Improper educational materials distorts history
The history of this great island is not contained in textbooks that recount settler fallacies. The history of Turtle Island is in the land and water protected and stewarded by the original people.
Mainstream media continues to distort the truth of the original people.
Imagine a land rich and vibrant with life where all parts of Creation lived according to a universal law of respect and harmony.
Imagine washed up settlers dirty, starving, disease ridden with smallpox and scurvy crawling onto this land. Imagine the beautiful and clean, noble and spiritual people who reach out to these dirty, weak and hungry lost souls.
This is the true meeting of the original people and settlers. Whitewashed history would place the original people in prone positions extending supplicating hands to conquerors bounding off boats – feeding into the narrative that somehow the original people had to be “saved” by the intruders.
Mainstream media is representative of the racist institutions that have tried to perpetuate this Canadian historical myth for 150 years. The Indigenous or original people no longer accept this tainted narrative.
Narratives from mainstream writers will not be tolerated. Speeches laden with inaccuracies will not unchallenged from the original people. Awards honouring outsiders for culturally specific leadership are not fooling the global audience.
Scott Gilmore writes to maintain mainstream dominion. His graphic imagery keeps Indigenous stereotypes in the forefront as a pretense that he writes for the “forgotten or unseen” people of Canada. How can members of a settler state objectively write about conditions they have created?
The Governor General of Canada’s remarks that the original people are immigrants to this land whether it has been ten or fourteen thousand years follows Gilmore’s article. The goal of reconciliation is far from the minds of these two men if they believe their writing or words are objective or historically accurate.
Social media or Indigenous media are the only sources that have posted or printed alternative narratives to the white savior or white progress positions. The original people are unseen or unheard because the racist colonial system cannot be wrong. If a people, so limited in their European homelands have come to make a new beginning then their colonial actions must be valid.
Canada prides itself as a nation that recognizes global human rights issues. Canada the state cannot admit it is only a state granted status by the British Crown and a thirty-five year old constitution. From this erroneous premise, Canada is forcing a celebration of 150 years as a nation.
Sadder is the fact that Canada can only rely on barbecues, fireworks, frontiersman, and possibly a huge duck to signify their “nationhood”. Contrast this with the many original languages that echo from the Eastern doorway to the Western lands richly populated with the first people. The original people wear their nationhood with teachings, ceremonies and sacred places that have always existed.
Canada 150 stands on their one day of acknowledgement to the aboriginals as proof of reconciliation and nation-to-nation intentions. In 1969, the Indian Ecumenical conference held in Morley, Alberta began to reclaim the outlawed spirituality of the original people from across this vast island.
One of their recommendations was to have a day of prayer that would acknowledge the spiritual strengths necessary for all global life to continue. It is from this recommendation, that Canada has dictated that Aboriginal Day be recognized.
Aboriginal day showcases the cookie cutter definition of specific nations dancing and successful assimilated artists tokenized to assuage Canada’s conscience. This is not a day of prayer. It is a Eurocentric take that trivializes the original spiritual nature and intent of this recommendation. Again, it is a failure to communicate, or in the words of Governor General David Johnston, “a miscommunication”.
How long must the original people endure marginalization and discrimination? It seems that the agreements to share the land and respect two opposing worldviews is only working to the advantage of Canada. Canada is not party to any of the historic treaties, but the recipient of Britain’s obligations to the original people.
The original people will no longer listen to white males speaking in our “best interests”. First Nations are speaking as the true nations who allowed white settlement to happen. We are speaking as the true nations who have obligations, stewardship and responsibilities to keep this island for all Creation and for future generations.
While Gilmore’s article keeps stereotypes going, and the Governor General spouts white male elitist colonial talk, Canada is awarding Orders to people like Gord Downie for Indigenous leadership. What is wrong with this representation? Downie should be awarded a settler service award and Indigenous leadership recognition should come from the Indigenous people with Canada’s representatives as observers only.
It is no wonder that perspective issues have existed since the first hand was extended in peace and friendship to the settler newcomers. If the hand that was extended is not acknowledged then the narrative can be altered with a hailstorm of mainstream media fallacies, improper educational materials and a distorted view of history.
The narrative that must be heard comes from the original people. It is the narrative that spans thousands of years. It is the narrative that speaks to survival for all plant, animal and human life. Is it so unbelievable that the original people would have languages, ceremonies and places that celebrate Creator and Creation? Is it wrong that the first people want to continue to practice and celebrate the ways that truly belong and come from this land? Is it wrong that the original people want to share and teach how all people can live together in harmony?
This is what you are celebrating Canada. You are celebrating thirty-five years of pretend nationhood. You are celebrating one hundred and fifty years as a colony of Britain. You are celebrating 150 years as the interest holder of the lands and resources gifted to the original people. You are celebrating 150 years of land theft and improper reparations to the original people. You are celebrating historical inaccuracy. You are celebrating five hundred years of Indigenous patience and finally you are celebrating a huge duck.