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First Nations Want Cellphone Revenue

samzenpus posted more than 7 years ago | from the the-great-spirit-wants-his-cut dept.

Communications 513

Peacenik45 writes "The CBC is reporting that First Nations in Manitoba want compensation for every cell phone signal that passes through their land because it violates their airspace. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs recently resolved to negotiate revenue sharing with Manitoba Telecom Services. Ovide Mercredi of the Grand Rapids First Nations says "When it comes to using airspace, it's like using our water and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do." This move may inspire First Nations in other provinces to follow suit."

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513 comments

Guess what? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331455)

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If you think Firefox is a decent Mac application, GTFO.
If you're still looking for the "maximize" button, GTFO.
If the name "Clarus" means nothing to you, GTFO.

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Injuns! ! Injuns on the WARPATH !! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331607)


S.O.S. Injuns! ! Injuns on the WARPATH !! Send Firewater !! Lots of Firewater !!

Re:Guess what? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331699)

Why those lesbians hate so much?

Let's hope they win! (5, Funny)

mlawrence (1094477) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331461)

I want a precedent set. Then I will also sue for any cell phone waves passing over my private property. They are not the only ones with the "get everything and do nothing" attitude.

Re:Let's hope they win! (4, Informative)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331483)

You're too late, at least in the US. That's already been tried in the US, with both broadcast radio and TV, as well as satellite TV (both big dish and pizza dish), and cable TV. To my knowledge, no private (non-government) entity has won even the first round of court using that argument. And complaints filed with the FCC have produced nothing but laughter.

Re:Let's hope they win! (1)

FLEB (312391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331531)

Hell, there's even precedent with airplanes. It's pretty much a dead-end.

Re:Let's hope they win! (1, Insightful)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331653)

That's because there is no such thing as private property in the United States. You are just renting it from the government. Doubt me? Try not paying your taxes and see what happens.

Re:Let's hope they win! (1)

paitre (32242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331775)

And it's a rather lucrative business to get into if you want to screw people out of their homes, too.

Not that I'm suggesting more people get into it - there's more than enough assholes doing it now as it is.

Re:Let's hope they win! (2, Insightful)

StikyPad (445176) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331789)

Exactly!! Because not following the law is proof that.. wait, what?!?

There is no freedom in the US. Don't believe me? Just steal some stuff and get caught and see what happens.

Let's hope they intercept! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331833)

"To my knowledge, no private (non-government) entity has won even the first round of court using that argument."

And yet people justify piracy using that very same argument.

Re:Let's hope they win! (1)

MillionthMonkey (240664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331585)

I want a precedent set. Then I will also sue for any cell phone waves passing over my private property.

Well first of all I need to know who the check should be made out to. I also need a good address I can use so that if I send it via airmail it flies over your house.

Re:Let's hope they win! (3, Funny)

maxume (22995) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331619)

Are you ready to claim sovereign rights to your land?

A private land owner getting a decision like that is the kind of thing that would get the constitution amended in the U.S., and would make the Queen angry in Canada.

Re:Let's hope they win! (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331823)

Are you ready to claim sovereign rights to your land?

If they do, they should get ready to see a great big wall built around it, with a customs office at the end of the driveway. Solution? Make everybody a diplomat.

Re:Let's hope they win! (2, Funny)

palewook (1101845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331735)

i wonder if i can sue my neighbor anytime i hear his &&$#! car alarm go off. wait, and the old lady 3 doors down with the barking dog. her too. they all are using the air on my property. (rolls eyes)

Re:Let's hope they win! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331869)

Unfortunately, in America you don't technically "own" your property. That's why you pay taxes on it year after year. You're paying the right to use it, from THE GOVERNMENT. Also, it can be taken from you at any time in the interest of national security, and nowadays even for civil use. You are not sovereign. At least in the US, "Indian Reservations" (fine, ding me on PC language... whatever) are, in effect, a SOVEREIGN NATION, lying withing our borders.

I have a better idea (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331921)

I have this really big Faraday cage...

Re:Let's hope they win! (1)

Braxton_Bragg (902868) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331961)

Nuke 'em !

What resource is being consumed? (4, Funny)

Russ Nelson (33911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331465)

So, pray, tell us, what resource belonging to First Nations is being consumed, so that you have less of it the signal has passed through? I will take one silver coin, and drop it on the ground, and you may comfort yourself with the sound of the money.

Re:What resource is being consumed? (1)

Frogbert (589961) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331509)

Umm the radio space that the cellphones use?

Re:What resource is being consumed? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331605)

Umm the radio space that the cellphones use?

Umm, indeed.

How exactly are the First Nations incurring a loss of use? Do they have some demonstrable manner in which cell phone traffic through their airspace is harming them financially?

Re:What resource is being consumed? (4, Insightful)

statusbar (314703) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331753)

That's easy to answer! Of course they would like to set up their own cell phone repeaters and collect the roaming fees for anyone using a cell phone near them!

--jeffk++

Re:What resource is being consumed? (5, Funny)

Sigma 7 (266129) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331587)

So, pray, tell us, what resource belonging to First Nations is being consumed,
Not "consumed" per se, but cell phones generate electro-magnetic radiation - which kill off bees [slashdot.org] that are necessary for their survival. There's some pseudo-scientific reports that simply state the opposite and should be avoided as much as possible.

Re:What resource is being consumed? (1)

Ice Wewe (936718) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331621)

So, pray, tell us, what resource belonging to First Nations is being consumed, Not "consumed" per se, but cell phones generate electro-magnetic radiation - which kill off bees that are necessary for their survival. There's some pseudo-scientific reports that simply state the opposite and should be avoided as much as possible.

Bunk... Bunk I say! Bring me the droppings of a scientist that has proven this and I'll start paying.

Re:What resource is being consumed? (4, Informative)

Guysmiley777 (880063) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331719)

The truth is often more complicated than the little news blurbs lead you to believe.

The Straight Dope - Disappearing Bees [straightdope.com]

Re:What resource is being consumed? (1)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331791)

Huh! And I thought only the GP was foolishly misinterpreting the study; I didn't realize that those dastardly idiots in the field of overhyped science jounralism were up to no good again.

We're not having it near as bad in this part of NE as in other parts of the country, but that's an anecdotal statement and not intended as a substitute for scientific evidence.

Re:What resource is being consumed? (4, Informative)

Sunburnt (890890) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331749)

Not "consumed" per se, but cell phones generate electro-magnetic radiation - which kill off bees that are necessary for their survival.

(From the FTA to which you linked:) One team of reseachers at Landau University in Germany discovered that if you put cell phones right next to beehives, some of the bees appear to become confused and have difficulty communicating. They don't die, and people who believe that this happens are apparently too lazy to even read the original research that started people discussing cell phones as a possible cause of CCD. Especially, it seems, when this sort of thing confirms pre-existing prejudices.

Standard boilerplate: In the event that the Parent is determined to be satirical in nature, congratulations! You got me.

Re:What resource is being consumed? (1)

YGingras (605709) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332015)

But, bees are not native to America, they were brought by Europeans. So, more cellphone calls is a good thing for the First Nations because it restores the land as it was back then. They should pay us so we make more calls.

Re:What resource is being consumed? (1)

joek1010 (980753) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331847)

Aren't frequencies of the electromagnetic spectrum being "consumed."

If you shined a really bright flash light over their nation, so bright that they couldn't use their own lights, wouldn't you consider that consumption? If the Manitoba can't use those frequencies (even if they really don't have a reason to), wouldn't it still be considered "used"?

Desperation (2, Interesting)

mulhollandj (807571) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331467)

Honestly, it is stupid moves like this that has kept natives mostly poor and depressed. What are they going to do about it? Build a wall to block it?

Re:Desperation (2, Insightful)

TheSHAD0W (258774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331547)

They could put up jammers; that'd work nicely.

Hey, if I can be prosecuted for decoding satellite TV photons I'm not considered entitled to, why can't I object to photons being sent across my property?

Re:Desperation (1)

Mspangler (770054) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331665)

"What are they going to do about it? Build a wall to block it?"

More likely a very large tinfoil hat.

Re:Desperation (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331771)

More likely a very large tinfoil hat.

A tinfoil teepee?

Re:Desperation (0, Troll)

techno-vampire (666512) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331709)

No, they're simply hoping that Liberal guilt and the belief that we have to compensate them for things that happened generations ago will override common sense. Just like Blacks demanding southern Whites give them money to compensate for their ancestors being slaves. Hell, if that's fair, then every, single Jewish man, woman and child in the world deserves money from the Egyptians!

Re:Desperation (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331783)

"Liberal guilt"

Kinda odd to use that phrase considering that:

a) It is before the courts, not the legislative branch. I'm not sure if any treaties would put power in the legislative branch, but I doubt it.
b) The Conservatives are in power (save the Senate) federally, and I believe the NDP is in power in Manitoba. I could understand if you said "liberal guilt" with a small-l but you used an upper-case L referring to the Liberal Party of Canada (midway through the sentence).

Fine. (3, Insightful)

Bluesman (104513) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331481)

Then they should pay for any cell phone signal originating from their territory, too.

And they should be charged for any rain water that evaporated from somewhere else.

Let's total up these charges...wow, looks like they come out even!

Re:Fine. (2, Interesting)

OS24Ever (245667) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331951)

This reminds me of a situation I experienced when I lived in Wichita KS in the 90s.

On the east side of town, surrounded by Wichita, is a little city. Little, literally, like maybe four blocks long. If you find it and zoom in on google maps [google.com] it's completely taken up by the third zoom level from the top.

They sat on what is really the main east/west road through the entire city. Of course they halved the speed limit, had their own police force, and Eastboro was known as the biggest speed trap in the area. Their cops were an urban legend of ass hattery.

This fine little city of elitist was pretty tired of cars driving through their city, so at the west end of town they barricaded the road, put in giant speed humps that basically did nothing but damage a car trying to go over it at any speed greater than 0.5 MPH.

The next morning (slight exaggeration), the Wichita City council submitted a law that said that any city completely surrounded by wichita would be annexed withing 15 days or something like that. The barricades were down by the end of the day, speed limit was still 20 MPH though.

Personally I'd be more entertained by the idea of a giant ass Faraday cage dropped over the region, that'd stop all radio signals and solve their resource use problem.

Stop the insanity. (2, Insightful)

glrotate (300695) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331497)

Indian nations are a farcical anachronism who have greatly outlived their usefulness. The US and CA govs should just stop recognizing them. It's time to move out of the stone age people.

Re:Stop the insanity. (4, Insightful)

casings (257363) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331685)

I believe that is the same line of reasoning that caused their genocide...

No genocide (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331803)

Obviously they are still alive (i.e. no genocide) or else they wouldn't be complaining now.

Re:No genocide (2, Insightful)

Tatisimo (1061320) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331893)

Reminded me of this:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Holocaust_denial [wikipedia.org]

I wonder how long it'll be until we start accepting the truth and quit our denial of scientific, historical, and other important facts for political reasons.

Re:No genocide (5, Insightful)

Shaman (1148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331937)

It doesn't matter. It wasn't our generation, or our great great great great great grandparent's generation. But we're now paying for it like it was. And it's about time it stopped, because it is doing nobody any favours, least of all the native americans.

Re:No genocide (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331993)

Not a denial of the "truth", merely an argument over a definition.
Just as there is a difference between attempted murder and murder, there is a difference between attempted genocide and genocide.

But then again, when your whole argument strategy is to call people racist, facts and definitions really don't matter do they?

Re:Stop the insanity. (1)

Shaman (1148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331837)

He's right. It's time.

Re:Stop the insanity. (1)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331851)

No the fact that they were occupying the land we wanted that they weren't willing to part with led to their genocide.

Re:Stop the insanity. (5, Insightful)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331927)

Spike: I just can't take all this mamby pamby boo-hooing about the bloody Indians.

Willow: The preferred term is...

Spike: You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.

Re:Stop the insanity. (1)

syousef (465911) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331903)

They're welcome to put up shielding to stop the rays passing through their airspace.

Re:Stop the insanity. (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331975)

These cell phone companies are innocent people minding their own business and the "First Nations" are picking fights with them. Does starting conflicts with innocent people play a part in someone's eventual defeat?

Only if he loses, I guess.

Re:Stop the insanity. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331715)

By the same logic, the natives themselves could "stop recognizing them". Oops, now 300 million people are homeless.

Clue: there were two parties that signed those contracts. There need to be two parties that break them, if they are ever broken (and we all hope they will be one day).

Re:Stop the insanity. (2, Interesting)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331741)

There's another name for your plan: equality. The tribes (or first nations or whatever) should be equal. The US should amend the Constitution to get rid of the special status for tribal lands and simply make them property of the folks who live there. No special rules, no special treaty rights, nothing. Equality.

States could start on this. For example, if someone has the right to open a casino on tribal lands, give that same right to the folks with property off of tribal lands. If a tribe member gets an exemption on fishing limits, repeal the limit for everyone. If a tribe can sell without charging a tax, repeal the tax for everyone.

Equality under the law should be the goal. It is long overdue.

Re:Stop the insanity. (1)

Secret Rabbit (914973) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331747)

No shit. I for one am extremely tired of having 3%, yes that's right THREE FUCKING PERCENT, of Canada's population have so much influence over the rest of us, indirectly or not. And for NO GOOD REASON.

These people should be embarrassed.

Re:Stop the insanity. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331805)

Indian nations are a farcical anachronism who have greatly outlived their usefulness. The US and CA govs should just stop recognizing them. It's time to move out of the stone age people.
While we're at it lets just do the same for Iraq.

Re:Stop the insanity. (1)

Forkenhoppen (16574) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331891)

I'm surprised they aren't saying the same thing to each other about us.

Re:Stop the insanity. (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331913)

ALL nations are a farcical anachronism who have greatly outlived their usefulness. We should stop recognizing the US and Canada, and all the others. You're right. It's time to move out of the stone age, and quit marking our territory like dogs. On the other hand, to consider Indian nations any less worthy of the status than a "regular" nation is extremely bigoted. Just sayin'...

Re:Stop the insanity. (5, Informative)

MagikSlinger (259969) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332049)

Indian nations are a farcical anachronism who have greatly outlived their usefulness. The US and CA govs should just stop recognizing them. It's time to move out of the stone age people.

We (or our parents) had a choice of coming to North America. The Indian nations were here, recognized by the crown (Queen Vicky, lor bless her!) as sovereign nations within the British Empire and their land claims recognized. Then some trumped up judge in London decided to write law from the bench (a.k.a. "activist judge") that said that aboriginals had no claim to their land. In direct violation of treaties and the ruling of the privy council. The government of the day said "What harm could come?" Well, as New Zealand and Canada learned, acting on an invalid judgement is a legal time bomb and as a result, modern Supreme Courts in NZ and Canada have said "That ruling should have never happened -- the land claims and treaties are in tact".

This case isn't about what you think it. A bunch of commissions over the years pointed out the bloody obvious: life on the reserves suck because they were systematically neglected and restricted by the Indian Act on how they could earn a living and still be allowed to live on their land (Part of the goal was to erase the identities and land claims of the original Indian nations and "Westernize" them). So a couple years ago, the Feds and provincial ministers got together with the native bands to figure out how to change things so the native Indians can become self-sufficient and agreed to the Kelowna agreement [www.cbc.ca] .

An agreement the current Conservative government unilaterally decided to break. This little stunt is probably going to be the first of many public actions. As some have said, it's going to be a long, hot summer in Canada this year...

(Note, I am not a Native Indian, but a real honest-to-goodness Indian (half actually), but I grew up with native Indians and have great sympathy for them. I also live in Canada and pay taxes so I'm not some unemployed, liberal hippie who won't have to pay for the settlements.

I almost hope they win... (3, Interesting)

Dr.Dubious DDQ (11968) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331499)

Seems like a very similar argument could be made against laws that prohibit decrypting signals that pass through one's property

Fair is fair, but... (4, Interesting)

davmoo (63521) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331501)

The cellphone companies should respond by treating any call that originates in a First Nations area as a "foreign" call wishing to access their network, and charge the appropriate fees and roaming charges.

Little known fact (5, Funny)

Viceroy Potatohead (954845) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331503)

Before Europeans came to North America, the native people would use every part of a broadcast signal, instead of wasting it like we do nowadays. Apparently they did the same thing with bison.

Now you know!

And next? (2, Insightful)

FrankSchwab (675585) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331527)

So, how about a seat tax on every airliner that passes over? A transit tax for every satellite that crosses their land? Hell, how about an "image" tax for every person who catches a glimpse of their land?

Re:And next? (1)

photosmash (1109439) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331817)

Hear Hear. That is indeed the reductio ad absurdum. As i Live in Winnipeg, I will be watching the media for further developments. The native issue on the prairies is as hot a potato as the "being black" issue in parts of the states. Why can't we all just get along?

Re:And next? (1)

NeMon'ess (160583) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331887)

If I take water from a stream on your property, you have less to use. If I take a picture of your property, you can still take as many pictures of it as you like.

Not a problem... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331537)

Sure, not a problem...

Oh, did we mention that costs for OUR electricity, gasoline, wood, metal, use of our roads, telephone lines, groceries, banking services, medical services, fire services, and police services for natives on band land have doubled in price?

You give an inch and they try to take a foot, this will never stop until we put a stop to it. They get all the benefits of regular tax payers, without paying the taxes, PLUS they want additional perks.

Even the majority of the my native friends think it is getting ridiculous, they live on some of the richest band land in the country and of course they don't see a dime from all that income, only the crazy rich band leader in the massive mansion(s) on the top of the hill see that.

Give me a break!

Re:Not a problem... (0, Flamebait)

Abuzar (732558) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332007)

Oh, did we mention that costs for OUR electricity, gasoline, wood, metal, use of our roads, telephone lines, groceries, banking services, medical services, fire services, and police services for natives on band land have doubled in price?
No, your idea of ownership is preposterous. All of those resources, products, and services do not belong to you. You are living on land that is stolen and consuming products that are the end result of theft, slavery, and systemic oppression. First Nations would do well if the White Man got up and left to go back home where it came from.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331539)

While they're at it, do they intend to sue DirecTV, XM/Sirius and oh yeah, shortwave radio operators for it too?

What? You mean a judge wouldn't even hear the case?

Lets apply this to other situations (1)

Kryptonian Jor-El (970056) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331553)

Sue the sky for raining on your land.
Sue the sun for radiating light to your land.
Sue the wind for distributing polluted air to your land
Sue EVERYTHING that creates sound waves that travel onto your property!

These days, all people want to do is take other people's money

Re:Lets apply this to other situations (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331911)

Yuck, you come across as so arrogant. There is a difference between natural elements and the white man's needless waste and pollution. Here is an opportunity to give a little tiny bit back from the immensity of theft. I say they should get it.

WTF??!? (1)

Valacosa (863657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331555)

"The CBC is reporting that First Nations in Manitoba want compensation for every cell phone signal that passes through their land because it violates their airspace.
This is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard.

Solution: build giant Faraday cages around their land. No cellphone signal inside, no problem.

Re:WTF??!? (1)

kypper (446750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331781)

I agree. Shut out all of the signal in those areas with the blame laid solely at the feet of the chiefs. See if the general populace puts up with that for long.

Will this ever end? (2, Insightful)

nigmafyre (316209) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331581)

To quote the above, the "do nothing and get everything" attitude that afflicts the Natives is born and bred on the reserves and brought about through a lifetime of having a silver spoon in their mouth. I am not racist. I am not against Natives. I do however have a problem with the current land claims they are proposing, as well as the terrorist antics that their Grand Chief has been condoning of late. At what point do we cut them off and say "Sorry, you've been paid back, thats enough, now get a real job and maintain your culture like everyone else, without the support of the government".

It really burns my ass to know that the 45% or so tax that comes off my cheque every week goes in a large majority directly to them, which they then turn around and use in a facetious manner like this lawsuit, or other such things. For a culture that has every advantage and is still in the "shitter" so to speak, maybe the problem is not a lack of money or resources or support, but rather too much.

being single, white, male and in my mid twenties, I can't even speak out, I have no recourse, and then hearing this, its absolutely NUTS.

Re:Will this ever end? (1)

Citizen of Earth (569446) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331813)

attitude that afflicts the Natives is born and bred on the reserves and brought about through a lifetime of having a silver spoon in their mouth.

I don't know about a silver spoon, but they are completely bought into the cycle of welfare dependency. Any pretense that they are living their traditional lives is a farce; they are welfare bums. The most merciful thing that a first-world nation can do for them is to annex all of their land and end their special welfare status. This would force them to join the first world instead of continuing to live in third-world squalor and corrupt tribal "governments".

The cops also need to step up to the plate and bust these idiots whenever they commit criminal offenses like blocking roads and railroad lines.

Re:Will this ever end? (2, Insightful)

Billy the Impaler (886238) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331819)

People continue to give in to these sort of ridiculous claims due to only one thing: white guilt. People were very mean to them a long time ago and as such many whites feel bad about their hateful and genocidal Caucasian forebearers. The populations that might benefit from this see an opportunity and exploit it just as anybody would. If you told me I could get special benefits just because I was a read-headed guy with Irish parents I'd be all over that. I can't get benefits for this but other people can get benefits for similarly innate characteristics.

Reverse racism is racism too.

Re:Will this ever end? (2, Insightful)

Shaman (1148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331901)

Fuck white guilt. I don't feel guilty. I feel used.

Re:Will this ever end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331923)

If you told me I could get special benefits just because I was a read-headed guy with Irish parents I'd be all over that.
Demand free drinks on St. Patrick's Day!

Re:Will this ever end? (2, Interesting)

redkingca (610398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332039)

Consider that in Manitoba(like most provinces) native land claims have been filed for over 100% actual land mass of the province, and that in some areas 10-15 bands are claiming the same stretches of land. It's no wonder that bands are making more and more outrageous claims to try and wring more and more money out of "the government". Even if we ignore the fact the all airspace is controlled and "owned" by the government of Canada(not the native bands), how are native bands going to measure the number of cell phone signals that cross "their land"? And even more likely the cell phone companies will just blackout reserve land. It's too bad that less than 2% of Canada's population is allowed to engage in various levels of terrorism at their whim, and it's even sadder that they continue to get away with it. I'm sure it's just a matter of time before someone starts vandalizing cell towers in the name "native justice".

April 1st 2008? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331589)

Damn did I doze off again?

Indeed. (2, Funny)

igotmybfg (525391) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331597)

I want revenue sharing for all cell-phone signals that go through my body. WiFi too. Oh, and walktie talkies. And ham radios, AM, FM, and XM. You know what, since it's all just EM waves anyway, I also want revenue for each ray of light that bounces off me and onto anything else. Got a microwave oven? Pay up.

Have them prove it (1)

Shabbs (11692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331603)

Manitoba Tel should indicate they've re-worked their network to go around First Nations areas and then indicate that if they want compensation, to identify what signals are going through their land and prove it. This is really retarded.

Other side (1)

SnarfQuest (469614) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331625)

Just make sure that any cell phone calls that originate within their land get appropiately taxed too. And there better be plenty of paperwork made available to show exactly how much originates within their borders, including roaming calls.

Also, any wind and rain that goes through the land should also be taxed. These are important commodities too. Rain waters crops, and wind generates power using those windmills. They better pay taxes on any rain landing on their land, and any wind passing through, that did not originate there.

And animals. If deer, fish, birds, etc. cross the border, then they need to collect, or pay taxes on each and every one of them, depending on if they are entering, or leaving. We can't have these valuable food animals roaming around untaxed.

Also insects. Many cultures eat insects, so these should be tracked individually, too. Bees crossing over and polinating crops are providing a valuable service.

Then there are seeds, pollen, spores, etc. blowing across. Better tax them too.

I think a couple million people spaced around the border should be able to track everything taxable. I'm sure the taxes earned by the First Nation should be sufficient to cover their payroll.

what, casinos aren't enough? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331679)

oh, canada!

that explains it

not enough fat old people to milk for pension checks in the tundra, eh?

what happens now (2, Insightful)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331691)

1. no compensation ensues;
2. First Nations installs signal blockers;
3. the signals (using a feature that is inherent in this mode of communication) use neighbouring air to route around First Nations' air;
4. First Nations realise how stupid the whole exercise is

how did I forget... (2, Funny)

weighn (578357) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331733)

4. First Nations realise how stupid the whole exercise is
5. ???;
6. NO profit.

Reality check. (4, Insightful)

R2.0 (532027) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331693)

Allow me to state that I am fully in favor of the Native American Nations taking advantage of their status and sucking money away from the surrounding governments. They've had a pretty shitty 500 years, and if they want to take money from dumb white folk at casinos, and let those same folk dodge cigarette taxes, more power to them.

That being said, WTF? They are asserting a "property right" that has been rejected via common, statutory, and international law time and time again. A nation can control physical objects that enter their airspace, but not energy. It's like RFA/Radio Marti - nations may not like broadcasting radio waves into their territory, but there isn't dick-all they can do about it except bitch and moan and try to jam it. But in this case, jamming would be a cure worse than the cause - their own members would lose the same access.

I mean, are they serious?

Soon to be... (1)

Bin_jammin (684517) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331727)

Big chief no signal. You don't want coverage? No problem! Odds they sue to get coverage if they get cut off?

*This* is the face of unbridled capitalism (1, Troll)

Guppy06 (410832) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331763)

It is no mistake that this is coming out of autonomous territories where federal laws appropriating radio frequencies for specific uses have little or questionable jurisdiction. Whether or not you personally believe they are entitled to, these groups are perfectly capable of jamming radio transmissions used by others crossing over their sovereign territory, so they do have de facto control over them (by virtue of being able to disallow them). They own the territory and have the potential to fulfill this anarcho-capitalist's wet dream of a land where there are no governmental controls over frequency allotment.

Considering the flavor of politics around here, I'm surprised I'm not seeing more posts in support of these First Nations' actions.

It makes sense to me now (0, Flamebait)

Night Goat (18437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331793)

No wonder the white man had such an easy time taking Indians' land. They're complete morons! This is the dumbest thing I have heard in a long time. Stick to the casinos, those make sense and are a good business move.

Moderating (2, Insightful)

pcameron41 (530230) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331809)

Can I mod this entire story down as racist flame bait?

Re:Moderating (3, Insightful)

Shaman (1148) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332001)

Denial is rarely a good solution.

They have the right to do this (2, Insightful)

yt.rabb at gmail (1091047) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331811)

I don't know what it is like in Canada, but in the United States we regularly sell off parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is considered to be held in common by the people of the United States, so we charge companies to use it. I'm no expert on the subject, but they appear to be well within their rights. Why all the anger?

Re:They have the right to do this (3, Insightful)

Charcharodon (611187) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331991)

They already get their check every month, now they are trying to milk out more. I have plenty of sympathy and outrage over the past of the way they were treated, but after living near a reservation for three years in the here and now I've let alot of that slide. A large chunk of these people are stuck in the welfare cycle and are just looking for handouts. This is just the latest in a long line of schemes they've been trying on the government to get back what was never taken from the living in the first place. Also it really depends on what ever agreement the particular reservation has with the federal government. They are not sovereign nations, nor are they exempt from federal law.

What about... (1)

danomac (1032160) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331815)

They should charge birds for violating their airspace too. They've had a free ride in their airspace for a long time.

Come On Already (1)

rdforsyth (1039844) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331841)

Next thing you know, they'll want a percentage of the air we breathe and for us to 'stitch up' the ozone layer. I live in Manitoba, anyone here with a treaty card pays NO taxes and goes to school for free. Not to mention the miles of land and the resources the government pays for them to be sustainable. Enough is enough.

Hey Indians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331859)


How about getting JOBS rather than drinking away your welfare cheques all day? I work in downtown Regina and see nothing but listless drunken savages lumbering along the streets.

Re:Hey Indians... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19332031)

"...see nothing but listless drunken savages lumbering along the streets."

That would make you a blind fucking racist then. You and your ilk disgust me.

Airlines next (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19331879)

Not long now and we'll have airlines paying land owners for flying through their property. Land isn't just dirt you know, it's everything down to the earths core and up to the... god's heavens.

why stop there? (4, Interesting)

mr_exit (216086) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331881)

The Maori in New Zealand tried to claim airspace and even up where the satelites fly!

http://twm.co.nz/maorispace.htm [twm.co.nz]

"The group apparently told MPs that their air space extended even further - to the outer limits of the universe."

If you're going to be mad you might as well go the whole hog.

nobody likes a freeloader (1)

dartmongrel (855947) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331889)

Time to start thinking of ways to better themselves is what they should be doing, rather than looking for more tactics to rip off the honest, hard working taxpayers of Canada. Message to the politicians in Ottawa: you don't do anyone a service by spoonfeeding them when they don't need it. This country is going to be in a lot of trouble in another 20 or 30 years. Shrinking middle-class, anyone?

Commoditizing Air (5, Insightful)

unlametheweak (1102159) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331897)

On first glance it sounds ridiculous; however there is some precedence in the monetization of air:

-The state of New York has filed suit against Ohio for dumping pollution on them through the airwaves http://www.oag.state.ny.us/press/2005/mar/mar18a_0 5.html [state.ny.us] .

-A portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum is going to be auctioned off in the U.S.
"the spectrum is a national resource that should be managed".
PDF: www.pff.org/issues-pubs/books/060309dacaspectrum1. 0.pdf
google cache: http://64.233.167.104/search?q=cache:fH_s8JehCyEJ: www.pff.org/issues-pubs/books/060309dacaspectrum1. 0.pdf+lectro-magnetic+spectrum+auctioned&hl=en&ct= clnk&cd=1 [64.233.167.104]

If governments can make money off the spectrum then why not so-called "First Nation" governments? It really boils down to how much legal and economic authority Indians should have. And it deals with the ambiguity of a people who both want to claim their individuality and distinction from the rest of society, and still be apart of that society, especially when it comes to exploiting natural resources. It's pretty much politics as usual. Seems like the typical having-your-cake-and-eating-it-to mentality.

HAHAHAHAHHAHAHAHA (0, Flamebait)

JohnnyGTO (102952) | more than 7 years ago | (#19331943)

The sad part is they will get it. Fucking bend over and take it up the ass country.

first? In what? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19332037)

first in place - last in everything else....

--they don't even know how they got here.... (tm)

How about neutrino compensation? (1)

FlyingSquidStudios (1031284) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332041)

They literally pass right through their land all the time...

The problem with Property (0)

neurosine (549673) | more than 7 years ago | (#19332045)

This is why property becomes such a problem. When we're buying the air for a good cause, corporations will suck up the air and sell it to us now that it has become a commodity. (e.g. water) Soon the law is there to make sure we pay for the right to suck up the air, and pay waste disposal for exhaling, and taxes on it all. Not to say to some degree we're not already there. Everything's really not for sale. We just pretend it is, and enforce the idea. Who didn't realize it would become so problematic?
The world she is becoming a sad place.
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