Those who don’t learn from the past….
by Jasmine Chorley
The discussion about allies in activism, namely bad allies and how to be a good ally, is nothing new, and much has been written about settler allies of Indigenous action in this Idle No More era (see Gehl, Unsettling America or Morgensen for examples). There is also historical precedent of white allies causing more trouble than they’re worth. In October 1869, the Métis National Committee convened to assert their right to lands at the Red and Assiniboine Rivers and their right to participate in negotiations with the Dominion before land could be surveyed and settler governments installed. Over the course of 1860-1870, the Métis formed a provisional government while they fought and negotiated with the Canadian government over the conditions upon which Manitoba would join Confederation. Among the members of this provisional government was William O’Donoghue, the ally in question.
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