Canada, Reparations Don’t End at Apologies – Just Ask Germany

Revised August 30, 2017

Canadians must work to heal a major historical point of contention for Canada and the Indigenous, and that point does not focus on “apologies and acknowledgements of territories.”

Canada’s government already knows what needs to be done. It has received why and how details for decades, most recently from the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples (RCAP), the 2011 Canadian Auditor General’s Report, the 2015 Truth & Reconciliation Report (TRC), and perhaps most unexpectedly, from Germany.

Canada’s apologies—for forcing Indigenous children to attend Residential schools, only one step of genocidal policies in the Indian Act; for sexual & physical abuses and death; for medical and nutritional experimentation; for starvation and medical sterilizations; for the missing and murdered; and other horrors —have become almost glib.

They’re cheap makeup to cover the scars of racist policies past and the continuing eruptions today. They’re feel-good measures that gloss over the lack of amendments leading to genuine restorative healing. In some cases, official apologies have been done literally to death.

“These things take time,” we’re told; an egregious, time-wasting cop-out. The amount of money and assistance announced to the country as given to the reserves is often exaggerated greatly.  Indigenous kids continue to die by Canadian policy.

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau campaigned on earnest promises to the Indigenous that included ratification of the United Nation’s policy rights for Indigenous peoples. Not only has he not lived up to that pledge, but he is actually suing to retain the ability to discriminate against Indigenous children, even as they die from lack of resources afforded to all Canadian children. For Canadians, these rights are called services, but for the Indigenous, they’re regularly viewed and stated as “handouts”.

Why this belief is so widely held and accepted as truth is not because Canada ‘provides the Indigenous handouts whenever possible’ – aka charity. That view is the original 1876 talking point of the Canadian government and its partner-in-crime, the media. Despite well-known travesties, the pair have left out other important historical nuggets such as the laws that made it illegal for the Indigenous to operate any kind of business; laws that were in place for well over a century.

Too few know the real Canadian foundation. So, the focus has to turn Canadians back to acknowledging their history and their much defined hand in creating the situation that has lasted for 150 years and counting.

Cda Nazi Flag

Colonialism is based in racism. Supremacy is its heart. Symbolic irony – the Swastika symbol was used by the ancient Native Americans of the Mississippian culture. Indigenous genocide, millions on their homeland. Who remembers?

It’s commonly said the German genocide of Europe’s Jewish population must be “never forgotten.” And yet, Canadians will routinely tell the Indigenous to “stop living in the past.”

But the past isn’t over. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) isn’t over. The Canadian Government’s effort to manage Indigenous lives, lands and take resources isn’t over. Your “past” continues to be Indigenous present.

“What’s the answer?” – is a huge yet simple question. Aside from the answers already provided by commissions, Germany—which took a page from Canada’s Indian Act to create its own terror camps— returned with a blueprint to decency that Canada should take to heart.

Canadians must listen to what the Indigenous have been saying for nearly two centuries, and stop believing another popular myth that the Indigenous don’t know what they want. While there may be myriad ideas, the fundamental demand has remained true: genuine equal standing in their homelands with equal access to all services, already paid for in perpetuity with their resources and land.

The “nice Canada” face the world sees is false. Although Canada is populated with many lovely people, most live in ignorance while continuing to benefit richly from the livelihoods taken from the Indigenous, who are left on their own to overcome the horrors they’ve suffered.

Canadians must clearly and fearlessly look at their history, and teach it, fully and honestly.

Germany didn’t create monuments to their monsters, but rather to the people who suffered under those monsters and those who stood to help the suffering. They teach their history unabashedly from kindergarten to university, and they make immigrants to their country learn those same lessons. Germany made financial reparations to its victims, and does not hide its shame.

In the process, they have grown a greater sense of understanding and humanity across their country and have flourished to become a respected, successful world leader today.

Canada cannot and will not move into a new future of genuine honour and peace until it has truly examined and amended its dark past. Just ask Germany.

RL

With great gratitude to Randall Willis, So What’s Your Story
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About Blog Woman!!!

Once in a while I can rock a thought. I simply believe in what I stand up for. I'd most like people to know that surviving the trials of mountains and monsters is more than resilience - it’s a path to your destiny. On a mostly weekly basis I throw out a grab-bag of facts, ideas or creativity; like a box of chocolates wrapped in ribbons of occasional profanity.... In other words, it's my party I can fun if I want to. So, how about it, can we talk?
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12 Responses to Canada, Reparations Don’t End at Apologies – Just Ask Germany

  1. ledrakenoir says:

    Very well roared, brave lioness. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  2. great views and opinion

    Liked by 2 people

  3. calmkate says:

    wow it deeply sadden me that the harsh realities of all our countries, mine especially, are guilty of such inhumane treatment yet the bigotry continues and the real history of the atrocities are never circulated … I do what I can but that blindness seems impossible to surmount … each of our nations are only as good as how we protect our indigenous, women and children 😦

    Like

    • Thanks, ck. I’d say the colonialist countries are only as good as they are at keeping their word. Canada has nation to nation treaty agreements with the Indigenous that they continue to renege on, which is the crux of all issues. They forget, Indigenous peoples have lived on these lands in successful, complex, economic trading, societies for thousands of years and in a mere few hundred years are expected to behave as ‘grateful wards of the colonialist state’. That is what has to change, the perspectives and the policies.

      Liked by 1 person

      • calmkate says:

        agree attitudes make huge impacts .. our people are currently seeking treaties, never had one but from what you are saying they don’t make a difference if the white invaders refuse to enforce them .. 😦

        Liked by 1 person

  4. Could have sworn the Prime Minister’s name was Justine (inside joke).

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Keith Douglass says:

    Carbon copy of us Indigenous peoples in Australia

    Like

    • Yes, I have a fairly good idea of what the Aboriginals/Indigenous have been through and continue to in Australia. The Indigenous across the board of these colonialists are long overdue for healing and reparations, especially in receiving land back.

      Like

  6. Steven John Froggatt says:

    Very well written Robyn! Canada needs to learn From Germany. Canadians have been fed so much Propaganda over the years in regards to First Nations People, we need to start to re-educate now about the True history of this Country. It might not be popular, but then the TRUTH never is. I like to think I am making a small difference by using Social Media and speaking out about injustice, especially when it comes to First Nations People of this land!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hey Steven – thanks for your comment. Yes, I see you doing your part and very importantly – without the often unintended, but mistaken nonetheless, sense of ‘white saviour’ to aid the lesser beings.I see you raising the issues to your own community to do better and elevating the work and words of Indigenous people. That is precious assistance on this continent. Hiy hiy.

      Like

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