After the American War of Independence was lost, the English once again dropped all pretension of honourable treatment for the Mi’qmaq. From this time onward, although scalping proclamations and other overt methods of genocide were no longer practised, they used every other means to rid society of them.

To assist them in this goal, the British colonial government implemented a land policy which completely ignored any individual rights the Mi’qmaq had to their land. It is notable that the British also did this to the Aborigines of Australia. Based on this policy, on September 4, 1783, the English delivered the ultimate blow to Mi’qmaq dignity – they made temporary grants of occupation to them of some of their own land. The lands granted were of poor quality and useless to the First Nation in its effort to survive. One can think or say whatever one likes about this kind of conduct, defend it with all kinds of nonsensical arguments if one wants, but, to me, only barbarians would submit their former enemies to such crass humiliation. For an invader to come into an independent nation’s territory and appropriate all its possessions unto itself without compensation, while claiming to be a civilized nation motivated by compassion, is unbelievable. Then to stoop to making minuscule temporary grants, using licenses of occupation, of the most useless parcels back to the victims, while still claiming generosity, is an act without moral defense.

- Daniel N. Paul, We Were Not The Savages: A Mi’qmaq Perspective on the Collision between European and Native American Civilizations, Halifax: Fernwood Publishing, 2000. pp. 172-173.

Born on the Indian Brook Reserve in Nova Scotia, Daniel N. Paul is an ardent advocate of human rights. He worked for the Department of Indian Affairs as a District Superintendent of Lands, Revenues, Trusts, and Statutory Requirements, was the founding executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Micmacs and has served on many provincial commissions. He has received several awards for his contributions to the cause of human dignity.
Daniel N. Paul
c. 1784
CANADA Atlantic Provinces, Atlantic Provinces, CANADA
© 2000, Daniel N. Paul, Fernwood Publishing. All Rights Reserved.

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