Monday 5 December 2011

Violence? Rebellion? What the hell is going on here?

This is depressing. The global economy is imploding, my city is bankrupt, and now I'm being told that my country is going to explode into a civil war between whites and Indians.

We all agree that the Indian Residential School system was a grievous mistake. If you can't turn back the clock and reverse the mistake, what can you do? I thought we were on the right track here: the PM formally apologized, the government has allocated $1.9 billion for compensation, and we put in place a forum to allow IRS survivors to share their stories and begin the healing process.

I guess I was mistaken, because the man in charge of the Truth and Reconcilliation Commision is predicting "great violence" if we don't pick up our game. Those quotes by Justice Sinclair in that article are remarkably inflamatory by somebody in his position. This man whom we entrusted with ecouraging the healing process is instead creating greater divisions, and giving tacit approval to violence by implying that such violence is understandable. This is highly irresponsible, in my opinion.

Douglas Bland expands on this in Saturday's paper, saying that there are no positive stories to tell and that there is no way to bring these issues to light in a non-violent way. The solution? A rebellion!

There is, of course, another way beyond aimless violence to convince Canadians to redress past wrongs... Paradoxically, a unified nationwide aboriginal rebellion may be the best way.
I makes me feel so much better that the "great violence" won't be aimless.

I couldn't help but think of Machiavelli's The Prince as he goes on to pragmatically explain the conditions and preconditions for a rebellion based on "current research". You know, there are some places where advocating a rebellion would be called treason, but I had better let that line of thinking go, as I sense that it won't lead me anywhere good.

So how do we avoid these dire consequences? Please explain in point form with clear understandable steps so we don't screw it up again. You first Sinclair:
You can contribute to that solution by understanding, supporting and engaging in those conversations, by encouraging society to do those things that need to be done and by acknowledging the validity of that state of respect.
Oh geeze. We're doomed. Please Bland, give us something to work with:
Work with the First Nations' community vigorously and immediately to reshape this young population into a positive, community-oriented work and leadership cohort. Finally, and again in co-operation with First Nations' leaders, we could launch a national campaign aimed at convincing these young people they are indeed prized citizens in our national community.
I think people are getting frustrated that we're spending billions of dollars and not achieving any of these nebulous objectives that are supposed to solve the problem. And maybe that's because it's impossible for the government to solve. The government creates laws and spends money. That's really what it does. It can attempt to do more, as it has with the Truth and Reconcilliation Commision, but if you're looking for pride and respect, well, that's a little more complicated, because those are things that start first within your own families and communities. Allowing private ownership of land on reserves might be a step in the right direction, but if you're expecting Canadians and the government to find some way to conjure up these things in a short time frame, well ... just first give me some time to fortify my house for the rebellion.


Brian Kelcey said...

Your city has issues, but "bankruptcy" isn't one of them.

cherenkov said...

There might have been a little bit of hyperbole in that first paragraph.

Riverman said...

I saw a native guy on CTV Newschannel the other day (didn't catch his name, he had long white hair) being interviewed on the subject of native land ownership. He was very positive and it was a great interview. You know what? He didn't use the phrase "residential schools" once.

Instant credibility.

Anonymous said...

Mo' money, mo' problems.

Anonymous said...

Violent rebellion? Will The Peg become like New Zealand? Up until the mid-fifties it was completely legal to shoot a native if he looked at you funny. There have been numerous occasions walking down Portage I was this were the case.

cherenkov said...

@River: that's a good example. we need to deal with the legacy of residential schools, but if you can move beyond that and have a productive conversation like that guy, then you'll earn respect.

@anon2: talk of violence is counter-productive.

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