Send in the army? Why one expert says that would be a ‘ludicrous’ response to rail blockades

Over seven years ago, two books written by retired lieutenant-colonel Douglas Bland offered some sobering warnings about the future of the Crown-Indigenous relationship — warnings that seem eerily prescient after the events of the past two weeks.

One book, Uprising, was a work of fiction — a well-researched tale of insurrection among impoverished young Aboriginal people rallying to a call to “take back the land.”

The second book (non-fiction) was more chilling. In factual, stripped-down prose, Bland chronicled how Canada’s Indigenous and non-Indigenous populations were on a catastrophic collision course — a reckoning long in the making that would lead to social upheaval.

That book, Time Bomb: Canada and the First Nations, described how the peaceful Idle No More movement had the potential to morph into something far more menacing — something that could exploit the country’s vulnerability to blockades by barricading the east-west freight routes that stitch the nation together.

Canada’s transportation network was at the time — and remains today — an easy target for aspiring insurgents and activists.