‘This Isn’t Religion, It’s Madness’

“In September, 2009 {18 YEARS after the first proposal and 5 years after the completion of the decade-long environmental assessment!}, the Ktunaxa leaders DECLARED THEIR ABSOLUTE OPPOSITION to any permanent project such as was proposed, BECAUSE OF THE “SACRED SIGNIFICANCE” OF THE ENTIRE AREA. The “sacred value” of the area only came to the fore in 2009, when it became “a life and death matter”.

“This isn’t messianism; it isn’t even reverence, or spirituality. It is bunk. Are we all mad?”  ♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦♦
“…I will focus on a legal argument that the Supreme Court has agreed to hear, on appeal from the ‘British Columbia Court of Appeal’.

“This is the case of ‘Ktunaxa ‘Nation’ vs. British Columbia’. The Ktunaxa ‘Nation’, comprised for these purposes of four bands in British Columbia, has perhaps a total population of 1,000…

“The basic facts in the Ktunaxa case, as found in the judgment (which I’ve read {LINK below}), are that a commercial group (Glacier Resorts Ltd.) set out in 1991 to build a year-round ski resort on Crown land in south-eastern B.C., and four Ktunaxa bands have attacked the project, initially for general reasons of insufficient consultation. There was always a religious aspect to the Ktunaxa objection, as well as concerns about environment and material compensation.

“A vast environmental review, LASTING ALMOST A DECADE, was conducted, which approved the Glacier Plan in 2004.

“Glacier produced a 13-volume master plan in 2007. When the draft of this plan was submitted to the B.C. Ministry of Lands, Forests, and Natural Resource Operations, the Ktunaxa objected that the ‘First Nations’ part of the plan was unacceptable. In 2006, the Ktunaxa National Council entered into discussions with the provincial government toward a consultation agreement. It was alleged that the area involved had cultural significance and sacred value, though these factors remained unassessed by the Ktunaxa spokespeople.

“I am a law graduate but have never practised, have expressed some public disagreement with the Chief Justice, and consider the whole legal system to be tainted by cartelism, and swaddled in pious claptrap about the sanctity of the rule of law. Yet, I was impressed by the thoroughness and rigour of the appellate verdict in British Columbia, delivered by Justice Richard Goepel, which is now coming before the Supreme Court. Ktunaxa'Nation'“Between 2006 and 2009, an accommodation and benefits agreement was pursued between the Ktunaxa and the province. In 2007, the draft master plan was approved by the government and after further very extensive discussion, the B.C. government approved the ‘Master Development Agreement’ in 2012. The Ktunaxa leaders first cited the fundamental religious intolerability of the project in September 2008, but the government determined that a full and reasonable consultation process had occurred and that most objections were “interest-based”, and that the project could proceed.

“In the course of these first 21 years of incubation of the project, it had been reduced in acreage by 60%, all residential and parking areas were put in the logged area around a former sawmill, residential capacity was reduced to less than ten per cent of that of Whistler, ski lifts and runs were removed from the area most populated by grizzly bears (whose particular importance I will get to soon), preferential hiring, and education and training opportunities were promised for the natives, as well as interpretive and permanently-staffed environmental monitoring centres. Areas would be designated for traditional activities, and a wildlife management area, with Ktunaxa involvement, would be established over the whole area.

“In September, 2009, the Ktunaxa leaders DECLARED THEIR ABSOLUTE OPPOSITION to any permanent project such as was proposed, BECAUSE OF THE “SACRED SIGNIFICANCE” OF THE ENTIRE AREA. The “sacred value” of the area only came to the fore in 2009, when it became

“a life and death matter.”

“The catalyst was Ktunaxa elder Chris Luke, who claims to have had a revelatory experience in 2004, telling him he had to speak up for the “spirit of the Grizzly Bear”. Luke did not share this Damascene bolt of divine insight with anyone for five years. 

'Spirit of the Bear', Artist--Bill Brouard
‘Spirit of the Bear’, Artist–Bill Brouard

“It then emerged that, in the words of Justice Goepel for the B.C. Court of Appeal, with which his two fellow justices concurred,

“the construction of permanent structures would desecrate the area and destroy its spiritual value.”

“The Ktunaxa authorities said:

“Grizzly Bear Spirit will leave that area, the Ktunaxa will no longer have access to it or the gifts it provides to them … and religious rituals involving Grizzly Bear Spirit will become meaningless.”

“THE FACT THAT RELIGIOUS OBSERVANCES in reference to the Grizzly Bear Spirit ALMOST NEVER OCCURRED IN THE CONTESTED AREA WAS CLAIMED TO BE IRRELEVANT — discommoding the bears in the slightest would banish the revered spirit, and render worshipful acts, wherever conducted, futile. The authority for this theological insight was Luke’s long-withheld “epiphanial reflection”.

“The legal issues were: whether building the project violated the ‘Charter of Rights and Freedoms’ under ‘Section 2(a)’, which guarantees religious freedom, and whether approving the project was a violation by the B.C. government of the duty “to consult and accommodate asserted Aboriginal rights under the ‘Constitution Act (of) 1982’”.

“The highest court in British Columbia, AFTER 24 YEARS OF PUBLIC DEBATE AND CONSULTATION, thought not, in a meticulously fair and admirably reasoned argument.

“Nothing in any of this, at this point, is an usurpation. But I have a ghastly, sinking feeling that the high court is reaching for this case to make another secular intrusion in what is ostensibly an issue of theology, and to make another faddish foray into the terribly difficult and largely tragic public policy area of the ‘rights’ and ‘entitlements’ of ‘aboriginal peoples’.

“This is, after all, and as it appears, almost a ‘Monty Python’ parody:
someone reveals after four years that the Almighty had indicated to him that the rites of a thousand people would be desecrated if a recreational project — that has been endlessly debated for 24 years, will give the complainants employment and is on formerly commercially exploited territory — is allowed to proceed. This is because it may be within earshot of some grizzly bears whose collective sacred spirit will be affronted.

“This isn’t messianism; it isn’t even reverence, or spirituality. It is bunk. Are we all mad?

“The Supreme Court of Canada, like everyone, deserves the benefit of any doubt.”

–‘This isn’t religion, it’s madness’,
Conrad Black, National Post, May 27, 2016 {CAPS added}



http://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcca/doc/2015/2015bcca352/2015bcca352.pdf Ktunaxa'Nation'MapCOMMENT: “Odd it is that felling trees for the lumber industry has not chased away the spirit of the bear, but skiing while the bears hibernate will.”
“If any group other than aboriginals claimed that Canada’s land policies should be subject to any of their spiritual revelations…would they be taken seriously? Would you look kindly on your neighbour for opposing your construction of a deck because the raccoon spirit spoke to him?”
“Grizzly bears have no spirit. They will kill you. That is all. They will kill anything they can kill because that is their nature. They have no feeling on the matter either way. They don’t mourn for each other. They don’t even care if there is garbage around. They just eat any food available for 6 or 7 months a year and then hibernate. That includes baby grizzlies, each other, berries and even the odd human stupid enough to cross one. Like humans, grizzlies are apex predators and aren’t going to project their desires through some guy stoned out of his mind.

“If the argument to keep humans out of the area was, “We want it kept clean and pristine”, I could buy the argument. But the logging roads all through the area prove that this area has already been commercialized. Obviously, the true reason is simply for control of the resource.”
“This is a ski resort, Does anyone think that with the SCC decisions on aboriginal issues, there is even a remote chance of getting a pipeline built across the nation?

“Imagine trying to build a national railroad in today’s political, legal, social environment? The fathers of confederation would still be waiting to lay the first rail…”
“Courts have enshrined “racism by seniority”, plain and simple.”
“I would argue that this is one of the biggest, if not the all time biggest, issue facing this nation.”
“If the spirit of the Grizzly Bear is so opposed to this project, let him of her say so in person at the hearing.”
“This is the kind of “inclusive consultation” Trudeau wants to empower.
And he honestly expects people to invest in Canada…?

“24 years of consultation to build a ski resort in the western cordillera and nothing to show for it but more of the same BS. You’d have to be completely out of your mind to invest here.”
“And it’s only going to get worse until we collectively yell FO with this BS.”
“The liberal induced curse of ‘ identity-politics’ — that genie is out of the bottle. Let the acrimonious societal divisions begin.”
“NO special interest groups — including Indians — should have absolute control over any development in this country …
“mr. selfie is well on his way to doing such, and the provinces are crapping in their own backyard, giving phony rights to them.”
“I’d like to recall the Clayoquat Sound fiasco from the 1990’s. As many readers may remember, hopefully they do, the ‘First’ Nations’ said that the Sound was sacred and could never be logged. They won with help from student protesters and professional protesters.

“Yet after the lights and cameras were gone, the ‘First Nations’ signed a logging agreement which gave them a lot money. Clayoquat sound was then open to a lot of logging.

“Sacred” is a code word in BC for “we need more money.” After all, BC means ‘Bring Cash’.”
“It’s all part of the sacred ritual of the greasing of the palms.”
“Are we mad? Our Supreme Court of Canada is mad… with unbridled power, thanks to the Constitution which ceded the powers of Parliament to the courts.”
“The biggest mistake this country has done is recognizing these tribes, and some of them as small as a few dozen, as ‘nations’. Ridiculous…absolutely ridiculous.”
“It is not a mistake at all, it is big business. Think of the thousands that feed off this fiasco via Indian Affairs, all the Chiefs and family, the billions that have been paid to lawyers arguing both sides of this sham and, of course, the judiciary that enable the whole fraud to go on. The absolute last concern in this whole debacle are the lives of the average aboriginal, or those of us that have our earnings confiscated to fund the mess.”
“…and meanwhile in Canada, the tail continues to wag the dog. I still go with ‘the greatest good for the greatest number of people’. Let’s put all the little special interest groups a little farther down on the list of relevance in our decisions.”
“Naive ideologues who don’t want mines, pipelines, forestry, hydroelectric dams, etc., etc., — any industry — insist we should develop more tourism because it’s clean. And then other naive ideologues say NO to tourist attractions, like ski hills, for whatever reason they can dream up. It IS madness…”
“It appears that in this, as in many other examples, a small segment of a religious/cultural community professes to represent the whole. Because they are far more strident in their attitudes and tactics, they gain the attention of the media and hence, the politicians.

“I believe that justices weigh their decisions on the scales of what they perceive to be public opinion whenever a law is ambiguous, and will convolute logic and public interest to serve their own personal prejudices. The charter of rights and freedoms, as written, is a highly ambiguous law allowing justices full reign and authority to impose their personal opinions on what is supposed to be a democratic country. Perhaps it would be perceived as less objectionable if these individuals were elected rather than appointed, but that certainly will not be a consideration of the current regime.

“The other option would be to clarify such laws to reflect the public interests and reduce the justiciaries role in governance, but a minority of the electorate chose to elect someone who would do otherwise. I suppose it will someday require a major political catastrophé, perhaps a revolution, to restore some sort of logic to the way things work in this nation.”
“When protest groups spring up to demonize this or that building project, they’re talking about a lot of jobs for everyone in trades, including natives. Special interest groups only represent who is speaking or waving a sign, whether it’s 20 or a hundred… It’s the most racist and bigoted and sexist lie ever to agree that any of these unelected special interest posses have bargaining power.”
“Jobs to natives gives power to each individual,which is not acceptable to the native leadership. There is no rational justification for this process and its tie to our legal system, other than it is an acceptable extortion by native leaders. Consultation is not consultation, but dictation that they get a certain excessive amount. Little of that payoff gets to the average reserve member.”
“I had a beaver talk to me once, then I sobered up! This attempt by the Indians is just as ludicrous.”
“Indians seem to see many magical animal spirits when they have had a few spirits of their own. You, however, sobered up and realized what had occurred. Imagine if you told your beaver story to friends and family. Would you be considered an elder or a joke? In Ktunaxaville, population <1000, you are a religious icon. How sad… These folks need to get out of the dark ages.”
“I would suggest this to be an obvious and bogus fabrication by these Indians to block any development of this ski resort just because they think they can. I hope our SCC will put their egos in check and use common sense and the law when rendering their verdict on this case. Black is absolutely correct in his assessment of this affair, it is pure bunk.”
“The SCC will not jeopardize the multi-billion dollar industry that is the Indian Affairs, Canadians are being fleeced to make lawyers, bureaucrats, and chiefs rich at the expense of the average Canadian and Indian.”
“The grizzlies have a very direct way of making their displeasure known, if the Spirit moves them.” grizzly‘Ktunaxa ‘Nation’ v BC’: ‘Bringing Aboriginal Spirituality into Section 2(a) of the Charter’

“The British Columbia Court of Appeal (“BCCA”) case ‘Ktunaxa ‘Nation’ v BC, 2015 BCCA 352 [Ktunaxa]’,
has some problematic implications for the scope of religious freedom under ‘section 2(a)’ of the Charter. Aboriginal spirituality has never officially been recognized under 2(a). It is likely that Ktunaxa will go to the Supreme Court of Canada (“SCC”).

{“2. Everyone has the following fundamental freedoms:
(a) freedom of conscience and religion…”
http://laws-lois.justice.gc.ca/eng/const/page-15.html }

“The case involves the development of a ski resort on land that the Ktunaxa ‘First Nation’ claims is ‘spiritual land’ for their people {They have – because of their race – a ‘spiritual’ connection to ALL land. Just ask them…}. The Ktunaxa argue that should any overnight human accommodation be built there, their relationship with the ‘Grizzly Bear Spirit’ who inhabits those lands will be irreparably damaged {Yet all the logging never scared him away…}. They argue that the decision of the Minister of Forests, Lands and National Resources Operations to approve the resort’s development infringes their right to religious freedom under ‘section 2(a)’.

“Justice Goepel for the BCCA starts out with the standard test outlined in ‘Syndicat Northcrest v Amselem, [2004] 2 SCR 551[Amselem]’:
a claimant must demonstrate a sincere belief in a practice or belief that has a nexus with religion in order to trigger protection under section 2(a). Once that belief is triggered, the claimant must show that the interference with his or her belief is not trivial or insubstantial.

“Justice Goepel finds that the Ktunaxa have successfully asserted a sincere spiritual belief that has a clear nexus with religion. However, Justice Goepel still does not think that the scope of section 2(a) can extend to protect the Ktunaxa in this case. He uses the framework outlined in ‘Loyola High School v Quebec (Attorney General), [2015] 1 SCR 613 [Loyola]’
as the basis for his analysis, in order to determine whether the Minister allowing the development of the resort on this land was a measure that would

“undermine the character of lawful religious institutions and disrupt the vitality of religious communities” (Ktunaxa, para 66).

“Ultimately, Justice Goepel concludes that 

“the vitality of [the Ktunaxa] religious community as a whole depends on a requirement imposing constraints on people who do not share that same religious belief” (para 73)

and that this cannot be protected under section 2(a). To justify this, he emphasizes the delimitation in ‘Amselem’ that

“conduct which would potentially cause harm to or interference with the rights of others would not automatically be protected” (para 70).

“I want to outline a number of reasons for why I find this holding problematic. First and foremost, I have difficulty seeing how the Ktunaxa’s right to religious freedom—a Charter right and fundamental freedom—is comparable to a right to develop land for commercial use—not a recognized right in either our Charter or our constitution—such that the former’s infringement on the latter is enough to bar the former completely from Charter protection.

“But, even if we do accept that the right to commercial development is important to our society and should be protected in some form, this holding still ignores the SCC’s common refrain that, while freedom of religion is not absolute, it is best to reconcile any competing values under ‘section 1’ rather than within 2(a) itself (‘Multani v Commission scolaire, [2006] 1 SCR 256’, paras 26-30).
This allows the court to give an “expansive” definition of freedom of religion (‘Amselem’, para 40).

“By excluding this claim from the scope of 2(a), the court is putting the burden on aboriginal groups rather than on the state. It is not entirely clear from the case that the BCCA is saying no claim of this kind can succeed. However, by limiting the success of this kind of claim, the BCCA has sent a message that aboriginal parties have additional burdens to face before they can get their spiritual beliefs acknowledged within the scope of 2(a) proper.
{But that’s true for anyone’s ‘spiritual beliefs’. The Charter protects “religion”, not “spirituality”…}

Coast Salish Eagle Clan Mask, Janice Morin
Coast Salish Eagle Clan Mask, Janice Morin

“The issues with the Ktunaxa’s claim as it relates specifically to Aboriginal spirituality are two-fold. First, the innate foreignness of Aboriginal spirituality, with its emphasis on a communal spiritual relationship with the natural world, is vastly different from the mainstream religions that often are the subject of 2(a) claims before the courts. Second, the nature of Aboriginal spirituality lends itself to some concerns about ‘floodgate’ issues that are surely back-of-mind when making rulings like this. I will briefly touch on each of these issues in turn.

“Most of the religious freedom claims that come before the courts deal with the more mainstream religions of Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, which are all united by belief in a monotheistic and personal god. Aboriginal spirituality is quite different from this. {It’s from an earlier stage of human belief systems and most Canadian aboriginals no longer believe or practice it…}

“Before I continue, however, I want to note the importance of acknowledging that aboriginal groups in Canada are diverse and many—I do not want to be reductive in painting Aboriginal spirituality with broad brushstrokes {Another reason this won’t work…}. I generalize only to make a point.

“Marc Fonda’s article “Are they like us yet?” provides a very interesting perspective on how land relates to Aboriginal spirituality. He writes:

“For Aboriginal persons, land is not merely material, and nature is not merely natural. Both have spiritual dimensions and make up a sacred substance, which is the source, sustenance, and end of all cosmic life on which everything depends” (Fonda, 5).


“Aboriginal spirituality is often communal and deeply interconnected with the natural world, and land in particular. This conflicts with the European “edifice complex,” which has difficulty fathoming the “notion of sacred space outside of a church” (Fonda, 6) . 

{Racist nonsense. Whether talking about the Romantic poets, landscape artists, composers like Spinoza, or writers like Thoreau… There are thousands of examples, going back in Western history…}

“One would hope that courts would be particularly aware of the delicacy required in approaching matters of Aboriginal spirituality. But it seems that, at least in Canada, the courts have not wanted to touch the matter with a ten-foot pole. The only post-Charter case involving Aboriginal freedom of religion, ‘R v Sioui, [1990] 1 SCR 1025’,
expertly avoided the question of section 2(a) protection altogether. While the court found that a ritual carried out in a provincial park by a Huron band was protected, they stated that it was protected by a treaty, not by section 2(a). The court sidestepping an active acknowledgment of aboriginal spirituality under the protection of 2(a) may have to do with the fact that aboriginal spirituality is fundamentally different from the other types of religion typically dealt with in section 2(a) claims {And therefore, not applicable}.

'Bear of Peace', Christy Grandjean
‘Bear of Peace’, Christy Grandjean

“This uniqueness of aboriginal spirituality leads to the second problem—the ‘floodgates’ issue—as it provides an explanation for the court’s reluctance to include these sorts of claims under section 2(a). Limiting the use of land because of the religious beliefs of one small group has the possibility to be very detrimental to development, and very hard to control.

“Ben Berger hits the nail on the head:

“What is difficult about freedom of religion is the sheer scope of possible conflict between religion and government objectives combined with the enormous challenge of adjudicating the internal meaning and significance of a given religious practice or belief not shared by the secular state” (Berger, 28).

“A religious practice or belief that effectively excludes vast swathes of land from development because that development would infringe those beliefs brings a whole new meaning to the “sheer scope of possible conflict” {!!!}.

“It could be that the BCCA’s decision in Ktunaxa has nothing to do with the distinctiveness of Aboriginal spirituality, or a fear of floodgates. I find it difficult to conceive, however, that the court would have arrived at this conclusion had the circumstances been tweaked to exclude the “Aboriginal” element… In fact, had it been another example where a commercial activity is set up in such a way that it destroys the sanctity of a religious place, I imagine the court would do some legal acrobatics and—at the very least—allow the claim in under the umbrella of 2(a).

“In the end, regardless of the actual reasons for the BCCA’s decision, the result is the same. By excluding these sorts of claims from 2(a) protection, the BCCA has in effect excluded many types of aboriginal spirituality—which generally include a spiritual component that relates to a relationship with the land—from Charter protection {But many Canadians hold “spiritual beliefs” that aren’t Charter-protected. “Spiritual beliefs” are not identical to “religion”…} Supreme Court of Canada
“If this case goes up to the SCC, I suggest they revisit the approach crafted by Justice Lebel in a case that also grappled with issues of land and religion. In ‘Congrégation v Lafontaine, [2004] 2 SCR 650 [Lafontaine]’…


“Justice Lebel held that the zoning bylaw does not infringe section 2(a) by making it impossible for the congregation to build a place of worship in the municipality, primarily because there were other places available for the congregation to build their Kingdom Hall. Justice Lebel then explored an interesting hypothetical ‘in obiter’—and one that I find analogous to Ktunaxa—of whether the zoning bylaw would infringe 2(a) if there were not any alternative building locations. Lebel J says that there would be an infringement in that case. He states that the Kingdom Hall is

“necessary to the manifestation of their religious faith” (Lafontaine, para 74)

and should the congregation be prevented from establishing such a place, their freedom of religion would be infringed.

“This, in my opinion, is the correct justification to support expanding the scope of section 2(a) to include the Ktunaxa claim and other aboriginal claims like it. This area of land is “necessary to the manifestation of their religious faith.” As was made clear by the Ktunaxa, there are no alternatives—if the ski resort is built, their relationship with the Grizzly Bear Spirit is destroyed {But this is nonsense. There has been extensive logging in the area and another ski resort is only 5 miles away!}. This case, like the Lafontaine hypothetical, is clearly one where religious freedom would lose any real meaning unless the state took positive action to protect it {This would give aboriginals theoretical control of any land they chose. This is the kind of economically-disconnected lawyer-logic that is so prevalent these days…and so irresponsible…}.

“If this case does end up at the SCC, I would hope that the SCC would not focus all of its attention on the administrative law issues or issues of title that arise. I would hope the SCC could acknowledge what Justice Lebel did—that, 

“in certain exceptional circumstances, positive government action may be required to make a fundamental freedom meaningful” (Lafontaine, para 77).

“For aboriginal parties specifically, who {some of whom} have a painful history of religious indoctrination and suppression of their own spiritual beliefs in Canada’s residential schools, there may be a need for greater sensitivity in making 2(a) meaningful for them {Again, an argument for special racial considerations in a court of law. Disgusting…}. Any issues or concerns with the expansive scope of such a claim and the possibility of floodgates can be dealt with flexibly and contextually under section 1, putting the burden of justifying these restrictions on the state. More importantly, including these claims under the broad scope of this right would be a positive step in recognizing Aboriginal spirituality and religious freedom once and for all under the Charter.”

–‘Ktunaxa ‘Nation’ v BC’: ‘Bringing Aboriginal Spirituality into Section 2(a) of the Charter’,
Lillianne Cadieux-Shaw, CanLiiConnects, Jan. 10, 2016

http://canliiconnects.org/en/commentaries/39810 ferocious-lion
‘In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions’

“My mind was absorbed by the biochemistry of gene editing when the text messages and Facebook posts distracted me.

‘So sorry about Cecil.
‘Did Cecil live near your place in Zimbabwe?’

“Cecil who? I wondered. When I turned on the news and discovered that the messages were about a lion killed by an American dentist, the village boy inside me instinctively cheered: One lion fewer to menace families like mine.

“My excitement was doused when I realized that the lion killer was being painted as the villain. I faced the starkest cultural contradiction I’d experienced during my five years studying in the United States.

“Did all those Americans signing petitions understand that lions actually kill people? That all the talk about Cecil being “beloved” or a “local favorite” was media hype? Did Jimmy Kimmel choke up because Cecil was murdered or because he confused him with ‘Simba’ from “The Lion King”?

“In my village in Zimbabwe, surrounded by wildlife conservation areas, no lion has ever been beloved, or granted an affectionate nickname. They are objects of terror.

“When I was 9 years old, a solitary lion prowled villages near my home. After it killd a few chickens, some goats and finally a cow, we were warned to walk to school in groups and stop playing outside. My sisters no longer went alone to the river to collect water or wash dishes; my mother waited for my father and older brothers, armed with machetes, axes and spears, to escort her into the bush to collect firewood.

“A week later, my mother gathered me with nine of my siblings to explain that her uncle had been attacked, but escaped with nothing more than an injured leg. The lion sucked the life out of the village: No one socialized by fires at night; no one dared stroll over to a neighbor’s homestead.

“When the lion was finally killed, no one cared whether its murderer was a local person or a ‘white’ trophy hunter, whether it was poached or killed legally. We danced and sang about the vanquishing of the fearsome beast and our escape from serious harm.

“Recently, a 14-year-old boy in a village not far from mine wasn’t so lucky. Sleeping in his family’s fields — as villagers do to protect crops from the hippos, buffalo and elephants that trample them — he was mauled by a lion and died.

“The killing of Cecil hasn’t garnered much more sympathy from urban Zimbabweans, although they live with no such danger. Few have ever seen a lion, since game drives are a luxury that residents of a country with an average monthly income below $150 cannot afford.

“Don’t misunderstand me: For Zimbabweans, wild animals have near-mystical significance. We belong to clans, and each clan claims an animal totem as its mythological ancestor. Mine is ‘Nzou’, elephant, and by tradition, I can’t eat elephant meat; it would be akin to eating a relative’s flesh. But our respect for these animals has never kept us from hunting them or allowing them to be hunted. (I’m familiar with dangerous animals; I lost my right leg to a snakebite when I was 11.)

“The American tendency to romanticize animals that have been given actual names, and to jump onto a hashtag train, has turned an ordinary situation — there were 800 lions legally killed over a decade by well-heeled foreigners who shelled out serious money to prove their prowess — into what seems to my Zimbabwean eyes, an absurdist circus.

“PETA is calling for the hunter to be hanged. Zimbabwean politicians are accusing the United States of staging Cecil’s killing as a “ploy” to make our country look bad. And Americans who can’t find Zimbabwe on a map are applauding the nation’s demand for the extradition of the dentist, unaware that a baby elephant was reportedly slaughtered for our president’s most recent birthday banquet.

“We Zimbabweans are left shaking our heads, wondering why Americans care more about African animals than about African people.

“Don’t tell us what to do with our animals when you allowed your own mountain lions to be hunted to near extinction in the eastern United States. Don’t bemoan the clear-cutting of our forests when you turned yours into concrete jungles.

“And please, don’t offer me condolences about Cecil unless you’re also willing to offer me condolences for villagers killed or left hungry by his brethren, by political violence, or by hunger.”

–‘In Zimbabwe, We Don’t Cry for Lions’,
GOODWELL NZOU, New York Times, Aug. 4, 2015
(Goodwell Nzou is a doctoral student in molecular and cellular biosciences at Wake Forest University.)

http://www.nytimes.com/2015/08/05/opinion/in-zimbabwe-we-dont-cry-for-lions.html DRUM Phoenix2
“It is the unscientific ideas that are being promoted, which is the problem — Things like creationism, and animistic beliefs about animals talking to people, and so on. If aboriginal people want to believe these things, they have the right to do so. But it is very destructive for ‘non-aboriginal’ people to encourage that these ideas be brought in and taught as knowledge…”

–Frances Widdowson

http://www.fcpp.org/publication.php/2619 Ktunaxa 'Nation' Members at Cranbrook (600)
“The Ktunaxa, also known as the Kutenai people, are related to Kootenai tribes in Idaho and Montana. Their language, Kutenai, is a linguistic isolate, not known to be related to any other language…”

http://knowbc.com/limited/Books/Encyclopedia-of-BC/K/Ktunaxa-Kinbasket St-Eugene-Mission
Background to Main IMAGE:

{A few} Ktunaxa ‘Nation’ people, like {some} other Canadian ‘First Nations’ peoples, suffered under the residential school program, with one in their front yard – the ‘St. Eugene Mission Residential School’.

“For years the old Mission building was a ‘terrible symbol’ that ‘haunted’ the people of St. Mary’s Band and all ‘First Nations’ people {?}. However, with drive and courage the Ktunaxa ‘Nation’ turned a past ‘nightmare’ into an economic success in the form of the ‘St. Eugene Mission Golf Resort and Casino’, one of the premier tourism attractions in the East Kootenay.”
{And that didn’t scare away the Grizzly Bear Spirit?}

http://www.e-know.ca/news/ktunaxa-nation-hopeful-new-path-can-begin/ ERBLPoliticallyIncorrectHistory600x600
See also:

‘Politically Incorrect History’ (Conrad Black) {December 9, 2014}:

‘No Genocide’ (Conrad Black) {June 13, 2015}: https://www.facebook.com/ENDRACEBASEDLAW/photos/a.336196793149227.59519.332982123470694/639328052836098/?type=3
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