It seems the native population does not have a lot of fans. It is claimed Idle No More is not being realistic.
I admit that, after hundreds of years of accumulated injustices, any attempt to rectify the situation is bound to look a might convoluted. The popular myth says they are lazy parasites living off the hard work of all the rest of us upstanding citizens, and they want to steal my house.
Many Canadians just can’t fathom why – after hundreds of years of genocide, residential schools, racial discrimination, Herculean attempts by the Canadian government to wipe out their languages and culture and customs, stamp acts, potlatch laws, theft and destruction of their lands and children, and no serious attempts to live up to or sign treaties with the original stewards of this country – they can’t just be happy with what we give them.
We have taken away most of their land, and in doing so, their customs and way of life, and given them nothing but a bag of beads.
The First Nations people are by far the poorest demographic in Canada, with the average reserve wage of less than $12,000 a year, and due to the two per cent cap on core services that has been in place since 1996, it only gets worse every year, not to mention all the other horrible statistics that comes out of the reserves (suicide rates, for one).
If this situation is to change, the First Nations will have to go outside of Canada for any justice, as the Canadian government and many Canadian people are racially prejudiced against the First Nations.
Maybe you think that is too strong a statement, because after all, it wasn’t you who did all those horrible things to the natives. It was those guys back hundreds of years ago, wasn’t it?
I have news for you: in 2002 in B.C. – hardly ancient history – Gordon Campbell held a referendum – little more than an immoral, racist mockery of democracy – that was a blatant attempt to take away ceded native rights or more simply to break another treaty. Eighty per cent of the people who voted, voted to extinguish those native right.
And don’t think that Robert Pickton got away with killing so many mostly native girls because he was a mastermind serial killer. He got away with it because they were “just” First Nations girls, people who have been systematically dehumanized to the point that they do not even count anymore. Tell me you really believe Pickton would have got away with this slaughter if the girls had been white.
The latest update is a recent poll that shows most people in B.C. would vote for the federal Conservatives, so it would appear that the voters of B.C. are quite comfortable with the Harper dictatorship and its direction.
I don’t see justice being served with this sad Canadian reality. First Nations will have to go over our heads to the UN, the International criminal court, and Amnesty International, and generate serious international pressure to change our entrenched racist behaviour and the sad plight of our First Nations people.
They will need the support of all Canadians of good heart to bring this ongoing tragedy to an end.
Wayne Clark, Maple Ridge