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Decolonizing the mind : centring settler-colonial disposession and mutually contested sovereignties in… Molander, Mariko Gwendolyn 2014

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 Decolonizing the mind in forestry: centring settler-colonial dispossession and mutually contested sovereignties in British Columbia’s  forestry landscape and narrative   by  Mariko Gwendolyn Molander B.A. (Hons), Simon Fraser University, 2006 B.S.F. (Natural Resources Management), University of British Columbia, 2010   A THESIS SUBMITTED IN PARTIAL FULFILLMENT OF THE REQUIREMENTS FOR THE DEGREE OF  MASTER OF SCIENCE  in  The Faculty of Graduate and Postdoctoral Studies  (Forestry)  THE UNIVERSITY OF BRITISH COLUMBIA (Vancouver)  December 2014  Mariko Gwendolyn Molander ©   ii Abstract   In British Columbia (BC), the dominant narrative in forestry, particularly over the past four decades, has been largely framed by discourses relating to notions of progress and evolution with respect to improved forestlands management and, importantly, to Crown-Aboriginal relations. However, this narrative is worth re-framing, not only since the field of forestry has lagged behind other academic disciplines in explicitly opening up decolonizing and anti-colonial spaces, but because it has also been historically complicit in both entrenching and reproducing settler-colonial structures of domination on unceded Indigenous lands. This thesis therefore seeks to make a critical intervention in current literatures in BC’s forestry landscape by drawing attention to primary assumptions underlying the notion of “progress” in Crown-Aboriginal relations within the forestry context. To unmask these assumptions, a genealogical approach was taken up to construct a critical and effective history of the present, first situating the historical and ongoing dispossession of Indigenous peoples, lands, and lifeways at the centre of the forestry narrative rather than at its historical peripheries, and demonstrating how dispossession and the sustained, ongoing access to Indigenous lands by the Crown has been crucial for the forest sector’s overall success. Second, an in-depth exploration of deep-seated, historically contingent assumptions underlying the legitimacy of both Crown and Indigenous sovereignties in BC was conducted. Key discursive and material expressions of Western sovereignty and Indigenous conceptualizations of self-government and resurgent nationhood were explored, with the view that such an inquiry may bring about a necessary awakening and decolonization of the mind, and ultimately, of forestry. It is argued that a re-framing of the conventional forestry narrative is necessary for the transformation of settler-colonial relations, and for the interception and dismantling of sustained structures of dispossession and injustices that are reproduced through   iii established organizational regimes and systems that exist today, such as BC’s forest tenure system.    iv Preface  This thesis was designed and written by Mariko Molander, under the supervision of Dr. Robert Kozak, as well as the guidance of the supervisory committee, Dr. Glen Coulthard and Dr. Shannon Hagerman. Dr. Charles Menzies provided guidance in the early stages of this research, prior to research design. A portion of the research, also written by Mariko Molander, was published in the Faculty of Forestry’s newsletter, Branchlines.  Full citation:  Molander, M. (2014). Community-based tenures: a step in the right direction for First Nations? Branchlines, 25(2),18-19.       v Table of Contents   Abstract .....................................................................................................................................ii Preface ...................................................................................................................................... iv Table of Contents ..................................................................................................................... v List of Abbreviations .............................................................................................................vii Acknowledgments ............................................................................................................... viiii  Section 1: Introduction and problem context ........................................................................ 1           1.1 Research approach and strategy: Foucauldian genealogy and the history of the present .......... 12       1.2 On writing about Indigenous discourses and conceptions of sovereignty ................................. 16  Section 2: Forest tenure within the context of settler-colonialism in BC .......................... 20      2.1 Settlement, dispossession, and the emergence of forest tenure in BC ....................................... 22       2.2 The “green-gold” era of forest capital and the ongoing entrenchment of forest tenure on               unceded territories ..................................................................................................................... 34       2.3 Settling the “war in the woods” and moving towards a new regime of settlement,                 sustainability, and reconciliation in BC’s timber and forestlands management ....................... 40  Section 3: “Parallel” and mutually contested sovereignties in BC .................................... 63      3.1 Conceptualizing and problematizing the Western discourse of sovereignty ............................. 68 3.1.1 Pre-modern conceptions of Western sovereignty ................................................................ 73 3.1.2 Sovereignty as absolute ................................................................................................................... 75 3.1.3 The indivisibility of sovereignty ................................................................................................... 83       3.2 Conceptualizing the discourse and expression of Indigenous sovereignty ................................ 90 3.2.1 Rights-based, legalist approaches to sovereignty through self-government ......... 94  3.2.1.1 The road to self-government…………………………….………………...…97  3.2.1.2 Self-government today…………………………………………..……..…...104 3.2.2 Problematizing rights-based self-governance models and the use of sovereignty            discourse ............................................................................................................................................... 107   3.2.2.1 "Quasi-sovereignty" models as self-defeating and assimilative………..…..110   3.2.2.2 Peripheralization of Indigenous traditions and the legitimation of self-                governance through Western texts and tools……………………………….115 3.2.3 Resurgent Indigenous nationhood and self-determination ......................................... 122 3.2.3.1 Indigenous sovereignty and anti-colonial nationhood against              the nation-state……………………………………………………………...125 3.2.3.2 Resurgent Indigenous nationhood as decolonial praxis: place-based,              gender-emancipatory, and located in the family……..……………………..130  Section 4: Summary and concluding remarks - decolonizing the mind (and forestry) . 137  References ............................................................................................................................. 143    vi List of Abbreviations  AAC Annual Allowable Cut AANDC Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada AFN Assembly of First Nations BC British Columbia BCAFN British Columbia Assembly of First Nations BCCFA British Columbia Community Forest Association BCTC British Columbia Treaty Commission BCTP British Columbia Treaty Process CBNRM Community-Based Natural Resource Management CFA Community Forest Agreement FCRSA Forest Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreements FML Forest Management License FNFC First Nations Forestry Council FNWL First Nations Woodland License FRA Forest and Range Agreements FRO Forest and Range Opportunities HBC Hudson’s Bay Company IAA Indian Association of Alberta IMA Interim Measures Agreements LGBTQ2 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, and Two Spirited Peoples MARR Ministry of Aboriginal Relations & Reconciliation   vii MFLNRO Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations MFML Ministry of Forests, Mines and Lands MIAND Ministry of Indian Affairs and Northern Development  MoF Ministry of Forests MoFR Ministry of Forests and Range NAFA National Aboriginal Forestry Association NDP New Democratic Party NLG Nisga’a Lisims Government NRFL Non-Replaceable Forest License OTT Old Temporary Tenures RCAP Royal Commission Report on Aboriginal Peoples TFL Tree Farm License THLB Timber Harvest Land Base TOA Timber Opportunity Agreements TSL Timber Sale License UBCIC Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs     viii Acknowledgments  It takes a village to get through the academy, and I’ve had the privilege and honour of being supported by the greatest little village, that much is certain. I have had the great fortune of working with Rob Kozak, who has not only been an exceptional supervisor, but who has also placed an enduring trust in me, giving me the freedom to explore an interest about which I am passionate. I am also deeply thankful and grateful to Glen Coulthard, not only for letting me take the most challenging and important course I have ever taken, but for inspiring me to take up a path that has transformed me for the better; thank you for being on my committee and for supporting me through the setbacks. To Shannon Hagerman: you have been an inspiration to me since day one, and I thank you not only for being on the committee, but for the many conversations and support you have given to me in my various endeavours at UBC. My thanks also go to other Faculty of Forestry members - in particular, Andrea Lyall, Chris Gaston, Gary Bull, and Joleen Timko – and Charles Menzies for their wisdom and encouragement. This research was also made possible through funding provided by the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC), as well as the University of British Columbia’s University Graduate Fellowship, the Donald S. McPhee Fellowship.  I am profoundly grateful to have been surrounded by the powerful, critically-minded (and active) women of the FACT/Q-lab, whose warmth, unwavering support, and intellectual challenges have kept me grounded, and certain that I made the right choice in coming to the program. It has been the greatest pleasure to know and think with you all: Molly Moshofsky (my everything-twin), Erin McGuigan, Ana Elia Ramon, Reem Hajjar, Fernanda Tomaselli, Andrea Vasquez, Antonia Barreau, Gloria Borona, and D’Arcy Davis-Case. I am also deeply indebted to my friends, all of whom have enriched and challenged my understanding of the world, and who   ix have helped me through this and other stages of life. In particular, I wish to express my gratitude to Heather Evans, Jessica Shum, Lauren Johnson, Tee Lim, Trevor Shikaze, and, always, Nicholas Krgovich. Respectively, but also collectively, you have taught me so much about love, compassion, care, friendship, writing (sasquatch), and reciprocity (rosy lights). I am also so grateful for my little violin and piano students (and their families) throughout the years: thank you for keeping my heart warm with music and for lifting my spirits with your joy for learning, your cookies, your drawings, and your hilarious jokes. Being your teacher has been the most fulfilling way for me to spend my non-school time.  Finally, my village is of course centred in the home, and on scattered lands. Thank you to my brothers for being, fully, brothers - domo, ne! Thank you to the McBrides for all your love, support, and generosity. To my nine nieces and nephews, whom I love equally and deeply: your aunty’s purpose is ultimately always situated in the flourishing of your magnificent lives. To Maya in particular: our conversations about decolonization, the lake, and our family’s responsibilities have been so encouraging and hopeful. And to my parents: I first learned everything through you, and I carry your wisdom and strength with me, always. I love you both.  I reserve my greatest and most humble thanks, finally, to my loving partner, Matthew McBride. Despite all my chattiness, in the end, there are not enough words, or kinds, to express the depths of my gratitude and love for you. Itsumademo cho daisukidayo!     1 Section 1: Introduction and problem context  In British Columbia (BC), the historical legacy and ongoing reality of settler-colonialism has created a contentious and contested system of forest tenure in the province: a system entrenched in a heavily industrialized, extractive capitalist model of forest management that is governed and administered by a centralized bureaucracy on largely unceded First Nations’ traditional territories and lands (Ambus, Davis-Case, & Tyler, 2007; McCarthy, 2006; Willems-Braun 1997). With the exception of a small number of historical and modern treaties signed between First Nations and the federal and provincial governments,1 lands in BC have not been ceded by Indigenous peoples to the Crown, yet First Nations are estimated to currently own only approximately 0.24% of the total provincial land base (MFML, 2010). Roughly 94% of BC’s land base is held as Provincial Crown land and remaining lands are privately owned or held as Federal Crown land.2  Nearly 60 percent (approximately 55 million hectares) of the total land base is classified as Crown forest land, of which 24.5 million hectares contain operable timber constituting the Timber Harvest Land Base (THLB) (MFML, 2010). Specific rights and responsibilities to harvest forest lands and resources on the THLB are typically granted to a variety of private actors through the provincial timber tenure system, which governs and manages forests through the centralized authority of the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (MFLNRO). Today, several types of volume- and area-based tenures exist in BC, each of which                                                  1 Exceptions consist of the following: the Douglas Treaties signed on Vancouver Island between 1850 and 1854, which had originally been comprised of fourteen land transfers rather than actual treaties (Harris, 2009); Treaty 8 in the north-eastern region of BC (1899); the Nisga’a Treaty in the north-western region of BC (2000); and the Tsawwassen (2009), Maa-nulth (2009), and Yale (2011) First Nations Treaties that have been implemented and/or ratified in the past decade through the BC Treaty Process. 57 First Nations and 108 Indian Act bands are currently participating in the BC Treaty Process (AANDC, 2014). 2 Federal Crown land includes Indian Reserves, as well as Defense Lands and Federal Harbours.   2 is designed with a particular set of characteristics to help achieve specific purposes and objectives on Crown forestlands. By and large, however, and notwithstanding the fact that these tenures “vary substantially in the rights they convey and obligations they exact” (Haley & Nelson, 2007, p. 632), most existing forms of tenure retain the primary characteristics of mid-20th century forest policy, providing direct economic and social benefits to the province predominantly through a strong, twinned emphasis on the regulated conversion of standing timber into capital and the provision of exclusive timber harvesting rights to large corporate multinational licensees. Regimented control over annual timber harvests and a general orientation towards large-scale, flexible primary production of raw materials are also amongst some of the more significant and long-standing strategic policies that have been adopted by the province to help establish and sustain BC’s industrial forest economy over the years (Haley & Nelson, 2007; Hayter & Barnes, 1997). As a result, and in spite of heavy scrutiny and criticism of such policies—evinced through, for example, the tactical mobilization of many First Nations against logging and land rights infringement in the past four decades, and the growing strength of claims related to environmental and sustainable developmental discourses (Blomley, 1996; Hayter, 2003; McCarthy, 2006)—BC’s forest tenure system has historically provided very few meaningful opportunities for licensees to develop alternative economic or ecological practices and capacities on the THLB. To this day, large-scale and industrial forms of tenure retain their dominance on BC’s contested forestlands,3 resting on a strong foundation of Western scientific principles of natural resources management, enmeshed within the boundless “hegemonic terrains” (McCarthy, 2006, p. 99) of neoliberal and global capitalism. Without relinquishing the                                                  3 Approximately sixty percent of BC’s lumber production is currently controlled by a small handful of large corporations, including Canadian Forest Products, Interfor Corporation, West Fraser Timber Co. Ltd., Tolko Industries Ltd., Western Forest Products Inc., and Conifex Timber Corporation. Less than ten percent is owned and operated by medium and small independent corporations (MFLNRO, 2014).   3 Crown’s assumed underlying title and authority over BC’s lands, the provincial tenure system continues to predominantly grant timber harvesting rights to private industry on unceded Indigenous territories for the continued harvest of forests and overall benefit to the province.  However, over the past four decades, the dominant narrative in forestry has been framed largely by discourses relating to the progress, improvement, and linear evolution of BC’s forest sector and tenure system, despite the dissension and conflicting interests that have visibly emerged and which continue to persist in varying degrees amongst the many powerful stakeholders involved in shaping the province’s forested landscape. For instance, the Peel Commission (BC Forest Resources Commission, 1991) noted that although forests were “once valued only for their economic worth, the forest resources now represent a much wider range of values” (p. 6) as a result of “a dramatic shift in society’s values,” though the underlying causes of this dramatic shift remain unclear. For Pearse (1992),4 the evolution of the timber tenure system represented in large measure “the accumulated responses of governments to needs and circumstances as they changed and evolved over more than a century” (p. i); industrial and technological developments in the forest sector were also “portrayed as a positive, evolutionary process” (Hak, 1999, p. 90) by Drushka, a leading journalist and historian of BC’s forestry landscape, while problems in forestry were largely attributed to poor governmental policies that could be resolved through tenure reform and the improvement of forest sector strategies oriented towards the diversification of the forest sector (Gale, 2001). Similarly, the Province’s Forestry Revitalization Plan (MoF, 2003b) emphasized that although historical regulations and forest sector policies in BC had resulted in “a less competitive and more unstable” (p. 7) industry, new approaches taken by government would result in not only a more diverse sector, but one that would invariably ensure “the long-term sustainability of the forest, the forest sector, and the                                                  4 The sole Commissioner of the 1976 Royal Commission on Forest Resources.   4 benefits they deliver to every person in British Columbia” over time. By and large, the development of BC’s forest sector and timber tenure system has been characterized as a work in progress—not without profound conflict and disagreement, but always with “a better way” (BC Forest Resources Commission, 1991, p. 8) and vision in mind—originally “created in the 19th century solely to fuel economic expansion, [but evolving since then] to reflect new values, such as sustainable forest management” (MFLNRO, 2012b, p. 6). To be sure, forestry in BC has indeed “evolved” since its origins in the mid-1800’s, moving from a “capitalist mapping of BC’s forest economy [in] the spirit of an entrepreneurial model” (Hayter, 2003, p. 723) to a forest economy shaped by Fordist principles involving large-scale industrial exploitation and big business. From the 1970’s onwards, however, BC’s forest sector began to make a shift away—though by no means exacted a severance—from earlier models of forest management, ushering in what may arguably be perceived as a new era in forestry, principally characterized by “increased environmental concern and attractive industry” (Thorpe & Sandberg, 2007, p. 66), heightened consideration of non-industrial values and imperatives, and, importantly, increased recognition and accommodation of First Nations’ rights, title, and interests to forest resources and lands.  Though this era was and is certainly marked by contentions unearthed through disputes such as the so-called “war in the woods,” the BC government today assures British Columbians that forests—publicly owned through the Crown’s “radical or underlying title to the land” (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014, para. 71)5—are managed according to “the public                                                  5 The notion of “radical or underlying title to the land refers to the Crown’s absolute title to all the land in the province of British Columbia, and arose at the time when British sovereignty was asserted in 1846. Aboriginal title and interest in the land is considered a burden to the Crown’s radical, underlying title. In the landmark Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia (2014) case, the Crown’s title ultimately supersedes that of the Tsilhqot’in Nation, and the Crown reserves “the right to encroach on Aboriginal title if the government can justify this in the broader public interest” (para. 71).   5 interest, balancing many environmental, economic, and social issues” (MFML, 2010, p. 21). Generally speaking, forestry in BC today is discursively framed as progressive, “world-renowned for its sustainable forest management” (Steve Thomson, as cited in MFLRNO, 2012a), and oriented towards—or at least, making gestures towards—the optimization of triple bottom-line mandates that aims to ensure that benefits and opportunities are sustained for both present and future generations to come, while the long-term well-being and health of forested ecosystems are also maintained and enhanced (MFML, 2010). In these regards, forestry in BC has gone through many important changes over the years, not only concerning the increased consideration of socio-ecological values, but also with respect to the provision of forest sector opportunities for First Nations in particular—opportunities which have long been actively denied by government and industry, both systemically and on the ground, and which, in turn, have long been demanded by First Nations (Graham & Wilson, 2004). To this end, efforts have been made by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal actors and institutions to increase First Nations’ participation and decision-making authority in forestlands management, while simultaneously forging “new” relationships between the Province and First Nations, mediated through principles of recognition, reconciliation, and economic development on contested lands. For instance, with the backing of the courts, First Nations in BC have succeeded in gaining not only discursive recognition of rights and title on their traditional territories, but have also made many material gains through employment in forestry activities and through “contemporary Aboriginal management initiatives, co-management initiatives between Aboriginals and non-Aboriginals, and joint ventures between forestry companies and Aboriginal communities” (Tindall & Trosper, 2013, p. 5). Several forest companies, large and small, have also begun to more fully include First Nations in their operations and management strategies   6 over the years, focusing on “capacity and economic development for First Nations to participate in forestry operations and the integration of traditional knowledge and values in forest management” (Stevenson, 2013, p. 115). Many of these opportunities and partnerships have been “touted as ‘win-win’ situations” (Thorpe & Sandberg, 2007, p. 64): on the one hand, industry is able to build important relationships with rural Indigenous communities on whose territories forestry-related activities takes place, while also meeting public and market expectations that demand “good corporate citizenship” (p. 64) and responsibility; on the other hand, First Nations’ communities and individuals are able to benefit directly from employment and educational opportunities that may arise from entering into such arrangements. Direct timber awards, interim, and revenue-sharing agreements have also been the order of the day, along with the distribution of small-scale community-based tenure licenses to several First Nations communities in more recent years (Passelac-Roos & Smith, 2013).  Notwithstanding these “progressive” developments—many of which are associated with often insurmountable challenges and structural barriers to success—rights to harvest and manage forestlands in BC are still “overwhelmingly allocated to private companies, effectively privatizing the resource and excluding First Nations” (Swaak, Kant, & Natcher, 2009, p. 127), despite the fact that the resources in question are located on territories that have never been ceded by Indigenous nations, either through time, treaty, or conquest. Moreover, these developments cannot distract from the reality that, although First Nations are increasingly practicing a wider range of forestry-related activities on their traditional territories and are being directly employed by industry, the final decision-making power over land use and resource management ultimately always remains with the Province (Ambus & Hoberg, 2011; Wyatt, 2008). This is in accordance with the Crown and state’s historically claimed title to the land and   7 structural domination over legitimacy, knowledge, and scientific expertise in resource management. Where provisions have been made, however, over-representation in minor tenures (e.g. small cutting permits) and under-representation in major tenures (e.g. area-based licenses) have been the trend (Trosper, et al., 2008). Moreover, opportunities for First Nations have been almost unilaterally framed in terms of increased market integration and participation—and/or in terms of cultural and heritage protection—rather than with regard to the enhancement and legitimization of political, territorial, and cultural sovereignties and self-determination (McCarthy, 2006). Nevertheless, for First Nations without ratified treaties or for nations that choose not to participate in the Treaty Process, forest tenure has been heralded as the primary “legal avenue available for access to timber resources and economic opportunities from timber harvesting” (Swaak, Kant, & Natcher, 2009, p. 127) beyond the negligible margins of federally defined Reserves, and despite the proclivity for such arrangements to require the adoption of the “hierarchical corporate structure of [industry], a structure that does not reflect many Aboriginal customs and traditional community decision making approaches” (Curran & M'Gonigle, 1999, p. 728).   Within academia, government, and industry, current literatures and conversations regarding tenure reform and forest management in these regards therefore tend to emphasize and aim to enhance socio-economic and cultural benefits associated with First Nations’ participation in forestry; they also revolve around the identification and mitigation of functional and operational problems specifically related to tenure design or distribution, or to vaguely denoted opportunities for “increased participation”—problems that are acknowledged as being “reasonable” and “practical” to address and resolve, typically with quantifiable indicators of progress. For instance, this may be seen in the way in which the Provincial Government has   8 recently proposed to make First Nations “full partners” in forestry (Working Roundtable in Forestry, 2009) by continuing to facilitate First Nations’ participation in the forest sector through the provision of revenue-sharing agreements and small-scale tenures arrangements that meet “the unique needs and aspirations of First Nations” (AANDC, 2012) through the inclusion of vaguely defined Aboriginal forestry practices and different valuation systems with regard to land use.6 Such responses, however, refrain from fully calling into question the broader structural implications and limitations that exist to the operation of tenures or increased participation by First Nations within the existing systems.7 Importantly, they neglect to unpack the potent ideological import and governmentalizing effects that underpin the institutionalization of such developments that simultaneously seek to outwardly transform social relations by recognizing First Nations’ rights, title, and interests, while also reconciling broken Crown-Aboriginal relations. In other words, rarely—if indeed ever—is the emergence and functioning of these tenures and participatory mechanisms meaningfully and specifically situated within the context of historical and ongoing settler-colonialism and dispossession of Indigenous lands and authority, or with relation to legitimate Indigenous expressions and claims to political and territorial sovereignties on lands to which the Crown and state ultimately claim underlying title. As Rossiter (2008) notes, “the core question of colonial dispossession of land and resources is somewhat left aside” (p. 219) in discussions of forest management or, at best, circuitously addressed as an issue that is perceived to be secondary or historical—rather than foundational—to problems or issues that arise as a result of Crown forestlands management. This particular                                                  6 Importantly, and conspicuously, these systems must not conflict with provincial directives, legislation, and approval regarding forest use and harvest on Crown lands. Krishnaswamy, Joseph, Simmons, Thomas, and Passmore (2009) also report on comprehensive indicators that need to be addressed and met to help overcome barriers for First Nations’ successful participation within existing systems of forest management.    7 Paul Nadasdy (2005) makes a very similar claim regarding co-management, arguing that most scholars “have accepted at face value proponents’ claims about the potential beneficial effects of co-management and have worked to improve and facilitate co-management processes” (p. 215) without assessing the broader implications of these processes to Indigenous peoples’ lives and self-determining capacities.   9 angle of analysis is profoundly lacking, yet ought to be at the foundation of any meaningful discussion or attempt at tenure or forest sector reform that takes place in BC, where the “parallel”8 and mutually contested sovereignties of Indigenous nations and of the Crown are situated at the well-concealed heart of all questions and issues pertaining to land and resource ownership and use, as well as—by extension—human and non-human well-being.  By treating tenure devolution and increased participation as “exciting departures” (AANDC, 2012) and “ground-breaking” (Burda, M’Gonigle, & Curran, 1997) symbols or meaningful indicators of apparent recognition, reconciliation, and progress, current research in the field of forestry largely fails to acknowledge the very real and powerful implications of tenure or other forest sector reforms that, in actuality, do very little to challenge the overall structure of either the provincial tenure system or Crown-Aboriginal relations, both of which implicitly consider the following to be “given,” or true:  (1) that settler-colonialism is an historical event—a “sad chapter in history”— rather than a structure and ongoing reality (Coulthard, 2014; Wolfe, 2006);  (2) that market integration, participation, and neoliberalization are rational and logical end-goals of Indigenous self-determination;  (3) that Western models of corporate organization are compatible with Indigenous systems of exchange and reciprocity; and, (4) that Crown sovereignty is both paramount and legitimate.   Critical engagement with the deeper assumptions underlying the institutionalization of such progress-oriented and linear developments in BC’s forestry landscape is rare; rarer yet is the                                                  8 “Parallel” is placed in quotations to draw firm attention to the mutually contested nature of Crown and Indigenous sovereignties. Both claims may be viewed to be legitimate from particular vantage points and positionalities, and hence may be perceived to exist in parallel; however, the degree to which either of these is accepted as being legitimate by the other is dependent upon principles of recognition and, ultimately, may not be considered to be in parallel at all.    10 consideration of implications to the rich and varied range of First Nations’ expressions of self-determination and Indigenous nationhoods in BC. Moreover, despite the sustained resistance by Indigenous peoples against dispossession throughout BC’s settler-colonial history and present—and, despite the overwhelming series of First Nations’ legal victories in the colonial courts of Canada—forestlands are still largely viewed by dominant society as resource landscapes, owned in perpetuity by the Crown for the benefit and pleasure of the public. As Willems-Braun (1996) sharply notes, the forest is a space of both production and wilderness, wherein “Native presence and Native rights are marginalized…the forest appears as an uncontested space of economic political calculation: an entity without either history or culture” (p. 8) where, ultimately, “no claims other than those of the ‘nation’ and its ‘public’ are seen to exist.” This thesis argues that it is crucial to dispel such myths in forestry—along with the overarching “myth of state sovereignty” (Alfred, 1999, p. 58)—in order to move forward beyond merely discursive or well-intentioned (but ultimately non-transformative) nods towards post-colonial or decolonial futures. Although several research questions could be posed to begin to critically engage with the crucial assumptions listed above, this thesis seeks to address the following two questions in detail through use of a Foucauldian-inspired genealogical analysis: first, how has colonial dispossession of Indigenous lands, rights, lifeways, and resources shaped the management of BC’s forestlands, and how is colonial dispossession manifested and sustained today through the regulation of forest tenures? Second, what historically contingent assumptions underlie the legitimacy of both Crown and Indigenous sovereignties in BC, such that legislative power and authority have come to unquestionably inhere and stay inhered in the Crown and state on the one hand, while Indigenous expressions of sovereignty and nationhood have been peripheralized and trivialized on the other?   11 Accordingly, this thesis first locates the emergence, entrenchment, and current status of BC’s forest sector and tenure system within the specific context of settler-colonialism, both historically and contemporarily, by reshaping and retelling key aspects of the mainstream narrative of forestry’s development in BC. This is done principally by situating the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous peoples, lands, lifeways, and resources at the centre of the narrative rather than at its historical periphery, and taking up as a baseline the position that in BC, as well as elsewhere throughout Canada, “colonial domination continues to be structurally committed to maintain—through force, fraud, and more recently, so-called ‘negotiations’—ongoing access to the land that contradictorily provides the material and spiritual sustenance of Indigenous societies on the one hand, and the foundation of colonial state-formation, settlement and capitalist development on the other” (Coulthard, 2010, pp. 10-11). Second, this thesis directs its attention to unmasking some of the deep-seated, historically contingent assumptions underlying the legitimacy of both Crown and Indigenous sovereignties in BC, with the view that such an inquiry is a necessary starting ground for understanding how certain institutions, practices, and discourses have been shaped and taken for granted over time as being the “rational” and “logical” organizing principles behind BC’s political and legal landscapes, while others are viewed as “unrealistic,” “outmoded,” or “exclusive.” Ultimately, it is argued that without such understandings, settler-colonial structures of dispossession and social injustices will continue to be sustained, reproduced, and normalized through entrenched organizational regimes, such as through BC’s forest tenure system. It is the primary intent of this thesis to intercept the dominant conversations that are currently taking place in the forestry literature, with the hope that the centring of settler colonial dispossession and mutually contested sovereignties in BC’s forestry landscape might bring about a necessary decolonization of the mind, and ultimately, of forestry.   12 1.1 Research approach and strategy: Foucauldian genealogy and the history of the present  Traditional historiography has been cast aside as a method of analysis in this thesis in favour of a more rigorous, targeted genealogical approach to understanding the present. Specifically, several key aspects of Michel Foucault’s genealogical approach were used to guide and shape this research, with the aim of constructing a critical and effective “history of the present” (Foucault, 1977, p. 31) through which to (re)view the historical contingencies and discursive arrangements of power and knowledge that have led to the emergence and entrenchment of the forest sector and timber tenure system on the one hand, and the legitimacy of Crown and state sovereignty and peripheralization of Indigenous sovereignties on the other. Traditional approaches to historiography might include what Friedrich Nietzsche (1997)—to whom Foucault’s own genealogical method is deeply indebted—characterized as monumental, antiquarian, or critical histories.9 For Nietzsche (1997), monumental history gives prominence to “great” deeds—indistinguishable from myth or kinds of false consciousness—through which we can learn “that the greatness that once existed was in any event once possible and may thus be possible again” (p. 69). The result of both an “an active remembering of humankind’s moments of greatness [and]…the result of an active forgetting” (Mahon, 1992, p. 97), monumental history serves the purpose of maintaining a belief in the continuity of human greatness through the ages, while overlooking the causes and motivations of humans in achieving such “greatness” to begin with. Antiquarian history, on the other hand, looks backward in time “with love and loyalty” (Nietzsche, 1997, p. 72), seeking to preserve the conditions of life from                                                  9 Perceiving that “we are all suffering from a consuming fever of history and ought at least to recognize that we are suffering from it” (1997, p. 60), Nietzsche held that all three kinds of histories should be appreciated and used to serve the project of modernity and to enable humans to move beyond history in order to enhance life. Although Nietzsche’s particular views on the purpose and usefulness of history are not essential to understand here, these aspects of his philosophical views are nevertheless helpful in setting the stage for Foucault’s conceptualization of genealogical analysis.   13 which one has emerged and faithfully maintaining that the present is the necessary, unproblematic outcome of the unfolding of past events. This approach to history is enabled through willed ignorance and forgetting, obstructing “any firm resolve to attempt something new” (Nietzsche, 1997, p. 72). The final approach identified by Nietzsche is critical history, in which one chooses to “break up and dissolve a part of the past” (p. 75) in order to condemn and discard it, and eventually move forward progressively with life. In brief, each of these three traditional approaches to history, in varying degrees and combinations, can be seen in the way history is still often carried out today with relation to the present. Foucault’s genealogical approach to uncovering the “history of the present,” however, moves beyond such traditional historiographies in order to specifically and methodologically problematize that which is “given” or “taken for granted” (Kearins & Hooper, 2002). In doing so, genealogy helps to reveal the transformative, governmentalizing power of grand metanarratives and structures—for instance, of scientific rationality, modernity, and economic development—that act on subjectivities through discursive and extra-discursive, or material, means. That is, through genealogical analysis, Foucault draws our attention to the relationship that exists between the formation of subjectivities—i.e., the formation of individuals’ perceptions and judgements about reality and “truth”—and various discursive and material technologies of governance that effectively governmentalize and normalize human conduct and belief, indirectly regulating “the field of possible action” of individuals (Lemke, 2001, p. 3). More simply put, governmentality may be understood as the colonization of thought, being, and action, and the understanding of governmentality through genealogy enables us to comprehend more clearly “how different locales are constituted as authoritative and powerful, how different agents are   14 assembled with specific powers, and how different domains are constituted as governable and administrable” (Dean, 1999, p. 29). Genealogy shatters what is taken for granted; additionally, it ruptures “new and seemingly liberating modes of thinking and acting by exposing their historical and always politically invested nature” (Saukko, 2003, p. 133). Genealogy is therefore critical, in this sense, as it refutes what is tacitly accepted as “natural” or “reasonable,” and works deliberately against the governmentalizing power of metanarratives and structures in order to produce alternative—and potentially decolonizing or decolonial—ways of seeing and understanding (Dean, 1994; Hook, 2005). Genealogy also arguably produces an effective re-reading of history “to the extent that it upsets the colonisation of historical knowledge” (Dean, 1994, p. 20) that may otherwise be produced and reproduced through non-genealogical or traditional means of historical and discursive inquiry. To be more specific, a Foucauldian-inspired analysis of discursive objects and historical constructs aims to refute linearity, stasis, and causality through a deliberate emphasis on the reconceptualization of the present. This construction of a “history of the present” entails the critical investigation and reading of a wide variety of historical resources, academic and grey literatures, official documents, and other discursive objects to “reflect upon the contingency, singularity, interconnections and potentialities of the diverse trajectories of those elements which compose present social arrangements and experience” (Dean, 1994, p. 21). In other words, the genealogical analysis is performed upon those elements of discourse and knowledge which are generally accepted “as they are,” or as being somehow inextricable from lived realities and experiences, and delivers a re-reading of their historical formations which simultaneously “suspends contemporary norms of validity and meaning at the same time as it reveals their   15 multiple conditions of formation” (Hook, 2005, p. 33). An episodical rather than holistic approach is used to focus more clearly on particular discourses, technologies of power, and practices that are perceived to be most “crucial to our understanding of what [is] singled out as problematic in the present” (Bartelson, 1995, p. 8). Through use of such defamiliarizing and decentering procedures, genealogy reveals the conditions of existence of the present—that is, of its discursive objects, its institutions, its dominant concepts, and its epistemologies (Saar, 2008)—in order to attempt to “constitute a historical knowledge of struggles and to make use of this knowledge tactically today” (Foucault, as cited in Hook, 2005, p. 6). In so doing, new avenues may be paved for the decolonization of the mind through the open questioning and dismantling of power and knowledge effects that may otherwise be obscured, concealed, or poorly understood.  Through genealogy, it becomes possible to disrupt these “formerly secure foundations of knowledge and understanding” (Hook, 2005, p. 27) upon which relations of power are formed and reified. It also becomes possible to open up what Foucault (1981) refers to as “the insurrection of subjugated knowledges” (p. 81), which, in turn, opens up the potentiality for both transformative and tactical change.10 In fact, a key impetus in using a Foucauldian genealogical method was to produce and reveal within an anti-foundationalist framework “counter-intuitive ways of seeing, to enforce an awareness that things have not always been as they are” (Hook, 2005, p. 7) and to thereby reveal asymmetries in the multiple processes and relationships (Krupp, 2008) that constitute the settler-colonial present in BC. Accordingly, part of the research strategy in this thesis therefore entailed a deliberate and conscientious effort to explicitly privilege                                                  10 In the context of genealogy, subjugated knowledges for Foucault (1981) include, on the one hand, “historical contents that have been buried and disguised in a functionalist coherence or formal systematisation” (p. 81) and, on the other hand, marginalized knowledges that have been rejected, disqualified, or excluded by the effects of the centralizing and hierarchizing powers of discourse.   16 Indigenous positionalities with the view to create a space wherein “the insurrection of subjugated knowledges” may become, in fact, possible, recognizing and giving due consideration all the while to the heterogeneity and irreducibility of such positionalities in the first place. Relatedly, the application of Foucauldian perspectives and concepts was also meaningful in rupturing—or “unsettling” (Regan, 2006)—the settler colonial consciousness in its contemporary form, which in large part defines and orients the Crown and state’s relationship with First Nations today. This “unsettling” was key: without such an orientation, power-knowledge relationships are not only continually reinscribed and reified, but become more challenging to perceive and deconstruct over time.  1.2 On writing about Indigenous discourses and conceptions of sovereignty  As with any political concept, Indigenous discourses and conceptions of sovereignty—as well as self-determination—are fundamentally irreducible: complex, diverse, contested, and negotiated amongst Indigenous peoples (Tully, 2000), existing along a broad politicized spectrum that is host to a multiplicity of lived experiences, aspirations, needs, and interests. Attempts to capture and represent such conceptions must always be approached critically and perhaps viewed with some degree of reservation, particularly when articulated by a person of non-Indigenous and settler descent such as myself. It is important to be mindful that the very practice of research and writing about issues related to Indigenous peoples and/or indigeneity in academia is directly related to dispossession, and has long been used “to deny the validity of Indigenous peoples’ claim to existence, to land and territories, to the right of self-determination, to the survival of [languages] and forms of cultural knowledge, to [natural] resources and systems of living” (Smith, 2012, p. 1). Regardless of its intents or objectives, academia has been   17 and in many ways continues to be a great colonizing force, complicit in legitimizing and valuing certain types of knowledge—i.e. Western knowledge—while dismissing, delegitimating, or governmentalizing others. Not only have Indigenous voices and positionalities been inordinately silenced and misconstrued in academia as elsewhere, but where appreciable, Indigenous voices and positionalities have often been problematically forced to articulate themselves according to standards of acceptability and rationality as set out by the Western academy.  The attempt in Section 3 of this thesis to highlight key materializations of Indigenous discourses and conceptions of sovereignty is not meant to reduce, enclose, or simplify; if it does, the responsibility most certainly lies with the author. As a person of settler and immigrant descent, I struggle with issues of representation, identity, and voice in academic writing; this struggle has been amplified in this thesis due to the lack of primary sources and direct First Nations’ perspectives in the research. Through the process of “unsettling” assumptions regarding Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty, I was also deeply concerned that certain structures of oppression, erasure, or silencing might be reinforced. I reminded myself continually, however, of an insightful remark made by Gayatri Spivak (1990) regarding the obvious responsibility to speak, quoted at length below for full effect: I will have an undergraduate class, let’s say a young white male student, politically-correct, who will say: ‘I am only a bourgeois white male, I can’t speak.’ … I say to them: ‘Why not develop a certain degree of rage against the history that has written such an abject script for you that you are silenced?’ Then you begin to investigate what it is that silences you, rather than take this very determinist position-since my skin colour is this, since my sex is this, I cannot speak… From this position, then, I say you will of course not speak in the same way about the Third World material, but if you make it your task   18 not only to learn what is going on there through language, through specific programmes of study, but also at the same time through a historical critique of your position as the investigating person, then you will have earned the right to criticize, to be heard. When you take the position of not doing your homework—‘I will not criticize because of my accident of birth, the historical accident’—that is the much more pernicious position. (pp. 62-3) It is the settler’s responsibility to rail against the “pernicious position” of silence—to use the best judgment and imperfect tools available to her that might contribute to the greater unfurling and understanding of decolonizing spaces. In this respect, the presentation and reflections on Indigenous discourses and conceptions of sovereignty in this thesis has been done from a position of self-reflexivity and care, at all times “recognizing the colonial influence in knowledge paradigms and revealing how Indigenous ways of knowing have been marginalized in research” (Kovach, 2009, p. 79), as much as in other institutions and institutionalizing structures, including the primary objects of critique in this thesis.  Accordingly, this thesis posits that some general characteristics of Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty can indeed be identified, critiqued, and distinguished, based on the extensive and widely accepted works and contributions of Indigenous scholars, community leaders, activists, and experts in Indigenous law and political economies. Though it should go without saying that clear, deliberate, and welcome spaces must be opened for all such contributions in academia and other related spheres of influence, the reality is such that not only does this point need to be communicated with more resolve, but it must also be underscored and highlighted at every opportunity. I would argue that this may be particularly true within the field of forestry, which has not only lagged behind other disciplines in entering into and opening up   19 explicitly decolonizing and anti-colonial spaces, but which has also historically been complicit in both entrenching settler-colonial structures of domination and reinforcing and reproducing them as well.   20 Section 2: Forest tenure within the context of settler-colonialism in BC    Settler colonialism destroys to replace. (Wolfe, 2006, p. 388)  When we imagine history, we imagine a grand structure, a national chronicle, a closely organized and guarded record of agreed-upon events and interpretations, a bundle of “authenticities” and “truths” welded into a flexible, yet conservative narrative that explains how we got from there to here. It is a relationship we have with ourselves, a love affair we celebrate with flags and anthems, festivals and guns.  - Thomas King, The Inconvenient Indian, 2012.  The story of the “evolution” of forestry and forest tenure in BC has been told numerous times, and through a variety of lenses. However, the story is worth re-telling: it is worth re-framing, more importantly, and specifically within the context of historical and ongoing settler-colonialism, rejecting teleological and liberal accounts of history that assume the unraveling of events occurs with linearity and progressive intention over time (Biebricher, 2008; Cox & Pringle, 2011). The destabilization of the “grand structure” and “national chronicle” of BC’s forest sector is therefore a central objective of this section, which seeks to disrupt the celebratory “love affair” with progress that is embedded in the conventional narrative of the evolution of forestry and forest tenure in BC and, in particular, the development of Crown-Aboriginal relations within this specific context. This is done by situating colonial dispossession—i.e., of Indigenous lands, rights, lifeways, and resources—at the centre of the narrative rather than at its historical peripheries, or as an aspect of an overt “politics of inclusion” (Smith, 2011, p. 57) that is characteristic of current mainstream accounts of forestry in BC, and which fundamentally serves to sustain asymmetries in powers not only through the Crown and state’s continued   21 authority over and access to unceded lands, but also through the reproduction and reinforcement of privileged rationalities, logics, and ways of being in the world.  Accordingly, this section puts forward an episodic history of forestry and forest tenure in BC with a specific focus on historical and ongoing settler-colonialism, demonstrating how dispossession and settlement have been not only at the heart of the formation and overall success of the timber tenure system itself, but that ongoing access to Indigenous lands through various mechanisms of dispossession has also been paramount for the maintenance of the forest sector as we know it today. Three broad historical sections make up this section: first, colonial dispossession and settlement are directly linked to the emergence of the timber tenure system as well as to the marginalization and oppression of Indigenous peoples; second, the “green-gold” era of forest capital and forestry is examined, underscoring the entrenchment of forest tenure through the sustained, direct oppression and dispossession of First Nations, and the increased industrialization and centralization of forestry in BC; finally, the apparent sea change in late 20th and early 21st century forest and provincial policy is characterized as a new regime of sustainability in forest management and reconciliation with First Nations, and is submitted as a modified form of colonial “settlement”—one that is premised upon the Crown and state’s desire and need to create economic certainty and to secure ongoing access to Indigenous lands through the “settling” and reconciliation of “past wrongs” on the one hand, and through the provision of what are ultimately thoroughly delimited opportunities for First Nations’ participation in the forest sector on the other.     22 2.1 Settlement, dispossession, and the emergence of forest tenure in BC  Though historical records of timber exports from BC to China can be traced as far back as 1788 (Reid, 1985)11, for several decades, trees were not necessarily regarded by settlers or by British colonial governors as salable commodities—i.e. as “green gold”—until the accumulation of lands and appropriation of Indigenous resources and labour became paramount for the establishment of Crown sovereignty and the economic statecraft of the province. Early accounts and correspondences of European arrivals to the Pacific Northwest in fact often characterized the vast, dense swaths of temperate rainforests as “impediments to settlement and ‘civilization’” (Thorpe & Sandberg 2007, p. 58), “frightening places” (Trosper et al., 2012, p. 163) requiring the arduous work of logging and landscape clearing for the “pioneering” and eventual settlement of colonies under the governance of the Hudson’s Bay Company (HBC). These early settler accounts of forests and lands—discursive strains of which arguably persist today in Western cultural consciousness12—were informed primarily through Christian binaries of good and evil, notions of nature as an “other” to be tamed, and stories of “intrepid” explorers in vacant, pristine landscapes (Cronon, 1996; Willems-Braun, 1997); in stark contrast, Indigenous societies’ representations and oral narratives regarding land—based in thousands of years of lived experience, continued use, and ongoing occupation by tribes and clans—generally reflected and continue to reflect “a spiritual connection with the land” (Alfred, 1999, p. 61) along with the                                                  11 Old growth timber removed from the coastal regions of Vancouver Island in particular provided enormous and quality spars for European and Asian ship-building at this time, though for many decades to follow, trees were primarily extracted on the basis of need rather than for commercial purposes (Rossiter, 2007). 12 Smith (2009) and many others point to the pervasive “national mythology” still present in mainstream Canadian culture and history books, wherein it is falsely perceived and taught that “Euro-Canadians simply occupied a mostly uninhabited and certainly undeveloped west and so were most fit and entitled to both its resources and to whatever political benefits liberalism might provide in the expanding state” (p. 21). Indeed, Canadian national mythologies typically treat settler-colonialism as an inevitable, completed chapter in the linear narrative of Canadian history (Carleton, 2011), rather than as an ongoing, entrenched structure that continues to shape and reproduce colonial relations through various mechanisms of power (Regan, 2010).   23 understanding that both biotic and abiotic components of nature embody spirit and exist in relation to one another in totality (Turner, 2005).  When settlers reached the Pacific Northwest, however, they arrived with deeply ingrained colonial and Western imaginations: imaginations that had been shaped over centuries, motivating settlers to seek out resources, opportunity, and lands “with various scientific, commercial, and geopolitical goals in mind” (Rossiter, 2007, p. 773). Fur traders began to settle and establish forts along the northern Cordillera, exacting disciplined conduct from local Indigenous populations through threats or use of violence (Harris, 2000; Rossiter, 2007), and importing with them “generally British cultural understandings, legal and political structures, social and gender hierarchies and a capitalist economy” (Smith, 2009, p. 8). Investments in forestry-related activities, however, were eschewed on the whole throughout the first half of the 19th century along coastal HBC trading routes in order to sustain and monopolize space for the flourishing fur trade, largely resulting in few attempts and little interest in forest or timberland management on the part of colonial administrators (Marchak, 1983). By contrast, Indigenous peoples’ traditional management of lands—responsibilities for which are inherited and passed through generations to ensure the viability and well-being of future generations (Trosper, et al., 2012)—remained continuous prior to and throughout this period, so far as access to these lands were uninterrupted and largely undisturbed. Though instruments and strategies of colonial dispossession had already been deployed in the Pacific Northwest since the late 18th century13, control over First Nations’ traditional territories in the west chiefly “remained in Indian hands” (Fisher, 1992, p. 44) until                                                  13 As early as 1790, Spanish Peruvian explorers had attempted to take possession of coastal regions; several efforts were subsequently made by British explorers to declare sovereignty over coastal lands, and European traders entered and occupied patches of accessible earth, erecting forts that excluded Indigenous inhabitants of the land—with the exception of women—and provided relative security for the early settlers to conduct their trades (Harris, 2000).   24 the mid-1800’s, after which time colonial theft and control of lands began to rapidly escalate alongside the oppression and uprooting of Indigenous peoples and their lifeways by the state.  Only after the decline of the lucrative fur trade did the management and regulation of forested lands become exceedingly vital to the development of what would grow to be one of the province’s principal resource extraction industries and, crucially, to the settlement and building of BC (Marchak, 1983; Woolford, 2005). As the fur trade collapsed, yet another surge of capital and capitalists began spilling into what was now territory claimed unilaterally by the British Crown, this time in search of gold deposits along the Fraser River rather than sea-otter pelts along the coast. This sudden incursion of miners from the south—approximately twenty thousand within a single year (Harris, 1997, cited in Woolford, 2005)—prompted Britain’s Colonial Office in 1858 to establish a second Crown colony on the Mainland14 in order to gain a stronger foothold in the area and to “promote orderly settlement and the rule of law” (Rossiter, 2008, p. 116) amongst new arrivals, who often instigated violent and unchecked confrontations with Indigenous peoples on lands over which the Crown had by then assumed sovereignty—illegitimately, without treaty and without conquest—since 1846 (Woolford, 2005, p. 45). As Coulthard notes (2010), “Canadian state-formation and colonial-capitalist development required first and foremost land” (p. 18), and the dispossession and primitive accumulation of Indigenous lands and resources were central to the expansion and establishment of the state and the development of liberal market rationalities and capitalist structures in western Canada.  Through the Crown’s self-proclaimed colonial authority, the annexation and re-territorialization of lands occupied by First Nations intensified in this period alongside the                                                  14 The first colony was established in 1849 on Vancouver Island, under the charge of the HBC. The two colonies were amalgamated into one in 1866, entering into Confederation as the Province of British Columbia in 1871 (Pearse, 1992).   25 gradated emergence of the coastal forest industry.15 Crown lands and any forests or standing timber located upon them became openly available—alienable without restriction—to any industrious settler who could afford to pay a moderate sum in exchange for land: ten shillings per acre, to be exact, to a maximum of 160 acres per settler (Pearse, 1992, p. 44; Rossiter, 2007, p. 77). These early land policies of the British Crown, based on distinctly English conceptualizations of property laws and land ownership, enabled colonial administrators to unilaterally transfer land rights and all their attendant advantages to private bodies through fee simple Crown grants and pre-emptions, carrying out the colonies’ dual mandates to, on the one hand, incentivize controlled settlement along coastal regions and, on the other hand, begin to stimulate new forms of economic development and capital investment through the promotion of resource development on lands which were being actively dispossessed from Indigenous peoples, operationalized through the increasing consolidation and machinery of British colonial authority. Initially, Crown grants carried no limitations with regard to size or terms of timber cuttings, and colonial administrators provided little in the way of guidelines for management, rarely intercepting in settlers’ forest-based activities on newly alienated lands—provided, that is, that activities were indeed taking place and “productive” (Pearse, 1992). Neither were claims made by settlers clearly outlined nor surveyed in the early stages of land alienation and staking; conversely, however, “the surveillance, measurement, and judgment of Indigenous peoples” (Smith, 2009, p. 24) became high priorities for the colonial government, which sought to “[isolate] aberrant behaviour or [illustrate] Anglo-Canadian superiority” while simultaneously “expedit[ing] the material undertakings of the colonizers” (p. 24). Land purchases by settlers                                                  15 Other significant primary resource industries such as mining, fishing, and agriculture were also emerging at this time, but it is beyond the scope of this thesis to trace the development of these, other than to acknowledge that the production of colonial geographies clearly did not occur in isolation through the growth of the forest industry alone, but rather through the accumulation of lands and expansion of natural resources management strategies within the colonial-capitalist state as a whole.   26 were therefore often made through little more than approval by the colonial government to a written request or basic sketch of the land to be claimed (Rossiter, 2007, p. 785), despite the well-documented and active resistance against dispossession and illegal occupation by Indigenous peoples. Saanich, Snuneymuxw, and Quw’utsun’ warriors, for example, confronted loggers and HBC employees on Vancouver Island in the 1850s, in specific opposition to the glut of logging and mining activities that were taking place on illegally occupied lands (UBCIC, 2005).16 Several other local acts of resistance are also noted in these early years of settlement and land grabbing; of particular note is the protest of Sto:lo and other Coast Salish peoples in 1864, when thousands of people travelled to New Westminster to protest European settlement on unceded territories (UBCIC, 2005). Such organized protests and rallies frequently recurred following this first large-scale protest by Coast Salish peoples in 1864.  As colonization and settlement increased, the enormous value of timber lands soon also became increasingly evident to colonists,17 and in 1865 the Land Ordinance Act (1865) swiftly terminated fee-simple alienation of Crown lands, instituting the centralization of forestland administration and early system of timber tenure that would soon come to provide a steady stream of revenue, investment, and employment for the province through the industrial management of BC’s valuable old growth forests (Jackson & Curry 2004, p. 28). Under the Land Ordinance Act (1865), the Governor, at his sole discretion, could now distribute rights in the form of timber licences to private parties for the explicit purpose of cutting timber on what was                                                  16 Recall that only 14 historical land transfers—i.e., the “Douglas treaties”—had been negotiated between colonial authorities and First Nations in BC prior to the modern treaty process, wherein signatories had signed away their territories to “white people forever” (as cited in Foster & Grove, 2003, p. 53) in exchange for blankets and a negligible sum of money. Contrastingly, First Nations’ oral records maintain that “the agreements reaffirmed Indigenous territorial ownership and allowed for peaceful European settlement within these territories” (UBCIC, 2005, p.16). 17 In 1861, over 14,000 board feet of timber were being milled per day in the traditional territories of the Pacheedaht, Tseshaht, and Ucluelet First Nations (the Alberni Canal), and being exported overseas to Europe and Australia for consumption (Rossiter, 2007).   27 wrongly presumed or conveyed to be unoccupied, terra nullius Crown lands (Clogg, 1999). These licenses, subject “to such rent, terms, and provisions as shall seem expedient to the Governor” (Ordinance Act, 1865, as cited in Pearse, 1992, p. 45), enabled the colonial government to now exercise some control over forests while also, importantly, securing Crown ownership over the land and supplying license holders with an abundance of raw materials to feed the growing needs of the young, burgeoning sawmills along the Coast and in the Interior. By drawing settlers “into the circle of improvement and everyday productive life that marked British claims of possession” (Rossiter, 2007, p. 787), these nascent forms of tenure helped to set up both the structural foundation for forestland policy in BC, and instituted the early stages of primitive accumulation necessary to support the patterns and rates of development that are characteristic today of industrial forestry in the province. Few restrictions were initially attached to these early forms of tenure so long as holders were, in true Lockean fashion, “actually engaged” (Pearse, 1992, p. 45) in cutting operations, deriving value from the exploitation and violent theft of forested stands through capitalist-oriented labour practices rather than allowing lands to go fallow or be “unimproved” according to distinctly Western perceptions of valuable land use. Accordingly, Indigenous land practices and values not visible to settlers or the colonial government were not only thereby ontologically and epistemologically effaced, but also began to become delegitimated in practice by rule. Racist conceptions regarding the Indigenous peoples of North America held that non-European relationships to land were “unproductive,” and therefore “the liberal response was to either obtain from them their land or to teach them to make ‘effective’ use of land-based resources” (Woolford, 2011, p. 69). It is important to note, however, and ironically, that though the early stages of the forest industry’s development were aligned with liberal and capitalist values wholly   28 dependent upon the dispossession of Indigenous lands and resources and the wrenching and transformation of Indigenous lifeways, First Nations were nonetheless profoundly integral to the success of settlers who sought to “develop the riches of a part of British Columbia not apparently very much suited to the wants and requirements of white settlers” (Robson, 1888, p. 425). In fact, not only were “two-thirds of the revenue of the Province…supplied by [Indians]” during the latter half of the 19th century, but “three-fourths of its trade” (Colonial Office, 1875, p. 2) were also estimated to be directly attributable to the strong leadership and labour of Indigenous peoples. Though otherwise largely unacknowledged and unrecorded in settler accounts of the development of forestry and forest tenure in BC, it is arguable that without the general cooperation, labour, and land-based knowledges of Indigenous peoples, the forest industry would not otherwise have prospered as it had during this and subsequent stages of its development.  By Confederation, a sizeable export-oriented sawmill industry had developed in BC and policy objectives were oriented towards the officially sanctioned accumulation of Crown lands alongside the development of a permanent commodity- and export-oriented forest industry in the province (Apsey, 2003; Marchak, 1983). Settlement of western Canada—resting egregiously on the false premise and doctrine of terra nullius and the Eurocentric logic of liberalism (Culhane, 1998; Smith, 2009)—had by this time successfully dispossessed Indigenous peoples of their lands, while also systemically working to “de-Indianize” (Smith, 2009, p. 44) the socio-economic, political, and cultural systems of First Nations through various technologies of asymmetrical governance and power, including but certainly not limited to the creation of artificial Indian Reserves, the building of settler roads, and the fragmentation and re-mapping of lands that had been accumulated by the Crown. As Harris (2000) notes, “the systems of transportation and communication that spread into British Columbia were the capillaries of   29 colonial appropriation. They allowed non-Natives into the land, not as explorers, visitors, or passers-through, but as users and settlers” (p. 184) who took up and transformed lands that had long been occupied and managed by self-governing Indigenous nations. Indigenous relationships to the land and to each other—both material and onto-epistemological—were also severed through these violent disruptions and reconfigurations, and in 1876, the colonial ordinances of the oppressive and patriarchal Indian Act placed further regulations and restrictions on Aboriginal peoples’ lives and cultural practices, effectively defining “what an Indian was, and [delegating] administrative powers over Indian affairs to non-Indians” (Woolford & Ratner, 2004, p. 284). The federal government’s subsequent attempts to undermine, disempower, and transform Indigenous modes of life and governance in the late 19th century were varied and powerful, and included the institutionalization of residential schools for Indian children; the specific targeting and disenfranchisement of women through loss of Status; the outright prohibition of vital cultural practices such as the potlatch; the surveillance and limitation of movement off Reserves; and the banning of non-governmentally authorized forms of Aboriginal governance. Unilateral jurisdiction over BC’s forests was also granted to the new provincial government at this time, exclusively enabling provincial legislature to create and administer laws relating to the “development, conservation, and management of non-renewable natural resources and forestry resources” (Constitution Act, 1982, n.p.) on all forested lands, excluding those lands that had earlier been transferred to private settler parties through pre-emptions and fee simple grants. Though state involvement in forest and timberland management still remained fairly minimal on the whole until the early 20th century, amendments to the Land Act (1875)18                                                  18 Formerly the Land Ordinance Act (1865).   30 gradually carved out the existing shape of the provincial tenure system, first through the placement of 30-year limited terms on competitively issued timber licenses,19 and second, through the implementation of Crown charges on timber wherein license holders were required to return payments to the government in exchange for protected timber rights (Pearse, 1992). Amendments to the Land Act (1875) also validated the increased seizure and dispossession of Indigenous territories and the arbitrary allocation of 20 acres of Reserve lands per family of five, despite numerous recorded protests by Indigenous peoples and the clear recognition by several Indian Commissioners and Superintendents of the policy’s unjust and discriminatory treatment of autonomous peoples alongside “the non-recognition of their pre-existing rights” (Colonial Office, 1875, p. 27).20 Despite contestations by First Nations against the ongoing dispossession of their lands and rights by provincial and federal authorities, several other timber tenure types began to emerge in the late 19th century—now collectively referred to as “old temporary tenures” (OTTs).21 In 1905, further amendments to licensing policies precipitated a surge in the speculative acquisition of these tenures, as the government sought to drastically increase public revenues by opening up timberland rights to foreign speculators (Mitchell-Banks, 1999). In the words of the Minister of Lands at the time, the Honourable W.R. Ross, “the province had been in a bad way. The public revenue was insufficient. Development was starved for want of money”                                                  19 Instituted in 1888, these timber licenses were acquired through bidding processes and also included the added incentive of a cash bonus. Additionally, for every 400 acres of forested land, licensees were also expected to mill a minimum of 1000 board feet of lumber per day (Reid, 1985). The limited terms of licenses were subsequently reduced to 21 years in 1902, with the provision for consecutive renewals. 20 For instance, correspondences between provincial and federal officials in 1875 repeatedly reported complaints and objections by First Nations over the theft and abuse of their lands: e.g., “Indians complain that their grave-yards have been pre-empted and ploughed up, that lands which they had reclaimed have been occupied by the white settler, that their irrigation works have been destroyed, and that in many other ways their sense of justice has been offended” (Colonial Office, 1875, p. 3). Correspondences also show that, based on their engagement with multiple First Nations communities, several government officials had persistently made attempts to bring to light issues regarding the “absurdly small, and quite insufficient” (Colonial Office, 1875, p .19) tracts of land that were being allocated for Indigenous peoples on their own territories during this time. 21 These included timber and pulp leases, pulp licenses, timber berths, and small-scale hand-loggers’ licenses.   31 (as cited in Pearse, 1992, p. 48); as a result, in the space of only two years, then, more than 15,000 new timber licenses were issued to speculators, granting cutting rights to vast areas of forestland containing valuable merchantable timber on the traditional territories of First Nations across the province (Pearse, 1976a). By and large, these licenses tended to be conveniently located near easily accessible water and rail transportation routes, the favourable location of which greatly impacted the shape of the existing tenure system today, as many of the OTTs were eventually transferred and integrated into large-scale Tree Farm Licenses (TFLs) (Pearse, 1992).22 This timber staking in the early 20th century proved to be both ecologically and socially destructive as entrepreneurs cleared forestlands of their trees, transforming habitats and leaving freshly cut lands to regenerate on their own while local mills churned out increasing amounts of sawn wood. As Marchak (1983) notes, “Americans came in, logged valleys, left denuded lands, and returned with the wealth from their sales of timber to their homes. The history and the folklore of the industry is replete with countless stories of harsh bosses, bad working conditions, a complete lack of regard for the environment or the future forest as small businessmen competed to fell record quantities of timber” (p. 33). What is absent in this narrative, moreover, is not only the displacement of Indigenous communities and the continued destruction of their lands, relationships, and cultures, but also the critical and enormously undervalued contributions of First Nations’ wage labourers to industry—i.e., as log suppliers, contractors, and hand loggers (Menzies & Butler, 2001): labourers on whose traditional territories the logging and land fragmentation actually took place and without whom the industry arguably could not have flourished. It is also important to recognize that because government policies limited activities on Reserve lands to regulated farming and fishing—and, specifically, placed restrictions on Reserve                                                  22 TFLs today represent one of the two dominant tenure types through which private operators and corporations in BC are currently issued rights to timber (MFML, 2010).   32 logging—participation in industry by First Nations was overwhelmingly in the form of wage labour, though even this form of participation gradually lessened over time due to increased competition and advances in technology (Harris, 2002).  Though in the eyes of government and industry, the timber supply seemed at the time to be plentiful and everlasting—“like the water that ran to waste in every stream” (British Columbia, 1910, p. 14)—many forest professionals began to foresee and report upon the visibly negative effects of the booming forest industry, raising concerns regarding the destruction of ancient forests (Wellstead, 2007). By 1907, the province therefore ceased to grant any new OTTs, though approximately 10 million acres of forestlands had already been consigned to timber management by then (Mitchell-Banks, 1999). Any timber that had remained unalienated up to this point was placed under reserve while government awaited results from the Commission of Inquiry on Timber and Forestry—also known as the Fulton Commission—to help assess and determine the path for BC’s future forest policy. Meanwhile, in 1908, fees for small-scale hand-loggers’ licenses—the only form of license which could be procured by First Nations’ individuals, providing them with limited but crucial legal access to resources on their traditional territories—were increased from $10 to $25 per year, and “the use of steam-powered machinery by the holder” (Sloan, 1945, p. 96) was also banned,23 effectively impeding subsistence loggers from using technologies to facilitate their labour and forcing them instead to rely solely on “muscular power” (Sloan, 1956, p. 32) for timber felling. Moreover, in the same year, the allocation of further Indian Reserves by the provincial government also abruptly came to a stop, based on the view that “‘large tracts of very valuable agricultural lands [were] held by a very small number of Indians’” (Premier Richard McBride, as cited in Harris, 2002, p. 219); laws relating to the purchase of Crown land by Indians—lands which of course had never been                                                  23 The use of any kind of powered equipment by hand loggers was subsequently banned in 1920.   33 ceded in the first place—also became simultaneously more restrictive, effectively obstructing First Nations from accessing and using forested lands beyond the margins of already minimal Reserve lands that had been allocated for them under the racist and paternalistic provisions of the Indian Act.  In 1911, the Fulton Commission’s recommendations proved to be particularly critical in shaping the administrative and regulatory framework of forest management throughout the province, precipitating a “remarkable change in attitude towards the forests” (Mitchell-Banks, 1992, p. 29) that regarded the use and practice of Western scientific knowledge and accounting as instrumental to the province’s economic and state development. Basing its analysis on the successes of other European nations that had adopted scientific and industrial forestry practices, the Commission’s report convincingly forecasted that “profits from a permanent Crown timber business should make British Columbia that phenomenon of state craft and good fortune—a country of “semi-independent means’” (Fulton, Goodeve, & Flumerfelt, 1910, p. 20). The influential recommendations of the Commission, well-received by forest professionals and industry on the whole, quickly led to the creation of the province’s first Forest Act (1912), through which new licensing arrangements were made,24 and previously protected forest reserves were opened up and officially designated for the explicit purpose of timber cutting (Mitchell-Banks, 1999; Pearse, 1992). The report also led to the formation of a new government department—the Forest Branch of the Department of Lands—which would be solely dedicated to the management of forests and timberlands, and whose mandates would be carried out through the work of the Forest Service that professionally oversaw, among other things, the administration and statistical surveying of forest reserves, the suppression and control over                                                  24 Including Timber Sale Licenses (TSLs), which gave licensees the one-time right to harvest a specific allotment of trees on Crown land.   34 wildfires, the collection of revenues through the adoption of a stumpage system, and the promotion of the commercial use of forests to the general public (British Columbia, 1910). The structural changes made by government at this time—contingent upon particular Western beliefs and discourses regarding knowledge, provincial development, surveillance, land use, and ownership—signified another important period in the direction of BC’s forest and state policy: what had formerly developed as policy focused on facilitating “resource development for colonial or mercantilist interests” (Wellstead, 2007, p. 15) through settlement and dispossession, was now transitioning into a regulated, disciplined system of heavily industrialized forest management and use, dependent upon the state’s ongoing access to and authority over lands that had been accumulated over time by the Crown without treaty, conquest, or consideration of Indigenous political or territorial sovereignties.   2.2 The “green-gold” era of forest capital and the ongoing entrenchment of forest tenure on unceded territories   Following the implementation of the Forest Act in 1912, state involvement in the forest sector intensified, moulding the structure of industry and forested land use through prescriptions regulating timber manufacture and disposal, fire prevention strategies, stumpage payments, and transfer and renewability of OTTs. The new tenure arrangements created through the Forest Act also facilitated and encouraged competition between firms, structurally favouring large-scale industrial operations by providing them with competitive access to vast areas of Crown timberlands for felling. The issuance of Timber Sale Licenses (TSLs) in particular played an important role in industrial expansion during this period, as the Forest Service processed these licenses “almost without restriction” (Pearse, 1992, p. 16) for several decades, enabling firms to   35 grow bigger and more powerful through bidding wars that granted them access and rights to unalienated Crown timber located in forest reserves that were now opened up for the continuous cutting and production of timber crops. Not only was this advantageous to the larger firms, but the province also benefitted tremendously through the generation of valuable stumpage revenues for every tree cut on Crown lands—revenues which derived from the harvest of trees on First Nations’ traditional territories but which, for the most part, did not return to or benefit First Nations themselves.  Despite challenging global economic conditions during the 1920s and the 1930s, this period nonetheless resulted in the growth and entrenchment of “a new generation of staples” (Wellstead, 2007, p. 15) in BC, reflected in the successful operation and consolidation of power by a few large forestry firms and the increased demand and sale of exported wood worldwide—particularly in the United States.25 From the perspective of mainstream institutions and individuals—namely, industry, government, and the general Canadian public—it seemed clear that “in the over-all picture it [was] no exaggeration to say that…forest crops [had] contributed more to the general public welfare than any other national natural resource” (Sloan, 1945, p. 14). During this same period, however, exterminatory and assimilative state policies and institutions aimed at destroying and transforming Indigenous lifeways continued to intensify: attendance at Indian Residential Schools became mandatory for all Indian children across Canada; visible cultural practices such as the potlatch were still banned, and individuals were now being incarcerated for practicing them; amendments to the Indian Act in 1927 forbade all Indians from seeking out and hiring lawyers to pursue claims related to Aboriginal title; First Nations’ access                                                  25 In 1930, for instance, forest products accounted for over 25 per cent of the total production in BC (Sloan, 1945); note, however, that this number is arguably significantly underestimated as it did not account for indirect employment or related secondary industries that generated social and economic value for the Province. By 1939, however, wood-related exports totalled approximately 53 per cent of the value of all provincial exports—a significant increase over the course of nine years.   36 to resources continued to remain tightly regulated and limited; and, socio-economic conditions on Reserves continued to worsen. While settler-colonial structures and impositions upon Indigenous peoples deepened, BC’s industrial forest economy continued to grow and responsibilities for forests became increasingly centralized in the Province.  By the 1940s, however, BC’s forest industry was faced with at least two significant obstacles as a result of its unchecked capitalist and industrialist expansion: first, concerns arose again regarding the visible over-harvest of coastal regions, where remaining OTTs were still being heavily logged, causing a general imbalance in provincial timber harvest levels (Marchak, 1983, p. 36); second, timber access for new businesses and operations was becoming increasingly limited—the forest industry had nearly exhausted its timber supply under the province’s existing tenure arrangements, despite the fact that large firms had acquired over 3,700 short-term TSLs by this time to supply their markets with ancient wood.26 To foresters, government, and industry alike, it had become apparent that the timber supply itself—and not just Crown forestlands—required intensive management and regulation for the long-term, prompting the appointment of the first Sloan Royal Commission on Forestry in 1943 to help assess and re-adjust the overall framework of the tenure system, along with forestlands management.  Like the Fulton Commission before it, the recommendations of the first Sloan Commission were hugely influential in BC’s forest policy, laying the foundation for “forest exploitation and regulation via a combination of private (leased) forest tenures and state-led maximum sustained-yield forest regulation” (Prudham, 2007, p. 262). Major amendments made to the Forest Act in 1947 ensured, however, that policy regarding forest tenure explicitly                                                  26 E.g. By 1945, more than half of the total interior harvest and nearly a quarter of the coastal harvest took place under TSLs (Forest Tenures in BC, 1974, p. 15).   37 emphasized the safeguarding of public ownership of forestlands, such that the Crown could firmly entrench its unilateral ownership and authority over the land in the name of public interest while also freely leasing large forested areas to companies for large-scale exploitation (Mitchell-Banks, 1999). However, though public ownership was highly publicized—and remains to this day a cornerstone of forest and land use policies in BC, despite outstanding questions relating to the legitimacy of Crown sovereignty—there was “little reference either to the general public or to local communities” (Jackson & Curry, 2004, p. 28); certainly, there was no regard for First Nations on whose traditional territories these tenures were located and whose forests—upon which communities crucially depended and continue to depend upon for physical, material, and spiritual well-being and health—were being decimated. The devastation to rural Indigenous communities—first through dispossession and forced re-settlement into artificially established Reserves—was further compounded through the continued destruction, fragmentation, and disappearance of ancient forests throughout BC in these “green-gold” years of exploitation and industrial expansion. Following consultations with nearly three hundred corporate representatives, non-Indigenous municipal leaders, and professional foresters working within both the Ministry and the private sector (Jackson & Curry, 2004; Sloan, 1945), the first Sloan Commission subsequently made two major recommendations which were incorporated into the Forest Act in 1947: first, it proposed long-lasting tenure reforms that would enable the transition into a highly regulated and centrally controlled system of forest management; and second, it introduced the concept of “sustained yield” into management, basing regulated harvest rates on scientific calculations that were oriented towards simultaneously ensuring the delivery of a constant, maximum flow of wood over time while providing a higher degree of economic certainty and   38 stability to “an industry plagued by boom-and-bust cycles and by cut-and-run forestry” (Prudham, 2007, p. 265).27 While the Sloan Commission made some minor recommendations for increased community and municipal involvement in forest management, these suggestions neither heeded the interests of nor were attentive in the least of First Nations. No gestures were made towards the opening of spaces for Indigenous peoples in forest sector participation, despite the fact that First Nations had played pivotal and central roles in the early development of forestry in BC. Moreover, hand-loggers’ licenses—which to date had been the only means by which First Nations could gain access to short-term, muscle-powered logging permits off-Reserve—were also phased out during this period as logging was viewed “to a major degree [as] a subsidiary function of integrated companies” (Sloan, 1956 cited in Pearse, 1976b, p. 296). Furthermore, whereas Sloan had originally envisioned the creation of a few hundred medium-sized Forest Management Licenses (FMLs),28 in fact the outcome within a decade’s time was the consolidation of tenure and its attendant cutting rights and privileges in the hands of a few large corporate licensees instead (Mitchell-Banks, 1999, p. 36). Though state involvement in cutting regulations still remained flexible throughout this time to accommodate the interests of the rapidly expanding industry, by the mid-20th century this regulatory system of forest management had become deeply entrenched, culminating in the emergence of the province’s “exploitation axis” (Salazar & Alper, 1996, as cited in Prudham, 2008), which depended intimately upon the state’s unfettered access to and authority over unceded forestlands and the successful, linked operations of “state-led scientific forest management, capitalist forest extraction, and a highly unionized workforce” (Prudham, 2007, p. 259).                                                   27 The report noted that “a sustained yield policy has, as one objective, the maintenance of forest cover and growth, thus ensuring a perpetual supply of raw material for forest industries with consequent stability of industrial communities and assurance of permanent payrolls” (Sloan, 1945, p. 127). 28 FMLs would later become Tree Farm Licenses (TFLs).   39 Though revisions to the Indian Act in 1951 repealed some—though by no means all—of its more egregious legislative provisions29 and conferred increased civil rights on Indians, the industrialization and large-scale clearing of forests on Indigenous territories nonetheless continued to escalate in the postwar era (Prudham, 2007). Predictably, the second Sloan Commission in 1956 introduced new provisions for a fundamentally regulatory top-down model of forestry in which long-term forest tenures located on public Crown lands—i.e. Forest Licenses (FLs) and FMLs—would now be exclusively leased to large, private forest corporations that received preferential treatment “based on the expectation that these larger companies would be more stable over time” (Prudham, 2007, p. 264).30 Along with the provision of exclusive rights to timber, however, tenure licenses now required companies to submit to certain management obligations, including reforestation to ensure the continuation of harvestable crops, and appurtenancy mandates to stimulate and sustain local employment; in combination, these obligations ensured the ongoing “legible and rational” (Prudham, 2007, p. 262) exploitation of forests while simultaneously encouraging increased non-Indigenous settlement to rural communities with the promise of steady, prosperous employment for workers. Despite the institution of new management requirements that moved from a “purely extractive approach to one that sought to maintain and enhance the province’s forest stock” (Jackson & Curry, 2004, p. 28), the twinned imperatives of provincial revenue generation and economic development nonetheless continued to supplant most other values in forestry, with the extractive logging interests of private timber companies continuing to displace the interests of other user groups of                                                  29 Specifically, revisions repealed the potlatch ban, and lifted prohibitions against Indians seeking legal counsel for land and title claims (Mills, 2005).  30 Preferential treatment included the exchange of tenure awards over particularly valuable tracts of forestland. In 1955, for instance, the Minister of Forests, R.W. Sommers, was accused of accepting such bribes under the direction of the Premier, W.A.C. Bennett, in what amounted to a highly publicized scandal with ultimately few repercussions (Mitchell-Banks, 1999; Pearse, 1992).   40 the forest (Jackson & Curry, 2004; McCarthy, 2006; NAFA, 2007). Moreover, at the expense of First Nations’ interests and legitimate rights to the land and wealth of forests, large-scale industrial and commodity-oriented forestry continued to dominate the forest sector in BC with little regard toward “ecosystem integrity or the quality of life of [local communities]” (Curran & M'Gonigle, 1999, p. 729). The requisite restocking of forests, for instance—based on “the progressive sounding rhetoric about making forests more ‘productive’” (Prudham, 2007, p. 265)—neglected to take into account other values, including cultural and social health, as well as other biotic and abiotic processes, ultimately resulting in the further liquidation and fragmentation of forestlands across the province. The development and entrenchment of the postwar Crown tenure system, alongside the increased technological-industrial capacity to economically log previously inoperable, inaccessible areas, effectively enabled the Province to sustain its economic growth through a large, capital-intensive forest industry on lands to which it unilaterally and—in the view of the Crown—unequivocally claimed underlying title and ownership (Haley & Nelson, 2007).   2.3 Settling the “war in the woods” and moving towards a new regime of settlement, sustainability, and reconciliation in BC’s timber and forestlands management  Forestry in BC continued to be characterized by principles of sustained yield, tremendous industrial growth, rapid liquidation of old-growth forests, and mass exports of low-value primary products well into the 1970s. Between 1956 and 1976, for instance, the Annual Allowable Cut (AAC) in BC skyrocketed by 400% and the forest sector maintained its status as the province’s highest generator of income and revenue (Jackson & Curry, 2004; Pearse, 1976b; Prudham, 2007). Continued displacement of First Nations’ communities and modes of life persisted during   41 these years through aggressive government mandates to provide increased energy, infrastructure, and transportation to forest-dependent communities in order to encourage settlement and to provide specific support for forest exploitation and the strengthening of industry in rural areas (Hayter, 2003). BC’s forest policy, however, began to come under increasing public scrutiny in the 1970s, subject to heavy criticism in part due to domestic and global changes in “cultural values and beliefs about natural resources” (Salazar & Alper, 2000, p. 11), and in part due to increased demands by the public for participation and influence in forest management (Ambus, Davis-Case, & Tyler, 2007). Most importantly, however, forestry in BC started to face some of its most significant and crucial challenges by First Nations who began to mobilize locally in powerful opposition to oppressive and assimilationist settler-colonial state mandates, and who also began to successfully pursue legal action in support of Aboriginal rights, title, and land claims to unceded territories in BC.31 As a result, the timber tenure system and forest sector not only faced criticism for generally failing to meet the public’s changing expectations (Haley & Nelson, 2007), but forestlands soon also became active sites of contestation and dispute, spearheaded by First Nations and involving local communities, environmentalists, and industry in what has been characterized as BC’s ongoing “war in the woods” and struggle over the use and ownership of natural resources (Hayter, 2003).                                                   31 It is important to recognize, however, that land claims and demands for self-government by First Nations did not suddenly materialize during this time. Indigenous resistance to ongoing settler colonialism and dispossession, as noted earlier, emerged alongside state attempts to first eliminate—then to aggressively assimilate—First Nations in Canada, and began to become visible shortly after Confederation in the form of petitions, protests, and grass-roots organizations that were sustained by Indigenous leadership throughout the years. By 1909, for instance, the Nisga’a Land Committee had already formed to begin pursuing its own land claims, though these were not successfully won until a hundred years later in 2000 due to the state’s oppression of legal action by Indians and criminalization of Indigenous resistance and cultural practices. 1909 also saw the formation of several pan-Indian movements and organizations in BC, including the Indian Rights Association and the Interior Tribes of British Columbia (UBCIC, 2005; Woolford, 2005). However, major legal victories and accomplishments for First Nations in the land claims movement and other policy arenas did not fully emerge until the 1970s.   42 In the past four decades, hundreds of claims to Crown lands and resources have been successfully brought forward by First Nations to the courts, beginning most notably in 1973 with the Calder decision,32 which, for the first time, formally acknowledged the existence of Aboriginal title prior to contact and settlement in BC33 Post-Calder, however, the Province remained firm in its refusals to acknowledge Aboriginal rights and title, and First Nations across BC began mobilizing in protest, engaging not only in direct legal action but in an extended series of visible grassroots demonstrations, including marches, rallies, blockades, and sit-ins (Blomley, 1996; UBCIC, 2005). Public awareness regarding forest tenures and environmental degradation also arose alongside industry concerns about timber shortages during this time, prompting the appointment of another Royal Commission on Forest Resources in 1974—known as the Pearse Commission—to assess and provide recommendations for these visible and pressing challenges. Based on submissions from a wide range of stakeholders and the findings of the Commission, the final report confirmed that large corporations were indeed being privileged “at the expense of small firms within the industry” (Pearse, 1992, p. 37); recommendations therefore once again called for the institution of “a large number of independent firms of varying sizes and structures” (Pearse, 1976b, p. 49), which was anticipated to better suit both the Province’s and the general public’s interests. Pearse’s report also pointed to the need to include public participation in forest planning, though simultaneously stressed the need to further improve the “private use of public resources” (1976a, p. 9), specifically without alienating title from the Crown. However, and despite the Calder ruling in 1973, the extent to which Pearse’s report took                                                  32 Calder v. British Columbia (Attorney General) (1973). 33 In response to the ruling—which also declared that Indian title preceded Britain’s terms of recognition as articulated in the Proclamation of 1763—Prime Minister Trudeau is reported to have remarked, “You have more legal rights than I thought you had” (Manuel & Posluns, 1974, as cited in Atleo, 2009, p. 11). This remark, though casual, might aptly sum up the prevailing ignorance and lack of understanding that most Canadians held at the time—and arguably still hold today—with regard to both the historical and ongoing realities of settler-colonialism in Canada, and with specific regard to the legitimacy and strength of Aboriginal claims to rights and title.   43 First Nations’ rights and interests into concern was limited to only two areas of recommendation, both of which called for the greater integration of Indigenous peoples into capitalist models of forest regulation and management through shallow instruments of participation: first, the report recommended that forestlands on Indian reserves be “combined with provincial Crown land into sustained yield units, under band management” (1976b, p. 118), and second, that a negligible space for forest sector participation be carved out for federally recognized Indian bands34—along with “properly constituted societies” and “community organizations” (1976, p. 193)—through the allocation of minor and highly restrictive cutting permits in the form of small woodlots licenses. Subsequent adjustments to timber and forestlands management were soon made with the general view to diversify and strengthen industry, while attempting to quell the various facets of public discontent and First Nations’ increasing voices in forest sector and land issues: new short-term, non-replaceable tenures were made available for small businesses (i.e. TSLs), and OTTs were converted into Timber Licenses to allow for the exclusive harvest of logs on Crown lands. A new Forest Act was also adopted, and licensees were now responsible for restocking forests with “appropriate” tree species based on scientific classification systems and conventions,35 and for ensuring that trees established themselves successfully in the soil for future logging (Pearse, 1992). For the first time in nearly a century, the Ministry of Forests also began to recognize and include some non-timber values as part of its mandate (Mitchell-Banks, 1999). However, despite these incremental reforms to timber management, cutting rates nonetheless continued to accelerate, particularly in the Interior, with “record high levels of production and profit in 1979” (Hayter, 2003, p. 714) and still no recognition or accommodation of First Nations’ demands.                                                  34 As recognized by the Indian Act only, which neglects to recognize traditional governance structures of First Nations. 35 “Appropriate” tree species, however, consisted almost exclusively of commercially valuable species.   44 Shortly thereafter, due to both an economic recession and the beginning of a fall-down effect in harvesting rates,36 government introduced “sympathetic administration” tactics “to aid the crisis-torn industry” (Hayter, 2003, p. 716) by loosening regulations and rules governing the protection and enhancement of non-timber forest values. In true neoliberal form, regulatory frameworks were softened without delay to “facilitate market flexibility and mobility” (Wellstead, 2007, p. 18) and to protect capitalist interests and investments while sustaining government revenues and job security for industry on contested, ecologically damaged lands (Bridge & McManus, 2000). In response to government and industry’s continued abuse of privilege and power and ongoing neglect of non-industrial values, during the 1980s and early 1990s, First Nations across BC began staging organized, targeted blockades along logging roads to specifically protest heavy industrial activity and socio-ecological and cultural destruction by large forest corporations on Indigenous territories (Woolford, 2005). Resource extraction operations on tenured lands were often seriously disrupted as a result. The most well-known and publicized blockades were those led by the Haida at Athlii Gwaii (Lyell Island) in 1985 and the Nuu-chah-nulth in Clayoquot Sound in 1993, and in both cases, blockaders successfully halted resource extraction, receiving considerable support from non-Aboriginal peoples, environmental activists, and large environmental organizations for their actions (Blomley, 1996).37 By this time, the political and self-governance rights of Aboriginal peoples had also been “recognized and affirmed” in Section                                                  36 The fall-down effect refers to the “reduction in both the quality and availability of commercial timber as industry makes the transition from first- to second-growth forests” (Burda, Gale & M’Gonigle, 1998, p. 49), which occurred as a direct result of sustained yield management, implemented on the recommendation of the first Sloan Commission in 1943. 37 Wah nah jus/Hilth hoo is (Meares Island), Gwaii Haanas (South Moresby), and Ista (King Island) were also significant sites of contestation by First Nations, supported by environmental organizations who also followed suit in “‘valley-by-valley’ protests against logging” across coastal areas in BC (Hayter, 2003, p. 716).   45 35(1)38 of the Constitution Act, 1982, which had been repatriated in response to ongoing demands by Indigenous leaders for greater political and collective rights recognition in opposition to the unflinchingly assimilationist state mandates of Canada (Turner, 2006).39 This was a monumental development in the advancement of rights that had long been denied to colonized First peoples in Canada; however, it is also crucial to acknowledge that today, as then, these rights continue to remain delimited and do not meaningfully recognize or create spaces for Indigenous political, territorial, or cultural sovereignties within or without the Canadian state. As Alfred (2002) and others have noted, rights-based discourses and instruments of rights-recognition must still “conform to state-defined criteria and represent ascribed or negotiated identities” (p. 469); the onus of proof to such rights or identities remains always on Aboriginal peoples rather than the state, and is subject to non-Indigenous interpretations of legitimacy or “authenticity.” Notwithstanding these essential critiques,40 however, the repatriation of the Constitution Act, 1982 nonetheless helped to bolster the series of landmark legal judgments by the Canadian court system that has since then served to carve out part of the difficult path that defines the nature of Aboriginal rights and title to lands and resources on unceded territories in BC.  Along with the increased rights recognition of First Nations, the spread and regulation of sustainable development and sustainability discourses also began to proliferate throughout the Pacific Northwest following the Brundtland Commission’s report in 1987 and, later, the report of The World Commission on Environment and Development in 1992 (Bridge & McManus, 2000). As a result, public awareness and concern over forests mounted even further over the continued                                                  38 Section 35(1) acknowledges the existence of Aboriginal rights “as a special class of constitutional rights that are bestowed upon Aboriginal peoples by the state and that are protected within the highest form of law in the Canadian state” (Turner, 2006, p. 4). 39 This is discussed in greater detail in Section 3.2.1 40 These critiques are examined in greater detail in Section 3.2.2.   46 concentration of tenure in large corporations, as well as the long-term effects of sustained yield forestry on the land (Burda, Gale, & M’Gonigle, 1998). However, as noted earlier, it is crucial to recall that long before the popularization and integration of sustainability-related discourses and actions in BC’s policy landscape, First Nations had long held—and, importantly, continue to hold—sustainable and holistic land-based worldviews, notions of which are not only intimately tied to principles of respect, duty, reciprocity, and interrelationality with all living and non-living entities, but are also “intrinsically linked to the transmission of traditional knowledge and cultural practices to future generations” (Corntassel, 2008, p. 118). Traditional knowledges and land-based practices—applied not only by custom, but with intention, by First Nations for thousands of years on their territories—are unequivocally critical to Indigenous peoples’ well-being, food security, and livelihoods, both now and with respect to future and past generations (Corntassel, 2008): these vital realities and considerations have been actively suppressed and denied by settler governments throughout the years, and continue to be systemically marginalized today through a variety of mechanisms of dispossession in BC that facilitate the ongoing disruption and transformation of Indigenous relationships with the land and within communities. It is therefore important to acknowledge that the “emergence” of these sustainability discourses in BC’s forestry landscape in the late 20th century was neither novel nor necessarily enlightened, despite claims that suggest “British Columbia is a leader in sustainable forest management” (MoFR, 2007, p. ii).  Moreover, these discourses often came “to refer more to the economic sustainability of development itself” (Coulthard, 2010, p. 118), based in historically contingent Western ideologies of land use and value that have continued to legitimize the ongoing dispossession of Indigenous lands and lifeways in the “post-colonial” era through fallacious and hegemonic   47 notions of Western superiority and understandings of human-land interactions (Waziyatawin, 2012). Indeed, as noted by Bridge and McManus (2000), though there was “a significant increase in environmental awareness and a dramatic acceleration of activism on the behalf of the environment in the latter half of the twentieth century, the figurative ‘skeleton’” (p. 10) of the forestry sector remained essentially intact: the rise of sustainability discourses, draped in “a curtain of green rhetoric” (M’Gonigle, 1997, as cited in Bridge & McManus, 2000, p. 23) effected little systemic change to forest tenure policy and industry overall, and certainly little transformative or decolonial change with regard to ongoing settler-colonial relations with First Nations. Nevertheless, the rise of public environmental awareness in combination with the grassroots and legal activisms of First Nations—as well as the looming fear that festered in industry following a publicly issued warning by Pearse in 198941—resulted in the appointment of yet another commission in 1989—the Peel Commission—to attempt to resolve these many intersecting and also clashing issues.  While First Nations across BC continued to place grassroots pressures on government and industry,42 and to successfully bring forward claims to rights and title to the Courts, in 1991—a month prior to the finalization of Peel’s report—the NDP (New Democratic Party) rose to power in BC, based in large part on its platform to “help deliver ‘peace in the woods’” (Jackson & Curry, 2004, p. 29) through the greater inclusion of public participation in land and resource management. Many of Peel’s recommendations were taken into account and swiftly incorporated by the new government. Clearly recognizing that “the status quo is not good enough” (BC Forest Resources Commission, 1991, p. 6), the Commission’s recommendations                                                  41 Pearse claimed that “under present economic conditions, there was approximately sixteen years of logging left on the coast” (Shelford, 1993, as cited in Mitchell-Banks, 1990, p. 10). 42 In 1990 alone, nearly thirty blockades took place across the province on major roads and railways, in protest of extractive industries that were operating on stolen lands and the “economic and cultural dislocation” (Blomley, 1996, p. 7) that had been forced upon rural Indigenous communities for decades as a result.   48 emphasized an overarching theme of the “enhanced stewardship” of forests through land use planning processes blended with a vision of increased market-driven corporatization (Haley & Nelson, 2007), the combination of which was anticipated to “chart a course that will recognize and encourage the new values while maintaining the benefits of the old” (BC Forest Resources Commission, 1991, p. 8). Accordingly, the Commission once again articulated a strong need to institutionalize community participation and smaller tenures—though this time with some increased focus on the inclusion of First Nations within these contexts—while also advocating for the consideration of a wider range of values in forest management overall, including water, wildlife, recreation, and fish (Jackson & Curry, 2004). However, by and large, and much like Pearse’s report in 1976, Peel’s (BC Forest Resources Commission, 1991) report made only minor recommendations for the improved accommodation of select Aboriginal interests, capacity building, and participation within the existing forest sector; moreover, Peel’s recommendations in this regard were also oriented towards economic objectives and the greater inclusion of First Nations’ participation in the market economy, rather than the development of empowered instruments of participation compatible with Indigenous values and structures of governance.  Strikingly, where Peel’s (1991) report differed significantly from those of previous Commissions was in its significant emphasis on the need to “settle” First Nations land claims in order to ensure the “sanctity of contracts and tenure rights” (p. 22) on what it assumed—and continues to assume—to be publicly owned Crown lands. In a deeply ironic repositioning of the Province’s and industry’s historical agency in forest management and fragmentation, the Commission claimed that the most significant factor impeding the stewardship and care of lands was the “unresolved issue of Native land claims” (1991, p. 39), which created obstacles to the government’s facilitation of “the highest level of enhanced stewardship through ‘self-interest,’   49 while retaining public ownership” (p. 39). The report also maintained that “the overwhelming view of British Columbians, from whom the Commission heard, is that they want the land claims issue settled as soon as possible” (1991, p. 20). Without consideration of the state’s historical and ongoing dispossession and re-territorialization of Indigenous lands—the industrial and settler-colonial capitalist exploitation of which had in greatest part given rise to the “war in the woods”—the Commission’s report gave voice to dominant public concerns and interests, placing emphasis on the need for legal resolution and the “settling” of outstanding land claims in order to advance provincial and forest sector strategies for improved, market-based forest stewardship and timber management.  It was also apparent at this time that court judgements43 siding with Aboriginal claims to rights and title had begun to quickly dislodge and further destabilize the Province’s positions of legal, political, and economic certainty that, to date, had derived from and depended upon government’s unencumbered accumulation and distribution of the land and natural resources to private bodies. Non-Aboriginal industrial and capitalist interests that had for so long legitimized the Province’s administration of Crown forestlands now required by judicial edict a baseline consideration of Aboriginal rights and information sharing with First Nations; consultation and accommodation requirements later followed, per the ruling in Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (1997), and pressures continued to grow to “reconcile” and “settle” Aboriginal land issues—largely in the interest of certainty for the Province and industry—while simultaneously addressing First Nations’ demands for access and rights to resources (Stevenson & Perreault, 2008). The confluence of these and a variety of other conflicting forces44 made it abundantly                                                  43 R. v. Sparrow (1990) and, later, Delgamuukw v. British Columbia (1997) were particularly impactful within the forestry context. 44 i.e., First Nations’ blockades directly destabilizing forest sector interests  and investments, growing public pressures for ecosystem-based management, increasing demands for greater accountability and efficiency, and   50 clear to the Province that at some level BC’s forest sector necessitated a shift or refashioning of its overall operational structure and policy objectives to regain public confidence and to move forward into a new regime of sustainability, reconciliation, and “settlement” with First Nations.  Based on Peel’s recommendations, therefore, the Province began to undertake stakeholder-based land use planning to designate forested areas for specific uses, including timber production, protection of conservation values, and other integrated and restricted uses (Bridge & McManus, 2000). A new comprehensive Forest Practices Code was enacted to standardize and tightly regulate on-the-ground practices, and a Crown Corporation—Forest Renewal BC—was created to deliver a variety of forest management improvement programs, which also provided top-down incentives to companies that engaged with and hired First Nations employees and contractors (Graham & Wilson, 2004, p. 14). The Province also embarked on a new path in forest tenure reform to begin allocating portions of AAC to small tenure holders, including First Nations, through the BC Community Forest Pilot Program; the program launched in 1998, and continues today to be a primary though arguably flawed vehicle through which First Nations—along with other legally recognized entities—are afforded small-scale opportunities to manage tracts of forestlands and forest resources according to provincially-approved community directives.45                                                                                                                                                               “public opinion shifting increasingly towards support for non-Aboriginal governments to take action on the claims of First Nations” (Woolford, 2005, p. 85). BC’s forest industry and economy also faced several other timely challenges to growth around this time, due to the collapse of the United States housing market, the rising Canadian dollar, the emergence of low-cost international competitors, the implementation of the Softwood Lumber Agreement, and the gradual spread of the mountain pine beetle across forested ecosystems (Joseph & Krishnaswamy, 2010). 45 Though the BC Community Forest Pilot Program began only in 1998, the concept of the community forest, however, has long existed in the province and has held a significant place in international and Canadian public discourse for several decades. At the global level, trends in participatory and community-based natural resource management (CBNRM) have gained strength since the 1980s, and the concept of the community forest has been increasingly recognized as a potential management approach for attaining forest and social sustainability (Pagdee, Kim, & Daugherty, 2006). Over sixty countries worldwide are currently in the process of decentralizing institutional mechanisms and features of their respective natural resource management regimes, with the view to increase “the efficiency and equity of development activities and service delivery, and also [to promote] local participation and   51 Together with these forest sector changes, the Province also entered into modern treaty negotiations with First Nations and the federal government in 1992 through the BC Treaty Process (BCTP), with the expectation that the “resolution of Aboriginal rights and title issues will contribute to an environment of respect and recognition while [increasing] certainty for land and resource development in BC” (BC State of Forests, 2010, p. 200). Glorified as “the dawning of a new era in Aboriginal/government relations” (Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 12), the BCTP began the long and costly process of attempting to resolve outstanding land claims with the view to “remedy past injustices that were imposed on British Columbia’s First Nations so as to improve their current circumstances” and to do so “without significantly disrupting the social order” (Woolford, 2005, p. xiii) or transforming the settler-colonial structures upon which the statecraft of British Columbia and Canada depends for its legitimacy. That is, to date, the substance of treaty negotiations has been predominantly concerned with “land, natural resources, governance, and the fiscal relationship among the parties” (Curry, Donker, & Krehbiel, 2014, p. 292), discursively construed as a progressive, forward-looking process that would ultimately provide, among other things, lasting certainty and a healthy climate for business investments in the province; closure for the spectres of “historical injustices” and genocidal46 attempts by the state                                                                                                                                                              democracy” (Ribot, 2002, p. 4). Accordingly, in BC, one of the stated purposes of Community Forest Agreements (CFAs) is to provide communities with “the flexibility to manage local forests for local benefits” (MoFR, 1998, as cited in Ambus & Hoberg, 2011, p. 934), through the direct and increased participation of communities in forest management. In theory, CFAs hold “great promise” (Bullock, Hanna, & Slocombe, 2009, p. 303) for local forest-dependent economies and communities, and for the materialization of community-defined sustainable forest management practices that reflect a broad range of values (Ambus, Davis-Case, & Tyler, 2007). However, community forests have experienced varying levels of success in BC with regard to the fulfillment of local objectives (McIlveen & Bradshaw, 2009), and communities face tremendous and often insurmountable challenges related to a lack of capacity, support, flexibility, and economies of scale (Ambus, Davis-Case, & Tyler, 2007; Davis, 2008; Pinkerton et al., 2008. It is also important to note that despite the increasing popularity and acceptance of the program over the years, Community Forest Agreements (CFAs) across BC currently provide tenure holders with access to less than 2% of the total provincial AAC, which is shared amongst 57 communities (BCCFA, 2014); approximately two-thirds of these community forests are currently operated by First Nations or involve partnerships and joint ventures with First Nations. 46 The language of “cultural genocide” or “ethnocide” is often used in academic literature to describe the historical impacts of settler-colonialism in Canada. However, as Woolford (2009) and others have argued, the classification of   52 to destroy or engulf Indigenous cultures and modes of life; and, the exchange of Aboriginal rights with presumably more desirable and fixed treaty rights (Blackburn, 2005; Day & Sadik, 2002; Mackey, 2014).  Much has been written about the functioning and purpose of the Treaty Process, which has now exceeded twenty years of largely failed or delayed negotiations, and which has saddled participating First Nations with massive debts, loan repayments, divisive internal and external politics, the threat of extinguished rights and title, and marginal gains in land and resource transfers (Woolford, 2005). Filtered through a “liberal discourse of property in which Indigenous ecologies are translated to complement European understandings of land ownership” (Nadasdy, 2002, as cited in Woolford, 2011, p. 70), a strong case can be made for the role that the modern treaty process has played in facilitating a transition into a new, beneficent arrangement of the settler-colonial relationship: one that is predicated upon superficially forward-thinking principles of reconciliation and recognition, but that does not meaningfully confront or dismantle asymmetrical relationships of power, and that does not interrogate or examine the colonial dispossession of land or basic assumption of Crown sovereignty over unceded Indigenous territories. With specific relevance to the forestry context, it has become evident throughout these decades of modern treaty making that nowhere in Canada is the Crown’s monopoly on legitimation and land more evident than in BC, where—despite the glaring lack of treaties and respectful, equal “government to government” relationships—tenure licenses have continued to be issued to and transferred between large private corporate licensees on contested lands (Wood                                                                                                                                                              historical and ongoing traumas experienced by Indigenous peoples in Canada as “cultural genocide” is reductive and harmful, and reframes the nature of genocide in Canada as being somehow “different from and less severe than genocide proper” (p. 81). The term is therefore used deliberately here and elsewhere to draw attention to both “past tactics of exclusion, genocide, and assimilation” (Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 6), as well as to emphasize the nature of their contemporary manifestations which seek to transform and limit Indigenous modes of life and expressions of self-determination.   53 & Rossiter, 2011). While the treaty process carries on, the province maintains its ownership and ongoing access to forested stands on Indigenous territories, retaining the dominant share of stumpage revenues and benefits derived from the purportedly sustainable and responsible harvest of forested stands, while opportunities for First Nations remain delimited by provincial laws and governance structures, oriented towards the increased participation of Indigenous peoples in market economies and the reproduction of capitalist social relations and non-Indigenous modes of production. At the turn of the century, amidst these treaty negotiations and significant overhauls by the NDP to regulate the forest sector and increase areas devoted to the protection and conservation of ecosystems (Stoddart, 2007), the BC Liberals—who had initially rejected the newly ratified Nisga’a treaty as an “‘untried, impractical, bureaucratic nightmare’ that would entrench ‘inequality based on race’” (Premier Gordon Campbell, as cited in Wood & Rossiter, 2011, p. 414)—quickly took up a political position to work with and alongside First Nations to “accord [them] the respect, support, and social and economic opportunities to which they are entitled” (BC Legislative Assembly, 2003, as cited in Wood & Rossiter, 2011, p. 415). Faced with an increasing amount of court decisions that obliged the provincial government to consult and accommodate First Nations wherever Aboriginal rights and title might be affected, the Province embarked on a new and largely unilateral forest policy strategy in concert with treaty negotiations to increase First Nations’ participation in the forest sector. This was predominantly done through a “rapid ramp-up in the number of offers of timber and cash made to individual First Nations” (Parfitt, 2007, p. 4), facilitated through the implementation of the government’s Forestry Revitalization Plan in 2003.    54 The Forestry Revitalization Plan, which was developed without meaningful consultation or involvement of First Nations (Clogg, 2003), sought to “rebuild stability and open up new opportunities for British Columbians” (MoF, 2003a, p. 3)—British Columbians, that is, including First Nations—through major structural changes made to the forest sector. Tenure reallocation was one of the primary focuses of the plan, which proposed to legislate from current licensees the return of approximately 20 per cent, or 8.3 million cubic metres, of replaceable tenures to the Crown in the form of a mandated “take-back.” Of this 20 per cent, approximately half was expected to be eventually redistributed to small tenure holders and First Nations, while the other half would be sold through auctions. $200 million in compensation was also provided to the corporate licensees that were affected by the “take-back” (MoF, 2003b). In actuality, however, only approximately 3.7 million cubic metres of the “take-back”—equivalent to approximately 8% of the Province’s total AAC—came to be designated for redistribution to First Nations,47 the vast majority of which was distributed as short-term, volume-based, Non-Replaceable Forest Licenses (NRFLs) that provided First Nations tenure holders with access to stands bearing limited economic value, and that were often located in areas devastated by wildfire or beetle infestation (Graham & Wilson, 2004).  Access to the take-back timber and revenue-sharing opportunities was negotiated through Interim Measures Agreements (IMAs), which served as temporary mechanisms to alleviate the “uncertainty created by unresolved aboriginal rights and title [which] negatively [affected] British Columbia’s investment climate” (MoF, 2003a, p. 1) while treaty negotiations were underway. Through IMAs—initially referred to in the forestry context as Forest and Range Agreements (FRAs) in 2003, and later as Forest and Range Opportunities (FROs) in 2006—First                                                  47 The calculation for this number was proportional to the percentage of First Nations individuals who currently reside in rural and forested areas (Clogg, 2003).   55 Nations were offered opportunities to reap economic benefits in exchange for their agreement that the Province had provided “workable accommodation of [their] economic interests arising from forest and range decisions” (MoF, 2003a, p. 3). Though these agreements created conditions of “certainty” for the Province, IMAs in fact offered little in the way of “certainty” for First Nations, as they were effectively “take-it or leave-it template agreements” (Clogg, 2008, p. 2) that provided one-time, small-volume direct timber awards and payment to communities that may or may not have even had the capacity to harvest and profit from their awarded volumes in the first place.48 In order to accept an FRA offer, a First Nation was also required to agree to expedited consultation processes which would “ensure timely forestry decisions” (MoFR, 2004) and affirm that the Province had sufficiently accommodated the Nation’s economic interests. The First Nation was furthermore required to refrain from supporting any “unlawful interference with forestry operations” and “[engaging] in litigation with respect to adequacy of accommodation” (MoFR, 2004)—i.e. to explicitly refrain from erecting blockades or seeking litigation that would hinder provincial resource development or call into question the Province’s level of consultation and accommodation. The imposition of these restrictive, silencing conditions was met with strong resistance from First Nations across the province, who drew attention to the clear contradictions that existed between the coercive, prescriptive terms of the FRA and the foundational language of the newly envisioned New Relationship between First Nations and the Province.49                                                   48 Until 2005, the volume offered through these agreements ranged between only 30m3 to 54m3 per person per year for five years, and timber allocations often proved to be too costly for First Nations, “due to higher administrative and operational costs, lack of access to capital and poor market conditions” (FNFC, 2008, p. 3). Revenue sharing was also initially calculated on an arbitrary per capita basis, amounting to $500 per person per year, also for five years. 49 The New Relationship was entered into by the government of the Province of British Columbia and First Nations in March, 2005, wherein both parties agreed to “a new government-to-government relationship based on respect, recognition and accommodation of aboriginal title and rights” and the establishment of “processes and institutions   56 Negotiations between First Nations and the Province eventually led to changes in the FRA template, removing injunctions that permitted the Province to cancel agreements if First Nations engaged in litigation contesting the Province’s level of accommodation (UBCIC, 2006). The provision requiring First Nations to “co-operatively” respond to issues of civil disobedience by their own members in relation to forest development activities was also removed in 2005, and the failed FRA agreement was soon after replaced by FROs in 2006. FROs, however, were also met with resistance: First Nations were still required to agree that benefits provided to them under the short-sighted agreement “[constituted] interim accommodation of the economic component of the potential infringements [of] aboriginal title and rights” (UBCIC, 2006, p. 2).50 Economic benefits to First Nations were also still driven by per-capita formulations, despite the unconstitutionality and illegality of such an agreement as determined by the Huu-Ay-Aht First Nation et al v. The Minister of Forests et al. (2005) case51 (Clogg, 2008). Nevertheless, and notwithstanding the restricted and bounded nature of these agreements, by 2009, 125 individual First Nations had signed FRAs and/or FROs with the Province to gain access to NRFLs and to receive partial revenues for timber harvested on their traditional territories (MFLNR, 2011). These short-term direct award agreements accounted for a significant portion of First Nations-held tenures by 2010, amounting to approximately 7.6% of First Nations’ access to the total provincial AAC52 (AANDC, 2012). In essence, however, FRAs and FROs extended only limited,                                                                                                                                                              for shared decision-making about the land and resources and for revenue and benefit sharing” (Government of British Columbia, 2005, p. 1). 50 The Province also retained its right to terminate the agreement wherever there existed “a challenge on the basis that the Economic Benefits…were not adequate or sufficient” (Squamish First Nation, 2006, p. 8). 51 In Huu-Ay-Aht First Nation et al v. The Minister of Forests et al., (2005), it was ruled that the original IMA template did not fulfill the Crown’s constitutional duties to consult and accommodate the nation, and that the per-capita population based formula for tenure and revenue amounts “[failed] to take into account the individual nature” of the First Nation’s claim. 52 By contrast, only 6.3% of the total provincial AAC was held by First Nations through competitive volume-based Woodlot and Forest Licenses, as well as through BC Timber Sales. It would also be noted that access to AAC is considerably higher than actual volumes harvested by First Nations.   57 short-term, and often challenging economic opportunities for First Nations within the existing framework of the timber tenure system, failing to call into question or make reparations for colonial injustices, but nonetheless touted as historic milestones in Aboriginal-Provincial relations that “galvanized the province of BC and began an entirely new relationship between First Nations and BC” (AANDC, 2012). In actuality, these “opportunities” failed to open up meaningful pathways towards the increased self-determination of First Nations beyond the scope of impoverished conceptions of market-based autonomy and independence which rely upon the continued exploitation of forested stands on Indigenous territories by both Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal industrial bodies.  While awaiting the settlement of treaties, the Province continued to move forward in attempts to recast its relationship with First Nations, committing to usher in a new, effectively “post-colonial” future through “transformative change” that would “achieve the goals of closing the social and economic gap between First Nations and other British Columbians over the next 10 years, of reconciling aboriginal rights and title with those of the Crown, and of establishing a new relationship based upon mutual respect and recognition” (Government of British Columbia, 2005b, p. 1). Within the forest sector, the most influential gesture towards such a future arguably came about through recommendations put forth by the Working Roundtable on Forestry in March, 2009, which identified key opportunities that would create a “high value, globally competitive, sustainable forest industry that can support generations to come” (Roundtable, 2009, p. 9).53 Six priorities were identified by the Roundtable, the last of which pledged to make                                                  53 Formed in March, 2008, the Roundtable consisted of 22 members representing a variety of interests and expertise in forestry, including the elected chief of the Ulkatcho First Nation, as well as one member of the Kaska First Nation. However, Roundtable members did not represent forest sector interest groups. Over the course of a year, the Roundtable received over 250 submissions for input regarding pertinent forestry issues from various groups throughout the province, including communities, forest companies, organized labour, environmental groups, the First Nations Forestry Council, and the First Nations Leadership Council.   58 First Nations “full partners” in forestry by supporting the increased participation and integration of First Nations in the forest sector54 (Roundtable, 2009). To this end, recommendations focused on identifying and carving out clearer, unique spaces for First Nations in forestry within the existing tenure system and forest sector, and through the expansion of the existing Community Forest Agreement Tenure program. Recommendations 25 and 2655 in particular provided the basis for the development of a First Nations Woodland Licence (FNWL), which precipitated much-anticipated tenure reform for First Nations who have long sought to achieve not only greater equity and inclusion, but distinctly more decision-making power within the forest sector in BC. The FNWL was developed in 2010 to specifically provide First Nations licensees with the exclusive rights to harvest timber on designated Crown land, the size and location of which is determined by the Minister.56 Like CFAs, licenses are awarded to eligible communities for a term of 25 to 99 years, and, importantly, provide opportunities for the harvest, management, and sale of non-timber resources. However, to be eligible for an FNWL, First Nations must first agree to sign IMAs with the government regarding timber extraction and revenue sharing; FRAs and FROs were therefore phased out and replaced by moderately more accommodating Forest Consultation and Revenue Sharing Agreements (FCRSAs) and Timber Opportunity Agreements                                                  54 The other five priorities were: 1) a commitment to using wood first; 2) growing trees, sequestering carbon, and ensuring that land is available from which to derive a range of forest products; 3) creating a globally competitive, market-based operating climate; 4) embracing innovation and diversification; and 5) supporting prosperous rural forest economies (Roundtable, 2009, p. 8). 55 Recommendation 25 of the Roundtable report states that the Province should create “more long term, area-based forest tenures that are of an economically viable size, and create legislation for a First Nations forest tenure.” Recommendation 26 notes that revenue-sharing with First Nations “should be proportional to the value of timber harvested in their respective territories instead of being calculated on a per capita basis” (Roundtable, 2009, p. 45). 56 Reserve and private land may also be included in the tenure, though stumpage fees apply only to the extraction of timber on Crown lands (Forest Act, 1996).   59 (TOAs) to serve this function.57 Of BC’s 203 First Nations, 116 have signed FCRSAs to date (Government of British Columbia, 2014); however, only two First Nations—the Huu-ay-aht First Nation and Canim Lake First Nation—have been issued FNWLs since 2010. Though FNWLs have been hailed as “exciting departures from the short term, non-exclusive right to harvest timber that characterized licences awarded to First Nations in the past” (AANDC, 2012), progress on this front remains markedly slow, and implications of the FNWL to First Nations’ self-determination are also currently unclear. However, structural similarities that exist between FNWLs and CFAs—i.e. both are area-based community tenures that have notably like characteristics—suggest that many of the well-documented successes and challenges experienced by community forests in BC58 are very likely to be experienced by FNWL holders as well.  Though CFAs and FNWLs are hailed in theory as positive opportunities to devolve some authority to licensees, in practice, results are mixed. Most notably, as observed by Ambus and Hoberg (2011), the “degree of devolution thus far is quite modest” and changes to tenure design and structure “are not as substantive, comprehensive, or innovative as originally envisioned” (p. 945). At this point in time, to label community-based forestry as an alternative to large-scale industrial forestry would, in most instances, be a distortion of on-the-ground realities. However, notwithstanding the many challenges and limitations associated with these particular tenures, it is also important to acknowledge that certain benefits may indeed be returned to communities that                                                  57 In contrast to FRAs and FROs, however, FCRSAs provide revenue-sharing to First Nations based on the amount of harvesting activity that occurs within their respective traditional territories, rather than on a per capita basis. Through this agreement, 3% of the forest revenue collected by the province is shared with the First Nation in question. If the value of the revenue sharing amounts to less than $35,000, the nation is entitled to receive “a maximum of $35,000 to provide capacity to participate in the consultation process” (MARR, 2012a). 58 The literature on community forestry in BC is relatively expansive, and continues to grow; however, the following articles provide a good overview of the primary benefits, successes, challenges, and critiques currently related to community forestry: Alemagi, 2010; Ambus, Davis-Case, & Tyler, 2007; Ambus & Hoberg, 2011; Bradshaw, 2003; Bullock & Hanna, 2008; Bullock, Hanna, & Slocombe, 2009; Davis, 2008; Pinkerton et al., 2008; Vernon, 2007.   60 successfully manage their operations. However, these benefits—typically quantifiable—are largely taken to be indicators of progress and betterment, perceived as unquestionably good outcomes that empower First Nations and contribute to their increased self-determination by ostensibly enabling communities to gain economic rewards while also having “a larger say in the management of the land consistent with [their] culture and values” (MFLNROb, 2011).  Today, the majority of opportunities for First Nations as “full partners” in forestry are located in small-scale community-based or volume-based tenures, NRFLs, and revenue-sharing agreements—arrangements that have all emerged from a timber tenure system contingent upon the Crown’s historical and ongoing ownership and authority over unceded lands. To date, however, the tenure system has made few provisions for the allocation of forests to First Nations for alternative, traditional, and/or non-industrial use, despite the challenges and arguably marginal improvements to BC’s policy landscape and forest sector in recent years. Questions still remain as to how meaningful opportunities will in fact be made available to First Nations through processes that actively seek to enhance corporatization and market integration, while also simultaneously “recognizing” Aboriginal rights and title but instituting mechanisms that streamline consultation in order to “[provide] certainty to the land base and [provide] a positive investment environment for industry” (MARR, 2012).  It is also the case, however, that tenure currently provides de facto legal access to forest lands on traditional territories, which holds the potential for First Nations to secure access to resources and manage them for “diverse uses…rather than being held to timber production standards as required by the Crown” (Curran & M'Gonigle, 1999, p. 738). However, within the existing tenure system, this potential currently exists only within the scope of community-based tenures in BC. Though the concept of community forests was initially “born of highly   61 progressive impulses: to democratize, to redress colonial injustices, and to do a better job of environmental protection” (McCarthy, 2005, p. 996), none of these impulses have arguably actualized to become lasting or defining characteristics of community-based tenures in BC, to say nothing of tenures and agreements that do not outwardly suggest or infer such outcomes. In particular, the “redress of colonial injustices” has not been facilitated by the decentralization of tenure on Crown lands and devolution of limited rights to First Nations communities.  Guided by state-imposed regulations which encourage participation in free-market capitalism and liberal entrepreneurialism in the forest sector, while at the same time negotiating limited geographies and ambiguous terms or degrees of self-sufficiency, community-based tenure holders are in fact often confronted with obstacles and uncertainties that are difficult to overcome or transcend (Young, 2008). For First Nations tenure holders, challenges are amplified by structural limitations and vested settler-colonial state interests to delimit the expression, will, and political organization of Indigenous nations and peoples. Moreover, though the granting of tenure for First Nations may appear on the surface to be relatively new and progressive developments in BC’s forestry setting, it important to underscore that the notion of community-managed forests is far from novel: pre- and post-contact, Indigenous peoples and nations have long cared for, managed, altered, and benefited from forest resources and wealth on their lands through complex, adaptive resource and social management systems and practices developed over thousands of years of lived experience and necessity (Nadasdy 2005, Turner 2005, Wyatt 2008, Trosper et al. 2012). Since the mid-nineteenth century, however, these systems and practices have been, and continue to be, marginalized or rendered invisible by dominant non-Indigenous settler narratives and institutionalized capitalist-oriented policies, legislation, and practices that have positioned Indigenous material and non-material relationalities to the land as   62 inferior or as accessory to their own. First Nations have actively struggled to transcend and resist these and innumerable other forms of asymmetries and violence that have been created through settler colonialism and its attendant governmentalizing and “homogenizing force[s] of Western liberalism and free-market capitalism” (Alfred, 1999, as cited in Coulthard, 2007, p. 447). From the outset of colonial settlement and the first assertion of Crown sovereignty on lands which today are known as British Columbia, Indigenous peoples have resolutely worked towards finding just solutions to the dispossession, theft, and encroachment of their lands, titles, rights, and bodies.  Nevertheless, the award and distribution of forest tenures to First Nations in BC continue to be characterized by government as positive, forward-thinking efforts towards the titular repossession, control, and management of local resources by rurally-based First Nations. Within the broader contexts of the Treaty Process and Indigenous-settler relations as a whole, however, the distribution of tenures within the existing forest tenure system may in fact serve to undermine First Nations’ struggles for self-determination and sovereignty, and further entrench the dispossession of Indigenous lands in BC through the naturalization of “the myth of state sovereignty” (Alfred, 1999, p. 58) and provincial authority over Crown forestlands on un-ceded First Nations traditional territories. Moreover, the struggle and conflict that exists between the BC Treaty Process, assertions of Indigenous nationhood, and the distribution of tenures and revenue-sharing agreements to First Nations remains under-researched and under-valued as a legitimate theoretical and practical site of inquiry.     63 Section 3: “Parallel” and mutually contested sovereignties in BC  How did the Queen get the land from our forefathers to set it apart for us? It is ours to give to the Queen, and we don’t understand how she could have it to give to us.  - Charles Russ, Report of Commission - N.W. Coast Indians, 1888.  …the date of sovereignty is more certain than the date of first contact.  - Delgamuukw v. British Columbia, (1997).  As underscored in Delgamuukw (1997), the date of “first contact” may not be precisely known or recorded with accuracy, but, more to the point, in the view of the Crown and the Courts, it is known with some greater degree of certainty that June 15, 1846 is the date on which British sovereignty came to be formally asserted over lands which today are known as British Columbia. On this day, the Oregon Treaty—signed between Britain and the United States (US)—carried the northern border of the US along the 49th parallel to the Pacific Ocean, arbitrarily carving through existing and overlapping Indigenous territories and triggering the legitimation of de jure Crown sovereignty over lands known to be occupied de facto by sovereign peoples (Harris, 1998; McKee, 2000; McNeil, 2012). Though this date of sovereign assertion is affirmed by the Canadian courts and by settler-colonial constructions of history, the ultimate dominion of the Crown over Indigenous territories, however, was not and is not unanimously held with the same conviction or belief by all: as noted by Alfred (2002), the “mere documentation of European assertions of hegemonic sovereignty does not necessarily indicate proof of its achievement” (p. 461), nor has its “achievement” in BC been met without contestation and active resistance by Indigenous peoples since the spread of settlements, dispossession, capital accumulation of lands, and colonization of First Nations first began in the province.   64 Today, the Crown’s assertion of sovereignty continues to persist in BC on territorial boundaries mapped out by the state in the nineteenth century, while, in tandem, pre-existing and unbroken assertions of Indigenous nationhoods are maintained and expressed within the very same territories on which First Nations understand themselves to be the original keepers and occupiers of the land. These “parallel” and mutually contested sovereignties have arguably remained at the core of struggles relating to lands, capital, and power across BC since the first unilateral declaration of sovereign authority by the Crown in 1846 (Culhane, 1998; Ratner & Woolford, 2008). However, in the purview of the state and of dominant Canadian society, Crown sovereignty over the vast expanses of land in BC is understood to be unequivocally legitimate, paramount, and unassailable. From this standpoint, wherein “[m]any Canadians would respond, with pride, that…we gained sovereignty over the lands we live on, and established political jurisdiction over its Indigenous inhabitants, through the rule of law” (Culhane, 1998, p. 16), sovereign authority—deployed domestically and recognized internationally by other polities—is believed to reside always already with the Crown. As a result, assertions of Indigenous sovereignty and claims to Aboriginal rights and title by First Nations are effectively subsumed and delimited by the state’s asymmetrical sovereign claim and ultimately exclusive territorial and jurisdictional control over BC’s lands and peoples59 Yet, the Crown’s underlying legal title to BC’s lands—acquired through colonization and settlement of First Nations’ traditional territories—is held almost entirely through the state’s “assumed sovereign authority” (Coulthard, 2007, p. 15) and “fiction of Canadian (colonial) law” (Alfred, 1999, p. 120): “fiction,” as sovereign authority in BC came to be asserted neither through historical conquest nor cessation                                                  59 This continues to hold true even despite the Supreme Court of Canada’s most recent and landmark ruling in Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia (2014). Government may still justifiably infringe on Aboriginal title wherever “the infringement is backed by a compelling and substantial legislative objective in the public interest” (para. 88) and when “the benefit to the public is proportionate to any adverse effect on the Aboriginal interest” (para. 125).   65 of lands through treaties and the hazy passage of time, but rather through colonial settlement and accumulation of lands rich in natural resources, populated by diverse, distinct, and autonomous Indigenous nations (Smith, 2009).  Notwithstanding the Crown’s ultimate authority over lands and peoples in BC, however, Indigenous assertions of sovereignty, as noted in Section 2, have in the past several decades become increasingly recognized as a result of First Nations’ powerful protests, contestations, blockades, and victories in the Canadian courts, as well as, most recently, Indigenous resurgence movements that have spread across Canada.60 Though active resistance has always been sustained by First Nations against colonial dispossession, disenfranchisement, and oppression, Indigenous claims to nationhood and self-determination are perhaps more visible now than ever in the defence of sovereign control over traditional territories and the natural resources and capital that are attached to them. As noted by Tully (2000), “the prior existence and sovereignty, as well as the continuing colonization and resistance, of indigenous peoples was rarely mentioned until it began to reappear at the margins during the last decade of the twentieth century” (p. 44). Correspondingly, this resurgence of Indigenous resistance and increasing juridical support of Aboriginal rights and title have had a significant effect on the ways in which resource development and management have come to take place in BC in recent decades, with “contentious performatives of sovereignty by agents of provincial, federal, and First Nations governments [seeking] to fix a precarious tie between territory and jurisdictional control over habitats, species, and resources” (Sullivan, 2006, p. 44).                                                  60 Idle No More, which began in 2012, is one of the largest sustained grassroots and educational mass movements in Canadian history that seeks to “build sovereignty & resurgence of nationhood…pressure government and industry to protect the environment…[and] build allies in order to reframe the nation to nation relationships” (Idle No More , n.d.). The movement has called upon and connected Indigenous peoples and allies across Canada to work together to re-envision and set in motion alternative pathways towards the revitalization and resurgence of Indigenous self-determination and sovereignties on stolen lands.   66 To this end, countless agreements and costly negotiations have been set in motion by different governmental bodies in attempts to clarify and settle conflicting claims to lands and resources. As noted earlier, the BC Treaty Process is a primary site for land claims resolutions and the devolution of self-governing authority to First Nations; it is also a primary site for the performance and negotiation of contested sovereignties wherein First Nations and the provincial and federal governments have sought to negotiate modern treaties, with the latter’s view to “build greater certainty over lands and resources” for capitalist development while also avowedly seeking to fulfill principles of “mutual respect, reconciliation, and recognition of Aboriginal rights and title” (MARR, 2007). Similarly, IMAs are government-endorsed mechanisms that aim to establish “government-to-government” relationships between First Nations and the Province to protect and enhance Aboriginal interests while providing increased certainty for development opportunities and industry on contested lands (MARR, 2014; Province of British Columbia, 1994). In like manner, tenure agreements for First Nations, typically also linked to IMAs, seek to protect Indigenous interests and to enable the increased decision-making capacity and participation of First Nations in their local forests, while opening pathways for investor certainty and returning socio-economic benefits to the province as a whole (MFLNROa, 2011). On the surface, these agreements and negotiations may appear to be indicative of meaningful, progressive steps forward in the renegotiation and reconciliation of these parallel but contested sovereignties, with commitments “to [resolving] long-standing issues” (MoF, 2003a, p. 15) that persist amongst Aboriginal, provincial, and federal relations. However, and setting aside the ambiguous signification and lack of accountability associated with such a phrase, “to resolve long-standing issues”61—one that only weakly and obscurely alludes to the breadth of deeply                                                  61 This type of indirectly signifying language is common in agreements and discussions between government and Aboriginal peoples.   67 pervasive and violent patriarchal, racist, and genocidal effects of settler-colonialism—it is critical to highlight that nowhere in the long line of agreements and negotiations is “the means by which the Crown might have acquired [its] interests in the first place” (Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 12) challenged or called into question by non-Indigenous discourses, practices, institutions, or laws. The legitimacy of Crown sovereignty is always already a non-negotiable “given”: an established fact that has also remained fundamentally unaltered by all negotiations and agreements in the forestry context that purportedly seek to provide positive opportunities for First Nations in the forest sector and/or to resolve outstanding constitutional, legal, social, economic, and moral issues that have emerged through the continued dispossession of Indigenous peoples.  In this light, it must be asked to what degree self-determination of First Nations is even possible if Indigenous claims and expressions of sovereignty and nationhood are, at very best, recognized only in part—such that they are largely delimited to municipal-style forms of governance and the enhancement of certain cultural practices and province-approved values that do not ultimately disrupt the state’s access to lands and resources, or threaten its capitalist modes of production and investment interests on lands to which it claims radical, underlying title. The limited forms of self-determination granted to First Nations today through tenure acquisition and revenue-sharing agreements—both of which are framed as opportunities for socio-economic development, partnerships, and increased “participation”—may be seen to effectively perpetuate the colonial tendency “to elide or elude the possibility that Aboriginal nationhood could be achieved alongside, rather than inside, the Canadian nation-state” (Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 17). The imposed limitations on self-determination furthermore implicitly dismiss and delegitimize Indigenous alternatives of “sovereignty-nationhood…as ‘unrealistic,’ ‘dangerous,’ or   68 ‘anachronistic’” (Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 25), while simultaneously “[governmentalizing] the operations of First Nations’ autonomy in a circumscribed, neoliberal manner” (Woolford & Ratner, 2004, p. 292). Before we can fully arrive at such conclusions, however, it is necessary to first conceptualize and problematize the notion and discourse of Western sovereignty upon which the Crown and state is wholly dependent for its legitimacy, and which is perceived by broader society to be a fundamentally valid, superior, enduring, and ordering principle of the world.   3.1 Conceptualizing and problematizing the Western discourse of sovereignty  The assumption that the national polity is real is now reflected in so much structure, accounting, and interpretation that we can hardly imagine a world constructed any other way. (Boli, 2001, p. 54)  The reification of sovereignty in politics today is the result of a triumph of a particular set of ideas over others – no more natural to the world than any other man-made object. (Alfred, 2002, p. 471)  Though Western sovereignty might appear a priori as a principle of legitimacy and as a universal politico-legal condition of states, the concept—as it is commonly understood—is of course the product of centuries of European political and legal discourses, practices, and institutions that have developed and been structurally reinforced and reproduced over time (Andrusieczko, 2012; Turner, 2006). Formed over hundreds of years through philosophical contemplations, intellectual theorization, relations amongst polities, and exertions of power, Western sovereignty has come to be chiefly invoked in one of its most common usages today as “the basic constitutional doctrine of the law of nations” (Brownlie, 1970, as cited in Hannum, 1996, p. 14), signalling and conferring legitimate and supreme authority, autonomy, and   69 territorial integrity upon nation-states within certain geopolitical spaces (Joyce, 2013; Krasner, 2001). For most sovereign states, this common usage is paramount—deployed domestically and recognized internationally as an empirical, essential reality of statehood.  However, though sovereignty has enshrined itself as one of the most central and powerful concepts in modern political theory, legal discourse, and international relations, it has also shown itself to be the “‘most glittering and controversial notion in the history, doctrine and practice of public international law’” (Steinberger, 2000, as cited in Baudet, 2012, p. 39)—both in its denotation and consolidation of ultimate, supreme legality within states on the one hand, and in its muddled, contestable abstraction on the other. On one level, sovereignty is recognized and appreciated as a central quality of established states, marked by a specific set of attributes which generally denotes a combination of “a territory, a population, an effective domestic hierarchy of control, de jure constitutional independence, the de facto absence of external authority, international recognition, and the ability to regulate transborder flows” (Krasner, 2001, p. 6).62 These attributes are given substance, for instance, in Canada, in a variety of ways through constitutional application, which grants federal and provincial legislatures the capacities to make laws that are effectively recognized as legitimate and enforceable within their relevant                                                  62 These attributes are linked, respectively, to domestic, Westphalian, international, and interdependent conceptualizations of sovereignty by Krasner (1999; 2001): domestic sovereignty refers to formal “structures of authority within a state and [the] state’s effectiveness or control” (2001, p. 20) over its internal population; Westphalian sovereignty refers to the notion that sovereign states hold the highest authority in and of themselves, both internally and externally; international sovereignty refers to the mutual and formal recognition of statehood by other states; and interdependent sovereignty refers to the state’s control of movement across its borders. According to Krasner, each of these conceptualizations, or categories, of sovereignty can undermine or limit the potency or legitimacy of other categories; however, “the absence or loss of one kind of sovereignty does not logically imply an erosion of others” (1999, p. 4). A state may therefore legitimately exercise more than one kind and degree of sovereignty, though sovereignties do not necessarily or always need to co-vary. Notwithstanding these and other complexities associated with the definition of what does and what does not constitute sovereignty, the scope of this thesis is largely concerned with domestic sovereignty in essence and in practice, and in international sovereignty through recognition, as they relate to the Canadian state and Indigenous expressions and materializations of nationhood. For a substantive examination of Westphalian and international sovereignties, among others, see Stephen Krasner, Sovereignty - Organized Hypocrisy (1999) and Problematic Sovereignty: Contested Rules and Political Possibilities (2001).   70 jurisdictions. To legitimately claim sovereignty and be recognized as sovereign therefore serves many functional purposes for states in legal practice and diplomacy, as well as in the maintenance of internal order. In this regard, sovereignty undoubtedly “has concrete and useful meaning” (Heller & Sofaer, 2001, p. 24) that is generally accepted internally and taken to be legitimate by other states that are also recognized to be sovereign. That is, sovereign authority bestows upon legitimate states the “concrete and useful” ability to map out and to enforce boundaries, to determine—importantly—what is law, “to decide and to judge” (Joyce, 2013, p. 2), and to establish relationships and ordering principles with relation to powers that are situated both inside and outside a given nation-state. Clearly, sovereignty is not merely consequential or constituted through its discursive signification and utterances; it also performs and is meaningfully conceived as an empirical reality and given object of political science (Bartelson, 1995).  However, although sovereignty is often linked, empirically, to notions of independence, political autonomy, or collective identities, one of the primary legitimating features of a state is in fact its ability to establish sovereignty itself as an essential attribute of its statehood and to thereby prescribe and structure its relationships accordingly with regard to internal and external powers (Boli, 2001; Hannum, 1996). This feature, in turn, somewhat tautologically re-inscribes the state’s very statehood and sovereign nature. A sovereign state, for instance, is not only recognized as such by other sovereign states in the world order, but is also accorded fundamental and substantial rights that issue from its assumed and accepted legitimacy (Fowler & Bunck, 1995); its legitimacy, moreover, enables interactions with other sovereign states “on the basis of agreed methods and common understandings” (Heller & Sofaer, 2001, p. 30) that have developed with apparent linearity and progressive intention over time.   71 Despite its apparent “naturalness” and primacy as a condition of statehood, sovereignty is also, however, recognized to be a muddled, confused concept—a “perennial source of theoretical confusion” (Bartelson, 1995, p. 12), which in many respects defies definition and yet potently and uncontestedly signifies. While few would deny its significance as a political, unifying condition of the state and as a central expression of legitimacy—regardless of how such legitimacy might be obtained and maintained in the first place—to define Western sovereignty conceptually and theoretically is and has always been a tremendous challenge. Bartelson (1995), to whom much of the section on Western conceptions of sovereignty is indebted, likens the question of sovereignty in political science to the question of “substance” in Western philosophy, noting that it is a question that is “tacitly implied in the very practice of questioning” (p. 1). The analogy is apt: sovereignty is very plainly a constituent part of the world order and of contemporary political reality, and yet the concept—ambiguous, porous, and malleable—is frequently ill-defined or given multiple contradictory meanings, despite being a determining feature of state or nationhood itself. Krasner (1996), another leading scholar and theorist on sovereignty, has similarly noted that the concept is “mired in hopeless confusion” (p. 1). For instance, the invocation of sovereignty by state or by Crown might appear intelligible or obvious in most circumstances—e.g., signifying the fundamental ability and authority of an independent polity to exercise power and laws, and to be recognized by other polities—but the concept has also come to be “closely associated with democracy and the idea that the people rule” (Nootens, 2013, p. 3), and has been used to signify a variety of meanings in different disciplines and fields of study.  Nevertheless, as a leading principle of Western political theory, sovereignty is regarded globally as the cornerstone of relations amongst and between states today, and is also held up as   72 the foundation for a peaceable world order and model of the nation-state (Boli, 2001). Despite the arguably vague signification and internal inconsistencies that wrench at the coherence of the very concept itself, sovereignty “cannot simply be wished away” (Bartelson, 2011, p. 86) and is a reality through which the political world is both understood and constituted and with which we must reasonably contend. However, it is also equally necessary to accede to the fact that Western sovereignty is certainly not a universal concept, despite its universalizing force and apparent cogency. Its reality and reification, as Alfred (2002) notes, “is the result of a triumph of a particular set of ideas over others—no more natural to the world than any other man-made object” (p. 471). That is, the Western discourse of sovereignty—upon which the Crown depends for its legitimacy—is contingent on its strength as a powerful discourse and exercise of governmentality, entrenched and reproduced through a variety of practices, institutions, and technologies of the state that have specifically served to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their lands and to suppress their lifeways and legitimate, parallel claims to sovereignty in BC, as elsewhere across Canada.  In BC, where these parallel and contested sovereignties do in fact exist, and where one clearly dominates over the other, it is crucial to take a considerable step backwards and to view more clearly the principal, historically contingent assumptions that underlie the concept and discourse of Western sovereignty today, such that legislative power and authority—or de jure sovereignty—has come to unquestionably inhere and stay so inhered in the Crown and state. This thesis posits that through a closer examination of the early origins of Western sovereignty, and, in particular, the emergence and entrenchment of the twinned discursive axes of absolutism and indivisibility, as originally theorized by Jean Bodin and Thomas Hobbes—both enormously influential European legal and political philosophers—we may begin to destabilize, in part, the   73 “grand structure” and hegemony of Western sovereignty in settler-colonial Canada, and to thereby open up a much needed space within natural resources literatures in BC for wider critiques of Crown and state legitimacies. Simultaneously, we might also expand the currently restricted space that exists for the expression and materialization of Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty and nationhood, which may be useful in decolonizing structures and technologies of power—such as forest tenure—that continue to uphold and reproduce settler colonial assumptions regarding the primacy of Crown sovereignty.   3.1.1 Pre-modern conceptions of Western sovereignty  Though the oldest conceptual antecedents of the Western theory of sovereignty can be traced as far back as Aristotle and to classical elements of Roman Law,63 “sovereignty” as an applied term is believed to have first emerged in European political discourse in the late thirteenth century through Philippe de Beaumanoir’s written declaration that the king is sovereign, holding a power above all others64 (Bartelson, 1995). Over the course of the next three hundred years, “sovereignty” gradually became more commonly, though not unambiguously, understood by political and legal thinkers to refer to the notion that “every baron is the highest in his own barony” (Baudet, 2012, p. 40)—that is, that no higher political power could exist over the sovereign in his own domain. However, this view of sovereignty was not readily or                                                  63 In Politics, Aristotle conceives of the sovereign as “the most powerful body within the State” (Mulgan, 1970, p. 522); Aristotle’s sovereign, however, is neither above rule and law, nor reluctant to share or divide power amongst other bodies. In ancient Rome, however, the sovereign was understood to possess absolute and despotic power, wherein the ruler’s will had the full force of law, accorded to him through the people who “transferred to him all their right and power” (Merriam, 2001, p. 6). Though Roman law in particular provided the groundwork for many modern conceptualizations of sovereignty, it is widely agreed upon that Roman jurisconsults did not systematically analyze or produce clear theories of sovereignty (Nootens, 2013). 64 De Beaumanoir, a jurist and royal official in France, wrote Les Coutumes de Beauvaisis (1283), a principle work on French customary law.   74 practically adopted in the pre-modern era, and discord between those who held authority by saccerdotium (i.e., through designation of an earthly but theocratic hierarchy, sanctioned and ordered by God) and those who held it by imperium (i.e., through earthly authority, delegated through royal or pre-modern state power) continued to persist: ecclesiasts vied to acquire earthly power on the one hand, while early statebuilders sought to gain and maintain imperial authority on the other.65  European theories regarding modern sovereignty, however, began to emerge more fully in the late 16th century, taking a turn away from order prescribed explicitly through religion and dynastic monarchies and moving gradually towards notions of “rational,” secular state sovereignties based on nations and arguably “a progressively more egalitarian expression of popular sovereignty” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 52). During this time, the consolidation of sovereignty in the king began to unfurl in concert with the emergence of a growing international world order and the suppression of churchly authority in political matters; power and authority also began to disperse effectively from the king to the fledgling state, resulting in a gradual shift in the locus of government from a personalized sovereign to an impersonal—but still supreme—legal and political authority (Bartelson, 1995; Nootens, 2013; Prokhovnik, 2008).  Numerous scholars of political theory have written extensively about the course of this transition in efforts to explain how and why conceptions of sovereignty might have transformed in this way between the pre-modern and modern eras in Europe.66 However, though there is some disagreement and many nuances between the works of these scholars, there is nevertheless a general consensus that this period—i.e. the late sixteenth century in Europe, a time of violent                                                  65 See Jens Bartelson’s (1995) A Genealogy of Sovereignty for a full account of the conception of sovereignty throughout the pre-modern era, including a compelling analysis of the influence of math on discourses of sovereignty. 66 Prokhovnik (2008) provides a strong chronological summary of principle thinkers in her book, Sovereignty History and Theory, as does Bartelson (1995), in A Genealogy of Sovereignty.   75 conflict and social and political readjustment—was central for the fomentation of principal ideas and discourses that continue to thoroughly underpin Western conceptions of modern state sovereignty today. It is during the early modern period where the question of sovereign authority turned from one of governance to one of form, wherein political philosophers began to reason out ways in which a polity could become internally coherent and stable, while simultaneously protecting itself from “external enemies” (Bartelson, 2011, p. 89). Gradually over time, the concept of the state began to emerge, along with a transformation in the locus, source, and scope of sovereign power and authority.  Though “state sovereignty, and the international system of nation states that accompanies it” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 25) has without doubt transformed significantly over the centuries—both discursively and in practice—it is nevertheless important to descend briefly into the early modern origins of Western sovereignty in order to more fully understand how its historically contingent and “prestigiously long pedigree” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 29) has come to be taken for granted as the universal ordering principle of the modern political world. It is by tracing this history that the main features of the sovereignty discourse can be seen to emerge—i.e., that of its absolutism and indivisibility—“descending from an ignoble ancestry” (Noujain, 1987, p. 170), inscribing knowledge and belief over time to become an essentially uncontested foundation of political discourse and reality amongst internally and internationally recognized sovereign nation-states, such as Canada, today.   3.1.2 Sovereignty as absolute   As a concept, sovereignty in its present iteration no longer meaningfully connotes the endowment or sanctioning of absolute “untrammelled power” (Chowdhury & Duvall, 2014, p.   76 195)67—absolutism, that is, in the sense of unrestricted, total sovereign authority over a polity, vested, for instance, in a figure whose power cannot be constrained either by constitution or by law. To exert or to wield such power would be viewed as “a mark of despotism, unworthy of sovereignty” (Chowdhury & Duvall, 2014, p. 195) or, to be more specific, would make offending sovereigns ineligible for legitimate membership in or recognition by the international community. Certainly there is no doubt that sovereign states cannot freely, in theory, exercise absolute authority: today they are subject to international laws even within their own territories, and are limited in certain regards both in their internal and external actions (Hannum, 1996). For some scholars, these clear restrictions on actions have made it a challenge to maintain that sovereignty might still be conceived in any meaningful way as “absolute.” Rather, absolutism is often perceived as a “false doctrine” (Hannum, 1996, p. 14), based on the logic that states are constrained of necessity by international law and are therefore granted conditional sovereignty, rather than absolute (Chowdhury & Duvall, 2014).  However, sovereignty may in some meaningful measure be perceived as absolute in its domestic expression—that is, as the legitimatized organization of authority and control exercised by a state over its ostensibly united polity, and within a clear geopolitical space (Krasner, 2001). This is an enduring, pervasive, and yet perhaps understated expression of absolutism within the Western discourse of sovereignty in the contemporary era. Even where popular sovereignty68 is believed to provide the foundation for the exercise of sovereign rights, in practice, sovereignty inheres in the state, whereby authority is legitimized through the presupposition that states may                                                  67 This is particularly true following the establishment of the United Nations in 1945 and the adoption of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, after which sovereignty came to be understood more definitively to refer to “a state’s ‘responsibility to protect’ the human rights of its citizens, making intervention possible on condition that a state is either unable or unwilling to safeguard the human rights of its citizens” (Chowdhury & Duvall, 2014, p. 194). 68 i.e., the notion that sovereign authority ultimately inheres in the people.   77 fundamentally exercise territorial autonomy and asymmetrical jurisdiction over internal and external matters, subject to particular constraints within human rights frameworks and internationally binding laws, as noted above (Martin, 2009; Nootens, 2013). Notwithstanding the necessarily contradictory limitations placed on sovereignty within the context of the wider world order, it is nevertheless important to draw attention to the absolutist character that underlies the discourse of Western sovereignty, and which has arguably been reproduced over centuries and embedded into the legal reality and statecraft of nations, including Canada.  Without question, and despite parallel, contested claims by First Nations, legal and domestic sovereignty—as recognized by the international community and by dominant society—is ultimately and unequivocally inhered in the Crown in Canada, validated and enforced through a wide variety of mechanisms and doctrines that have entrenched authority and power in law and government since the first assertion of British sovereignty in 1846. Though the state itself is not fundamentally or ideologically absolutist in the sense that it holds the “untrammelled power” to do as it wishes, within the specific context of Crown-Aboriginal relations, the exercise of sovereignty by the Crown might be said to be—both in practice and in discourse—absolute. As noted by Martin (2009), “it is Canada that wields the power to confer or withhold concessions of First Nations claims to rights, land or sovereignty” (p. 24)—a power that stems from the Crown’s own self-appointed unilateral and unwavering claim to sovereignty, based fundamentally on false assumptions regarding Indigenous lands as terra nullius, and bolstered through the imposition and enforcement of laws and court rulings based on Eurocentric notions of legitimacy and rationality. In BC, where the Crown unequivocally possesses “radical or underlying title to all the land in the province” (Tsilhqo’tin Nation v. British Columbia, 2014, para. 71), there is no doubt that the absolutist feature of the sovereignty discourse—buttressed by   78 and reproduced through state technologies and doctrines—is one of the primary bases upon which the Crown continues to invoke, maintain, and perpetuate the primacy of its sovereign status over unceded lands and self-determining peoples.  In this regard, and despite its reconfiguration through time and nebulous invocation by the state, the origins of the discourse of absolutism and its deep and lasting imprint on notions of Western sovereignty as a whole is worthy of exploration. This particular feature of sovereignty arguably also has the longest and most influential discursive “pedigree,” materializing with clarity in the late 16th-century through the enormously influential writings of Jean Bodin69—a French magistrate and political philosopher, commonly credited with having produced the first known comprehensive, systematic, and lasting exploration of the concept of sovereignty in early modern European and written history (Beaulac & Allott, 2004; Merriam, 2001). Though “often quoted, but rarely read” (Van Kleffens, as cited in Beaulac & Allott, 2004, p. 101), Bodin’s Les Six Livres de la République (1576) is widely held by most scholars and political scientists as the first robust theorization and construction of modern state sovereignty in Europe. Many key discursive features of sovereignty deployed domestically by states today can in fact be traced back to the crystallization of Bodin’s ideas in this influential text, published now over four hundred years ago when the spread of Lutheranism throughout Catholic France and a string of ineffectual princes at the throne had given rise to violence, uncertainty, and perceived chaos in France.  Drawing inspiration from a variety of sources including ancient Greek and Roman systems of rule and the existing legal codes of neighbouring European countries—and, furthermore, merging these ideas with his own personal preoccupation with contemporaneous                                                  69 Bodin is directly cited by several other early modern theorists on sovereignty, including Johannes Althusius, Hugo Grotius, Thomas Hobbes, and John Locke, among others (Merriam, 2001).   79 subjects of interest such as astrology, numerology, cosmology, and climatology (Rose, 1987)—Bodin sought specifically to bring unity to France’s social and political disorder by bringing forward a strong case for a single, supreme, legal authority in the form of the state, and laying out applicable principles and techniques by which this authority could come to effectively consolidate and deploy power. Bodin’s purpose in devising such a theory of sovereignty was also based in large part on his “unwillingness to acknowledge legitimate resistance” (Nootens, 2013, p. 32) against the monarchy by Protestant minorities, and his will to establish legalism as the basis for government in contrast to other “anarchical” and therefore undesirable forms of social and political organization.70  Discerning that factions and religious influence would bring continued disorder and uncertainty to France, Bodin therefore placed specific emphasis on the need for the state to establish “absolute sovereignty through law, or legal absolute sovereignty” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 51)—i.e., to be vested with the power to make and unmake laws, and to do so expressly without the consent of subjects. Sovereignty was to be fundamentally based upon the sovereign’s ability to legislate, and yet to simultaneously be exempt from its own laws (Nootens, 2013). It could be said to exist only where the sovereign is conceived as supreme and absolute: unconstrained in its own actions by laws, dependent upon no other earthly authority,71 subject to no limitation by any other person, and ultimately imprescriptible but by the sovereign alone (Joyce, 2013; Merriam, 2001). The articulation of sovereignty at this time also served the important regulative function of establishing political identity, prescribing who was and who was not a citizen of the state (Merriam, 2001; Prokhovnik, 2008). However, though Bodin expressly related the concept of                                                  70 Characterized as “gang[s] of robbers or of pirates (Bodin, as cited in Jones, 1980, p. 22) that, in Bodin’s view, needed to be punished, outlawed, or healed by “medicines” that would cure them of their insubordination. 71 Bodin’s focus was placed principally on legalism; however, he also held a place for God in his theory, who was perceived to be the “ultimate source of law” (Jones, 1980, p. 24). After God and the laws of nature created by God, sovereignty signalled the highest legal authority in Bodin’s theory.   80 sovereignty to the state and to absolute law-making power for the first time in European written history, in keeping with pre-modern conceptions of sovereignty that located power in a personalized sovereign, Bodin also conceived of the sovereign as “a person recognizing ‘nothing, after God, that is greater than himself’” (Joyce, 2013, p. 4).72 Despite this inconsistency, Bodin maintained, importantly, that the state itself was the central locus of power, rather than the personalized monarch: a distinguishing feature of the Western discourse of sovereignty that is still in application today in Canada, wherein absolute authority and power over the polity is ultimately inhered in the Crown but not its person. Much space has been dedicated to Bodin in this section, as his articulation of the theory of sovereignty, based principally on the absolutism of the sovereign, has been persistently reproduced through time, though its degree and form—both in theory and in practice—have undergone several permutations and transformations. Nonetheless, Bodin’s vision and system of ideas regarding sovereignty provided the theoretical basis and springboard from which many European political philosophers drew inspiration and whose own ideas were pivotal in shaping the sovereignty discourse that would be employed and put into practice domestically by states in years to come. Following Bodin, for example, the notion of sovereignty as absolute was famously taken up several decades later by Thomas Hobbes, who laid out in no uncertain terms a thorough—if not contemptible—and unequivocal argument for absolutism in The Leviathan (1651). Written during the English Civil War—a time of violent, disorderly upheaval in England—Hobbes sought to impart through The Leviathan an unambiguous conceptualization of political authority to attempt to bring about an end to bloodshed, and to “[enable] people to live                                                  72 However, Bodin believed that it was necessary for power to be centralized in the figure and lifetime of one man alone in order to effectively and practically reign in the influence of potentially dangerous, divisive factions or sects within the state. He also could not resist placing “obvious” limitations on the absolute; for instance, a sovereign could not, obviously, inhere in a woman or in a matriarchal line, nor could the sovereign exist above the laws of nature or of God (Prokhovnik, 2008).   81 their lives without the constant chaos and devastation” (Shaw, 2008, p. 17) of armed conflict. Based in Hobbes’s articulation of a brutal, raw, anarchic, and ahistorical “state of nature” in which all people were perceived to be in constant war against all others, The Leviathan offered an aggressively absolutist theory of sovereignty that located supreme authority in the state, represented by a single governmental authority entitled to exercise all decision-making powers (Nootens, 2013; Prokhovnik, 2008). Though today “even the most conservative contemporary ‘Hobbesian’ political philosophers” (Culhane, 1998, p. 236) are unlikely to take Hobbes’ description of a fantastical “state of nature” literally, it is important to note nonetheless that as recently as 1991, Chief Justice McEachern ruled in the BC Supreme Court that not only did Aboriginal rights and title exist at the pleasure of the Crown, but that because “Aboriginal life [was] ‘nasty, brutish and short’” (as cited in Culhane, 1998, p. 236) in an explicitly Hobbsian manner, Indigenous peoples surely could not have had the civility to lay claim to rights and title at the time of the assertion of Crown sovereignty and within the context of “‘the white man’s law’” (McEachern, 1991, as cited in Culhane, 1998, p. 238). Though Hobbes’ direct influence may seem outwardly improbable in today’s age, the discursive import of his primary theories arguably still continues to shape and structure many aspects of the dominant Canadian cultural and political imagination. Like Bodin, Hobbes’ sovereign is exempt from all contracts and is able to determine what laws apply and what doctrines ought to be taught to its subjects, who have ostensibly willingly vested power in their representative. The sovereign is unconditionally absolute in its exercise of authority, based also in legalism and possessing a “monopoly on the use of force” (Prokhovik, 2008, p. 74); furthermore, the sovereign cannot be, by Hobbes’s definition, either unjust or punishable (Merriam, 2001), being always in the right and supplanting all other forms of internal   82 authority and power. Unlike Bodin, however, Hobbes’s sovereign is not subject to God, but only to laws of nature and, importantly, to established, regulated territorial divisions formed and bound by language, collective identities, and shared geophysical spaces73 The discursive potency of this aspect of Hobbes’ theory was fundamentally impactful in later political science, providing the basis for the self-definition of modern state sovereignty within internal borders and, later, with relation to other states in an international system74 (Merriam, 2001; Prokhovnik, 2008). In Hobbes’s view, the ultimate duty of the sovereign rested upon “his ability to protect, not the individual’s life…but upon his ability to protect the commonwealth from dissolution” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 83). In protecting the commonwealth, Hobbes’s sovereign necessarily centralized power within certain territorial jurisdictions, untrammelled by restrictions but by other like and absolute sovereigns.  Hobbes has been labelled, by some, as one of England’s greatest political philosophers, and his influence in the development of the theory of sovereignty is indisputable: much has been written about the significance of The Leviathan in particular, and despite its seemingly inapplicable and outmoded articulation of absolute sovereignty, its discursive import has arguably made its mark in Crown-Aboriginal relations. Fox-Decent (2011), for instance, makes clear linkages between Hobbesian theory and the nature of the Crown-Aboriginal fiduciary relationship, arguing that the Crown’s sovereign assertion is equivalent to “ongoing bloodless conquest” (p. 77), based fundamentally on the assumption that the Crown holds “exclusive and plenary sovereign authority over First Nations and their ancestral lands” (p. 64). He goes on to                                                  73 Hobbes maintained that certain shared features were required of a group of subjects in order to transfer authority to a sovereign and to form a commonwealth: i.e., the sovereign “bounds the world, by construction and limiting space; he controls contingency, by disciplining time; and he establishes a commonality, a shared basis for identity: language” (Hobbes, as cited by Shaw, 2008, p. 19). 74 Though international relations between nations did not exist in the same way during Hobbes’s era, the limitations placed on the state by Hobbes certainly served to give some form to the international system of states that would soon develop.   83 assert that since Crown sovereignty “is taken as a given, no defence of it is required” (p. 65): that is, it exists plainly and therefore legitimately in perpetuity—inviolable, incontestable, and paramount—despite its hazy origins that are based in historically contingent notions of Western sovereignty and supremacy.  Despite Hobbes’s clear emphasis on the need for the sovereign office to hold absolute and all-encompassing power, however, at bare minimum his contributions to the discourse of sovereignty—inspired by Bodin—have served to further entrench in the Western political imagination the notion that a singular, centralized, law-making authority is a necessary and legitimate attribute of statehood and, moreover, is imperative for the unification of a geographically and ostensibly culturally united polity. Others influential thinkers have picked up and expanded upon this discursive strain in Hobbes, and though subsequent theorizations of sovereignty have unquestionably softened or recalibrated the unyielding absolutism that is described in The Leviathan, Hobbes’s conclusions in this regard—a continuation of Bodin’s reflections—can nonetheless be said to have decidedly shaped the development of political science in later centuries (Merriam, 2001), and, importantly, served to entrench and legitimize the absolute sovereign authority of the Crown and state over autonomous and self-determining Indigenous peoples in Canada.   3.1.3 The indivisibility of sovereignty  As with the discourse of absolutism, indivisibility has also been a key discursive feature of Western sovereignty for centuries, expressed almost certainly by the Crown in BC and Canada through a variety of legal mechanisms and asymmetrical distributions of power that have denied Indigenous peoples of their own sovereign authority on lands which they have occupied since   84 time immemorial. In the Canadian context, indivisibility is expressed as a principle feature of domestic sovereignty upon which the continuity and unity of the state and Crown are profoundly dependent. To share sovereignty, for instance, alongside Indigenous nations, or to otherwise divide and spread meaningful sovereign authority amongst other non-state powers would not only be baseless and dangerous according to Canadian state rationality, but would also be logically—and therefore fundamentally—impossible: sovereignty internally divided would no longer be considered sovereignty at all, or so the discourse would maintain, despite the inconsistencies and irresolutions that inhere within the discourse itself.75 To divide or to share sovereignty between archly different authorities and powers would be tantamount to the dismantling of the state (Bartelson, 2011) since a divided sovereignty cannot logically exist within the parameters of this discourse and, importantly, within the state structuration of Canada.  However, indivisibility is not necessarily a given nor is it a necessary quality of contemporary conceptualizations of sovereignty, particularly since within a state, authority and power is more often than not already divided amongst other institutions and levels of governing authority (Bartelson, 2011, p. 1995). The Crown, for instance, is divisible to the extent that both federal and provincial legislatures are granted law-making capacities through the Constitution Act. To this effect, Crown sovereignty may be interpreted empirically as divisible: the role of the governor general over federal matters is mirrored at the provincial level by the role of the lieutenant governor, and conflicts over legislative jurisdiction may be resolved through the determinations of the Courts (Jackson, 2013). Accordingly, the notion of indivisibility has been challenged by theorists and critics for many years, but in practice this has resulted in few changes to the basic conception of sovereignty that exists in the world as it relates both to                                                  75 For instance, in general political theory, sovereignty “is attributed to a totality of relations” (Bartelson, 1995, p. 188) that, paradoxically, claims to be fundamentally indivisible.   85 divisibility, as well as to other important features: this notion has remained abstract and yet has been taken for granted as an innate feature of internal sovereignty, and “its meaning, unexplored and undefined, has been left to be determined by the intuitions and preconceptions” (Kurtulus, 2005, p. 13) of those who engage with the concept at a theoretical level.  As a given and apparently immutable feature of the sovereign state—a seemingly sensible and necessary characteristic to ensure political stability and internally cohesive social organization—the indivisibility of sovereignty has endured through time with powerful implications. However, despite the centrality of this particular discursive feature, its emergence in modern political thought appears to be only vaguely understood and, more importantly, rarely called into dispute or held up to scrutiny (Bartelson, 2011). Of all the discursive strains that descend from the discourse of Western sovereignty, indivisibility is arguably the most “self-evident” insofar as domestic or internal sovereignty is concerned: other sovereigns may exist in the world but the nature of internal sovereignty is intelligible only to the extent that it “cannot reside simultaneously in two different authorities” (Morgenthau, 1948, p. 350). With little doubt, the assumption that domestic sovereignty should inhere in but one authority alone within a particular geopolitical space has been largely taken for granted in the West, and appears to be a rational and necessary attribute of socio-political order. Nonetheless, as with other features of the sovereignty discourse, the discursive “pedigree” of indivisibility can be traced to certain dominant epistemological paradigms of early modern European thought—again, clearly and most notably articulated in writing for the first time by Bodin in 1576.  As with the discourse on the absolute, Bodin is credited with persuasively establishing the argument for an indivisible sovereign, with the view that the consolidation of ultimate power in one locus would bring about order to disorder, and unity to disunity (Prokhovnik, 2008).   86 However, being that Bodin could not in his own time conceive of sovereignty as being represented by anything other than a personified individual—i.e., by a king or a prince—he thereby presumed that “the sharing of sovereignty was a logical absurdity” (Franklin, 1972, as cited in Nootens, 2013, p. 33): in Bodin’s own words, as “two infinities cannot exist, so we can say that the prince…cannot make a subject equal to himself without annihilation of his power” (Bodin, as cited in Joyce, 2013, p. 54). Therefore, sovereign authority was to be vested in one body, bound by nothing, and disputed by no one. By this logic, Bodin was able to make a case for the effective and seemingly rational, if not violent, situation of law-making power in one clear locus, without possibility for resistance or dispute. Through the claim of indivisibility, Bodin “finally settled the question of power in the state” (Schmitt, et al., 2006, p. 8), vesting it in one representative that might effectively and uncontroversially bring order to disorder in France.  However, many claims relating to divisibility in Les Six Livres also suffered from inconsistencies and internal contradictions, stemming largely from Bodin’s own personal motivations and interests. For instance, Bodin acknowledged that many high-level rights and powers could in fact be dispersed amongst other levels of authority in order to facilitate the sovereign’s rule of law; on the other hand, he also maintained that what he considered to be the “highest” power—i.e., law-making power—could only be invoked and administered by one supreme body (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 69). By contrast, he presumed that the sovereign was perpetually beholden to God and to laws of nature, which would seem to suggest that the sovereign’s will was in fact divisible in principle—though perhaps not in practice—deriving its legitimacy through its metaphysical, unknowable origins. Nonetheless, and notwithstanding these and other unsettled tensions in Bodin’s treatise, the central ideas underpinning sovereign indivisibility are traceable to this major text, and have been steadily carried and developed   87 through time by other influential political theorists and thinkers—most notably Hobbes, again—before enmeshing itself thoroughly into the fabric of sovereignty discourse as it is generally invoked today.  For instance, indivisibility was a principal feature taken up and further advanced by Hobbes, who, inspired by Bodin, set out to clearly situate power and legitimacy in an indivisible, singular source of authority (Krasner, 1995). In Hobbes’s view, the indivisibility of the sovereign had a plain and coherent purpose: “to prevent political and doctrinal disagreement, and to preclude accountability” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 82). The unique and singular authority to make decisions without contestation or resistance was imperative for Hobbes (Joyce, 2013), as he held that if sovereignty were to be shared or dispersed across authorities, it would necessarily be divided and therefore prone to instability and ineffectiveness. To distribute the power of the sovereign is to invite a return to the state of nature and the chaotic, “miserable condition of Warre” (Hobbes, 1947, p. 87), which to Hobbes conveyed a lack of civility and a turn towards savagery—a notion that he attributed directly to Indigenous societies76 by contrast to the “civilized” political and social organization of Western societies. Hobbes also advanced the idea that sovereignty emanated an “inherently universal and transcendental character” (Prokhovnik, 2008, p. 101)—sanctioned through biblical edict and deduced through reason—that effectively enabled and endorsed the vertical, asymmetrical distribution of internal, conflicting powers within a geographical boundary.  Interestingly, Bartelson (2011) also links the emergence of the indivisibility discourse in these early modern thinkers to the deep-rooted and overlooked influence of Euclidean geometry                                                  76 E.g., Hobbes (1947) writes: “For the savage people in many places of America…the concord whereof dependeth on naturall lust, have no government at all; and live at this day in that brutish manner” (p. 65). The Leviathan has long been denounced for its racist characterization and faulty representation of Indigenous peoples, bereft of substantiation.   88 on sovereignty theorists over time, suggesting that the notion of sovereign indivisibility is connected to broader onto-epistemological ideas regarding transcendental unity and ordering as first conceived by Classical Greek mathematicians and philosophers. In brief, Bartelson (2011) points to the pervasive interest in and numerous references made specifically to principles of geometry in the works of key sovereignty theorists, showing how “remnants of ancient and medieval universalism” (p. 92) became ensconced in sovereignty discourse early on in the development of the concept. For instance, Bartelson cites Cardin Le Bret—a French jurist deeply influenced by Bodin—who declared in 1632 that “sovereignty is no more divisible than a point in geometry” (as cited in Bartelson, 2011, p. 86). This notion, Bartelson argues, emerges from axioms of Classical Greek mathematics in which a “point” is conceived as “that which has no part”—i.e., it has no length, no width, and no volume. However, though an Euclidean point by definition cannot be measured or perceived, it is nonetheless presumed to exist and be situated at some transcendental, indivisible location that exists purely of necessity, with no interference by any other thing. This assumption—that a point cannot be divided and yet, importantly, exists incontestably in time and space—arguably served to provide two clear functions in the early modern development of sovereignty theory: on the one hand, it established the notion in political theory that the “One” takes precedence over the “Many” because of the former’s assumed constancy and indissoluble, transcendental unity as it relates to the geometric “point”77; and, on the other hand, allusions to geometry served the useful function of providing a strong, credible basis upon which sovereignty theorists could clearly articulate and justify their ideas while simultaneously quelling “moral scepticism and religious doubt” (Bartelson, 2011, p. 90).  The association of sovereignty with this fundamental principle of geometry therefore had important ramifications, both in theory and in practice. Sovereignty came to be understood early                                                  77 This notion is therefore perceived as superior to the notion of “Many before the One.”   89 on in the discourse as a concept that could not, in essence, be divided, regardless of its locus or its source. Just as an Euclidean point could have “no part” and yet exist both spatially and temporally, so too could Western sovereignty not be divided amongst polities in a particular space and time. This deep-seated assumption of the indivisibility of sovereignty persisted through the writings of early modern and modern writers in particular, quickly being absorbed into and reproduced by the discourse as a self-evident truth which presupposes even today that—regardless of the actual locus of sovereignty—ultimately, a singularity is inherently superior to pluralities.  Intimately linked to the discourse of absolutism, the discourse of indivisibility has served to underscore and maintain at least two key functions in state and Crown manifestations of sovereignty: first, it legitimizes the supposed unity, immutability, and totality of state sovereignty in contrast to the supposed disunity, inconstancy, and deficiency of other contested sovereignties and conceptions of nationhood that exist in BC; and second, following the first function, it ensures its own inalienable and indissoluble continuity since what cannot be divided cannot also be eroded through time and space (Bartelson, 2011, p. 87). Despite the variable expressions of sovereignty by the Crown and state, its political reality is such that though the notion of indivisibility may be challenged, its discursive import is still deeply entrenched within systems of power and knowledge from which it is difficult to disentangle and reorient subjectivities, to say nothing of the many mechanisms and technologies used by the state to reproduce this discourse in perpetuity. Though certain divisions may exist between federal and provincial Crown jurisdictions, there is little question that ultimately Canadian state sovereignty remains indivisible with regard to the respectful sharing or even negotiation of sovereignty with Indigenous nations today. In the context of Aboriginal-Crown relations and in the cultural   90 imaginations of broader society, no other arrangement of sovereignty can “realistically” exist, despite the historical contingency of this particular discursive feature of sovereignty upon which the state, in large part, depends for its legitimacy.   Having explored the two principal discourses underlying the legitimacy of Crown and state sovereignty in Canada today, the remainder of Section 3 is devoted to engaging more fully with Indigenous conceptions and materializations of sovereignty: first, as expressed through rights-based, legalist mechanisms of self-governance, and second, through the articulation and praxis of resurgent Indigenous nationhood and self-determination.  3.2 Conceptualizing the discourse and expression of Indigenous sovereignty   From the indigenous perspective, there was no conquest and there is no moral justification for state sovereignty, only the gradual triumph of germs and numbers. (Alfred, 2002, p. 469)  Over the past four decades, the language and discourse of sovereignty has become commonplace (though not necessarily universal) in First Nations’ self-determination movements, invoked in numerous respects and contexts, and occupying crucial discursive spaces in both Aboriginal and Canadian political landscapes. For instance, the discourse of sovereignty has been used specifically in relation to territorial land claims and self-government agreements, and more generally in the context of decolonial activism and grassroots movements directed towards ending settler-colonial oppression on the one hand, and revitalizing Indigenous political, legal, and social traditions on the other (Nadasdy, 2012). Across BC and the rest of Canada, sovereign assertions have been declared both through a blend of direct political, legal, and grassroots actions, and also through performatives—i.e., what Sullivan (2006) refers to as “extralegal and   91 extrajuridical” (p. 45) transgressive speech and body acts instantiated in space and time, such as blockades, evictions notices, marches, and round dances to name a few—that serve to “illuminate the ways in which hegemonic boundaries are socially rather than naturally fixed” (p. 45). Not only has the discursive import of First Nations’ sovereign assertions and performatives surfaced as a potent force in the rightful and righteous appeal to “a multiplicity of legal and social rights to political, economic, and cultural self-determination” (Barker, 2005, p. 1), but through these sustained and growing assertions, many communities have renewed or re-created for themselves “spaces of hope and possibilities, despite the enormous odds aligned against them” (Smith, 2012, p. 102). That is, alongside legally- and juridically-impactful actions, sovereign assertions are also being increasingly buttressed through community-focused and community-led resurgence efforts that aim to sustain “the integrity [of] nations and the independent bases of their existence” (Alfred, 2002, p. 463). As a result, normative assertions of sovereignty have become cornerstones in Indigenous political movements and lexicons (Alfred, 2002; Smith, 2012), owing to their instrumental value in paving a way forward in First Nations’ claims to rights and title, as well as in advancing the “increased autonomy and cultural preservation” (Corntassel & Primeau, 1995, p. 361) of Indigenous nations both within and arguably without the limitations prescribed by the settler-colonial state apparatus. Over time and with the support of the courts, various legislative instruments, and “the now popular peacemaking language of ‘reconciliation’” (Short, 2005, p. 268) and recognition, the language and discourse of sovereignty has also gradually come to be more accepted—or, at least, “tolerated” by many pockets of dominant society—gaining increased traction in mainstream political discourse as well.    92 In many ways, however, the term “sovereignty” has become distractingly and “notoriously generalized to stand in for all of the inherent rights of indigenous peoples” (Barker, 2005, p. 1) and, as with Western notions of sovereignty, may be perceived as a glittering, catch-all term denoting self-determination: at once meaningful but also somewhat nebulous and obscure, often couched in blanket assumptions about political, territorial, cultural, and social implications to self-determination. As Nadasdy (2012) notes, “the nature and degree [of] sovereignty remains deeply contested” (p. 500) amongst Indigenous communities and individuals, and is a disputed site of interpretation with many profound implications (Macklem, 2002), in large part due to the opaque but oft-celebrated accommodation of limited Indigenous self-determination through settler-colonial “gifts” of self-government, rights recognition, and other devolved forms of authority. Moreover, First Nations’ conceptions of sovereignty are also profoundly misunderstood by settler-colonial governments, systems, and institutions that consider Indigenous sovereignties through entirely different cultural worldviews and structurally privileged lenses; these very same governments, systems, and institutions also continue to benefit from their ongoing access to the dispossessed, unceded lands of First Nations in BC through the Crown’s self-sustained claims to radical, underlying title. Indeed, to this day, the Crown and state apparatus do not in actuality recognize Indigenous political or territorial sovereignties in any official or unofficial form, and are moreover reticent to acknowledge the authority of hereditary matriarchs and chiefs and traditional systems of governance that run counter to state-imposed structures of governance (Coulthard, 2014; Napoleon, 2001).  To Indigenous peoples and to growing numbers of non-Indigenous subjects of the settler-colonial state, it is certain that Indigenous lifeways, territories, and both collective and individual autonomies were at no point in time surrendered nor made available for surrender, even where   93 treaties—both historical and modern—have been negotiated. However, in recent decades, the invocation of political, territorial, and cultural sovereignty has indeed been taken up as a strategy against the state’s historical and continued dispossession of Indigenous lands. To this end, the discourse of sovereignty has served multiple functions and has materialized in different ways across Canada’s socio-political and geographical landscapes. Nonetheless, as Turner (2006) notes, “what remains unresolved is a rich understanding of the meaning of Aboriginal sovereignty” (p. 67), particularly within literatures and contexts that do not explicitly centre settler-colonial dispossession and relationships at the core of issues related to the intersection of lands, resources, and Indigenous self-determination. A self-evident truth, the remainder of this section is therefore devoted to the exploration of two dominant materializations or positions of “Aboriginal sovereignty” that bring forth challenges to the contested sovereignty of the settler-colonial state: self-government, on the one hand, and nationhood, on the other. Moving forward, it is important to note that there is no universal acceptance of either position, and there is also much disagreement amongst First Nations regarding the conceptualization and actualization of notions regarding sovereignty, self-government, nationhood, and self-determination in general (Napoleon, 2001). Other positions also exist in deeper intersection with, for instance, axes of gender, class, and race. However, this thesis takes the position that the richness of Indigenous conceptualizations and discourses of sovereignty may be, in part, better understood through the exploration of rights-based claims to self-government on the one hand, and resurgent nationhood on the other, to, respectively, legitimize and revitalize efforts in the reclamation of freedom and self-determining authority of Indigenous peoples on unceded lands.      94 3.2.1 Rights-based, legalist approaches to sovereignty through self-government  As noted in Section 3.2, it is particularly in the past four decades that the discourse of sovereignty—in both its implied and overt expression, and linked intimately to notions of self-determination—has become a fundamental conceptual basis upon which First Nations have brought forward and made tangible advances in their legitimate claims to rights, title, self-government, and political and cultural autonomies, both with relevance to Crown and state sovereignty, and also within the context of international law (Nadasdy, 2012). Although the invocation of sovereignty and related discourses is often used to directly undermine the Crown’s assumed claims to sovereignty on the one hand, and to draw attention to the undiminished sovereignty of Indigenous nations on the other, it has also been used specifically to gain purchase in the pursuit of rights-based legal claims and entitlements, which has resulted in a significant change to the overall shape of Aboriginal-Crown relations, typically hailed as progress within the mainstream Canadian political landscape. Though the structure of these relations has arguably remained fundamentally unaltered—based in state-centric, economic, gendered, and racialized responses and solutions that, as Coulthard (2010) writes, “continue to facilitate the dispossession of Indigenous peoples of their lands and self-determining authority” (p. 10)—there is no doubt that a rights-based, legalist approach to Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty has become one of the principal ways through which many First Nations have moved forward to try to reclaim a greater deal of autonomy and self-determining authority on lands in BC, as elsewhere across Canada.  Specifically, one such approach—favoured in BC by the provincial government—has been through the negotiation of treaties, and the accession to a rights-based model of self-government as a pathway towards increased self-determination and the expression of sovereign   95 authority—or “quasi-sovereign” authority, so-called by Woolford and Ratner (2004).78 For instance, through the Maa-nulth Treaty, the Huu-ay-aht First Nation “envision a proud, self-governing and sovereign nation” (Huu-ay-aht First Nation, 2012, p. 1), that will govern its lands—owned now in fee simple—by filling “the vacuum left by the outgoing law and policy collectively referred to as ‘the Indian Act.’” Similarly, the ratification of the Tsawwassen Treaty is viewed by the Nation and many others as a positive milestone in self-determination, enabling the Tsawwassen to become “a stronger, sovereign, self-sustainable First Nation community” (Williams, 2014, n.p.). The Nisga’a Final Agreement—ratified, finally, after 113 years—has also been held up as “an example of hope, trust, and cooperation” (NLG, n.d., n.p.), enabling Nisga’a citizens to become “responsible for building and maintaining [their] own institutions…represented by Nisga’a Lisims Government (NLG)—a modern, forward-thinking administration based on traditional culture and values” (NLG, n.d., n.p.).  Self-governance through treaty has also been largely accepted by non-First Nations and the provincial government as a prudent, rational, and equitable solution to the problem of “parallel” but mutually contested sovereignties in BC, providing “certainty for land ownership and jurisdiction” (BCTC, 2009) for British Columbians, while simultaneously according First Nations the restricted and debatably impactful authority to enact legislative powers and provide public services—much like a municipal government does—to its residents on territorially delimited, negotiated land bases. Though this approach and model has been deeply criticized on a variety of levels, and may be understood fundamentally as a right to “exist within and under the sovereignty of a larger political body” (Christie, 2007, p. 4), there are nonetheless 57 First                                                  78 The notion of rights-based, legalist models of self-governance as manifestations of “quasi-sovereignty” is explored in greater depth in section 3.2.2.   96 Nations claimant groups currently participating in the BC Treaty Process,79 the vast majority of which are likely to obtain and implement self-government agreements in due course, pending the ratification of their respective treaties.   Though sovereignty is not formally recognized or gained through the self-governance model, rights-based self-governance is nonetheless viewed by many as a reasonable, “realistic,” and ultimately beneficial way through which the continued, undiminished de facto sovereignty of Indigenous nations may be revitalized and realized within the bounds of the Canadian state. As Borrows (1992) writes, the “validation of sovereignty through the recognition, entrenchment, and promotion of [First Nations’] historical entitlement to self-government” (p. 353) may in many regards be considered a crucial—or at least, interim— means by which First Nations are able to negotiate the freedoms necessary to pursue their collective, self-determining goals within certain territorially-delimited jurisdictions. With respect to this position, this section therefore traces the emergence of the self-governance model as a particular conceptualization and materialization of First Nations’ sovereign expression in BC, taking the view that though there is “much discussion and dissension over what weight to accord [this] view in the revitalization of First Nations self-government” (Borrows, 1992, p. 310), it is nonetheless one primary way through which several First Nations have opted to exercise increased autonomy on their lands.                                                     79 108 of the eligible 197 Indian Act Bands in BC are represented through these 57 claimant First Nations (AANDC, 2014).   97 3.2.1.1 The road to self-government  First Nations have always been self-governing: de facto sovereign and self-determining, “governing themselves upon territory that they never voluntarily ceded” (Clark, 1990, p. 3), and exercising their own distinct structures and systems of legal and political governance since time immemorial.80 As Woolford (2005) notes, these claims are given substance within the settler-colonial context through the early resistance by First Nations to, for instance, becoming enfranchised as Canadian citizens in 1869, or to ceding their title or autonomy to newly arrived settlers throughout the 19th century. Importantly, as early as the 1880’s, in combination with ongoing protests and petitions to resist assimilation and forced re-settlement, First Nations also began to articulate clear demands regarding “issues of title, treaty, and self-government” (Woolford, 2005, p. 74). However, the specific discursive invocation of sovereignty—linked to self-determination and leading to the creation of rights-based, legalist self-governance models within the Canadian context—may be traced more clearly to a period of renewed collective activism and Indigenous resurgence following the release of the much condemned and censured “Statement of the Government of Canada on Indian Policy” in 1969. Also called the White Paper, the policy put forward the Government of Canada’s vision to quickly dismantle and repeal the Indian Act, based on the distorted and misguided position that such an action would effectively “free” Indians of their “special treatment…[which] has made of the Indians a community disadvantaged and apart” (MIAND, 1969, p. 1). Through the elimination of status and the attendant “special treatment” of Indians, the White Paper sought to fully assimilate all status Indians into Canadian liberal society, such that Indigenous peoples might gradually yield                                                  80 The use of the term “time immemorial”—commonly invoked—is worth briefly noting here. Explicitly anti-colonial, Weir (2013)—drawing on its usage in three Supreme Court Cases in BC—argues that it forces the non-Indigenous settler to confront or “struggle to isolate a point in settler time as the beginning of legal memory for an Indigenous nation” (p. 401). That is, the very words “time immemorial” may themselves be considered discursive expressions of Indigenous sovereignty, though it is beyond the scope of this thesis to examine this in greater detail.   98 or concede to “full social, economic and political participation in Canadian life” (p. 4) and come to “[enjoy] the equality and benefits that such participation offers” (p. 3). Without in any way addressing its fundamentally colonial basis, the White Paper—an assimilatory and arguably ultimately exterminatory policy “that would destroy the Indian way of life” (Woolford, 2005, p. 82)—sought to “transform ‘Indians’ into ‘citizens’ like all the rest” (Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 24) in order to resolve “Canada’s century-long ‘Indian problem’” (Turner, 2006, p. 16).  In response, the Indian Association of Alberta (IAA), led at the time by Harold Cardinal, published an incisive and enormously influential counter-policy document, Citizens Plus—self-reflexively called the Red Paper—to denounce the government’s proposal point by point, maintaining that the Indian Act could not rightfully be repealed without irreparable consequence to Indigenous communities and identities, despite the historical and ongoing paternalism of the Indian Act itself, rooted deeply within racist and sexist colonial ordinances. As a “united Aboriginal response to the White Paper” (Martin, 2009, p. 12), the Red Paper, among other items, called for the modernization of historical treaties, and outlined key steps towards the implementation of new programs and strategies which would enable First Nations’ individuals and communities to increasingly “build self-sufficiency and self-determination” (IIA, 2011, p. 225) on their own lands, which were “held in trust by the Crown but [which] are Indian lands” (p. 197). Concurrently, in BC, representatives from 140 bands across the province also gathered together in Kamloops to discuss their responses to the White Paper, precipitating the formation of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs (UBCIC), whose own publication, A Declaration of Indian Rights: The B.C. Indian Position Paper—i.e., the Brown Paper—in 1970 called for the specific recognition of Aboriginal rights and title as well as self-government, “subordinate to Constitutional guarantees” (UBCIC, 1970, p. 5).    99 Impelled by the widespread and rightfully incensed response to Canada’s White Paper, Indigenous leaders and intellectuals across Canada began to actively adopt and perform counter-discourses of First Nations’ sovereignty, drawing from lived experience as well as from “anti-colonial struggles and from human rights discourses” (Shaw, 1999, p. 141) worldwide, deploying these to gradually pursue both broad objectives related to autonomy, visibility, and internal and external sovereignty, and to specific legal objectives related to rights and title, land and resource claims, and jurisdictional self-governance. The discourse of self-determination also began to meaningfully enter into Indigenous peoples’ resistance movements in this decade “as a term carrying the weight of international law” (Martin, 2009, p. 4), providing “distinct” peoples with “an absolute, inherent right to decide how and by whom they will be governed” (p. 4). As Turner (2006) notes, the period immediately following the White Paper “propelled Aboriginal leaders to demand greater recognition of their peoples’ political rights” (p. 13). Indigenous resistance and mobilization against settler-colonial domination began to intensify, resulting in not only increased direct action,81 but in many significant legal victories for First Nations in the Canadian courts as well, beginning in 1973 when the Supreme Court of Canada first ruled that Aboriginal title—as recognized by Western sources and technologies of legitimacy—existed prior to the unilateral assertion of Crown sovereignty in 1846, and at the time of the Royal Proclamation of 1763 (Calder v. British Columbia, 1973).  Ultimately, the sustained protests, resistance, and claims to lands by Indigenous nations throughout this decade—mediated through emboldened assertions of sovereignty and self-determination82—gave rise to the repatriation of the Constitution Act in 1982, which recognized                                                  81 i.e., through the continued lobbying and petitioning of governments, and localized protests and blockades (Woolford, 2005). 82 For instance, in 1975, Nesika—a publication by the UBCIC—distributed a special series on topics relating specifically to land claims, noting that the denial of Indian sovereignty is rooted in the acceptance of “the basic   100 and affirmed existing Aboriginal and treaty rights in Section 35. As Ladner (2009) points out, however, the recognition and affirmation of such rights—rights that remain fundamentally undefined, as an “empty box” (Woolford, 2005, p. 63)—necessarily implied “the inherent right to self-determination (not simply self-administration)” (p. 97), and many First Nations viewed that their right to self-governance “flow[ed] from their political sovereignty and that these rights ought to be recognized by the Canadian governments” (Turner, 2006, p. 70). Actions to first define and then entrench constitutional rights to self-government therefore began to gain momentum shortly after repatriation. In this regard, the report of the Standing Committee on Indian Affairs and Northern Development—i.e., the Penner Report—on Indian Self-Government in 1983 put forth recommendations that First Nations be recognized as “a distinct order of government within the Canadian federation” (Wherrett, 1999, n.p.), along with the constitutional entrenchment and protection of Aboriginal self-government. However, between 1983 and 1987, following Penner’s recommendations, four constitutional conferences were held to determine the content of an Aboriginal right to self-government to little avail, and, more importantly, to the outright exclusion of Aboriginal peoples, who vociferously opposed the Meech Lake Accord in 1987.83 Meanwhile, First Nations across Canada continued to assert sovereignty over their territories through both legal and land-based actions, increasingly resolute in challenging the legitimacy of the Crown and state’s underlying title to Indigenous lands. In 1986, for example,                                                                                                                                                              notions of colonialism” and that “the courts and parliament were established here by the colonists, not by the Indians” (Sanders, 1975, p. 10). In 1978, the UBCIC again declared their ongoing will to “work toward political sovereignty with status equal to that of the provincial government” (Horwood, 1978, p. 9). George Manuel, then president, affirmed that the proposal was neither new nor meant to replace land claims efforts, but rather that sovereignty “qualifies the land claim question, making it ‘clearer, more specific, and says exactly what native peoples are after’” (p. 9). 83 Though Meech Lake was ultimately a failure, in 1985, the federal government created the Community-Based Self-Government policy, which transferred select jurisdictions to on-reserve First Nations; the Sechelt Indian Band Self-Government Act (1986) emerged from this policy, though it is the only one of its kind in British Columbia (AANDC, 2010). However, it is important to note that the Sechelt self-government model has been highly criticized by other First Nations, perceived as “a delegated and municipal model of self-government that only slightly improved on the Indian Act” (Woolford, 2005, p. 85).   101 Chief Joe Mathias, speaking on behalf of the British Columbia Assembly of First Nations (BCAFN) to ministers at Ottawa, proclaimed the counter-legitimacy and continuity of inherent Aboriginal sovereignty: “when we express the notions of sovereignty or sovereign title to our lands we emphasize that, prior to 1763, at 1763 and up to today, the chain of sovereign existence of our peoples has been unbroken; it continues now, comes to us from the past and it will continue in the future. Our point of departure lies in our basic understanding that we have no other way to relate to Canada except as sovereign peoples” (J. Mathias, 1986, as cited in Borrows, 1992, p. 295). Following the failure of the Meech Lake Accord, negotiations were therefore renewed—however, this time with the inclusion of several Aboriginal organizations, including the BCAFN and the Native Council of Canada—resulting in the 1992 Charlottetown Accord, which sought to constitutionally recognize an inherent right of self-government for Aboriginal peoples. However, put to a national referendum, the Charlottetown Accord was rejected by the majority of Canadians—i.e., by non-Indigenous peoples “with citizenship rights in Canada [who] were in a position to make decisions on Aboriginal sovereignty” (Lawrence & Dua, 2005, p. 135)—as well as by Aboriginal women’s organizations, who feared that the provision of increased constitutional and governmental powers to Aboriginal communities, unchecked by the Charter of Rights and Freedoms, could result in not only sustained, but ultimately renewed, oppression of Aboriginal women, who had long been specifically targeted under the heterosexist terms of the Indian Act and the imposition of patriarchal governance systems through strictly-male elected band councils on reserves (Barker, 2005; Lawrence & Dua, 2005). Nonetheless, persistent demands by First Nations eventually led, in 1995, to the recognition by the federal government of “the inherent right of self-government as an existing Aboriginal right under section 35 of the   102 Constitution Act, 1982” (AADNC, 2010). Soon after, in 1996, the much-anticipated release of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP)—a five-volume, 4000-page document, and the result of several years’ worth of consultations with Indigenous communities across Canada —brought forward substantial recommendations on how to move forward with both the architecture and implementation of Aboriginal self-government as a third order of government in Canada84 and as a partner, “thus sharing the sovereignty of Canada as a whole…not like municipal governments, which exercise powers delegated from provincial and territorial governments” (RCAP, 1996, p. 21). Based on its extensive consultations, the RCAP reported that four clear sources of legitimacy exist which provide the basis for a compelling and urgent case for Aboriginal self-government in Canada; though three of the four sources are derived principally from Western sources and technologies of legitimacy, each of these is worth highlighting here. First, for Indigenous peoples, the paramount source of the right is conferred de facto through the Creator, who “placed each nation on its own land and gave the people the responsibility of caring for the land—and one another—until the end of time” (RCAP, 1996, p. 20). Second, the RCAP turned to international law as a primary source of the right, noting that “all peoples have a right of self-determination” (p. 20), including the right to governance. Third, the RCAP affirmed that prior to the arrival of settlers, Indigenous peoples had long been self-governing as nations, and had been recognized as such through treaties and the edicts of the Royal Proclamation of 1763. Finally, the RCAP pointed to the recognition and protection of the right of self-government that is accorded to Aboriginal peoples through the Canadian constitution, which is further upheld and defined through the courts. In all, the RCAP concluded that “shared sovereignty is an important feature of Canadian federalism” (p. 21), and that concerted efforts must be made towards                                                  84 i.e., alongside federal and provincial, or territorial, governments.   103 rebuilding Aboriginal peoples as distinct nations on the one hand, and moving away “from paternalistic policies to partnership relations” (p. 22) on the other. To this effect, the RCAP also proposed detailed strategies and plans, including a budget, which would potentially bring about some of the structural changes necessary to meaningfully recognize and implement the right of Aboriginal self-government in Canada.  The response by the federal government in 1997 came in the way of sustained inaction—attributed to a lack of funds (Hurley, 2000), rather than a lack of will—and through a delayed report, Gathering Strength: Canada’s Aboriginal Action Plan (MIAND, 1997), that articulated a vision to begin building new relationships through reconciliation and healing, based on “principles of mutual respect, mutual recognition, mutual responsibility and sharing” (p. 1) and to bring about “meaningful and lasting change in…relationships with Aboriginal people” (p. 1). The plan outlined four principal objectives, including the strengthening of Aboriginal governance through the implementation of treaties, capacity-building mechanisms, and professional development.85 Through its action plan, Gathering Strength proposed that Canada make a clear break from its dishonourable past in order to start “a new chapter in Canada’s relationship with Aboriginal people, [turning] the page in order to focus on a more prosperous and co-operative future” (p. 22), though attempting to do so without addressing or acknowledging the overarching and ongoing structure of settler-colonialism in Canada. As a result, the spirit and substance of the RCAP fell by the wayside, and, as Coulthard (2014) notes, rather than targeting and dismantling systemic and structural issues that reproduce both                                                  85 Other objectives include the following: 1) the renewal of partnerships, mediated throughs state apologies, “healing,” Aboriginal participation in program delivery, cultural preservation, and relationship building; 2) the development of new fiscal relationships, with a focus on accountability, own-source revenue, and data collection and exchange; and, 3) the strengthening of communities and economies through improved safety, infrastructure, health, education, reforms to welfare, increased access to capital, increased market access, and strengthened economic development (MIAND, 1997).   104 discursive and material asymmetries of power, the federal government’s new policy simply reiterated its post-White Paper policy position through a new semantics of reconciliation, recognition, and inherent Aboriginal rights. With specific regard to self-governance, the government merely “reaffirm[ed] its previous 1995 policy position on the matter” (Coulthard, 2014, p. 123), articulating the limited terms through which Indigenous nations may seek to become self-determining within the parameters delineated by the sovereign authority of the Crown and state.  3.2.1.2 Self-government today  Today, although the inherent right to self-government “does not include a right of sovereignty in the international law sense” (AANDC, 2010), the self-governance model disputably grants to First Nations “some measure of power to rebuild their societies” (Martin, 2009, p. 11)86 by enabling eligible Aboriginal groups to “govern their internal affairs and assume greater responsibility and control over the decision making that affects their communities” (AANDC, 2014) through negotiated arrangements with the federal and provincial governments. By and large, the notion of “inherent rights” today entails delegated legal responsibilities in a variety of areas, deemed by government to be “internal to the group, integral to its distinct Aboriginal culture, and essential to its operation as a government or institution” (AANDC, 2010). Similar to responsibilities that are granted to a municipality, the scope of negotiations for Aboriginal self-government therefore typically include: governing structures, internal constitutions, electoral processes (subject to the Charter), membership, Aboriginal languages and cultures, education, health, social services, property rights, local land management, and on-                                                 86 Martin (2009) also makes the claim that the self-governance model also “represents a renunciation of the old colonial mentality” (p. 11); the degree to which such a claim might be said to be true, however, is explored in greater detail in Section 3.2.2.   105 reserve hunting, fishing and trapping (AANDC, 2010). Though self-government may extend to greater jurisdictional areas relating to justice, environmental protection, and fisheries or migratory birds co-management, primary legal authority remains inhered in federal or provincial governments, whose laws always prevail wherever Aboriginal laws may be in conflict (AANDC, 2010). Non-negotiable powers include those that relate to Canadian sovereignty, defense, and external relations, as well as to national interest powers regarding criminal laws, health and safety, the national economy, and other federal undertakings.  Though a range of pathways to self-government is available to First Nations in BC, by and large, the preferred avenue for self-governance arrangements by the federal and provincial governments is through the ratification of comprehensive land claim agreements,87 which provide a greater degree of “certainty” owing to the fact that the territorial land base and resources attached to them become clearly delineated (BCAFN, 2010; Woolford, 2005). In BC, the Nisga’a Final Agreement (1999) was the first such agreement to be ratified through the federal comprehensive claims process and the Inherent Right policy, extending “section 35 protection to self-government rights as well as land rights” (Hurley, 2009, p. 3) for the first time. Since then, nearly twenty years after the BC Treaty Process first began, the Tsawwassen, Maa-nulth, and Yale First Nations have finally ratified their own treaties, along with self-government agreements.88 Though crippling loan repayments haunt the celebratory, historic undertaking of treaties and self-government arrangements,89 it is important to underscore here that certain social, economic, and environmental benefits may indeed and are likely to be returned to communities                                                  87 First Nations may also elect to implement self-governance agreements through non-treaty mechanisms, including legislation and contracts (legally binding), and non-binding memoranda of understanding (non-legally enforceable). 88 The Westbank First Nation also became self-governing in 2005, as part of bilateral negotiations with Canada. 89 To date, the Treaty Commission has allotted “approximately $597 million in negotiation support funding to more than 50 First Nations—$471 million in the form of loans, and $126 million in the form of non-repayable contributions…For every $100 of negotiation support funding, $80 is a loan from Canada, $12 is a contribution from Canada and $8 is a contribution from BC” (BCTC, 2009).   106 that succeed in managing their operations and institutions according to government-approved strategies. Where they exist, these benefits should not be undermined nor prematurely censured for their concession to state-approved materializations of sovereignty; there is little question that certain aspects—particularly economic aspects—of successfully implemented treaties and self-government agreements have the potential to contribute to community well-being and to address short-term local needs and objectives. Moreover, as declared recently by the Maa-nulth First Nations (2014), sovereign and self-determining authority, “rooted in Indigenous law” (Foxcroft & Watts, 2014, para. 2), remain at the very least discursively—if not also materially—central to the revitalization or continued adaptation of First Nations’ governance systems: that is, notwithstanding the many challenges and obstacles to self-determination that rights-based models of self-governance may pose for First Nations, for nations like the Maa-Nulth, the embodied expectation is that “each and every Nuu-chah-nulth Nation has the independent sovereign authority to decide which projects in their territories they will support or reject, balancing economic development needs with their responsibilities to the people and the environment” (Foxcroft & Watts, 2014, para. 4). Moreover, though self-governing First Nations may ultimately reject or contest the Crown and state’s claim to underlying sovereignty, many First Nations also assent to the perceived need to “work through the bureaucratic, juridical, legal systems, and hegemonic moral orders of the Canadian nation-state” (Sullivan, 2008, p. 44) in order to reclaim or enact self-determining authority and power on their lands.  3.2.2 Problematizing rights-based self-governance models and the use of sovereignty discourse  Nothing inherent in the concept of sovereignty dictates a particular institutional form. (Macklem, 2002, p. 112)    107 Sovereignty is certainly not Sioux, Salish, or Iroquoian in origin. (Alfred,  2002, p. 465)   The master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house.  - Audre Lorde, 1987.   Despite the sustained efforts by First Nations to attain rights to self-government, in BC, as elsewhere, the extent to which Indigenous assertions of sovereignty and self-determination are recognized by non-Indigenous nations, systems, and institutions—that is, if they are recognized at all—is always in subjugated relation to the actual, internationally-recognized, “legitimate,” and hegemonic sovereignty of the state (Alfred, 2002). This, despite the deep “theoretical confusion” (Bartelson, 1995, p. 12) that abounds and underpins both the discourse and claim to Western notions of sovereignty by nation-states, and the nebulous, unsubstantiated assumptions upon which Crown sovereignty in BC has been acquired and secured over time on lands clearly occupied by self-governing Indigenous nations. Nonetheless, as discussed in Section 3.2.1, several First Nations in BC have opted in recent decades to embark on paths of self-determination that pursue the recognition and implementation of rights-based, legalist models of self-governance, or what Woolford and Ratner (2004) refer to as “quasi-sovereignty models” of governance: models that “embrace an ‘Aboriginal pragmatism’ that seeks to operate creatively within the predefined limitations of the non-Aboriginal government mandates” (p. 291). These pursuits are celebrated by many, since “quasi-sovereignty” models of self-governance typically open avenues for the provision of and increased control over economic development opportunities in negotiated cooperation with settler-colonial state interests. Rooted in so-called “Aboriginal pragmatism,”90 these models have the potential to provide often much-needed and                                                  90 Woolford and Ratner (2004) relate the notion of “Aboriginal pragmatism” to the “commonsensical” strategies—i.e., treaty settlements, business partnerships, etc.—used by First Nations that seek primarily to draw in immediate   108 short-term economic relief to communities, and to that effect tend to be extolled not only by First Nations that elect to take up this path, but, importantly, by the dominant non-Indigenous society that typically views the adoption of such models as “the most obvious route to indigenous empowerment” (Murphy, 2008, p. 206)—that is, as rational and practical solutions to otherwise “unrealistic expectations” (p. 200) regarding sovereignty and self-determination that Indigenous nations might be seen to “stubbornly” or “impractically”91 hold.   However, others have been critical of these models, perceiving them as paradoxical, assimilative, and governmentalizing affirmations of sovereign self-determination that ultimately and tacitly accept and reify Crown and state sovereignty at the expense of fuller embodiments of Indigenous nationhoods. As Coulthard (2014) notes, many Indigenous peoples “have come to accept the liberal democratic state as a legitimate, if not normative, mode of political organization” (p. 159) through which Aboriginal self-government must be shaped in order for itself to be perceived as legitimate. Being that such models “can be pursued only along lines that enhance or leave undisturbed the hegemonic project of the larger nation, be it the province of British Columbia, or Canada” (Woolford & Ratner, 2004, p. 306), it is therefore crucial to understand more clearly why limited concessions of power and authority devolved to First Nations through self-governance and why rights-based models might be contested or so sharply critiqued. That is, within the context of ongoing settler-colonialism in BC, such approaches might be viewed as thinly veiled manifestations of a newly enlivened regime of “settlement” that, on the one hand, satisfies state interests with tolerable, manageable solutions for the                                                                                                                                                              benefits to the community through economic measures. However, the adoption of these pragmatic strategies is problematized by the authors, as such strategies often result in “negotiation parameters that severely restrict [First Nations’] potential land and sovereignty claims” (p. 310). 91 The racist and oppressive characterization of Indigenous peoples as angry, tragically entrenched in pre-contact traditions—possessing “a seemingly pathological inability to get over harms inflicted in the past” (Coulthard, 2014, p. 126)—and unable to simply “move on” with the rest of modern, liberal Canadian society and norms is critically rebuked in Coulthard’s Red Skin, White Masks (2014).   109 reconciliation of mutually contested sovereignties, and, on the other hand, further enmeshes First Nations into settler-colonial state structures insofar as the state’s ongoing access to the vast majority of Indigenous peoples’ territories is sustained over time, and in spite of the devolution of negotiated and delimited rights to First Nations communities (Coulthard, 2014).  To shed light on some of these tensions, two main criticisms of so-called “quasi-sovereign” approaches to self-determination are examined here. First, self-governance is examined as a limiting and ultimately self-defeating model of “Aboriginal sovereignty”—one which effectively reproduces settler-colonial relations through the delimitation and arguably assimilative transformation of traditional systems of Indigenous governance, and which simultaneously perpetuates the colonial myth that Indigenous self-determination is somehow unrealistic or impossible to attain within the broader framework of the settler-colonial state. Second, the use of Western knowledge and language in the legitimation of “quasi-sovereign” models of governance is problematized with relation to the ongoing peripheralization of Indigenous traditions, and the appropriateness of the very discourse of sovereignty itself is considered with respect to Indigenous expressions of autonomy and authority. As noted in section 3.2.1, the purpose is not to speak for anyone, but rather to contribute to a greater understanding in the literature, as Turner (2006) notes, of the richness and complexity of Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty with which all First Nations and settlers must contend more fully in order to move towards a just and decolonizing future. 3.2.2.1 “Quasi-sovereign” models as self-defeating and assimilative  Given the reality that self-governance and rights-based expressions of sovereignty and self-determination are still ultimately subordinate to the absolute, indivisible sovereign authority of the Crown and, moreover, typically entail the continued reproduction of colonially-imposed   110 structures of governance—i.e., in the form of band councils and elected governments rather than, for example, kinship-based or hereditary systems of governance—there has been much debate amongst scholars and First Nations’ leaders as to whether or not the pursuit of “quasi-sovereignty” models is well-suited for the actualization of Indigenous self-determination and transformation of settler-colonial relations. In many ways, such approaches are understood to be ultimately self-defeating and assimilative at their core, accepting “the fait accompli of colonization, to help create a marginal solution that does not challenge the fundamental imperial premise” (Alfred, 2002, p. 469).   First, rights-based self-government models require that First Nations maintain governance systems that are compatible with or recognizable by Canadian systems of political authority, such that First Nations are obliged to elect their leadership through processes that are viewed to be legitimate by the state, and which “recreate band councils as corporate bodies” (Ladner, 2006, p. 15) through municipal-styles of governance. This may be seen clearly as an extension or mere modification of the form of “self-governance” that has been forced upon First Nations since 1867 when, through the Indian Act, foreign models of governance in the way of small, elected band councils began to be imposed upon reserves. The fracturing and crippling of traditional systems of Indigenous governance was only one of the many genocidal aims of the Indian Act, and foisted Western modes of political organization upon Indigenous nations, first through the division and separation of large kinship communities into multiple reserves, and second through the artificial creation and enforcement of band councils, which “[bore] no relationship to the larger nation or its ancient cultural systems of governance, land tenure, laws, or citizenship” (Napoleon, 2001, p. 126). The band council system, designed and implemented “as a temporary measure to provide Indigenous peoples with the opportunity to familiarize   111 themselves with ‘civilized’ government and to practice governing themselves” (Ladner, 2009, p. 90) was originally implemented with the goal of termination: once councils were groomed and acclimatized to Western modes of political organization, they were to be remodelled into fully functioning, “regular municipal governments” (p. 90) within the Canadian state. By 1924, all traditional leaders and systems across Canada had been divested of their authority and power and “since then, the government of Canada has all but refused to deal with traditional governments” (Ladner, 2006, p. 8). Over the course of nearly 150 years, many First Nations—though by no means all—have come to accept the band council system as a legitimate model of governance, having been violently disconnected from the wider Nation community and systems of cultural and political governance inherent in traditional modes of social organization (Napoleon, 2001). However, despite the fact that communities today continue to live with the governmentalizing effects and intergenerational traumas of historical and ongoing colonization, it is important to note that the band council system of self-government on reserves was not necessarily successfully implemented across BC or Canada; as Ladner (2006) notes, “[in] some cases, the institutions ceased to exist as governments and continued on as cultural, social and ceremonial institutions and the institutions and laws (rights and responsibilities) became associated with the teachings of the ancestors” (p. 8); elsewhere, traditional leadership was upheld and sustained underground beyond the transformative reach of imposed legislation and the artificial fostering of “loyalties at the level of the local community, at the expense of broader national affinities” (RCAP, 1996, as cited in Napoleon, 2001, p. 127). Critics of rights-based models of self-governance point to the ongoing efforts by First Nations to resist colonial dominance through the revitalization and reinvigoration of traditional systems of governance, viewing self-government agreements—  112 predominantly reached through treaty in BC—as self-defeating and assimilationist: models that are able to exist solely “within a framework of constitutional law and authorities delegated by the state” (Alfred, 1999, p. 57). As Ladner (2006) asks, “the band council system of government has done more than simply take root in the community—it has taken over as the government within that community. But, are these governments?” (p. 8). Second, despite the number of major and critical advances that First Nations have made in successfully negotiating with the state for rights, title, devolved authority, and a variety of economic opportunities, “quasi-sovereignty” models of governance—coupled with performative and discursive assertions of sovereignty—have not succeeded in overturning or undermining the legitimacy of the Crown or state, nor have they facilitated meaningful, just movements towards the repossession and reterritorialization of lands by First Nations beyond the limited terms and scope of treaties, self-government agreements, and instruments of devolved but restricted authority, such as forest tenure. The settler-colonial relationship itself has arguably remained largely unchanged over the past four decades, switching out one strategy of undisguised, violent dispossession for another more performative and conciliatory strategy of dispossession that fundamentally maintains the same mutually reinforcing functions: the sustained, ongoing access of the state to Indigenous lands and resources on the one hand, and the unremitting reproduction of “the massive asymmetry between indigenous peoples and the settler colonial states that govern them” (Nichols, 2013, p. 178) on the other. Indeed, as Coulthard (2014) pointedly notes, “colonial relations of power are no longer reproduced primarily through overtly coercive means, but rather through the asymmetrical exchange of mediated forms of state recognition and accommodation” (p. 15) that are believed by the dominant society to be the sufficient, rational, and progressive means by which the “wrongs” of settler-colonialism may be “righted.” State-  113 sanctioned arrangements of First Nations’ self-government and devolved authority are clear examples of such “softer,” less visible exercises of colonial powers, wherein “federal and provincial oversight and parliamentary supremacy” (Ladner, 2009, p. 96) ultimately and paternalistically restrict the freedom of Indigenous nations to govern themselves in culturally meaningful and life-affirming ways. Where these limited concessions of power have been devolved from the state to First Nations, moreover, rights to sovereignty and self-determination are explicitly removed from the negotiating table and, as Martin (2009) reminds us, “it is Canada that wields the power to confer or withhold concessions of First Nations claims to rights, land or treaty” (p. 24), rather than the obverse. In the specific case of self-government and treaty agreements, for instance, municipal-level powers—i.e., “negotiated inferiorit[ies]” (Ladner, 2009, p. 96)—are granted to First Nations, subsumed always beneath the legislative authority of provincial and federal governments, and the ultimate and assumed sovereign authority of the Crown (AANDC, 2010; Coulthard, 2014). Although on the surface, the treatment and recognition of First Nations as “self-governing nations” may appear emancipatory and forward-looking, it “is not, and can never be, a ‘gift’ from an ‘enlightened’ Canada” (RCAP, 1996, p. 20), as Indigenous peoples at no point in time conceded to the indiscriminate and sweeping usurpation of their traditional territories and modes of life by settlers, nor to the establishment and imposition of Western sovereignty over their own sovereign authorities, territorial jurisdictions, and bodies (Alfred, 1999; Clark, 1990; Ladner, 2009). In this light, rights-based “quasi-sovereignty” models of self-government, which currently are “viewed as possible only at the sufferance of the state” (Goetze, 2005, p. 256), are critiqued as serving to fulfill the assimilative interests of the state by “pull[ing] indigenous people closer to it” (Alfred, 1999, p. 59) through the extolment of narrowly-focused political and   114 legal recognition of First Nations’ self-determination that, in actuality, neglects to address or repair deeper issues related to, for instance, the substantial return of lands and authority over resources located on them, or the revitalization of traditional structures of governance and cultural practices that are so integral to Indigenous community wellness and resurgence (Corntassel, 2008). Third, acquiescence to “quasi-sovereignty” models also tend to reinforce colonial notions that the goal of Indigenous nationhood is ultimately unrealistic, idealistic, or naïve, and that such a goal could only in actuality be attained within the framework and authority of the pre-existing Canadian state, rather than adjacent to or in parallel with it (Day & Sadik, 2002); this, despite the fact that for millennia, Indigenous nations maintained their own constitutional orders, carried out through highly organized traditional structures of governance within specifically delineated—though often overlapping—territories (Ladner, 2009). It would seem that while some degree of restrained internal sovereignty—i.e., “control of one’s community” (Corntassel & Primeau, 1995, p. 360) at a municipal, rather than at a national level—is more or less tolerable by settler-colonial governments, the notion that external or absolute sovereignty could be accorded to Indigenous nations is by and large taken to be a self-evident impossibility. McNeil (2008)—who explicitly recognizes that Indigenous nations meet all the criteria to rightfully exercise de facto sovereignty on their lands92—notes that, despite the long shadow of illegitimacy cast by Crown and state claims to sovereignty on unceded territories, “it would no doubt be unrealistic today to deny that the Crown in right of Canada has de facto sovereignty over the whole of British Columbia” (p. 47). In McNeil’s (2008) view, this is due to deep-seated assumptions that                                                  92 McNeil (2012), an expert in constitutional law and legal history, differentiates between the relativity of de jure sovereignty, which is “valid only against political entities that were subject to the same body of law” (p. 49), and de facto sovereignty, which can be objectively claimed by any “politically organized society that effectively exercises independent authority over a territory” (p. 42).   115 underlie, among other discursive sources of legitimacy, international laws of prescription—i.e., that a transfer of sovereignty may occur merely if a state has “occupied and exercised jurisdiction over a territory for an extended period of time [emphasis added], and other nation-states by their actions have explicitly or implicitly acknowledged that nation state’s sovereignty” (p. 47). Given the Crown’s reliance on such deep-seated assumptions and logical inconsistencies with respect to its own sovereign legitimacy, how then might it be perceived as “unrealistic” for Indigenous nations—in right of themselves and their “pre-sovereignty rights and interests” (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014)—to assert and claim the necessary space to meaningfully exercise sovereign power against what may in fact be only the relative legitimacy of the Crown’s de jure sovereignty over British Columbia? The answer to such a question is likely to be found in the excavation of both systemic and individual responses to Alfred’s (1999) own sarcastic—though perfectly serious—and rhetorical question: “who would believe that indigenous nations could ever successfully challenge Canada…to win their sovereignty?” (p. 57).  3.2.2.2 Peripheralization of Indigenous traditions and the legitimation of self-governance through Western texts and tools  Alfred’s question is an important one, and raises a second line of important criticism relating to the implementation and legitimization of so-called “quasi-sovereignty” models that are linked to discourses of Indigenous sovereignty and self-determination. Not only are such models seen by critics to persist in the ongoing subordination of Indigenous forms of political and social organization to the state, but, importantly, they also contribute to the sustained delegitimization of Indigenous knowledges and modes of life by requiring first and foremost that claims to self-government be validated through sources of legitimacy that are recognized—or at   116 least made to be recognizable—by the colonizer. That is, successful pathways to self-government require the explicit (re)privileging of the “already assumed prevalence of European legal and philosophical imperium” (Nichols, 2013, p. 175) by Indigenous peoples in negotiations with the state, necessarily resulting in the peripheralization of oral traditions and kinship-based onto-epistemic worldviews of Indigenous nations. For instance, as described in Section 3.2.1, the “inherent right to self-government” (AANDC, 2010) of Aboriginal peoples is recognized only within the limited parameters of self-legitimizing Canadian artefacts and discursive technologies (Day & Sadik, 2002), all of which trace their origins to distinctly European and historically contingent legal, juridical, and philosophical texts and ideas that ultimately serve the end-function of situating absolute and indivisible sovereignty in the Crown. The inherency of the right to self-government is itself subsumed beneath the framework of the Constitution Act, which has been imposed upon Indigenous peoples’ own traditional constitutions and legal orders in BC since 1867; as a result, First Nations are called to recognize and accede to the Constitutional authority in order to invoke the inherency of the right in the first place. In other words, it is not sufficient that Indigenous nations assert their prior and existing sovereignties and rights to self-determination as understood through their respective political and legal traditions, or through recognition by or in relationship with other Indigenous nations. To exercise the “inherent right to self-government” requires first the legitimation of Crown sovereign authority over Indigenous expressions of sovereignty, along with the privileging of Western systems of knowledge—based largely in the written word—over the systems of knowledge held by Indigenous peoples—based largely in oral traditions.93 It is primarily through recourse to these systems of knowledge today                                                  93 Though it is important to acknowledge that the settler-colonial imposition of the Constitution Act, 1982 provides the crucial and necessary protection of Aboriginal rights in Canada, it is nonetheless important to underscore the fact that these “rights” did not suddenly crystallize or emerge with the repatriation of the Constitution: these “rights”  have always pre-existed the settler occupation of the state. However, the example of constitutionally protected rights   117 that Indigenous peoples are indeed able and “expected to advance their claims to land and culture through the formal processes of negotiation developed by settler colonial states” (Rollo, 2014, p. 226).  Importantly, as Woolford and Ratner (2004) note, the imposition and adoption of fundamentally Western-based concepts of self-government—and, by extension, of sovereignty and self-determination—effectively facilitates the dilution, abandonment, and/or destruction of “traditional indigenous truths” (p. 306), distorting and governmentalizing “First Nations’ own constructs of nationhood and reduc[ing] citizenship to arbitrary, mechanical measurement procedures” (Napoleon, 2001, p. 123) through the continued colonial reinforcement of, for instance, constructions of governance and identity. For instance, as noted earlier, the scope of negotiations related to self-governance, including membership, is currently determined by what federal and provincial governments primarily view to be reasonable and definable for self-governing nations, “extending to matters that are internal to the group, integral to its Aboriginal culture, and essential to its operation as a government or institution” (AANDC, 2010). Despite the surface attention paid to “internal, integral, and essential” aspects of First Nations’ self-governance—notions of which remain conceptually unclear—the language and practice of governance is predominantly entrenched in Euro-Canadian reflections of socio-political, legal, and juridical systems of organization, which many First Nations are impelled to adopt (Nadasdy, 2012) as it accords them the limited freedom to govern some aspects of life according to cultural values and imperatives; on the other hand, however, through the adoption of such models, First Nations are forced to accede, at least legally and politically, to the acceptance of culturally                                                                                                                                                              illustrates one specific way in which the written word is privileged over oral accounts in settler-colonial contexts. There is nothing “new” or novel about this line of argument; however, it is worth (re)noting how structures of domination are further reinforced through the asymmetrical imposition of Western systems of knowledge on Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty and self-determination, evinced here, as elsewhere.   118 inappropriate and, moreover, culturally destructive frameworks of governance as a whole. As Nadasdy (2012) and others have noted, this serves the function of reproducing settler-colonial relations by effectively compelling First Nations to turn away from, reject, or devalue traditional philosophies, socio-political infrastructures, and culturally-based onto-epistemologies in order “to accept—in practice if not in theory—a host of Euro-American assumptions about power and governance that are implicit in such terms” (p. 501) or discourses as self-government, sovereignty, and self-determination.  Although the use of such terms and discourses has been and is invaluable to the advancement of rights-based claims and the devolution of certain powers to First Nations, it is important to again underscore how the espousal of such positionalities may also lead to the “process of adopting distorted representations of Indigenous life, as well as living under the restrictive laws and policies that result from those representations” (Rollo, 2014, p. 230). A fundamental tension also exists wherein Indigenous articulations of sovereignty must always be “accommodated within the language of Canadian public policy” (Turner, 2006, p. 26) in order to be effective or taken seriously.94 Moreover, Indigenous articulations of sovereignty that resist, reimagine, or outright reject delimitations conferred upon First Nations by the state are not only regularly disregarded and cast aside by the dominant society, but are also often discursively disparaged: trivialized as outdated, fringe, or unreasonable ideas that have no consequential bearing or place within the “modern” political landscape in Canada beyond their symbolic articulation or performative function (Turner, 2006). As Smith (2012) notes, Indigenous perspectives are often “reduced to some ‘nativist’ discourse, dismissed…as naïve, contradictory                                                  94 Though Turner (2006) advocates for the production of an Indigenous intelligentsia—i.e., of “word warriors”—who would effectively “reconcile the forms of knowledge rooted in indigenous communities with the legal and political discourses of the state” (p. 7), he also acknowledges that the adoption of Western notions and conceptions of sovereignty “merely by inducing Aboriginal voices in legal and philosophical discourse” (p. 69) does not necessarily lend itself to the creation of anti-colonial or decolonizing spaces.   119 and illogical” (p. 14), even where these perspectives are articulated and advanced by those who meet classist criteria for Western standards of “credibility”—i.e., intellectuals, scholars, experts, community representatives, professionals, and notable figures.95 Alfred (2002) is therefore quite correct in noting that Indigenous peoples are often “viewed as the anachronistic remnants of nations, the descendants of once independent peoples who by a combination of tenacity and luck have managed to survive and must now be protected as minorities” (p. 469), rather than be accorded the space to reshape and revitalize themselves as politically and territorially self-determining nations with their own structures of governance, law, language, and order, grounded in culture, land, and relationships. In these many regards, it is important to then perhaps consider whether or not the very discourse of “sovereignty” itself—as understood by the Crown and state, as well as by the international community—is an appropriate lens through which to understand and articulate Indigenous conceptions of nationhood.  Though sovereignty claims have been increasingly recognized over the past several decades, this has been in large part due to the tremendous effort put forward by Indigenous leaders in learning “the intricacies of Canadian law, scientific resource management and other fields” (Nadasdy, 2005, p. 225) and also building “bureaucratic infrastructures modelled on and linked to those of government” (p. 225). However, “sovereignty,” as discussed in Section 3.1, is distinctly a product of European culture, Western philosophy, legal traditions, and beliefs about the world, ultimately deeply incompatible with and diametrically opposed to traditional Indigenous conceptions of nationhood and onto-epistemologies that generally relate to kinship, relationality, and reciprocity (Nadasdy, 2012), as we shall see in the section that follows. In the                                                  95 Western gauges of credibility and acceptability clearly dismiss and delegitimize the lived experiences and knowledges of “everyday,” lay, or “othered” peoples that do not fit into the mainstream spectrum of the Canadian social and political landscape. That is not to say, obviously, that First Nations’ assertions of sovereignty in general are not impactful or otherwise meaningful.   120 words of Alfred (2002), sovereignty “is certainly not Sioux, Salish, or Iroquoian in origin” (p. 465): fundamentally, that is, having its earliest and deepest origins in historically contingent European worldviews, “sovereignty” as a discourse and as a concept is at odds with and “inapplicable to indigenous circumstances” (Nadasdy, 2012, p. 501) and the traditional structures of political and legal governance that have been sustained by Indigenous nations across North America for millennia.  Audre Lorde once famously wrote that “the master’s tool will never dismantle the master’s house,” and it is important to keep this notion close at hand when speaking to Indigenous conceptualizations of sovereignty. Globally and locally, the lifeways and lands of Indigenous peoples have long been assailed and made vulnerable to dispossession and encroachment by colonial and capitalist forces; as Wiessner (2008) writes, “one final step is the death of [the] language” (p. 1171)—a point which is understood all too well by Indigenous peoples in Canada, who have suffered through the state’s attempt to genocidally divorce Indigenous peoples from their mother languages and to “de-Indianize” (Smith, 2009, p. 44) the Indigenous child through the nation’s shameful residential school system. The use of sovereignty discourse by Indigenous peoples—a discourse that is necessarily “rooted in an adversarial and coercive Western notion of power” (Alfred, 1999, p. 59)—may indeed ultimately be deeply problematic in the invocation and material struggle for Indigenous autonomy and self-determination: not only is the discourse of sovereignty equated with “statehood and statehood with a hierarchy of power relationships that do violence to cultural traits and values shared by Aboriginal people” (Macklem, 2002, p. 112), but to translate Indigenous conceptions of sovereignty into English often necessitates the adoption of related and linked ideas that “[blunt] and [simplify] original meanings” (Napoleon, 2001, p. 128). The use of the master’s—or, rather,   121 the colonizer’s—tool in order to articulate and lay claim to nationhood therefore sends in part the message that Indigenous “ways of understanding the world are not worthy of equal participation in a dialogue over the meaning and content” (Turner, 2006, p. 26) of First Nations’ rights, title, and sovereign authority. However, and notwithstanding these crucial concerns, it is also important to acknowledge that although conceptualizations of Indigenous sovereignty or nationhood are largely untranslatable, it is also difficult to talk about sovereignty in any other way than through use of the discourse itself; moreover, as observed by Barker (2006), though First Nations have incorporated Western technologies and systems of communications into their own political and cultural realities, these have frequently been used “as compliments, rather than absolute alternatives” (p. 84) to pre-existing and sustained Indigenous traditions. Moreover, while the discourse of sovereignty may be used to invoke notions of autonomy and freedom that are recognizable by Western and international standards and perceptions, it also signifies in non-conformist ways that enable Indigenous peoples to not only dismantle the master’s house, but to simultaneously “(re)build” their own (Simpson, 2011, p. 32). Bearing in mind these many self-reflexive complexities, the next section explores the notion of resurgent Indigenous nationhood as another dominant expression and materialization of Aboriginal sovereignty in Canada.     122 3.2.3 Resurgent Indigenous nationhood and self-determination  If colonization is a disconnecting force, then resurgence is about reconnecting with homelands, cultures, and communities. (Corntassel, 2012, p. 97)   In the four decades since Indigenous peoples first began to clearly invoke and articulate claims to political, territorial, and cultural sovereignties, many have taken up “tolerable” approaches to self-determination—i.e., as discussed in Section 3.2.1—through the negotiation and recognition of rights via, for instance, modern treaty making and self-government agreements, borrowing from the discourses, tools, and strategies of Western society congruent with Canadian structures of authority in order to complete clear jurisdictional and legislative transactions with the federal and provincial governments (Macklem, 2002). Ultimately, however, these transactions have proven to be profoundly asymmetrical in nature, settling “long-standing issues” largely through “visions of justice and certainty forwarded by the non-Aboriginal governments—visions that prioritize the corporatized economic and political interests of business and government over a serious reckoning” (Woolford, 2005, p. viii), restitution, and reconciliation of both the historical past and the present reality. As Blomley (1996) and others have consistently pointed out, however, these rights-based, legalist processes have been decried by many as “a sellout of Native sovereignty” (p. 10),96 facilitating ongoing colonial dispossession not only through the cessation of claims to and jurisdiction over vast areas of Indigenous territories, but also through the negation of Indigenous forms of governance, lifeways, and culturally-specific expressions of sovereignty. Moreover, rather than establishing                                                  96 Although this publication is now dated, the general sentiment still stands amongst critics of the BC Treaty Process, as well as amongst proponents of resurgent Indigenous nationhood. It is important to acknowledge, however, that the “selling out” of sovereignty is itself also largely a response to challenging circumstances and often insurmountable exertions of power placed upon Indigenous nations to accede to the adoption of “quasi-sovereigntist” positions.   123 meaningful “nation to nation” relationships as treaties are meant to do, modern day treaties—much like their historical counterparts to the East—have been largely “about the assertion of [Canada’s] status as the more powerful sovereign within a given territory” (Barker, 2005, p. 5). Indeed, not even through treaty, through self-governance, or through specific recognition of Aboriginal title is the “radical or underlying title to the land” (Tsilhqot’in Nation v. British Columbia, 2014, para. 71) and legitimacy of Crown and Canadian state sovereignty ever called into question. Corntassel (2012) and others have also warned of the “danger of buying into an ‘illusion of inclusion’ being promoted by state-centered forums” (p. 92) that effectively denies—within the framework of the state, that is—First Nations of their ability to freely and collectively exercise self-determining authority on their traditional territories as diverse, autonomous, and distinct nations. Over the years, Indigenous peoples have responded in numerous ways—directly and indirectly—to “broken government treaties and promises, destruction of lands without compensation, and political marginalization” (Niezen, 2003, p. 16), amongst other forms of sustained colonial injustices. As First Nations recovered from the state’s “attempted political and cultural genocide” (Simpson, 2011, p. 15) and began to reclaim the individual and communal strength and power necessary to revitalize cultural and political traditions central to their survival and well-being as restored nations, many Indigenous peoples began simultaneously “to question seriously the viability of working within the system, of considering themselves ‘nations within’” (Alfred, 2002, p. 463). It became evident that it was and is “largely within the realm of state-sanctioned legal and cultural battles for recognition” (Smith, 2011, p. 61) that Indigenous peoples are impelled to defend their rights to land, and, moreover, to do so in a way that explicitly privileges and reproduces Western conceptions of legitimacy and notions of land as   124 property or capital so as not to provoke a threat to the integrity of the self-legitimizing, absolute, and ultimately indivisible structure of the state. As Macklem (2002) observes, however, the expression or exercise of sovereignty “that mimics European structures of authority…may threaten the continued existence of traditional Aboriginal forms of government” (p. 112). The recognition of “tolerable” expressions and materializations of Indigenous sovereignty may therefore be better understood but as “a bargaining chip, a lever for concessions within the established constitutional framework” (Alfred, 1999, p. 56) that both fundamentally constrains and governmentalizes First Nations’ possibilities for self-determination.  As a result, several First Nations have rejected negotiated or concessional rights-based models of sovereignty that are championed by settler governments, refusing to acknowledge state legitimacy over unceded lands or to submit to the tremendous pressures placed upon First Nations to settle for inadequate political authority and largely economic arrangements that would only further entrench the transformation of traditional Indigenous lifeways, structures of governance, and modes of socio-political organization in the long run (Alfred, 2002; McCue, 2007; Woolford & Ratner, 2004). In turn, many Indigenous peoples have articulated and embodied alternative claims to sovereignty that move beyond and challenge the conceptual and political margins proffered through Western epistemologies and legislative frameworks. Conveyed through the assertion and, importantly, the everyday practice of resurgent Indigenous nationhood, these assertions of sovereignty “[derive] legitimacy from the reality of [First Nations’] presence on the land since ‘time immemorial’” (Martin, 2009, p. 7), and explicitly reject colonial, heteropatriarchal, and state-centric modes of organization and forms of governance that are fundamentally situated in “control, exclusivity, domination and violence” (Smith, 2011, p. 62). It is within this decolonial context that both the conceptualization and   125 materialization of resurgent Indigenous nationhoods have emerged, not only in opposition to the colonial state, but also against models of “quasi-sovereignty” that seek to gain progress and improvement through tempered negotiations with and concessions by the state (Alfred, 1999). Accordingly, in this section, the general notion and practice of resurgent nationhood is detailed, first through the articulation of Indigenous sovereignty as a thoroughly anti-colonial discourse against the nation-state, and as a stark contrast to discourses of Western sovereignty, insofar as the former is conceptually and culturally situated in notions of shared and plural forms of power, while the latter is based in historically contingent Eurocentric notions of absolutism and indivisibility. Second, resurgent nationhood is explored as decolonial praxis, situated in place, gender emancipation, and family; these are taken to be some of the principal features and also overarching objectives of resurgent nationhood. The discussion in this regard is primarily informed through reflections and commonalities expressed by several prominent Indigenous scholars who work in academies across Turtle Island, as well as on their homelands. 3.2.3.1 Indigenous sovereignty and anti-colonial nationhood against the nation-state  At its core, the discourse and notion of “sovereignty” underlying Indigenous nationhood neither invokes nor alludes to state sovereignty—i.e., that which is absolute and indivisible, territorially and politically defined—nor to the modern nation-state (Napoleon, 2001). Rather, it signifies the relational condition of “a stateless, self-governing and autonomous people, equal in status, but not in form, to the Canadian state, with a willingness to negotiate shared jurisdiction of land and resources” (Tully, 2000, p. 54). Although nationhood, without question, requires the security and material wealth of a determined land base in order to flourish—and to that end, needs also to be meaningfully recognized, taking jurisdictional and legal form as a third order of   126 government in relation to the Crown in Canada97—notions of Indigenous nationhood, importantly, are far more complex, holistic, and embodied, focused less on territorially and politically delimited forms of governance (although these matter, too) and concerned more with process, responsibility, and reciprocal relationships. That is, Indigenous nationhood and sovereignty are primarily oriented towards the fulfillment and embodiment of ancestral and cultural responsibilities, predicated on non-hierarchical, kin-based relationships—i.e., with the land, with other nations, and with other species, or families—that are grounded in values which privilege reciprocity, respect, and the long-term sustainability of Indigenous lifeways, rather than territorial domination, social and class hierarchies, anthropocentrism, and coercion (Simpson, 2011; Smith, 2011)—features which are characteristic of modern Western nation-states, such as Canada. Moreover, and crucially, Indigenous nationhood does not seek as its end goal “the attainment of a state or state-like form of governance” (Smith, 2011, p. 59) that is highly institutionalized and bureaucratized. Rather, it seeks to sustain and nourish “the natural order of all living things” (Washinawatok, 1995, as cited in Smith, 2011, p. 4) within individuals, local communities, and broader kinship communities through resurgent calls to duty, governance, and ancestral obligations to the Earth and all its nations. Here, it is also important to underscore that “nations” refers to autonomous and territorially and politically sovereign nations as recognized and bound through legitimate treaties; however, in contrast to Western conceptualizations of the nation-state, “nations” also include animal and plant nations, which must be respected and regarded in equal measure. In Simpson’s (2011) words, “one nation cannot control all of the land and all of the resources” (p. 107) and all nations must recognize their interdependence on one another and seek to find balance, such that life may rightfully flourish and be sustained in the world.                                                    97 As recommended by the RCAP (1996).   127 In this sense, among others, the discourse on sovereignty that underpins conceptualizations of Indigenous nationhood is profoundly anti-colonial and anti-Western, characterized not in terms of absolutist or indivisible sovereign authority, but rather as “a real, true acceptance of who and what’s around you” (Smith, 2011, p. 61), with the embodied understanding that “sovereignty is an active, living process within this knot of human, material and spiritual relationships bound together by mutual responsibilities and obligations” (Echohawk, 1999, as cited in Smith, 2011, p. 3). Within the context of settler-colonial relations and structures in Canada, the aims of nationhood may be said to be fulfilled when Indigenous autonomy and freedom is materialized and First Nations are able to “exercise self-determination, to develop culturally distinct forms of education, spirituality, economic development, justice, and governance” (Niezen, 2003, p. 18), free from the interference of the Canadian state. As Simpson (2011) affirms, this requires not only the will but the unmitigated freedom and support for Indigenous peoples to dismantle colonial structures and systems that act to sustain the host of interrelated processes that erode or eviscerate Indigenous traditional, intellectual, and cultural forms of governance, use of lands, and protection of women, children, and LGBTQ298 peoples from systemic, gendered, and racialized violence. For Simpson, as with others, this requires a thorough “disruption of the capitalist industrial complex and the colonial gender system (and a multitude of other institutions and systems) within settler nations by challenging the very foundation of the nation-state and its relationships to the land and Indigenous nations” (p. 87). Indigenous nationhood is therefore indeed explicitly anti-colonial; that is, within this fluid and relational paradigm of sovereignty, Indigenous peoples are called to resist and reject “colonial institutions, structures, and policies that attempt to displace [them] from [their] homelands and relationships” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 88), including rights-based, legalist approaches that have                                                  98 Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender/Transsexual, Queer/Questioning, and Two-Spirited Peoples.   128 produced Aboriginal peoples and First Nations as minority identities within Canada, recognized and recognizable only through the terms of the state (Atleo, 2009). This is not to say that rights-based processes are not tolerated by Indigenous peoples to the extent that they provide a bare minimum of “legitimate” legal recognition related to, for instance, rights and title. However, a principal aim of resurgent nationhood and Indigenous sovereignty is the re-centring of the reclamation and revitalization of “one’s relational, place-based existence by challenging the ongoing, destructive forces of colonization” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 88).    It is also important to underscore that, in stark contrast to notions of absolutism and indivisibility that are discursively and materially imposed by Crown and Canadian state sovereignty, Indigenous nationhood fundamentally acknowledges a shared, non-hierarchical, and plural existence which resists “the narrow fictions of a single sovereignty” (Alfred, 2002, p. 460), recognizing the diversity of nations that exists in the world, each with historically contingent and locally forged, adapted systems of governance and traditions that have developed over time “to fit within completely different territorial realities and to address different political, social and economic realities and needs” (Ladner, 2006, p. 4). Proponents of resurgent Indigenous nationhood therefore call for the transformation of settler-colonial relations—relations which seek, in part, to subsume and contain Indigenous pluralities within the “pleasurable articulation…of a multiplicity of nations within a single state” (Day, 2000, p. 35); they also call for the resistance against the governmentalization and attendant normalization of Crown-Aboriginal relations, in order to “transform the colonial outside into a flourishment of the Indigenous inside” (Simpson, 2011, p. 17) through the meaningful recognition and accommodation of Indigenous nationhood and approaches to being-in-the-world that go beyond legalist, rights-based compromises of collective autonomy.    129 In this regard, Indigenous nationhood may certainly be seen to pose a material threat to Crown and state sovereignty, precisely since “the restoration of [Indigenous peoples’] land-based and water-based cultural relationships and practices” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 92) is viewed reflexively and erroneously as exclusive—i.e., as being necessarily absolute and indivisible in orientation—because there is no other way in which nationhood may be understood within a Western cultural and political framework but as a form of hierarchical, exclusive, and coercive institutionalized and institutionalizing domination. As such, resurgent nationhood—despite arguably not having the aim, energy, resources, nor time to fully displace or capitulate the Canadian nation-state formation—is viewed as “a threat to the territorial integrity of the country(ies) in which [Indigenous nations] reside, and thus, a threat to state sovereignty” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 92). As Turner (2006) notes, Aboriginal claims to nationhood—unfathomable and opaque to most Canadians—have therefore “been met with skepticism and sometimes outright hostility in Canadian politics” (p. 8). Indeed, from a Western perspective, the assertion of Indigenous nationhood is simultaneously and paradoxically viewed as being unrealistic and unattainable (Day & Sadik, 2002) and yet also threatening since it directly confronts “the myth of state sovereignty” (Alfred, 1999, p. 58) and encourages resistance—both in theory and in practice—against the nation-state. It also demands the return and repatriation of Indigenous lands “simultaneous to the recognition of how land and relations to land have always already been differently understood and enacted” (Tuck & Yang, 2012, p. 8).  However, from an Indigenous perspective, as Simpson (2011) asserts, it is also clear that “one nation cannot be dominant over the other” (p. 107); that is, domination over peoples and fee simple ownership alone over lands is fundamentally incommensurate with core traditional Indigenous values. Visions of resurgent nationhood therefore necessarily call for sharing,   130 inclusivity, and a plural-based existence between all nations. However, the true reconciliation of Indigenous nationhood with Crown sovereignty—as opposed to a politics of reconciliation, which remains focused on “the act of rendering things consistent” (Coulthard, 2014, p. 107)—is truncated by the state’s unilateral and absolutist claim over sovereignty, rather than Indigenous peoples’ apparently “exclusive” or alienating claims to self-determination and autonomy on unceded territories. In this light, it would behoove Canadians—and in this context, British Columbians in particular, who publicly own over 94% of the provincial land base through the Crown—to deeply reflect upon who, in fact, persists in asserting exclusive and alienating claims to self-determination and sovereignty on unceded Indigenous lands. It is only through a thoroughly anti-colonial configuration of Indigenous politics—and necessarily, then, of Canadian politics (though this is not the work of Indigenous peoples, but rather of Canadians)—and the dismantling of settler-colonial structures of domination that freedom can flourish equitably for all, and not just the privileged many: at its core, this is a primary aim of resurgent Indigenous nationhood.  3.2.3.2 Resurgent Indigenous nationhood as decolonial praxis: place-based, gender-emancipatory, and located in the family   Not only is resurgent nationhood explicitly anti-colonial, but it is also actively and effectively decolonial in praxis, diverting its energies away from “the performativity of a rights discourse geared toward state affirmation and recognition” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 89), and instead “embracing a daily existence conditioned by place-based cultural practices.” Place-based, that is, in the sense that Indigenous nationhood necessarily requires the “reconnection of people to their lands, the reunification of their communities, and the restoration of security in individuals and collectives” (Alfred, 2005, p. 206) through renewed and persistent educational efforts that are   131 largely—though not exclusively—localized,99 occurring on and in communion with the land. Place-based learning and practices are, as Coulthard (2014) writes, imparted through “a struggle not only for land in the material sense, but also deeply informed by what the land as system of reciprocal relations and obligations can teach us about living our lives in relation to one another and the natural world in nondominating and nonexploitative terms” (p. 13). That is, place-based decolonial learning and doing is intimately linked to the struggle for land insofar as Indigenous peoples must necessarily contend with and fight against colonial processes that result in the ongoing loss, fragmentation, desecration, and primitive accumulation100 of lands over which they claim sovereignty; to this end, Indigenous peoples are faced with the need to take up certain rights-based strategies—such as the pursuit of Aboriginal title through the Courts—and/or to adopt creative, direct, grassroots strategies of resistance against colonially-imposed conditions and institutions in the struggle for lands and nationhood. The struggle for land is exceedingly crucial, as place-based learning is also informed by the land—i.e., through the “sense of space, power of place, and importance of origins” (Napoleon, 2001, p. 133) that is experienced by being on the land, learning by doing, and reanimating songs, stories, life-sustaining and healthful activities, and relationships that are ultimately grounded in place (Ladner, 2009; Simpson, 2014). It is by being on the land that Indigenous knowledges are (re)gained and a “responsibility-based                                                  99 Note that this vision does not exclude nation members who live in urban areas, or who are far removed from their homelands through physical or emotional distance, and/or circumstance. As Simpson (2014) points out, “cities have become sites of tremendous activism and resistance, and artistic, cultural and linguistic revival and regeneration” (p. 23). 100 Primitive accumulation according to Marx “entailed taking land…enclosing it, and expelling a resident population to create a landless proletariat, and then releasing the land into the privatized mainstream of capital accumulation” (Harvey, 2003, p. 14). This theory has been critically re-framed by Coulthard (2014; 2010) with specific relation to settler-colonial dispossession, clearly demonstrating how primitive accumulation of Indigenous lands remains steadily ongoing in Canada, intimately linked to and dependent upon the sustainment of colonial relations, and largely reproduced through the deployment of “soft power”—i.e., through reconciliation, accommodation, and multicultural “tolerance”—rather than overt, coercive “hard power”—i.e., through visibly violent state power and oppression. According to Harvey (2003), primitive accumulation has already occurred in history, and “accumulation now proceeds as expanded reproduction” (p. 144), conceptualized as accumulation by dispossession within a globalized, neoliberal context. Either way, and however dispossession of Indigenous lands is theorized, its ongoing, violent character endures in Canada, presently with little end in sight.   132 ethics grounded in relationships” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 93) is able to be cultivated. This notion has been articulated by countless Indigenous Elders, community leaders, and scholars, among others, and is reinforced through the lived experience of those who have placed their bodies on the land and have “engaged in land as pedagogy as a life practice” (Simpson, 2014, p. 19). Resurgent nationhood also calls upon Indigenous peoples and leaders to return to and nurture the “best of Indigenous legal and political traditions” (Coulthard, 2014, p. 179), focusing on critically reconstructing, revitalizing, and adapting the teachings, languages, philosophies, laws, and constitutional orders of Indigenous nations prior to and in resistance to colonialism, integrating these into everyday practice and lived experience. This is not to be mistaken as an uncritical return to or a “replication” (Ladner, 2009, p. 98) of the past and all of its constituent features, incommensurate with the “modern” present or the future; rather, nationhood is understood to emerge through resurgence, and through the revisitation and embodiment of core traditional values that are at the “place-based foundation of Indigenous decolonial thought and practice” (Coulthard, 2014, p. 13), while simultaneously “weed[ing] out the embedded roots of colonialism in discussions about nationhood, citizenship” (Napoleon, 2001, p. 135) and other critical issues related to Indigenous self-determination. As Coulthard notes (2010), the generative roots of settler-colonial structures are targeted through the critical resistance and decolonial, land-based praxis against “the dual imperatives of state sovereignty and capitalist accumulation that constitute [Indigenous peoples’] colonial present” (p. 82). Necessarily, this includes a rigorous and specific dismantling of colonial forms and structures of gender oppression, as well as gender constructions, that have become normalized—though not without great resistance—in many Indigenous communities through the subjectifying and transformative powers of colonial state sovereignty and capitalist accumulation.    133 In being fundamentally anti-colonial and decolonial, then, conceptualizations of Indigenous nationhood are also thoroughly anti-sexist, feminist, and gender-emancipatory. Not only have Indigenous feminist scholars, leaders, and activists long called for the emergence of a resurgent nationhood in direct opposition to the colonial nation-state, but they have also led the way in disassembling rigid gender binaries, calling for and working towards gender justice, and situating women, children, and LGBTQ2 peoples at the heart of nationhood-building, against not only the nation-state but also against capitalism and heteropatriarchy (Simpson, 2011; Smith, 2011). As Smith (2011) warns, without such an orientation, the danger of “inadvertently reinscrib[ing] a neo-colonial project in the name of sovereignty” (Smith, 2011, p. 66) looms large, potentially reproducing the “very configurations of colonial power that Indigenous peoples’ demands for recognition have historically sought to transcend” (Coulthard, 2001, p. 5).  For instance, in general reflections about nationhood—and certainly the nation-state, and rights-based models of Aboriginal self-determination—the specific concerns and priorities of women, children, and LGBTQ2 peoples are “often put on the back burner to be addressed ‘later’” (Kuokkanen, 2008, p. 217), if at all, despite the fact that these groups have suffered and continue to suffer the most under colonial domination in Canada. Indigenous women and girls in particular are at the clear nexus of “not only physical or sexual violence, but also structural, political and economic violence all of which reinforce and reproduce one another” (Kuokkanen, 2008, p. 220) alongside and through the ongoing dispossession of lands, rights, and livelihoods. The violence and specific targeting of women and girls is not accidental nor the outcome of some linear historical trajectory, nor is it “traditional” within Indigenous cultures. Neither is it the “result of some timeless inborn male sadism, but [a] mechanism in the process of ongoing ‘primitive accumulation’” (Mies, 1998, as cited in Kuokkanen, 2008, p. 221) which entrenches   134 and sustains “permanent relations of exploitation, domination and violence between men and women” through the gendered exertion of patriarchal power over Indigenous women and girls. Smith (2011) further observes that such power and violence not only functions to destroy individuals and communities, but also destroys “their sense of being a people” (p. 65) through the normalization of gendered forms of dominance and hierarchy. The critical examination, denaturalization, and rejection of these interrelated systems—i.e., statehood, capitalism, and heteropatriarchy—have been brought to the fore in conceptualizations of Indigenous nationhood primarily through the work of Indigenous feminists—Elders, activists, and scholars, among others. To be truly decolonial in praxis, resurgent nationhood also therefore seeks to be transformatively gender-emancipatory, in addition to being place-based and anti-colonial.  Finally, not only is nationhood situated independently of institutions, but it is situated locally and tangibly within the realm of the personal. As noted earlier, Indigenous nationhood is most certainly situated geographically, tied to specific territories and landscapes. However, it is also centred within the home, the community, and the self. As Simpson (2011) asserts, resurgent nationhood must begin in and at the home, “learned through the personal” (p. 41)—i.e., through language and lived experience, and through being parented and parenting. It is in families—i.e., “the microcosm for the nation” (Simpson, 2011, p. 122)—that children acquire knowledge about culturally grounded and land-based methods and approaches to traditional governance and decision-making, as well as to the distribution and sharing of power and authority amongst relations. For Indigenous peoples, whose families have been historically and contemporarily ripped apart by colonial policies, laws, and institutions, and who live daily with the intergenerational traumas of state-sanctioned genocidal abuses, the healing and teaching that occurs at home is of paramount importance. Here, it is worth quoting Simpson (2011) in full on   135 what Indigenous resurgence, self-determination, and sovereignty look like in the home, and how it relates to the broader context of resurgent nationhood101:  It begins with how we treat ourselves and our family members—how we make decisions that honour the voices of all our family members; how we respect individual autonomy and sovereignty; how we relate to human and non-human entities in a manner that embodies respect, responsibility, reciprocity and renewal. These relations then spiral outward to our communities and own nations. (p. 145).  Resurgent Indigenous nationhood is therefore deeply concerned with the nurturing of family relationships, particularly with children, and grounded in traditional values, since “parenting and educating the next generation…is one of the few areas of our lives we can assert a certain degree of control and it is critical to the decolonizing project” (Simpson, 2011, p. 127). This is echoed by other Indigenous feminist theorists, who understand profoundly that “relationship[s] to the land, and how we feed, clothe, house and take care of our families, communities, and Nations” (Echohawk, 1999, as cited in Smith, 2011, p. 3) are fundamental to Indigenous sovereignty, self-determination, and the fulfillment of nationhood in the present and in the future.  Ultimately, Indigenous resurgence requires “the courage and imagination to envision life beyond the state” (Corntassel, 2012, p. 89). It also requires the land, political power, will, and cultural and material wealth for Indigenous peoples to organize and be meaningfully recognized as legitimate, self-determining, and autonomous nations alongside the Canadian state—rather than within, or subsumed by the sovereign authority of the federal or provincial Crowns. Indigenous societies have exercised continuous, unbroken, de facto sovereignty on their traditional territories for millennia through negotiated relationships with other sovereign nations                                                  101 Simpson’s vision in this regard is enormously indebted to the work of the late Patricia Monture-Angus, Haudenosaunee legal scholar.   136 and through the sustained fulfillment of distinct constitutions, laws, structures of governance, and responsibilities to each other and to the lands they occupy. As Ladner (2006) writes, “Indigenous peoples were not sitting around waiting for colonists to provide them with government” (p. 4). Indeed, Indigenous peoples “had developed for themselves complex systems of government prior to colonization” (Ladner, 2006, p. 2)—systems which, despite having been subject to and weakened by oppressive exterminatory, assimilative, and governmentalizing colonial forces, continue to be honoured and observed not only in practice and through multi-faceted forms of resistance to settler-colonial state powers, but also through custom, lived memory, and embodied relationships. Though the planting and germination of the seeds of resurgence remain challenging tasks to sustain, this is nothing new for Indigenous peoples: they have done this for generations, surviving by “bending and swaying but not breaking, adapting and accommodating without compromising what is core to one’s being” (Alfred, 2005, p. 29). For the vast majority of Canadians, however, the work has hardly begun: in order to move forward with meaningful commitments to reconciliation, recognition, and partnerships, a thoroughly decolonizing re-education must occur—one which centres Indigenous conceptualizations and materializations of sovereignty and nationhood as legitimate and, at bare minimum, in parallel to Crown and state sovereignty in Canada.     137 Section 4: Summary and concluding remarks - decolonizing the mind (and forestry)  This primary aim of this thesis was to make a critical intervention in current conversations and literatures in BC’s forestry and forest landscape by first drawing attention to some of the primary assumptions underlying the notion of “progress” in Crown-Aboriginal relations with respect to forest sector issues and, in particular, the timber tenure system. In an effort to unmask some of these assumptions, the second section of the thesis situated both historical and ongoing settler-colonial dispossession at the centre of the development of BC’s forest sector, outlining numerous ways through which dispossession and settlement have been and continue to be instrumental in extracting capital from BC’s forests, entrenching the Crown’s radical, underlying title over lands and resources while simultaneously purporting to empower First Nations through the provision of increased forest sector opportunities, revenue sharing mechanisms, and delimited forms of access to forestlands. In the third section, the thesis then turned to an in-depth exploration of what is arguably at the heart of settler-colonial dispossession: the assumed sovereign authority of the Crown over Indigenous sovereignties on unceded lands. Re-framed as an examination of “parallel” and mutually contested sovereignties, the focus on the discursive and material expressions of both Western and Indigenous notions of sovereignty was based largely on the observation that such an examination is fundamentally necessary as a starting point for the transformation of settler-colonial relations, as well as the interception and dismantling of sustained structures of dispossession and injustices that are reproduced through established organizational regimes and systems that exist today—such as BC’s forest tenure system, as evinced in Section 2.    138 Sovereignty—a muddled but unifying concept linking “political, economic, social, and cultural aspirations” (Behrendt, 2012, p. 163) with perceptions of state or nationhood involving “a distinct history, a distinct culture, a distinct community, a distinct identity”—may be said to be “first and foremost about power relationships” (Nootens, 2013, p. 46). In BC, as elsewhere, the balance of power in the settler-colonial relationship is asymmetrically weighted: the state continues to possess not only a “monopoly on legitimation” (Day & Sadik, 2009, p. 19)—grounded in and dependent upon the perceived and entrenched legitimacy of discursive and material claims to sovereignty—but also possesses a monopoly on the vast lands that have been acquired, without explanation, by the Crown through the colonization and settlement of BC. Indeed, the “hovering sovereign’s hegemony remains paramount” (Culhane, 1998, as cited in Day & Sadik, 2002, p. 13), despite prior occupation, claims to land, and ongoing assertions and materializations of sovereignty and nationhood by Indigenous peoples. Accordingly, the discourse of Western sovereignty “has been contested in real and theoretical ways since its imposition” (Alfred, 2002, p. 460): not only does it underpin and serve to justify the Crown’s absolute, indivisible, and unilateral assertions and claims over unceded lands, but it has also been criticized in its relevance to and potentially assimilative effects on Indigenous quests for self-determination. Indeed, incisive arguments can be made for the ways in which “intellectual landscapes [have] been forced on Aboriginal peoples” (Turner, 2006, p. 88), impelling First Nations to accede and submit to Western political and legal discourses and epistemologies to “engag[e] the dominant intellectual culture” (p. 73) in order to effectively and strategically “know their way around European intellectual traditions” (Turner, 2006, p. 92), while the Crown and state are held to no such similar expectation or standard; that is, the onus is always already placed upon Indigenous peoples to substantiate and legitimize their inherent claims to   139 sovereignty and self-determination, while the assertion of Crown and state sovereignty—resting “on unacceptable notions about the inherent superiority of European nations” (Asch & Macklem, 1991, p. 510)—is presupposed, legitimized through the “already assumed prevalence of European legal and philosophical imperium” (Nichols, 2013, p. 175).  However, Indigenous peoples have also articulated and exercised their own territorially, politically, and culturally distinct forms of sovereignty through time and in the present, in diametrical opposition to Western conceptualizations and materializations: historically, that is, through prior existence and the organized, embodied presence of Indigenous societies “on the land since ‘time immemorial’” (Martin, 2009, p. 7), and contemporarily, through, for instance, the continued and localized, land-based praxis of resurgent Indigenous nationhood. It is important to underscore that the creation and sustained nurturing of such explicitly anti-colonial and decolonial spaces for resurgence is critical, in addition to the ongoing efforts by Indigenous peoples to “engag[e] the dominant intellectual culture,” as Turner (2006, p. 92) notes. While notions of sovereignty through discourse and institutionalized rights-based mechanisms have indeed become essential in helping to catapult “political possibilities and necessities” (Shaw, 2008, p. 11) related to Indigenous self-determination alongside and in resistance to the settler-colonial state, as Barker (2005) reminds us, “sovereignty itself is a vacuous idea for indigenous peoples without providing for and guaranteeing their means and abilities to exercise it” (p. 22). Notwithstanding the fact that there are certainly no universal understandings or approaches to sovereignty or nationhood, the discourse of sovereignty has been deployed by Aboriginal peoples across Canada and in BC over the years to help steer demands for justice and empowerment within a variety of constitutional, legal, and policy contexts, and to also inspire and enhance action at the grassroots level and in communities. However, without the massive   140 restitution of lands, the transfer of political power and authority, and the flourishing of decolonial space within which Indigenous peoples may freely exercise political, territorial, and cultural sovereignties, the reproduction of the “basic injustice of normalized power relations within the state” (Alfred, 2002, p. 464) will invariably continue to persist at the expense of Indigenous peoples’ freedom and autonomy.    Within the forestry context in BC, it is imperative that the legitimacy of both Crown and Indigenous sovereignties is better understood, as the management of forestlands is thoroughly tied to historical and ongoing processes of dispossession, centred upon the assumed legitimacy of Crown sovereignty, and the peripheralization and trivialization of Indigenous claims to sovereignty and nationhood. Although in the past two decades, the literature within the field of forestry has begun to address and show a deeper understanding of issues related to colonialism as well as to Aboriginal rights and title, there has not been enough work done around critically examining the specific role and influence of settler-colonialism—as a structure, rather than as an historical event (Wolfe, 2006)—in, for instance, governmentalizing ideas that underlie tenure decentralization, revenue sharing, and corporatized forest sector participation by Indigenous peoples. As Simpson (2011) asks, “how can we reconcile when the majority of Canadians do not understand the historic or contemporary injustice of dispossession and occupation, particularly when the state has expressed its unwillingness to make any adjustments to the unjust relationship” (p. 21)?102 Turner (2006) similarly notes that “most Canadians do not understand how Aboriginal peoples fit into Canadian law and politics and Canadian society as a whole” (p. 8); if this might be accepted as an insightful observation of settler-colonial relations in Canada,                                                  102 Though in this citation, Simpson is referring specifically to treaty negotiations in Algonquin territories, the question remains profoundly relevant in BC’s forestry context, as elsewhere across Canada, where collectively, the majority of Canadians have a poor understanding of settler-colonial dispossession, all the while looking towards Canadian gifts of policy and participation measures to help repair and reconcile the settler-colonial relationship itself.   141 the same can almost certainly be said of how British Columbians, in general, (mis)understand how Indigenous peoples fit into and occupy BC’s forestry landscape as sovereign, self-determining nations.   Moreover, and as a result, decolonization has yet to meaningfully enter into the forestry lexicon—either implicitly or explicitly—and certainly has yet to enter into practice through the significant restitution of lands and transfer, rather than the devolution, of authority and power to Indigenous peoples to re-weight and bring, finally, balance and justice to the settler-colonial relationship. The decolonization of the mind—and forestry—has yet to occur, or to even begin; this much seems obvious. However, it is also important to be aware that the very notion of “decolonizing the mind”—particularly within academic contexts—has also been criticized by several scholars, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, as a tendency towards distraction, concealment, and a false objective. That is, as Tuck and Yang (2012) note, the decolonization of the mind may merely treat decolonization as a metaphor—i.e., as “the cultivation of critical consciousness, as if it were the sole activity of decolonization…allow[ing] conscientization to stand in for the more uncomfortable task of relinquishing stolen land” (p. 19).  Ultimately, of course, Indigenous sovereignty and nationhood within Canada remain a struggle for and about land, and against colonial dispossession in all of its many overt and nuanced forms. Though Tuck & Yang (2012) raise valid and crucial points in calling out the ways in which “decolonization” may be treated merely as a metaphor, this thesis contends that it is nonetheless profoundly necessary and meaningful to facilitate the un-learning of certain rationalities and to also raise others up, whether this occurs in the academy, in the workplace, or in the home—on the land. To that end, it is necessary that all peoples on the land—which today is called British Columbia—take up the responsibility and courage to reflect on and challenge   142 deep-seated assumptions regarding not only the ways in which settler-colonial relations continue to be reproduced and reified through particular instruments and structures of dispossession, but also to critically deconstruct and reconceive the respective legitimacies of Crown and Indigenous sovereignties on lands that, for the most part, have never been ceded by Indigenous peoples through treaty, through conquest, or through the passage of time. To intercept dominant conversations that are currently taking place in BC’s forestry landscape is an important goal in taking a first step towards decolonization—one that this thesis has sought to address, but not to accomplish on its own.  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