Own Your Past Canada – A Simple Guide How To

There were a lot of opinions flying after the recent release of the TRC summary of the Truth and Reconciliation report, but sadly, it was hard to discern which one was the majority – acknowledgement or denial.

The Past Shows Us the Way

————————–The Past Shows Us the Way————————— aaronpaquette.net

This report was several years in the making and outlines the history and consequences of the genocide effort Canada inflicted upon its Indigenous peoples from 1876 until presently.

The opinions that followed seemed to hold mostly two views – one that included a good deal of understanding, and support for the recommendations for Canada to acknowledge and manage the issues related to the Indigenous communities.

The other was this example, written by a Sudbury, Ont resident. I felt it encapsulated some very common views about Canada’s Indigenous history. He began his piece by asserting that, yes, Canada did bad things:

“However, the inflammatory statements made are just a little over the top. ‘Cultural genocide’ sounds much worst (sic) than what really happened”.

He goes on to assert that the First Nations people chose to live on reserves and the …“ills that come with that”.  Continuing on, he states what many of us hear daily:

…“a lot of negative assertions and accusations thrown at the government of the day, as well as the churches involved”.  After all  …“Let’s give credit to our leaders of a hundred years ago for realizing native people were living in a perpetually unsustainable cycle of poverty and violence, and at least tried to do something about it”.

Then he concluded his thoughts with this statement:

“Many other cultures have been assimilated without being so accused. These cultures have melded into our own, yet retained some identifying remnants that we share, enriching the culture of Canada. We are all better for it”

I’m at a loss to understand why a newspaper would publish such an opinion when the full summary outlining the facts of history and the point(s) of the TRC is readily available to the public, and certainly for this paper’s editors.  Unless, this was a lesson to show how much ignorance must still be countered within the country.

I won’t bother going over every detail of his inaccuracies because frankly, it was entirely inaccurate and again, the facts in point are readily available from simple internet searches, university resources, libraries and even the actual government department that oversees the affairs of the Indigenous.

What I prefer to highlight is this ongoing effort to continue to publicly obscure historical fact, which is really current, as the Indian Act of 1876 is in fact, still in effect.

The idea that assimilation is an effort that must still be completed underscores the need to realize that not all cultures adopt the European model of success adapted to the North American version, and indeed, why should they?

What this continent needs to do is stop attempting to tell other cultures, and in particular the actual original inhabitants of these lands, how they need to be living. What this country needs to do is really quite simple and that is live up to the agreements in the treaties.

The sad history, and the reason genocide came into being was, simply put, for the stealing of the land and resources that were negotiated for in the treaties — still in effect today, much to the chagrin of many an assimilation apologist.  In fact, treaties are still being negotiated even now.

Then there is the other side of the equation, which is written within the very Indian Act created for the genocide efforts.  It states very clearly, promises to the Indigenous for coercing them onto those reserves. Those promises have yet to be half-way lived up to.

If Canada wants to truly end this travesty, living up to the honour it brags about around the world is the start. Too many people think that becoming “equal” means becoming the same. There is a difference between equal rights, the rights for all people, and the Indigenous rights bargained for on their homelands since the beginning.



15 thoughts on “Own Your Past Canada – A Simple Guide How To

  1. Beautifully written Robyn. It blows me away how people will deny proven facts in order to maintain their desired world view. The same is happening with the dialogue on same sex marriage. ha! I got called a fascist and other bad names for my celebration of the SCOTUS ruling.

    First Nations peoples have been treated so poorly in our history that it shames me. Whatever has to be done for reconciliation, I support whole heartedly. The price cannot be too high as the very land we live on we (European immigrants)stole from the First Nations. On top of that we committed genocide uncaringly in order to benefit ourselves.

    Thank you so very much for this post Robyn – it needed to be said and you did so wonderfully.

    As an aside Robyn, I just did a guest post over at Cordelia’s Mom http://cordeliasmomstill.com/2015/06/29/what-do-you-mean-thats-not-legal-guest-post-by-paul-curran/comment-page-1/#comment-11837 If you have the time, I would be honored for you too drop by for a read. Thanks!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hello felllow facist, welcome to the club. Oh, I love to see you’ve been by with your unique and supportive views. Thanks for the head’s up about your latest post. It occurs to me that maybe you could do a group email to let your fans know when and where you are guest posting. I hate missing yours.


      • Aww, thanks Melanie. I also want to let you know I have been reading your recent posts from the direct send into my email box, so I haven’t been able to comment directly,but know I have fumed in solidarity. I wish i could do so much more for those of us in these situations. I guess we can at least count one more day closer to freedom. Lovely to see you, Melanie.


    • Thanks, Kindred. The situation is very similar to the U.S. with a major exception being the intervention of a queen. As Canadians were still subjects of the grand Queen Victoria in 1876. She made the promises that we (the Indians) would be taken care of even while we were being subjugated. So many twists and turns in these histories.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. In my eyes it seems strange that some seriously think they have the morale to tell the world how it should behave – while closing their eyes to their treatment of their own indigenous people – not to talk about these people they forced to the country as slaves – history can’t be changed, but the tomorrow’s willingness to learn from previous generations poor morale or lack of morale.

    In my head I don’t accept talking about races as a matter of value – we are all humans and luckily we aren’t copies or not unisex but those difficulties haven’t anything to do about better or not… 🙂

    Enjoyed reading your post here – as always you are worth visiting… 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

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