First Nations Won't 'Get Over' Your Ignorance
By Chelsea Vowel
Bad things happened.
Bad things stopped happening and equality was achieved. (Though I've yet to see someone identify exactly when this happened.)
The low social and political status held by indigenous peoples is now wholly based on the choice to be corrupt, lazy, inefficient, and unsuited to the modern world.
In this view, there is no history of colonialism and systemic racism that informs the modern view of indigenous peoples, because that problem was solved at some point in the past. The real racism is in conflating legitimate dislike for indigenous peoples (based not on race or ethnicity but rather on the bad choices we make) with historic colonialism/racism which is over. In continuing to discuss colonialism and racism as a present-day concern, we are engaging in reverse-racism and oppressing blameless settlers.
The fact is, what we all learn about Canadian history is wrong. Every single one of us, native and non-native alike, have been fed a series of lies, half-truths and fantasies intended to create a cohesive national identity. What is most startling about this, is that a great many people are aware of the errors and omissions present in our system of education and in our public discourse, and yet somehow there has not yet been a national attempt to rectify this.
Integral to colonial narrative is belief in the superiority of European contributions and the absence of any truly important contribution from non-European peoples to Canadian society, except when narrowly defined within examples of successful integration and "up by their bootstraps" stories. After all, if non-European and indigenous contributions were of any real value, wouldn't we see them everywhere? Instead, all that is good and modern originated in Europe!
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