Every so often, we come across someone writing about Native issues with an authoritative voice and we immediately think erudite information is forthcoming. The articles come off sounding reasonable and to the point and they are written in a forward thinking manner. Such an article was published by the Ottawa Sun this past Wednesday, May 14, 2014 by columnist Anthony Furey. Furey acknowledges reports on “horrid conditions, an exposé on financial shenanigans, and protests” by Onhkwehonh:we people as if they were the histrionics of a spoiled child calling attention to selfish needs.
Furey’s point of view is not forward thinking but instead racially biased, colonial and fed by a steady diet of harmful and inaccurate history. Furey critiques UN special rapporteur James Anaya’s report as being an “absurdly novice document” and implies that Canada is obviously aware of the ‘problems’ concerning the Native peoples. Furey suggests that an engagement in good old ‘truth-telling’ will be the incentive to initiate change. Truth-telling according to whom?
Furey openly declares ‘traditional way of life is a myth’, and goes on to call us Aboriginal Canadians. We are not, nor have we ever been Canadian. There are many that still live according to the ways of old and are doing their best to instill the values and ways of life that is our culture. The ignorance and lack of respect displayed in Furey’s article brings home the intentional malignancy mainstream media points at our people when they attempt to criminalize us and conveniently forget reality.
Furey speaks of the ‘problems’ within the Native communities as being self- fulfilling. In other words we are to blame for our current state of affairs. We are to blame for being put in residential schools where more than half of our children never made it out alive. We are to blame for the beatings our children took for speaking their language, for being raped by pedophiliac clergy. We are to blame for our women being sterilized and made unable to reproduce. We are to blame for the blankets full of small-pox given to us as ‘gifts’. He is right. We are to blame.
We are to blame for becoming ‘allies’ to the British Crown and fighting off the French. We are to blame for being trusting and peace loving. We are to blame for being put on a reservation with the imposition of Band Council in 1924, when they dragged our chiefs, women and children from the Council House in Ohsweken. Yes Anthony, we fancifully believe that we should be insulated from modern economics because we put ourselves in these remote isolated communities that no-one else would live on.
Thank you for making our point on how belittling and endangering living in these conditions is to our prosperity and well-being.
We are not a part of Canada. We are a separate nation with our own belief system and governance. A hearty nod of recognition goes out to the Canadian Government for instituting a reliable system of misinformation. Mainstream media is at its finest when reporting any incidents of Onhkwehonh:we resistance and protest concerning the clearly genocidal agenda of the government.
Many are quite clearly unaware that elected Band Systems and the AFN are all part of an infrastructure put in place by the Canadian State aimed at further cultural assimilation and incorporation into a Non-native society. The aforementioned institutions are tools of the State used to encourage Native compliance to the dominant culture. There is a portion of our society that has so clearly lost their way that the agenda of cultural assimilation is almost complete. Shawn Atleo is an example of someone who is ‘almost complete’. Those who wish to have a steady paycheck regardless of the harm they do to their brothers and sisters are the adherents of these destructive structures. None of these infrastructures are of our making.
The fractionalization of our culture has been a definitive and prime target for the government since first contact occurred hundreds of years ago. In calling on people to ignore the past, Furey is guilty of apathy in its worst form. Honor is given to those that served in wars years past, recognition is given to those that have contributed to the well being of their fellow man, acts of selflessness are acknowledged and rewarded. Have we, the Onhkwehonh:we not accomplished all these ideals? The answer is yes, we have. So why is it that we need to remind the non-native society of our immeasurable contributions to this part of Turtle Island?
For the sake of progress, we need to remind non-native society because the government is making sure they are ignorant of the history in this part of the world. We need to call out those that keep the divisions occurring in our families and communities. People like Anthony Furey who gloss over the murders and rapes of our women and children like they are the rantings of an unreasonable person. These people who push another’s agenda and display a shoulder shrugging indifference to the reality staring them in the face. If we were to go into your home and tell you to get over it when we decide we want to rearrange your furniture what would you do?
The absolute ludicrous expectations of Anthony Furey have no place in polite society. Should we drop our ‘pretenses’ and go to war? Trying to force cultural assimilation any further upon our people will be met with open resistance. We have never been conquered, another fact the majority of society is unaware of.
The possibility of bloodshed is real and it frightens me but I also understand that this is the road being put in front of my people. Do you understand this Anthony or is another uneducated response forthcoming?
People who have never taken the time to go out into the world and investigate the life surrounding them are woefully ill-informed. I personally invite Anthony Furey to come live on Six Nations for one week and then tell me my people do not live anything like we did hundreds of years ago. I know that in my own fashion I do despite the concerted efforts of the outside world to change me. Then and only then can we drop the pretenses and more.