Council of Yukon First Nations grand chief Peter Johnston at the Yukon Forum in Whitehorse on Feb. 14, 2019. Johnston and Highways and Public Works Minister Richard Mostyn announced changes to the implementation of the Yukon First Nations Procurement Policy on March 3. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
Third phase added to procurement policy implementation

Additional time added to prep for two provisions

Crews work to clear the South Klondike Highway after an avalanche earlier this week. (Submitted)
South Klondike Highway remains closed due to avalanches

Yukon Avalanche Association recommending backcountry recreators remain vigilant

RCMP Online Crime Reporting website in Whitehorse on March 5. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Whitehorse RCMP launch online crime reporting

Both a website and Whitehorse RCMP app are now available

A man walks passed the polling place sign at city hall in Whitehorse on Oct. 18, 2018. The City of Whitehorse is preparing for a pandemic-era election this October with a number of measures proposed to address COVID-19 restrictions. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News file)
City gets set for Oct. 21 municipal election

Elections procedures bylaw comes forward

Most Read