Cascadia, A New Country Carved Out Of West Coast North America

better-map-of-cascadia

New International lines to be drawn?

 

Canada is a vast country full of diverse views and people, and although this has been one of Canada’s strengths it also has created numerous problems.

One such problem is that the political power center is in the east in Ottawa, historically decisions made in the East often don’t reflect the views of those living in the West. Over the years different groups have had different ideas on how to solve this problem. One of the most visible has been the Western Canada Independence Party. Founded in 2005 in Alberta, WCIP’s stated goal is to give the people of Western Canada a viable alternative to the status qou political parties. At the WCIP’s founding event leader Tyron Blakney stated that “Western alienation and the desire for fundamental political change are long-simmering grievances and now that most people see that the system is completely corrupt, we hope the movement will quickly grow and that candidates will come forward to run in every western constituency.” The party’s ideals include a constitutionally guaranteed right to private property, a low tax economy and no gun registry.

Possible flag for West Canada

Possible flag for a New West Canada Nation

Closer to home though, and the title of this article, has been the concept of Cascadia. A country comprising of west coast States including Washington state, Oregon, Northern California and Alaska, and on the current Canadian side the new country would include the provinces of British Columbia and the Yukon Territory. This new country would have a total population maxing out at around 19,700,000 residents and comprise a land area with top estimates ranging around 3,802,000 km square, making it, by land mass, the 7th largest country in the world – just a bit bigger than India. Of course different organizations see different layouts, land-wise, for this newly proposed country.  The largest of which would be the organization called Cascadia Now. This Organization envisions a country of Cascadia encompassing a land area comprised of the watershed of the rivers flowing into the Pacific through North America’s temperate rain forest zone. ‘Cascadia Now’ also defines itself as a social movement as opposed to a political movement and strives to connect cultures within this zone, creating a distinctive cultural zone with shared values across the landmass. Other groups, such as The Republic of Cascadia, see the project as more of an independence movement and cite grievances such as the seats of power being too far removed from the region, as well as the war on Marijuana Growers in the interior of British Columbia being the driving force of separation. There is also an established political wing of the Cascadia independence movement aptly named the Cascadia Independence Party.  The party website describes the movement as a political entity with the goal of uniting the diverse regions of Cascadia into a country separate from either Canada or the United States. Their website, see link above, contains a lot of great information on the history of the Cascadia independence movement as well as a vision a road map into the future of the movement.

flag_of_cascadia

Flag of Cascadia

 

yukon-flag

The Yukon Flag shows similarities to the Tri-Color Flag of Cascadia

        So far in this article we have explored the Western Canadian independence movement as well as the West coast independence movement, but we would be remiss if we skipped over our neighbor to the west and their large independence movement.  The most visible incarnation of which is the ‘Alaska Independence Party‘ or UKIP. Alaska has always been independent of the United States in many ways. Geographically there is a large separation from the lower 48 states, climatically, the weather state of Alaska is much harsher than the lower 48 in terms of temperature and arctic storms, culturally the state of Alaska is separate from the lower 48 in terms of self reliance and living closer to nature. The Alaskan Independence Party also claims some major grievances against the United States Government and against the process of statehood in 1959, UKIP describes these grievances like this. There is a commonly held belief across Alaska, that the US Constitution has been set aside, and other than ourselves, there are no protections to the liberty and freedoms we are to have as our continued inheritance since the formation of the Union of the “several States”. Our main “goal” is a legal vote and ballot; one that was not given in 1958 and was in violation of International Law and Treaty. Alaskans were robbed of the choices we were to have as a non-self-governing territory, and steam-rolled into the current classification of a State. The Native population of Alaska, in a large percentage, did not even receive a ballot because of the Federal Voting Rights Act in place, at the time requiring the ability to read and write English, and for the first time in any Statehood vote of a Territory entering this “Union”, the military and their of age dependents, through a special act of the US Congress, were allowed access to the Statehood ballot. Then, as today, corruption abounds. The US government is far and away outside the bounds placed on it by the 9th and 10th amendments and is operating illegally for all .  The AKIP party also has quite a bit of homegrown support.  In the 2010 U.S election AKIP garnered 4% of the Vote with their senate nominee, Bob Bird. So, what is in store for the future of AKIP?  Well again I turn to AKIP’s own webpage where they state   The Alaskan Independence Party can be summed up in just two words:

ALASKA FIRST!

Until we as Alaskans attain our Ultimate Goal, the AIP will continue to strive to make Alaska a better place to live with less government interference in our everyday lives.

The Alaskan Independence Party’s goal is the vote we were entitled to in 1958, one choice from among the following four alternatives:

1) Remain a Territory.
2) Become a separate and Independent Nation.
3) Accept Commonwealth status.
4) Become a State.

The call for this vote is in furtherance of the dream of the Alaskan Independence Party’s founding father, Joe Vogler, which was for Alaskans to achieve independence under a minimal government, fully responsive to the people, promoting a peaceful and lawful means of resolving differences.

Alaska Independence party Logo

Alaska Independence party Logo

Is there a desire in the Yukon for independence? and if so, which Independence movement most closely reflects the feelings of Yukoners?  To the first question I would answer yes, for many Yukoners there is a desire for independence, as for the second question I do not know the answer. The Yukon shares values, economic, social and family ties with all 3 areas with which we might succeed with, or we could perhaps go it alone, to those with vision, nothing is impossible. What I do believe is that the years of suckling at the teat of the federal govt. are eventually going to come to an end, and the confederation that is Canada will be tested along East West lines as the issues that simmer below the surface are thrust to the forefront like two tectonic plates colliding. When these seismic shifts happen it will be worth considering options that best suit the territory, it is also worthwhile to note that the Yukon, or at least a good chunk of it, very nearly became part of Alaska during the Klondike gold rush circa 1898 when around 80% of the miners in Dawson were Americans. Also I think that many Yukoners would be happy to live with a far smaller government and a much more open attitude to free enterprise.  What does the future hold?  Well, we better strap on our boots and find out, but simmering somewhere under the surface is the desire for independence burning across the Northwest of this continent!

Article By YFP editor Micah Hoeschele

 

 

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