a reply to: zosimov
We have to educate ourselves about what happened. I was not part of the time period, my parents immigrated here when they were younger and they came
from countries where slavery of Africans/other cultures didn't occur. I have no guilt. I feel no responsibility.
However, as part of this country and the government that I am forced to live under (am grateful to be a citizen of my country) I do feel it is my
responsibility to understand the history and why people are hurt, and have been taken advantage of, and why the majority of say uninformed/angry/white
people feel so hostile towards the Indigenous people.
I have been taking an Aboriginal Studies course and it is mind blowing of the injustices to the Indigenous people. There is no doubt about it: they
were taken advantage of, mistreated, abused, used and if they didn't assimilate and become good Canadians, with the same beliefs/dress/language then
they were basically exterminated. Case after case after case. The course I am taking is not one sided - it is all there to back up with research, not
hard to find.
I think what we can do as people of today is to understand the knowledge held at that time, which was unfortunate - but it is what it was. Just as
today we think we know everything, but they are still discovering parts of the body that no one knew existed, such as the recent posts about the
stomach organ, the Mesentery. Using this as an example medicine will be changed, textbooks changed, medications and techniques discovered. But we have
done the best with what we know. It's a poor example I know, but one that many members of ATS can understand and relate to for the moment.
And so, my thought is if we can just understand the past, and be aware, as well as admit what happened is the place to start. And I don't think the
majority of rational Indigenous people want us to grovel or feel ashamed - they are not idiots and unfair - but they want acknowledgement of the past
and they want to be part of the rest of our country. There is a huge divide between Indigenous peoples and the rest of Canadians / Americans.
Unfortunately, the main population of non-Indigenous people think our Indigenous people are whiners/slackers/lazy - that is not true.
One must remember that our Indigenous people had their lands ripped out from under their feet, treaties were made without pure intentions, and by
implementing the residential schools they wiped out whole generations and destroyed their cultural standing. Children were taken from families and
reserves, placed into abusive institutions where they were abused, and many murdered. The ones that did return home were no longer treated as
Indigenous as they no longer knew how to speak their former language, no longer knew how to practice their faith, no longer knew how to relate to
their bands, and yet they weren't part of "white" society. These children belonged to no one. They weren't raised with one culture over another and
didn't know where they belonged. They no longer had the nurturing, nor familial relationships to guide them in life. Alcohol had been provided to the
Indigenous people to weaken them. So, in the end you have broken families, broken cultural communities (previously they were all one unit living and
working together for everyone's benefit) and they lost the next generation. What you end up with is a vicious cycle of broken people that don't know
how to fix it, how to reclaim their past and move onwards.
Interesting tidbit for all those who claim the Indigenous people take handouts and waste their money: In the 80's young people started going to
university and when they left many were now lawyers, others were specialists in administrative, as well as other high level jobs. These people then
went back to their bands and now worked with their Council members where they were often working hand in hand to reap the benefits of government
monies and knowing how to play the game as any other corporate business, many profited personally. These are the members you see riding their fancy
new trucks, new house, all the toys while other members of the community still have dirt floors, no running water, no money for medicine. The same
government mentality of profit for personal gain has infected many Indigenous communities. Part of that is due to the Colonial mindset of separating
Indigenous members from each other, making sure they lived in separate houses, spoke only the country language, no longer practiced their spiritual
beliefs - and, on top of that they don't know how to fix the huge tear in their culture.
Reparations are being made but in my opinion that is between the government as an entity and not me personally. I will do my utmost to inform myself
about my fellow Indigenous Canadians and treat them as I want to be treated - that is all they want for the most part. I will respect their beliefs,
practices and support them as human beings. But, as I do not expect them to pay for the government taking advantage of me (very poor example I know),
I do not expect to pay them for what the government did to them. I can have sympathy, compassion and love, but I think the biggest thing is to educate
ourselves about the truth that the government and schools have hidden from us so that we can say, "Yes, I understand, yes it was wrong."
I like your post and the replies. This is information that already will make an impact. You have shone the light on darkness. And we can educate
others by simply pointing out facts.
edit on 16-4-2018 by InvisibleLady because: (no reason given)
edit on 16-4-2018 by
InvisibleLady because: (no reason given)