Wednesday, 6 September 2017

The Next 150 Years: Unsettling the Settler Within

Paulette Regan


I have been reading an excellent book, written by a fellow colonial settler (as we settlers are called), who served on our Canadian Truth and Reconciliation Commission.   I had no choice in how Canada began, but Canada does have a choice in how it moves forward. So say many Canadians.

 "Asking me to celebrate Canada 150 asking me to deny 14,000 years of indigenous history on this continent." said one First Nation woman.

Canada, and our 'founding fathers' negotiated treaties which they have failed to uphold.

 This is part of the Truth and Reconciliation that all of us, across North America must face. In the US, it is more focused on black slavery than First Nations, but the result is the same.
It was in 2008 that the Canadian government apologized to First Nations. According to a survey (.doc), it was revealed:

  • 32% of Canadians feel unfamiliar, and 17% admitted they were unaware of Aboriginal issues,
  • 37% knew that students were abused and molested,
  • 20% knew about the 60s scoop (taken from their families),
  • 10% knew Aboriginal children were not permitted to speak their native languages,
  • 9% knew about the settlement agreements, 3% knew lawsuits were filed,
  • 7% knew Indigenous Residential Schools were about assimilation,
  • 4% knew schools were run by governments and religious institutions.

Racism endures in North America

Few of us know about Africville, a black settlement in Halifax, N.S., demolished in the 60s.
In the US, the Dakota people, at the end of the US–Dakota War of 1862, were relocated from their homelands. This is the root of the Dakota Pipeline issue, as well.
Dakota pipeline, all about money and profits

Truth is the difference between Knowledge and Acknowledgement.

Each of the adults had suffered in an institution that tried to scrape the Indian out of their insides, and they came back to the bush raw, sore and aching,” 
– wrote Richard Wagamese, a writer and poet, who inherited their trauma.

Indigenous Residential Schools AgreementClick here to learn more about the settlement.
Government propaganda of the time.

More good reading

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book review blogs
@Barrie Summy

refuses to wear 'discriminatory' jersey

I have also read this book, several years ago. Another sad reflection of the ignorance of colonial settlers.

Three Arapaho boys who died at Carlisle "Indian" school will soon return home
— 90.5 WESA (@905wesa) August 10, 2017
Indian Country Today


pattinase (abbott) said...

I had just heard that phrase the other day and wondered what it meant. Thanks for enlightening me.

Linda McLaughlin said...

This sounds like an important book for all North Americans to read. Thanks for sharing it, Jenn.

Barrie said...

It's just awful what humans can do to other humans. :( Thank you for reviewing.

DUTA said...

The indigenous girl in the picture is so..cute!

Well, I wish I could say something optimistic , but there is no much optimism in these matters. The primary sin was that of coming to an inhabited part of the
world, without permission, and starting to do things.

In Israel, where I live, both jews and palestinians consider themselves "first nation". From any angle one looks at it, it's not going to end well.
As things look now in the universe, perhaps Kim and the ominous climate of the upcoming years will solve the world's problems (God forbid!).

Sarah Laurence said...

This book sounds like it should be required reading at school in Canada, although your stats are probably better than those for Americans. Except for the indigenous people, we are all immigrants/settlers/invaders. At least your country is more welcoming to new immigrants.

troutbirder said...

I have followed this story pretty much all my adult life. During the Dakota uprising during the American Civil War many white were rescued/protected by Native Americans here in Minnesota. Some were hung, most were convicted by kangaroo count who death sentences were commuted by Lincoln.

Red said...

We keep dancing around the issue hoping it will go away. You've done some good research here.

Debbie said...

i am not a reader but i enjoyed your review!!! interesting facts!!

Crafty Green Poet said...

excellent and very interesting post, too much of history is untalked about

William Kendall said...

And every time one sees a disparaging remark about First Nations people, one feels like slapping the person who says it.