Whoomp! There it is. (I am ageing myself.)
After I had written P.C. Post, Ben S. Harper tweeted, No MacDonald No Canada. Yep, thanks to this MacDonald guy from Scotland, Canada is all about the beaver, the BB-Q, the burger and the beer.
I’m not sure the person who tweeted this message is Ben Harper, the son of former Prime Minister (and Conservative extraordinaire) Steven Harper, but I instinctively knew and felt there would be a backlash by the recent push of taking down statues, changing signs, names of schools, etc.
I don’t even think it’s a Conservative / Liberal / NDP thing. I think it’s a Canadian thing. And sometimes, it’s an Immigrant thing.
I was recently having a conversation with a group of people, of various backgrounds (mostly Canadian) and someone said, “They (Aboriginals) do not pay taxes.
I let out a sigh…I had just finished watching the series 8th Fire hosted by Wab Kinew, where he said, “I pay taxes.”
All things considered, it was actually really good timing.
I related this little bit of truth to the group and encouraged them to watch this CBC series. 8th Fire is Native prophecy that says we (Natives and Non-Natives) must come together in this time to make peace with one another. (I am paraphrasing from memory, so apologies if this is off a bit). I’m not sure the series says what will happen if we don’t reconcile and make peace with one another, but I’m going to safely assume that it’s not going to be pretty.
Maybe we should start by stating the obvious. The one thing we can all agree on, whether we be Natives, Canadians – old and new – is that we really love this country and believe that we can do AMAZING things. We can show the world what reconciliation and loving your neighbour looks like.
I have to believe that the majority of Canadians are decent, and that our comments and beliefs are simply based on ignorance and lack of education on the subject of Native peoples in this country. I sincerely hope that these beliefs are solely based on our lack of understanding, and not our lack of care, compassion or empathy for the First Peoples.
That said Canada, I would encourage you to watch the series, 8th Fire, see link below, and give these few books a read. I know we’re all busy, but instead of watching brainless reality television, why not try something different?
Here’s my suggestion list:
- Keeper’n Me (Fiction) by Richard Wagamese (My absolute favourite Aboriginal writer!)
- The Inconvenient Indian (Non-fiction) by Thomas King
- A Coyote Columbus Story (Fiction) by Thomas King
- An Army of Problem Solvers (Non-fiction) by Shaun Loney and Will Braun
Link to 8th Fire:
http://www.cbc.ca/8thfire//2011/11/tv-series-8th-fire.html (You’ll have to scroll down to the bottom to watch the four (4) episodes.)
I really hope you’ll consider reading and watching this series. It’s an important first step to understanding.
If you’re hesitating, my question to you is this: When has the government ever really gotten it right when it comes to reconciling Aboriginal peoples and Canadians?
I think it’s up to you and me. Or, as Ms. Piggy would say,