@Karen_Banff Did you ask the Elders why they brutally murdered and stole the land from the indiginous inhabitants?

As one of the many official events on "Red Indians are too Primitive to be Educated Day", there was a nice ceremony in the beautiful mountain town of Banff.

Liberal Senator Karen Sorensen, one of Justin's mental midgets, was there in the full bore of officialdom to celebrate murderous land thieves. Wait, what?

Ever take the cruise on Lake Minnewanka? It's pretty nice (if a bit pricey), and once you get through the stupid land acknowledgements there's a brief discussion of a piece of protected beach due to its archeological and historical significance. You see, they found evidence of the Clovis People there, and it's very exciting.

Uh, wait, let's go back to that land acknowledgement. I'm sure Sorensen said or heard similar wording, but let's go over it again (emphasis mine):

In the spirit of respect, reciprocity, and truth, we honour and acknowledge that the townsite of Banff is located on traditional Treaty 7 territory. These sacred lands are a gathering place for the Niitsitapi from the Blackfoot Confederacy, of whom the Siksika, Kainai, and Piikani First Nations are part; the Îyârhe Nakoda of the Chiniki, Bearspaw, and Wesley First Nations; the Tsuut’ina First Nation; the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region III within the historical Northwest Métis Homeland, and many others whose histories, languages, and cultures continue to enrich our vibrant community.

The Bow Valley has also long been important to the Ktunaxa and Secwépemc First Nations who traditionally occupied lands and used the watersheds of the Columbia and Kootenay Rivers and the eastern slopes of the Rockies. The area was also used by the Mountain Cree clan of Chief Peechee, and the Dene of the far north and far south.

Uh, do you notice maybe somebody is missing from that list? Why didn't the Clovis get a mention? After all, the evidence is that the Clovis used the Bow Valley 13,000 years ago. Were they sharing it with the (first mentioned) Blackfoot? Nope! The Blackfoot originally lived in the vicinity of the Sherbrooke/Bangor/Burlington triangle, and if those don't really sound like names of towns around Banff it's because I'm talking about Maine/Vermont/Queerbec! It wasn't until roughly 1200 AD, a scant 300 years before Cabot and Cartier landed on the east coast, before the Blackfoot moved into their current digs.

So, uh, did the Blackfoot steal the land from the Clovis and murder them? Shouldn't they be starting every meeting with land acknowledgements too?

At the very least maybe we shouldn't mention the Blackfoot (or at least stop naming them first)? If you've never heard of the Îyârhe or even any idea how to pronounce it, they are the Stoney tribe, as in Stoney Trail, cook with stones because they didn't bother to have a bronze age, those people. The Lakota is an important addition, that's who they are: the Lakota offshoot of the Sioux. Wait, hold on, you might be dimly remembering something about how the Sioux originally lived around Minnesota/Wisconsin along the south shores of Lake Superior. When did they move to Banff again? Sometime around 1650. Sorry, not 1650 years ago but 1650 In the Year of Our Lord. They got here using the horses that were brought over from Europe (after the Sioux, the Blackfoot, the Clovis, everybody teamed up to exterminate millennia ago), which means if it wasn't for the white man's arrival they wouldn't have even been in Bow Valley. So why are we acknowledging this as their "traditional" lands when we brought them there? It would be like Martha's Vineyard talking about being on the traditional lands of Venezuelan people (which it actually might be, we're getting to that).

Well I guess the Tsuut’ina (another impossible to pronounce name) get the first land acknowledgement now. Or we can go back to calling them the Sarcee that would be handy. Anyways they at least lived in Alberta, right? Well they split from the Dene (again, we'll swing back to that) and lived near the Athabasca and Saskatchewan rivers. Okay, that's a few hundred miles north of Banff but I guess we'll settle that for now. The Sarcee are the ones who originally moved to Alberta and slaughtered the Clovis. Why are we acknowledging their lands again? We're back to celebrating the thieves and murderers!

The Ktunaxa (Kootney) and Secwépemc (Shuswap)? They're both wanderers from BC who claim their territory is...well, pretty much anywhere they glanced in the general direction of. According to the Kootney they've been around for "more than 10,000 years" which means they are quite possibly the murderers we've been looking for. Though I'm not sure they even saw Banff 10,000 years ago: unlike Indian bands in the United States, Canadian records are much more difficult to sift out. The Indian bands of course don't want to admit they just moved here and displaced somebody else, and Canadian scholarship literally has a policy of pretending they formed here from the salt of the land through the magical powers of the Great Crow, so not a lot of useful information is coming from third parties either. [for a movement founded on a 'truth and reconciliation commission they do everything they can to hide the truth, don't they? -ed] American scholars believe that their version of the Kootney arrived sometime between 11,000 BC and...1725

Fortunately for us the Cree are active on both sides of the 49th parallel so we can obtain some good information. The Cree came to Western Canada around 700 AD, so they arrived comfortably before the Europeans. No scholarly research is available when the "Mountain Cree" split off from anybody else. The Dene, who we recall include the Sarcee (in the sense that you can say that the Anglo-Saxons include the Welsh, I suppose), are less so and we're again stuck with the "nobody wants to look into history before David Thompson showed up" problem.

However we can make some educated guesses. The Dene live in the northern parts of Alberta/Saskatchewan/BC, south of the Eskimos and north of the various Plains Indians. Based on the general migration pattern from the Bering Strait, that would place their arrival (sans any more Blackfoot-style east-west moves) near the very end of the Asia-America prehistorical migration. What general migration pattern is that, you ask? Well, funny you should ask:

Admittedly this is a gross oversimplification (and ignore the blue line for now), but the migration patterns of the wandering Mongolians whose ancestors were in modern-day Canada before 1492 will generally follow this rough pattern. Note how little (partially due to whiny Injun activists) detail is available compared to Southeast Asia, Eurasia, and even the original migration out of Africa despite more time and more civilizations to accidentally destroy the evidence while constructing public works. Still, those other links are useful to remember a key animating principle of human migration: we tend not to pass by other cultures on the way to empty land behind them. Indeed the Stoney Indians are a prime example of this: when European settlers began to tame and civilize the lands that they used to roam, they moved to new land where they could again roam freely (and woe to whoever was there to begin with).

This is a long way to say that the Dene didn't move into northern Alberta: they were forced into northern Alberta after the Inuit pushed them out of the Yukon and northern BC. Why did the Inuit do this? Because the Eskimos pushed the Inuit out of Alaska. As a result of this, the Dene moved to northern Alberta and pushed whoever they found there into southern Alberta and Montana (where they were eventually forced out centuries later by the Blackfoot, as mentioned above). This is basically the "bubble in the wallpaper" migration method which settled all of North America, and brings us back to the poor Clovis. Where did they end up?

South, of course. Clovis artifacts are (perhaps for geographical reasons) common in the southern U.S. (Clovis is a town in New Mexico), but have not been found in South America. So they ended up around the Rio Grande where they eventually died out or were assimilated. So while the Blackfoot (and possibly the Kootneys) may have murdered the Clovis people they found they didn't completely genocide the race, so at least Liberal Senator Sorensen hasn't signed on with redskinned Nazis.

Things really get interesting when you look at what has been found in South America: there is strong evidence the Clovis weren't the first people in North America seeing as how it's awfully hard to get from Alaska to South America without crossing or at least closely passing North America first. Mount Verde in Chile appears to have been founded before the Clovis arrived, as was Pedra Furado in Brazil and even some sites in the USA. This means that...drum roll please...


...the Clovis also weren't the original human inhabitants of any of the land they came across and displaced the population living there as well (unless the controversial water migration theory, as highlighted in the blue arrows I told you to disregard for now, gets more reason to be believed).

If any of the pre-Clovis people traveled by land, wherever they tried to settle they were displaced: either by the Clovis or by whoever displaced the Clovis or whoever displaced the displacers yadda yadda yadda. This means, as many of you have grasped, that there isn't a single Indian tribe in all of Canada who has any right to claim they were the "first nation" or "original inhabitants" or "indigenous" or whatever term they come up with this week. The same people Sorensen was sharing the stage with bear the responsibility for the privileges they have as a result of the crimes of their ancestors using the exact same logic that causes the Pope to apologize for teachers teaching students in 1926. It also means that maps so commonly taught to children about which North American tribes lived where are not particularly useful, anymore than a map of 1937 is useful to help explain why what Putin is doing with his military right now is clearly just a civil war and/or a domestic policing operation.

Lets not forget that whenever we say "displaced" what we mean was "either forced off the land that they inhabited or brutally slaughtered for being ethnoculturally different." You know, the same thing that the white Europeans are being raked over the coals over despite the fact that like it or not this is how humans spread across the planet basically until the First World War.

So the next time some loser leftist tries making a land acknowledgement, ask them why they are rewarding land thieves with false claims of legitimacy. (Alternately, say that you are on the traditional territory of the King of England). Nobody in Canada is from a genetic line whose ancestors didn't at some point "take over" the land from the previous "inhabitants": the English were just the last ones to do it (excepting all the immigrants coming into Canada and taking it from the white descendants of the Fathers of Confederation), with the Stoney merely the second last ones, the Blackfoot the third last, and the Cree the fourth last (with the Kootney possibly squeezing in here at any point).

‡ Let's also not forget that whenever we say "inhabitants" we are using it in a very very very very very stretched thin (literally) fashion. As I noted before, for huge tracts of Canada it's on balance probable that a white man was the first human being to ever walk on any particular square foot. The area around Leduc was "inhabited" by whites in 1975 in a very very different sense than it was "inhabited" by the Lakota in 11,475 BC.

Maybe we should replace all land acknowledgements with the Clovis people, or perhaps even the Tupi. It's entirely possible that when Governor DeSantis had some fake refugee Venezuelans shipped to Martha's Vineyard, he was trying to engage in some serious "give the land back to the indigenous people who first settled there" reform!