We've been taking a bit of time away from the blog, but we hope to be back soon with a few updates and articles. However, we thought we would share a comment left behind by one of our readers who left the comment on our article, "Jody Issel, Soldiers of Odin Moose Jaw President, Isn't Even Trying Anymore" perhaps responding to a screen shot included in the article in which Michele Tittler take shots at First Nations peoples. We hope that the anonymous poster doesn't mind us doing this, but we really did think that it warranted more eyes that it would have garnered as simple a comment left on an article:
As a political conservative with some First Nations ancestry and many friends (from all political persuasions) from local First Nations communities, I would like to address the canard that First Nations peoples do nothing for this country. Especially since I hear it from wider audiences than just the tiny minority of racists in Canada.
First, we need to recognize the horrific impact of the Residential School System upon the First Nations family. As Canadians we often point the finger at America over blacks and slavery, but we are just as guilty when it comes to First Nations Peoples and the Residential School System. I dare say the impact of Residential School System among Canada's First Nations was as destructive as slavery among African-Americans in the U.S.
Second, for generations Canada's First Nations people were not permitted to advance themselves in society. The amount of red tape and bureaucracy they needed to circumvent to establish businesses and engage in other professions was triple that of other people in Canada (whether black, white or Asian). So it's not that they didn't want to do anything for themselves or for Canada. It's that they were actively discouraged from doing so through government policy and bureaucracy that imposed burdens upon First Nations people to which others were not subject.
An extremely eye-opening example for me is the story of Douglas Cardinal, probably one of Canada's most renown architects who designed the Canadian Museum of History. He is First Nations. Blackfoot, if I recall correctly. I remember watching a documentary on his work and how he was forced to go to Texas to study architecture because no Canadian school would accept him because he was First Nations. Additionally, even after he graduated he found it difficult to find work in Canada because his ideas incorporated First Nations influence.
I find it appalling that a man who would become one of Canada's greatest architects would be treated in such discriminatory fashion as a young man. To contribute to Canada, he basically had to overcome rejection from every professional school in Canada, go to the United States, earn his degree down there, face more rejection from Canada during the early part of his career while looking for work, and only once his genius was recognized by Americans was he then deemed acceptable to return to Canada.
I'm sorry, but had I been a young First Nations professional in Mr Cardinal's position I would have given up on Canada after being on the receiving end of such poor (and I would argue racist) treatment. I would have stayed in the United States where my talent and hard work was recognized. How many more young First Nations people did Canada miss out on because they simply gave up after having their dreams crushed, or stayed in the United States where they were treated more fairly?
I get what you guys at ARC are trying to do in combating racism. And we may sometimes disagree on political issues. But I believe that there is an inherent racism in Canada against First Nations peoples that runs much deeper than the tiny of minority who make up various hate groups.Not really anything we need to add, is there?