The original VICE News article published by Rachel Browne on Nov. 25, 2016, is available here.
Northern Dawn is posting the transcript of the interview, so readers and supporters can gain a broader picture of our background and mission.
Rachel Browne: Hi there. My name is Rachel Browne and I’m a reporter at VICE News. I noticed that the name of your group was printed on some posters in Edmonton this week. And I was wondering if someone there would be available to chat either here or by phone sometime today. I also just sent an email to the address listed on your website. Please let me know if we can set up a time. I’m also at [REDACTED] anytime. Thank you.
Northern Dawn: We’ll be around to answer questions over chat here live at 10 EST.
RB: Okay. That will work. Thank you. I will be here waiting at 10. Talk then.
ND: We’re good to go when you are.
RB: Hello, thanks. I’m here. When you say “we”, how many people are you referring to?
ND: There are four executives on the leadership team of Northern Dawn, all of whom are here.
RB: What are your names?
ND: Mark Christensen, Talib Ali, Robert Harrison, and Joseph St. Pierre [sic].
RB: Hi, all. Are you currently located in Edmonton?
ND: The leadership team is located in Vancouver and Toronto.
RB: Ok. So can you tell me a bit about Northern Dawn and how the idea for it came about?
ND: Northern Dawn was conceived a year ago out of our study of Canadian political theory and history. We were disappointed with the state and level of political discussion in Canada. We see great value in the political, historical, and cultural traditions of Canada and Western civilization. Our goal is to re-establish these values as guiding principles for British North America’s governing culture, since they have been lost over the past few decades as liberalism in the United States has become ascendant.
We founded Northern Dawn because we didn’t see anyone in Canada actually defending its true cultural and civilizational tradition, and we think that our tradition of good government, virtue, and strength is the key to a better future for Canada.
We see Canada as having preserved a more secure and unified approach to government through monarchy, a more accurate vision of human nature as being tied to roots and community, and a recognition of our British and French heritage. By contrast, the United States has developed on the lines of divided and factional government, atomistic individualism, and a proposition nation.
We launched publicly on Saturday.
RB: And did all four of you know each other before forming Northern Dawn?
ND: We have a shared interest in politics and tradition.
RB: Basically I’m wondering specifically how you met, if you guys knew each other from interacting online, or through school, etc.
ND: Some of us first met online, but we meet regularly in person.
RB: Have others joined since you launched?
ND: Yes, we’re drawing on a pre-existing network in several cities across Canada, and we have been offered support by people all over the country since our launch.
RB: What is the pre-existing network?
ND: We are not interested in talking about that.
RB: Why is that?
ND: We want to talk about the Northern Dawn project, not about private personal networks.
RB: Would you describe Northern Dawn as “alt-right”?
ND: We have a different vision and focus from the alt-right, although there is some overlap. The alt-right is a populist movement focused on white racial identity politics. Northern Dawn is aiming to create a better vision than global neoliberalism for North America’s governing classes. We consider race important but not sufficient for creating a better path for our civilization.
RB: So that sounds closer to a yes than a no?
ND: Sex may be binary, but not all things in life are.
RB: When it comes to the recent posters in Canadian cities that have drawn so much attention, is Northern Dawn involved specifically in putting any of them up? If so, where and which ones? Your website was stated on some posters in Edmonton.
ND: We are happy that we have supporters across the country, but we don’t know who put up the posters.
RB: Are the ones in Edmonton mentioning you the only ones you’ve seen with your name on them? Would you encourage supporters to put up posters?
ND: Yes, the posters in Edmonton are the only ones we’ve seen so far. We encourage supporters to show support for Northern Dawn by spreading our content as widely as possible within the bounds of the law.
RB: You say Northern Dawn is aiming to create a better vision, what specifically does that look like? And when you say race is important for creating a better path for civilization, what does that mean?
ND: First question:
The United States has promoted forms of government that create factionalism and conflict. Canada has preserved a more stable and cohesive society because it was founded on the Crown, which resulted in a stronger and more unified system of government. Northern Dawn is a project for Restoration. We believe in undivided sovereign authority in the Crown, the superiority of ethical and political values over mere economic concerns, and the necessity of rootedness and heritage to the good life. We recognize Canada as formed by the British and French branches of Christian European civilization. We are post-secular and privilege socially healthy institutions. The vector for the last century or more has been in the direction of global liberalism under the United States. We want to present an alternative to the governing classes and start moving things toward stronger, more unified, more active forms of government. Our vision for the broader West is a supranational union of nations with common interests, values, and civilizational destiny under a strong and undivided imperial authority.
Race is real, and we also believe heritage is important. The composition of the population affects the kind of society we live in. We think the current policy of the governing class of imposing politicized mass immigration and forced integration is irresponsible and dangerous. It reduces Canadians to mere cogs within the global capitalist market. However, the focus of our work goes well beyond race.
RB: Ok so you would you like Canada to halt immigration and cease taking in refugees?
ND: The government is planning to triple the number of immigrants entering Canada annually. The current rate and composition of immigration has already been culturally and economically destructive; an increase would make it worse. We think immigration should be carefully selective to preserve our traditional values, heritage, and way of life. Canada must free itself from the neoliberal agenda of politicized immigration that erodes the state and society and entrenches the power of global capitalism. A couple of us are immigrants and we don’t think mass immigration should be used to undermine the country we chose to come to.
RB: Hi there, thank you. You mentioned last night that a couple of you are immigrants, can you tell me more about that (i.e. where you are from)?
ND: Europe and South Asia.
RB: Can you be more specific?
RB: And are you first generation immigrants?
RB: All of you?
ND: No, just those two.
RB: Which two? Mark, Talib, Robert, or Joseph?
ND: Mark and Talib.
RB: And how long have your families been in Canada?
ND: We’ll skip that.
RB: Alright. Has Donald Trump’s successful campaign inspired you guys and/or Northern Dawn?
ND: Donald Trump’s election is very, very interesting, and we are certainly watching, but Northern Dawn was conceived of well before the election. We focus on the traditions of British North America and its future as part of western civilization, which goes beyond a few election cycles.
RB: Thanks. Do you consider yourselves “White nationalists”?
ND: No. Race is important, but white nationalism is a narrow conception of politics that misses the importance of the political traditions of our civilization.
RB: So when the media characterizes the posters with your website on them as “racist” and “white supremacist” is that incorrect?
ND: The same people call pretty much everyone “racist”. It’s a pathetic attempt to shut down dialogue. We don’t really care what slurs they apply to us. But it is irresponsible on the media’s part to stoke such hysteria.
RB: Okay. just two more questions from me: are there any other groups, or individuals in Canada you would say are most in line with your ideology and beliefs?
ND: No. The Conservative Party, for example, is intellectually bankrupt and a sellout to global neoliberalism.
We’ve heard some people call Kellie Leitch the Canadian Trump. This is ridiculous when examined in any detail.
There are a number of scattered intellectuals who have done good work, but in terms of an organized project to forward our political traditions, there has not been much. We aim to create that alternative.
RB: Alright. And in terms of strategy, are you planning to host events or talks, etc.? How specifically do you plan engage people?
ND: Right now we are building an online presence. People are already getting in contact with us. Apparently simply existing is enough to attract engagement, which highlights the importance of our work. There’s a lot to be done.
RB: Okay. Thanks again. Is there anything else you’d like to add? Oh one thing I was hoping to ask, also, is your ages and what you do for a living?
ND: We’re millennials, but the rest is private.