July 01, 2012

Aboriginals mark Canada Day 2012

July 1 is Canada Day, so a couple of postings on the subject:

Aboriginals Seek to Raise Awareness of Role in Country’s Formation as Canada Day Is Marked

By Elle Andra-WarnerCanada Day—that country’s equivalent of the Fourth of July, the U.S.’s Independence Day—is fraught with ambivalence for aboriginals, and perhaps even more so this year, as the country marks the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812.

Aboriginals, First Nations foremost among them, have long emphasized their role in the founding of the country. It was supposed to be a collaborative effort, the formation of this nation, and no where was that more evident than during the War of 1812, when the U.S. went to war with the British, trying to encroach on Canadian territory.

During this war between Britain and United States, more than 10,000 First Nations warriors fought as British allies to stop the American invasion of British Canada. Though these aboriginal fighters played a major role in the victory for Britain and Canada, there is hardly a mention of their contribution and sacrifice in today’s history books or monuments.

This year, with the 200th anniversary of the war’s beginning, aboriginal groups are working to change those perceptions. Forefront among them is the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), which will hold a series of public events designed to honor the warriors while educating Canadians about the significant role of First Nations in the War of 1812 and in the making of Canada.
White people, here’s your one-time Canada Day special: Native people apologize back!

By Drew Hayden Taylor[S]ome in the native community feel that perhaps we are being a little lax in not issuing an apology of our own.

We are not without some culpability. In the centuries that have passed since that fateful day of contact, we ourselves have been negligent and irresponsible in not acknowledging our liability in many regretful incidents and events in the past.

So in the spirit of cooperation, I would like to offer up these apologies to the people of Canada on behalf of the NAFNIP (native/aboriginal/first nations/indigenous people):

We hereby apologize for being so inconsiderate as to occupy land that, one day, your people would want. Even though we did not have a postal system or an Internet, this was an inexcusable oversight. We hope you are enjoying it.

We apologize for having so many politically correct and incorrect names for you to call us--everything from native to aboriginal to first nations to wagon burner to status-card number 48759375876-1.
Comment:  Hayden offers more "apologies" in that vein.

For more on holidays, see National Aboriginal Day 2012 and Heritage Month and Tribal Summit.

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