Tag Archives: Tom Flanagan

A Synopsis of First Nations? Second Thoughts Part 2


Chapter 2: We Were Here First

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.”

DISCLAIMER: Professor Nerdster Does NOT Agree With Tom Flanagan’s views in the slightest. It is better to get those views out in the open and understand them, rather than not address the criticism of this influential academic. 

A Synopsis of: First Nations? Second Thoughts Part 1


Chapter 1: The Aboriginal Orthodox

Flanagan begins by outlining the purpose of the work, addresses the concern that his views may cause and establishes the central assertions he will propose against ‘Aboriginal Orthodoxy’. This aboriginal orthodoxy was entrenched in the seminal Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP) in 1996. Flanagan associates the misguided paradigm expounded upon in the RCAP with the then Liberal government and describes the commission as ‘dubious’. The orthodoxy calls for a ‘third order of government’ and a series of additional assertions that are ideologically and rationally opposed to both Flanagan’s academic underpinnings and political leanings. Flanagan wants to open a debate on the aboriginal orthodoxy because of the pressing urgency of the DIAND portfolio and the overwhelmingly positive reception garnered at the release of the RCAP. In each of the following chapters of the text, Flanagan will dispute the ‘dubious’ findings of the RCAP.

DISCLAIMER: Professor Nerdster Does NOT Agree With Tom Flanagan’s views in the slightest. It is better to get those views out in the open and understand them, rather than not address the criticism of this influential academic.