26 October 2009

When Political Correctness collides with Political Correctness

Interesting story in one of the newspapers today for which I cannot find the link. Aboriginal women are waiting for the federal government to fulfill a promise about extending their tribal rights. I believe the specific right here has to do with matrimonial homes, which women in some of the Western tribes appear to be losing when they divorce their husbands.

Here's what I find interesting: The political left has, for some time now, been pushing the idea that aboriginal societies should be allowed traditional self rule. Several tribes are beginning to hear calls for independence from Canada. However, one group of people who are not that thrilled with the idea of 'traditional rule' are the women of some of the tribes.

Where I live, the native women closest to my area would be quite content with traditional rule, as the tribes here (Iroquois in particular) were matrilineal, and the women held considerable power. However, for other tribes, women's roles were often subservient, and there are tribes where a wife was little more than a possession.

So here we have a collision of two politically correct ideas: Women's rights, and aboriginal self government. The federal government has been called upon to settle a difference between the two.

No wonder it is taking its time on this promise.

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