The title is a military term, relating to shaping the physical and metal environment of conflict, before actual fighting breaks out. Getting supplies ready, men trained is only one part -- propaganda toward your opponent is also key. After all, if you can make him lose faith, he will lose faster.

Bonus points to those who recognize this recent news photo without googling. But I'm not here to talk about terror today. My interest was piqued by the boys returning form a coin show, with the Royal Canadian Mint's Canada 150 collection in hand. What could such patriotic paraphernalia possibly have to do with future battle?

Well, I made the mistake of looking closer at the coin designs. Not fewer than six of the twelve coins feature distinctly native style/theme art. So what? Well, not much, except if you recall that the more outspoken natives consider colonization of North America by whites about as horrible a catastrophe as the Palestinians consider Nakba. They describe themselves as a distinct society - at least as much as Quebec. Some of them describe themselves as non-Canadian. So ... why on earth would native art be on the very coins that commemorate the founding of their "oppressor" nation?

Another bit of the puzzle is the recent constant harping on "cultural appropriation" in various organs of the government. The CBC is getting up to article number 59,000 on the topic and the main "protected class" there is the indigenous. "Thou shalt not make native style art." Oh, it's more than just the CBC. Government-funded universities - and elementary schools - teaching how much we owe to ancient indigenous culture & knowledge, when it is in practice quite small. Come on, name a native invention or idea that we rely on in our daily lives. Name a few more. (No, working as a tenured native studies prof doesn't count.)

Another piece is the regular news, again from government organs, about how natives are in dire straits. No clean water. Huge gap in quality of life. Annual flooding. Many missing & murdered women (what about men?!). All of which require $, ever more $, but no strings attached please! Don't judge, don't ask for an accounting, don't tell them how/where to live, just feel bad and pay. There were times when we'd hear about these things mostly around federal budget time. Now it's year-round.

My spidey-senses are tingling. We are to believe both that natives are as Canadian as anyone else - and at the same time a separate nation; that they are strong - and yet require constant rescue. This is deliberately induced confusion, with a sublayer of guilt. I think the Canadian governments are preparing the mental battlespace - that is us, voters/taxpayers - for a massive round of reparations.