RCAP: Aboriginals differ from other Canadians because they were here first. As “first Nations,” they have unique rights, including the inherent right to self-government.
Flanagan attempts to dismantle the discourse of “We were here first” and demonstrates that this paradigm is not a logical justification for special status. Aboriginals were migratory and were not from North America either. So why should the 4th wave of migration; namely the European settlers be rejected from similar special status? Flanagan asserts that spftyecial status for aboriginals dictates a Canadian society similar to the dysfunctional Ottoman Empire. Also giving a distinct group, who has a variety of tribal underpinnings, the right to self-determination is a form of racism. ‘We were here first’ is a form of racist doctrine that should not be given legal grounds. It is illogical to give any group special status in Canada, especially since Flanagan became a Canadian citizen before most Aboriginals living today (1968). Why should genetic heritage be rewarded was special treatment? He feels that the aboriginal rights which are based on race-origin at birth are unjustifiable. The word ‘treaty’ cannot be found in this chapter.
The Flanagan Factor: “Aboriginal people were in almost constant motion as they contested with each other for control of land. In much of Canada, their present place of habitation postdates the arrival of European settlers. Europeans are, in effect a new immigrant wave, taking control of land just as earlier aboriginals settlers did. To differentiate the rights of earlier and later immigrants is a form of RACISM.”