Some issues of international law and genocide

Stuart Lawrence stuartwl at
Thu Feb 20 16:52:26 MST 2003

Jim Craven wrote:

>>The above illustrates painfully what Indigenous Peoples have to deal with
from elements on the left. Treaty 7 did not, even in its own content,
"extinguish the Blackfoot Nation [to be replaced with] a pledge to become
loyal subjects of the Queen. That came much later.

"And the undersigned Blackfeet, Blood, Peigan and Sarcee Head Chiefs and
Minor Chiefs, and Stoney Chiefs and Councillors, on their own behalf and on
behalf of all other Indians inhabiting the Tract within ceded, do hereby
solemnly promise and engage to strictly observe this Treaty, and also to
conduct and behave themselves as good and loyal subjects of Her Majesty the

Jim, you'll just have to help me out here. What am I missing/misreading in
the language above? Is this not a reliable text for Treaty 7? I'm not
interested in debating you, only in understanding how you resolve some of
the problematic aspects of reliance on treaties like this one in making the
case for sovereignty. As far as I'm concerned, you'd be on valid ground in
rejecting treaties that conceded inalienable rights to nationhood in favor
of a genocidal power. In other words, current international law would render
a treaty like this one and the project it was part of invalid. But that is
not what your statement seemed to argue.


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