July 4, 2012 § 1 Comment

My mom spent 20 years in the communities. My dad has been living in Kugluktuk for over 40 years. Where’s my benefits?

You’re entitled to those benefits once you suffer 500+ years of attempted genocide, the dispossession of lands that you occupy, sexual abuse from the church, stigmatization in the media, and biological attacks.

“Well it’s true, land was conquered and therefore stolen. (The Mohicans did it all the time, too… by the way. And raped and killed lots of peeps.) Are you suggesting that there ISN’T space for people to run off and do their own thing? Do you know how much free space AND resources we have in Canada?”

This is not factual. This is a fabrication of Mohican history – and the point is that WE is not inclusive of First Nations people. To First Nations, it’s “our,” but treaties have not been honored, correct royalties are not being paid, and First Nations are not included in decision making. Instead they suffer, like all of the communities pulling deformed fish out of streams and rivers in Northern Alberta. 

Free education and priority enrolment, free housing, free money just because.

The point here is that maybe First Nations don’t want to be subjected to this historically one-sided, pro-canadian style of education and don’t want priority enrolment into canadian institutions (Indigenous peoples have had quite enough of that). Some will take it after a 500+ year history of attempted genocide and mass denial so that they can become people capable of radically changing the country they’re forced to live in. Maybe First Nations want market standard homes at market standard prices, or at least the freedom to dictate their own terms of housing including a homelessness action plan, which canada lacks and has been criticized internationally for not having. Maybe what’s wanted is the freedom to dictate their own systems of education; what they learn, how they learn it, and whom they learn it from.

The “free money just because” thing is untrue. It’s money for being fucked over and keeping your mouth shut. A lot of people in “positions of power” are good at this – Federal Minister Leona Aglukkaq lied to the UN Special Rapporteur on Food Security about the conditions in Nunavut. You must remember, Thomas, how much an orange costs in Nunavut. All this after some 20,000 sled dogs were killed by the RCMP in order to stop Inuit migration from happening which effectively destroyed their natural way of life. Racist. 

Even for white people who have been adopted by aboriginal families.

This never happens. There are more First Nations children in white homes now than there ever were in residential school. Read ‘In Search of April Raintree.’

So what is the problem? Alcoholism? Suicide? Homelessness? All of these things are HUMAN problems and they affect every member of our society. All of these things are INDIVIDUAL responsibilities. It is not white people’s fault that a native person chooses to drink every day and lose every job and every home because of it.

You can’t get a new hand… so instead of pissing and moaning you have the ability to make something of yourself. If you see yourself as a victim, you will forever be a victim.

I am not a victim. I am the first survivor in a direct chain of generational trauma inflicted on my mom’s side, resulting in the premature death of my older sister and other forms of abuse that most white canadians are not subjected to growing up. I am literally the first person in my family to not go to residential school. I am allowed to be angry.

White people are allowed to feel weird when they read Drew Hayden Taylor’s satirical letter to white canadians. It’s supposed to do that – but it’s not ok to sling racial slurs across someone’s wall in an attempt to voice your frustration with white guilt. Because it’s racist, and disgusting. 

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