Lets face it; it sucks to be an aboriginal person in any country. Civilization is shaped by conquest, genocide, and religious oppression. None of it right, appalling and tragic is the plight of those unfortunate enough to be on the receiving end of those with bigger muscles. Entire civilizations wiped out in the blink of an eye.
Canada‘s first nation’s people are no exception. Adding insult to injury, not only did they find themselves rounded up and placed in reservations; their children were taken away and subjected to the horror of the residential school system. A shameful attempt to eradicate any trace of traditional native culture and language. Treated as not much more than slave labour, they endured physical and sexual abuse, all in the name of a Christian God.
I don’t blame any of them for the chip they carry on their shoulder. That said; many, many people have had a rough time. No one said life would be fair. Thousands and thousands of immigrants arrived in North America with nothing more than the shirt on their back. They too lost their homes, fled persecution and war, yet made a choice for a better life. They never forgot the “old country” but embraced Canada as chance to make a fresh start.
I’m well aware of the difference between immigrant and indigenous populations. The point I’m making is that first nations people never acquired the mindset needed to succeed. History is rife with tragic stories of persecution and oppression. In ancient times they would have been killed or forced into slavery. Forget treaties or reservations; those are modern concepts shaped to alleviate moral dilemmas unheard of throughout thousands of years of history.
The “Idle No More” movement has a valid point and a terrible approach. Not only a lousy approach, but a major image problem to overcome. It always has, and will always be about the money. The problem is far from simple, but assure you it will not be solved by banging a drum. Start by taking responsibility for your lives. Explain how you spend the 100’s of millions of government money, tell us why you don’t encourage your children to take advantage of the opportunities handed to them on a silver platter. My children would leap at free tuition.
Idle No More doesn’t have a leg to stand on until they stop being the victim. Your culture, just like religion can be kept alive at home. You are Canadians now and need to take responsibility for your future.