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comment by nil
nil  ·  192 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Current Thoughts

I went through public schooling in Canada in the mid-2000's, and I learned next-to-nothing about these topics. It was a standard education in Canadian/North American history but the extent to which negative aspects of colonization were brought forward were very minimal. Christopher Columbus sailing the ocean blue type shit. Basically the Europeans came over to strike an awesome trade deal and indigenous (called natives at the time) people just kind of hung out, helped the Canadians, occasionally got the short end of the stick, and now everyone is happy in our technologically advanced civilization. Residential schools weren't taught in my public school, and the brief discussion on it in high school provided very little context on how bad things remain to this day, or y'know, the fact the last one closed in 1996.

It's really embarrassing but all I can do at this point is listen. The suicide rate on reserves is absolutely staggering and a national emergency. Things need to change a lot quicker than they are right now, and while establishing a new legal framework is a great step forward I don't think the political willpower exists to make moves fast enough. A LOT of Canadians are quite racist, and still see indigenous people as lazy or worse.

lil  ·  191 days ago  ·  link  ·  

My schooling was the same. We learned that there were these people: Plains Indians for example. But were never encouraged to ask, "Where are they now?" What happened to them?" The consciousness is slowly changing but it's a long road.

I saw a film recently called 13th showing how blacks were characterized as criminals throughout the US. It made me think about how natives in Canada are characterized as drunks and Palestineans are characterized as terrorists. A convenient binary, us-them, blame-the-victim approach to justify racism.

My first teaching job was in BC, north of Whistler, in a First Nations community. Even then, numbed into accepting what I was told as justified, I had no rage, even though in the early 1900s, white people had taken the rich farm land in the Pemberton Valley and moved the native community five miles down the road. Yet, the community themselves had taken control of their school away from the church.