It IS Genocide
The Toronto Star has come out acknowledging what Justin Trudeau was also brave enough to state: what ‘we’ as white people have done to the First Nations people amounts to genocide and risks being labelled as an intentional plan to eradicate them from this continent.
As Tanya Talaga writes,
I should have realized that the inquiry’s finding that Indigenous peoples are the victims of a “race-based” genocide empowered by colonial structures would be mocked by pundits in the media.
Of course, this understanding of the wrongs ‘we’ have committed is in addition to the Commission itself and the many First Nations people that are striving to find their place in the post-colonial Canada 1,000 years after the Vikings hit the shores.
In Newfoundland, the genocide was a ‘success’. The British placed a bounty on every dead head of a Beothuk person, leading to their rapid extinction and last known survivor dying in 1829.
Today, we push alcohol, bad water, drugs and starvation on First Nations people on top of bad relocation plans and ridiculous Western religious icons to supercede their own belief systems. We STILL do it.
Sensitivity and a profound sense of humility is what is needed next.
By ALL of us.
It’s time to right the wrongs.
Admitting the problem is an important first step.
Our Prime Minister is right. Action can happen when we stop denying there’s a problem.
There are so many things we can do. To my knowledge, we don’t allow First Nations organizations to establish charitable status, so Canadians can’t even donate to them. We have to donate through other non-First Nations organizations that may wind up perpetuating the notion of genocide and separation.
Funds transferred by different levels of government always get decried as a ‘waste of taxpayers money’. We perpetuate the same stereotypes time and again. Despite this motif, we still have to find ways to get money and infrastructure to their communities.
We have to help with negotiating land claims and settlements.
We cannot ram pipelines and other resource projects down their throats, assuming that all they want is money.
Attempts to ‘educate’ yield the same results: indoctrination into Colonial ‘ideas’ and ways, interference and control.
It’s overwhelming, but we have to start to move in the correct direction so that history will see this generation as the problem solvers and not the fools who kept their heads in the sand.
This is harder to write than I thought it might be, but we need to find ways to set our First Nations friends free.