I was intrigued by R. Selby's arguments related to aboriginal land claims. I have two comments, one related to the role of democratic decision vis-à-vis aboriginal land claims, and the second is the suggestion that the aboriginal issue is only a financial one is overly simplistic.
On the issue of democracy, I believe that people should be involved in political solutions regards to land claims. However, besides being a democracy, Canada is also a constitutional society based on the rule of law. Part of that British and Canadian law is that the Crown cannot seize lands owned by indigenous lands without conquest or treaty.
Would we have the right of freedom of speech or religion chosen my by simple majority vote? Some rights are above a mere vote.
In my opinion, there is a place for specific rights to indigenous peoples due to their longstanding use of this region. This is not to say that Europeans and Asians should abandon this area, far from it. Nonetheless, the law should facilitate the healthy survival of indigenous identities, just as land is allocated for resource industries and environmental projection.
Part of the land issue is related to generating revenue, another part is related to maintaining a cultural identity. Buying the land may not be the solution; we should proceed in a nation-to-nation approach and joint land use planning as used on Haida Gwaii (Queen Charlotte Islands).
Thomas Cheney Sardis