Aboriginal job losses are worth a protest – by Chris Nelson (Calgary Herald – December 3, 2016)


But it’s not just the environmental lobby that fails to understand this
— our current provincial government has no clue either. In fact, they’re
actively going to make a bad situation even worse. What industry is the
largest employer of native people in Canada? Mining. And what industry
is the NDP hell bent on destroying in our province? Coal mining.

As though we don’t have enough homegrown protests over our own pipelines, it appears Alberta is now a prime venue on the Standing Rock world tour of indigenous indignation.

In the past week, so-called flash mobs have popped up in Calgary’s Chinook Centre and Edmonton’s West Edmonton Mall, merrily protesting the goings-on in North Dakota, where native groups and supporters are trying to halt construction of yet another pipeline, this one south of the 49th parallel.

It really hasn’t anything to do with Alberta, of course, but in the global protest-a-pipeline business, we’ve become ground zero as the home base for sacred soil despoilers.

Mind you, the latest news out of the Standing Rock protest camp did bring a smile. The native groups are complaining that the white supporters are treating it all as a bit of a game; comparing it to various pop festivals they’ve attended in the past. Yep, they’re probably spot on with that criticism — after all, this is the generation who believe that a dead old billionaire, Fidel Castro, was indeed a glorious man of the people.

Still, there’s a sad aspect to all this fervent environmental activism and resulting economic disruption. It’s one that negatively impacts First Nations people directly, though it’s far from the usual pigeonhole assumptions politicians and fellow travellers love to employ whenever native issues are raised.

For the rest of this article, click here: http://calgaryherald.com/opinion/columnists/nelson-aboriginal-job-losses-are-worth-a-protest