New Caledonia TribesThe New Caledonian tribes
New Caledonia: State and Independence
That', explained the Kanak Grand Chief Atal in 1878 when he empty two bags at the foot of the Colony-one bag full of soil and the other, stones". In 1774, when Cook "discovered" New Caledonia, he found the island inhabited by a Melanese tribe in small villages along the riverbanks and coastline.
This was the socially oriented area of the familys home, the farmland, the canals and the areas for hunt and collection, which provided the foundation for cultural, economical, political as well as societal activities. There was a close link between the tradition of society and a number of geographical points of references - farmsteads, populated places and various other elements of nature - all of which were thoroughly surveyed and used to define the civil liberties of the people through their land and seas.
"When New Caledonia was annihilated by France in 1853, the colony's evolution was linked to colonial settlerism, mining, livestock farming and the construction of a prison camp, which necessitated the dispossession of large parts of the country. During the whole of New Caledonia's entire story, the country has been at the centre of the dispute between the colonists and the Canaries.
In 1855 the first colonists reached Nouméa; they occupy a small area on one of the islands, where there was no sea and no canaries. In the mid of the next year, some colonists dared to go beyond the Peninsular in search of better land and met fierce resistance from the Canaries of the area (see Saussol 1990:38).
Massacres of a few colonizers resulted in a number of repressions designed to pacify the area: towns were burnt down, harvests devastated, estates seized and distributed to people. It was argued by the government that the Canaries wasted the country with their long abandoned farming seasons and that this unexploited country could be handed over to colonisation.
The year 1855 saw a governor DuBouzet order differentiating between squatted and empty grounds, which restricted the right of the Kanaks to actually invade built-up area. This is how the concept of indigenous reservations emerged, which together possess unalienable property laws to "protect" the Melanesians from the loss of their entire area.
Repossession of empty areas has totally confused the Kanak agricultural system. Not only were the Kanak people disrooted; this confiscation meant a break with the symbolical bonds that connect people and people. As one Kanak independent guide put it: "A Kanak without a country does not have one. "The first reservation was established in 1868 near Nouméa, on a country belonging to a Kanak chieftain traditionally associated with France.
Benefiting from the coalition and the feeling of safety and freedom, the settlers began to occupy the countries of the ally group. There was a restlessness among the confederates and the government reacted by proposing that the Kanak confederates "demarcate" their land, as formal acknowledgement of the borders would protect them from further attacks.
Consequently, these unhappy French confederates found themselves near their former towns to joint landowners. The allotment was computed on 7 ha of average soil per capita - far from the 30 ha each canoe needs to perform typical subsistence farming operations (especially yams and taros).
At any rate, the establishment of reserves means that the Kanaks were expropriated from their land to make room for colonisation. Through the secondment of civilians living on the land of other civilizations, the government caused a crises. Unaccompanied visitors who were expropriated from their own areas were placed on other land owned by the villagers, who were then flooded by migrants.
In addition, the government adopted a new type of real estate - namely "collective" domestic properties as distinct from past owner-occupied properties. In New Caledonia there was a tradition of familial possession; the locals, mostly lines, possessed territory within the burg. To encourage immigration and fund the household, the government of France was selling Kanak countries cheap.
From 1860 to 1878 the number of ha transferred to settlers increased from 1,000 to 230,000 (Saussol 1985:1616). The livestock was abandoned and there were no fencing to avoid 80,000 semi-savage animals migrating to canak countries and destroying indigenous gardens. From these wrongs sprouted the seed of the great Kanak Uprising of 1878.
A violent crackdown on the 1878 rebellion marks a turning point in Kanak's story. The rebels' now deserted land was given to the prison settlement founded in New Caledonia in 1864. Each prisoner was given four acres; for more than 20 years, this colonisation formed the main part of the new Caledonian population.
"At the turn of the 20th and 20th centuries New Caledonia was a settlement with very few people. Saussol (:42, 1990) reports that the prisoners were only 8,230 (4,450 prisoners and 3,780 on parole). However, the expropriation of lands amounted to 241,000 ha in privately owned areas and 53,000 ha of leasehold area, most of which were inspected by about one hundred cattle-breeders.
Sixty two per cent of the people of Europe were living in the country town of Nouméa; the punishment camp formed the largest part of the town. It provided the newcomers with 25 ha of free area with the option of acquiring additional plots up to a maximum area of 100 ha. As the country ended in prison, he turned to the Kanak Reservoir.
Simultaneously, the Melanese populations had fallen sharply from an estimate of 60,000 to 27,000 at the beginning of 1900 due to outbreaks, the consequences of the rebellion and a low birthrate. As a pretext, Feillet used the falling figures to disown even more property and cut all the reserve to 3 ha per capita, reducing Kanak reserve from 320,000 to 120,000 ha.
A number of reservations completely vanished, and the expelled classes were consolidated into new territories (Saussol 1985:1618). This was the most consistent and drastic abatement of the Kanak countries to date. Completely superseded by an indiscriminate, synthetic, imposed system, the geo-political area of Kanak had no similarity with the historical past.
During 1903, the" cantonnement" - i.e. the policy of limiting Kanaks to stocks - was discontinued as a systemic trial, but in individual cases, such as the opening of new nickle mining sites, the stocks were depleted. Inofficially, the colonists and their cows continue to intervene in the Kanak-reserve. Colonials and expropriations have deeply affected the Kanak people' s memories.
Fears of getting property seized by the authorities remain even today, even though the trial was reversed by the Kanaks themselves. The Kanak people began to recover slowly after bottoming out at the beginning of the 20th cent. Birth numbers rose and the Kanak people became young (as they are today, with half the under-20s) - the opposite of what happened in the colony people.
Trade and trade have led to a general migration of Europeans from the countryside to the city of Nouméa and an ageing of the populations of settlers in the outback. The influx of immigrants came to a halt: the number of Europeans fell from 19,809 in 1911 to 16,867 in 1936. The revitalisation of the Kanak community led to an increase in the consciousness of the government that the indigenous peoples of New Caledonia would not just "disappear".
" During the 1930', the government began to encourage Melanesia's involvement in the area's free enterprise - Kanaaks were urged to grow coffees, which in turn increased the pressures on the finite resource base of the area. In the aftermath of the Second World War, New Caledonia's Colonies became more open. The hard labour ended and Kanaks was elected.
This reform transformed the polity of the country's politics, and the Canadians did not hesitate to use their newly gained pressure to regain it. In 1946, the total area of the site, which had been put at 126,000 ha, soon increased to 162,000 ha. Nevertheless, there were still differences between the colonies: the Kanaks were still expelled from the growing regional economies, banished to a place of smallholder farming and low-cost labour reserv.
Right from the start, Kanak's entrance into the world of politics was linked to a claim to landhold. He called for the expansion of his resources, which were genuinely needed because of the increasing size of his people, and soon became a way of repossessing the estates that had been abandoned during the canton's period. As Saussol (: 1985:1619) put it, it was "revenge on the story and a tangible manifestation of a Kanak renaissance".
" Increases in provisions were as inaccurate and random as the demarcations. Administered by the government, which still refuses to recognise the ownership of each of the families, the country passed it on to the whole reservation group. The heterogenous collection of lines and classes brought together by cold weather conditions was to be distributed among the reservemembers "according to their needs".
" Conflict has arisen between the Kanaks, who have been incapable of activating the conventional soil management and redistributive mechanism due to the failure to recognise ownership of their families. For the management it became more and more clear that the provisions were not "well adapted" to a state-of-the-art free enterprise. During the early 1970', when the Kanak-based Front Indépendantiste was founded, Kanak's calls for independence focused on the country's independence and the acknowledgement of its own social identification.
New Caledonia's landholding imbalance was outrageous. Less than 1,000 Europeans had 370,000 ha and half of this country had less than 40 homes, compared with 60,000 kanaks living on 165,000 ha of reservation and 10,000 ha of privately held area. Between 1945 and 1976, the number of farms in Europe had risen by 100,000 ha, while the stocks had only risen by 36,000 ha (Saussol 1990:48).
It quickly polarized into two unforgiving societies that knew little about each other or were in touch, "each with a view of the New Caledonia's futures, each with a different historic foundation for the right to be politically powerful" (Fraser 1988:9). Between 1975-1976, the country issue on stocks became acute due to the global financial crises triggered by the fall in the price of nickels and the onset of globalisation.
Young, jobless Kanaks came back to the reservations only to realize that there was no country for them. The Kanak tribe called on the Macedonians in 1976 to recognise their lands as theirs. As a reaction to this, the federal administration launched a lands reforms programme to "redress the imbalance between Kanak and EU property " - this was achieved by purchasing and selling acres.
One important part of this was the restoration of "traditional" country. Significantly, the reforms did not call into doubt the EU footprint in the Kanak countries and did not affect the name. The demands for the country were an important topic in the 1977 regional election, which further divided the conservatives and the Allies.
The new State Secretaries for the FOD in 1978 drew up a soil strategy as part of a broad long-term programme for long-term socioeconomic growth. "He tried to navigate a course between settlers and Kanak claims by reaffirming France's authority: "It is the governing body of France that is in command" and demanding that for ten years the population renounce autonomy and cooperate with France agitated.
The area was given full control of the country's reforms in the 80s and 12,000 ha were immediately occupied by the indigenous people. From 1,594,390 acres on La Grande in 1982, 664,059 or 41. 6%, owned either individual persons or Melanesic-reserve. Kanak tribes focused on the eastern seaboard, Europeans control the more prolific areas of the western seas.
Kanak operations were tense between mine licences, state forest and Europe's farmers and estates. Until 1982, 267,000 ha had been questioned, 64 per cent of which was in private ownership. The country in Europe's possession was now the subject of a claim. The demand for the restoration of the traditional estates was also a way of restoring and confirming the group' s name.
The Kanak Clan wanted to give back their ancient places, the holy places where their clan began. In addition to these traditionally assertions, a further aspect was political: the complete restoration of the country became one of the main objectives of the Front Indépendantiste, which began to occupy and "clear" controversial areas. The Kanak tribe's demands for property and autonomy became one and the same thing.
1981 the French regime changed and the demands on property were disappointing. It was made clear by the authorities that they did not agree to the "global claim" of the Kanaks to return the entire country unconditionally to the Clan Clan. Besides the occupation of plots of ground, on controversial plots of ground, the construction of conventional houses as a symbol of the local aspirations.
As a result, the new high-ranking commissar founded a regional debt collection agency - an ³cOffice Foncier³d - in 1982 to speed up the work. The district rural committees discussed district issues on their area. Then the High Commissioners determined the scope of the current demands and the group to which they were part.
Afterwards, the property was purchased. Although the Front Indépendantiste greeted the efforts, the discussion was no longer a matter of rural reform: the Kanaks wanted a schedule for independency.
In March 1984, before the French parliament's consideration of the law on independence, the Front organised a wide-spread cadastre. Front-line members squatted 15 of Europe's farmhouses and built in most cases conventional structures.
One of the terrorist groups, a terrorist group and a terrorist group, flew into the area to campaign for the status, was held by the front while the anti-independence force was demonstrating against the Kanak conquer. This law was adopted and polarisation in New Caledonia increased (Fraser 1988:17-18). Kamchatka Militanz began to rise. As Jean-Marie Tjibaou, the Front Indépendantiste leaders, explained: "The Canadians can only rely on themselves in their decolonisation.
The Front de Libératíon Kanak Socialiste (FLNKS) was founded in September 1984 by four of the five Front Indépendantiste political groups, an independent labor organization, a regional justice commission and a women's group. As the Kanak line hardened and the 1984 "evenings" began, more and more Europeans began to offer their properties for auction; even those who a year and a half before had said they would never be selling were now calling the Office Phoneyer.
It was in January 1985 that the Communist regime drew up its plans for the Independence Association, which provided the Canaries with solid financial and policy assurances of independence and independence for the Europeans. Property agreements, lease agreements and franchises would ensure the use of the property and Kanak was recognised as the first owner. Proposals for socioeconomic and multicultural reform have been made to narrow the widening gap between Kanak's largely undeveloped landscape and the prosperous, Europe-dominated city of Nouméa.
Selected councillors would be in charge of the economy, basic schooling, soil reforms, rural policy and so on. This was the beginning of a programme of the "Green Revolution" - the involvement of the population in the process of change. Administrations tried to reallocate property to the Kanaks, but failed - the RDP lobby was under the control of community interest groups.
Rather than continue the Nazi policies of purchasing settlers' property and re-distributing it to the Kanak's landowners, the country was largely divided among Europeans and Frenchoyalists. The New Caledonian Rural Authority's activity reports that "decisions[on the allocation of land] were taken without fixed guidelines, without respect for the demands of the locals and without the least respect for justice in the division of the country between the two main communities" (quoted in Libération 9/22/89).
Out of the 26,213 ha reallocated by the end of 1987, 18,879 went to Europeans and others, while Kanaks only got 7,332 (Fraser 1988:49). Canadians wanted a facilitator and a schedule for the country's autonomy. The three Kanak fighters were arrested and trials to prevent the shedding of blood were rejected by the general in command of the armed France.
Nine-teen Kanaks were killed in the hostage-raid. These agreements announce a ten-year "peace period" during which the Algerian authorities will seek to eliminate socio-economic disparities in the area, in particular by supporting programmes of education and further education in the Kanak municipalities. 1988, at the end of this time, the New Caledonians are asked to select between being independent and residing in the Republic of France.
Now the Kanak people have full domination over the predominantly rustic areas of the north and islands, where they constitute the vast bulk of the people. First and foremost is the education of officials, policemen, judges, physicians, educators, nurses so on. To rebalance the Kanak areas with the predominantly whitewashed, metropolitan and southerly areas, the North and Isle of Khanak will receive 75 per cent of the area's government spending budgets.
There will be developing activities and a young people education programme to involve young Canadians in municipal developement work. In addition, the Goverment of France has pledged to support the Kanak civilization and to conserve the Kanak legacy in New Caledonia. Whilst France is counting on these 10 years to show the Kanaks the intelligence to stay in the Republic, the Kanaks are committed to using this opportunity to develop the necessary capabilities, knowledge and infrastructures to make them more independent.
During the first year of the agreement, ADRAF slowly distributed the 60,000 ha it had acquired from its previous one. Until 1990, ADRAF concluded the establishment of local council bodies to provide advice to the Agencys on the purchase, allocation and design of real estate. ADRAF's new function under the Matignon Agreement is to purchase and either assign production property or rent it out to individual persons or groups under general or ordinary legislation.
The ADRAF is also in charge of providing rural engineering assistance, consultants, engineers and funding as well. The country has now become an important source of prosperity for the Kanaks. Are the Matignon agreements going to result in the environmentally sustained expansion necessary for long-term prosperity in New Caledonia?
Ongoing policy should not be confined to the economy. Pre-colonial colonial habits defined country accessibility through kinship: childbirth, marriages or adoptions defined which country was cultivated at low temperatures. Pervasiveness of the markets, trade farming and settledness led to a new series of pure "economic" ties with the country.
In this area, the developing patigm must include the local canak population. In New Caledonia, we must re-evaluate the West's understanding of what constitutes non-sustainable change in the way we develop and use our lands, for the aboriginal country is not only "used", but is basically "lived" (see Devalle 1990). Canak' s calls for national sovereignty have as much to do with the acknowledgement of cultures and mutual esteem as with freedom of politics and economics.
" The fact that Kanak's evolution is still hampered by the fact that it is finally in the hand of a collective government that oversees the money for it, an government that still holds on to an ideal of paternalist evolutions. New Caledonia's developpment policies continue to operate under a model that believes that the indigenous Kanak people should adjust to the productive and reproductive environments of the capitalist system.
In order for it to be truly viable, local expertise and know-how must be integrated into the programme and used to bring about socio-economic transformation in the area - not only at grass-roots but also at the political as well. The Matignon Accords are trying to turn the Kanak into a fag oeconomic?
One Kanak commented: "We see economists coming from France and other countries who mean nothing to us. Expropriation of Kanak territory in New Caledonia follows the classical model of collective growth and the emergence of uneven socio-economic relationships that allow the plundering of labour, agricultural property and physical ressources, all of which are warranted by French economics.
Matignon agreements define westerly managerial structure and standards of performance into which the Kanaks must blend. It is one of the aims of the agreements to show the remainder of New Caledonia that the Kanaks can run a company or a land like the remainder of them. When the basic principles of France's economical growth are to be determined by occidental paradigms, then, benevolently as the intent may be, one still risks suppressing communal life habits - not only those of manufacturing, commerce and consumerism, but also those of tradition, customs and civilization (cf. Piper 1989).
Moreover, this multicultural hierarchy negates the credentials of the Kanak definition of progression. Often developpment is not adapted to the area. In order for it to be viable, it must include tribal know-how. In the Kanak Fellowship there are traditionally established frameworks that can foster dialog between Western and Canadian issues.
Many New Caledonian experts have adopted a top-down stance and an infallible and culturally superior stand. Suggested developments in the fields of coal extraction and forest management under the agreements will only increase the degradation of the environment and deplete the area's bio-asset-basis.
If the Lafleur Mine is sold to the north of the provinces, there is a risk that the Canadians will be complicit in the degradation of their environments and in the exploitation of the Canaries' native ressources and their supply to the advanced areas in the southern and the rest of the state. If we had only an economic perspective, the mine is not enough to sell; it gives the Canadians full command of only 10 per cent of the territory's nickle output, while the other 90 per cent remain in the interests of Europe, America and Asia.
The Matignon agreements appear to benefit the most from the Matignon agreements in the south of the country, with 70 per cent of the New Caledonian EU and immigrated populations and two-thirds of the labour forces, most of its leaders and almost all of its people.
Not only does it contain all of New Caledonia's present riches, but also the most important means of reproducing and developing this richness. In the words of two Francophone civil servants, "the existing settlement system[in New Caledonia] is based on socio-economic patterns that allow the regional middle classes, with the help of the state, to maintain full sovereignty over the whole of France to their advantage" (G. Marc and A. Ruelian, Le Monde 10/18/89).
The migration from the countryside does not augur well for developing in the North and the Isle of Man. By 1998, 4 per cent of the total area' s inhabitants will account for 60 or even 62 per cent of the area. Without a significant reversal of the trend, Nouméa will remain the area' s geographical and economical centre, to the disadvantage of the Kanak area.
The country remains at the top of the FLNKS programme. A FLNKS conference last November agreed that the topics of debate for the large international groups and forums should be the country and people. François Burck, chairman of an important FLNKS policy element, says that "land is not the ownership of a few people. It must be the tool of freedom and progress for all.
" In the 1990s, the challenge for the Kanak countryside was severe as demands on agricultural lands are being restored within a new range of commercial ambitions and avenues. Twenty years ago, before the objective of becoming independent, a very liberal recovery of the country could have been the most satisfactory. Nonetheless, the government was hesitant to push ahead with reforms - it saw the objectives of the Front Indépendantiste as going beyond the reforms of the canton of Basel.
The country and the politicians have now merged. The country has become an important part of a liberating motion that seeks to establish a strong democratic position by establishing a strong culture based on it. Kanak's traditional way of living, in this case the relation to the country, is conjured up by the Kanakis.
One and a half acres per capita have been assigned to the rebels. Out of 21,630 prisoners sent to New Caledonia, 2,680 received property, 52 per cent of whom lost their property due to misbehaviour or incapacity to use the area. Until 1897, the end of the prison period, there were only 1,300 prisoners left in New Caledonia (Saussol 1990:42).
There were three ways of redistributing uninhabited or state land: 2 ) Family system: landholdings were distributed to members of clans and rented by local governments to other rabbis; 3) personal recreation: this was a new opening for young rabbis and other ethnical groups in New Caledonia - people, small businesses and co-operatives could own landholdings without tradition.
Thus, in July 1988, 24h before the Matignon agreements were implemented, ADRAF handed out a controversial country to a number of RPCR fighters (the anti-independence group, dominant in Europe). It has been authorised to assign 139 plots with a total area of 15,046 ha. The plots were allocated to Europeans as follows: 59 plots (42.5%) of 5,842 ha (38.8%); 54 plots (38.8%) of 8,135 ha (54%); 26 plots (18.7%) of 1,089 ha (7.2%) (L'Avenir Calédonian 12/24/90:4).
Kircher, I. Fraser, H. 1988 New Caledonia: This is Comprendre l'identité Kanak. New Caledonia, A. 1982 Country and politics in New Caledonia.