Canadian uranium search will kill off the last Bushmen of Africa

Canada is now a superpower in the African mining sector.
According to the Ministry of Natural Resources Canada , only the Republic of South Africa, with over 35% of assets and investments, is just ahead of Canada in the African mining industry.

Canadian uranium search will kill off the last Bushmen of Africa thanks to Canada’s Xemplar Energy Corporation.

The Topnaar, a subtribe of the Nama minority, are southern Africa’s original hunter-gatherer San or Khoi-Khoi tribes — often referred to derogatively as Hottentots — who were pushed from their habitats around the Orange River in southern Namibia and northern South Africa in the mid nineteenth century by agriculturalist-settlers. Just like the Boers, the Topnaar also undertook a Great Trek north, led by their famous leader Jan Jonker Afrikaner. There are only about 60,000 Nama people left in all of Namibia. From DNA testing of 19th-century workers’ graves on Boer farms in South Africa in a Johannesburg University study, it has been established that these so-called ‘Bushmen’ indeed are the true forebears of the first Nation of southern Africa…

Canada has so much to be proud of these days, eh?  Ecological racism all over the planet…

Also being threatened is the ecologically-sensitive Garub-water hole — the main watering site for the giant Namib desert’s mysterious wild horses, the Shagyas, located inside this nature reserve about 120 km east of the Namibian harbour of Luderitz. The origin of the park’s protected desert horses is lost in time, the subject of endless speculation. Their DNA however links them to the Arabian Peninsula’s Shagyars horses.

Kill off people.  Kill off animals.  Just don’t kill off the right of Canadians to feed their greed.  Eh?


5 thoughts on “Canadian uranium search will kill off the last Bushmen of Africa

  1. I don’t mean this comment in defense of this action, but really a broader question about how we understand Africa.

    I heard on CBC a while back, people from NGO’s or otherwise that the majority of our (Western) actions in Africa are based around keeping people… rural. That’s not the right word and I am not specifically talking about colonization/globalization really—though I’m sure it would be considered it. But that the majority of our aid goes towards buying livestock and seed. Because we as Westerners have left the farm, but we like the idea that others are farmers. Even though we don’t live simple lives, we like the idea that others live simple lives. One of those bizarre dissonances between us having everything we want, wanting to help others, but certainly in the way we think will be best. So, that’s definitely a form of colonization. But anyway. When I read this—and again I don’t mean this in defense of mining or a lack of respect for this culture—I can’t help wonder if there isn’t a part of me that is so horrified by this because it’s destroying a lifestyle that is… well… stereotype and romanticized. This backward nature. A lifestyle that I want to exist, but have no desire to live myself.

    This probably isn’t the best way to approach the topic, but the whole premise (right or wrong) is really interesting.

  2. There’s no doubt that many of the Canadian institutions which provide aid to other countries are based in a legacy of colonial thought. But there are some organizations — desperately underfunded ones — which do amazing work on the ground, supporting local communities and not imposing western ideas or ideals onto said communities.

    I am reminded of an organization of the late 80’s, the Sask Linkage Committee, a group of Sask organizations, each with a partnership connection to an organization in one of the frontline states around the then-Apartheid South Africa, and to the ANC in South Africa and the mutual benefits these connections provided to people here and there!

    If you’re suggestion is that rural living is backward, well, then I disagree wholeheartedly. There is something about the connection to Earth that is desperately missing in the urban lifestyle. That, I think, may well be at the heart of your concern. It certainly is for me, but then I’m still a country bumpkin at heart…

  3. No, my suggestion is that we—being the urban majority—want there to be a place on earth that still lives simply even though we have no intention of doing it ourselves. But yes, I do miss and wish for a place to be connected to the earth again. Honestly, moving from an apartment to a house with a yard was an amazing first step. Leah and I will be returning for Christmas and I know time spent on her parents farm in the Qu’Appelle valley will tug at me.

  4. Please check out Ishmael, a 1992 novel by Daniel Quinn. The themes within will surely resonate with your concerns about the Topnaar.

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