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Racism in Canda Towards Native Canadians

Discussion in 'TRIBE Main Forum' started by swilly, Jan 23, 2002.

  1. swilly

    swilly TRIBE Member

    The other day while in at the bar with some friends of mine one of them referred to me as "hey its redskin will" not taking any offence to this intially I brushed it off as being nothing more then a somewhat inappropiate greeting. however it spurred my thoughts on this matter the friend in question referred to me as redskin a negative as well as racist term for someone of a native backround. This is not an isolated incident however ever since i was a kid i have been subject to all sorts of name calling as well as comments made about drinking and unemployment.
    however this time it made me rethink the whole thing for instance why is it when white people refer to me as "redskin or chief " they all laugh and think it is funny.
    however if the same type of greeting such as the use of the word "nigger" were to be made towards someone of african canadian decent it would be considered racist. however when used toward those of native canadian decent it is funny.

    There is also the issue of sports teams why is that teams can be named after racist native names but not other minorities. what would people think if we called them the washington "jews" or cleveland "paki's" as opposed to redskins and indians. when i mentioned this to someone there response was " well its funny and part of our culture it does not mean anything". however if you can think of one other team with a name a racist as redskin i will completely withdraw this argument but i doubt it will occur.

    then the other day there was the issue of native land claims in canada. this one fellow who brought up the subject with me was voicing his opinion on the subject. the main point were that "well we one the war" and " ..what will u do with the land anyways" or even "..thats how things worked back then .. why should we have to pay for it now... its not like i stole the land". funny thing is this same person compelety agrees with the repairations to those of jewish decent in germany.

    from this i have concluded several things about this country and my university (waterloo). Firstly it is ok to be racist towards those of native backround because".. it is funny" and many people in this country are all for making remitances for past governments as long as it doesnt effect them.
    i wonder though what might the causes be behind this attitude, might it be the small native population in canada. i know that if someone were to make racist jokes in my school newspaper there would be me and about 2 other students who would be offended. or might it be that because racism ( towards natives) was in part institionalized by our goverment and now society sees it as being acceptable.
    perhaps i am wrong and maybe just paranoid but the one good thing about being of mixed decent and fair skinnned is that i get to hear alot of what white people say when they think there is noone listening and therefore know the difference between the facade of a politcally correct society and the reality.
    just my thoughts
  2. Klubmasta Will

    Klubmasta Will TRIBE Member

    it's because native rights groups have not made a big enough stink about it.

    if there was a sports team with a name that was insulting to blacks or jews, i GUARANTEE you the activists would be in court faster than you could do the tomahawk chop.

    my personal experience is that natives are a lot like chinese people in that they will complain amongst their own community but not as much to outsiders. (this is a generalization, obviously, but one that i think is rooted in actual cultural differences.)
  3. Guest

    Guest Guest

    I really think the government needs to do something to help natives out. We came here, we took their land and we fucked them.
    I know not all but a lot of natives are living in poverty. I thing the govenment should do something to get them a better education and even provide them with the money they need to get back on their feet. I mean fuck it's least we can considering it's our fault.
  4. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    You make some excellent points. One of the differences I can think of between racism towards natives and other groups is that in Canada, the native community is largely located out of the city. Although there is a large population in the city, advocacy might be weaker than that for other minorites, because these other minorites are larger.

    Not that this makes it okay, but it seems to validate the thought that because there are less natives around than black people, that it's acceptable. It's not.

  5. swilly

    swilly TRIBE Member

    funny things is that when ever the government makes intiatives to help us it always makes all the while people so angry that it is dropped. probably because politicains are more concerned about votes the doing anything
  6. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    I know alot of people feel this way, and I'm not disputing that natives have had terrible things done to them in the past, as still. But there are lots of natives who are thriving and healthy members of society. And I think sometimes saying stuff like this can be belittling. No offence. But it's the same thing with other communities. I feel that people are people and they are ultimately in charge of themselves. Some have bigger odds to overcome, some smaller ones.

  7. Fir3start3r

    Fir3start3r TRIBE Member

    There is absolutely nothing to worry about.
    Having deep Canadian native roots my background (I'm 1/16th Cree), I'm very proud of my heritage.
    Some things you can do:
    For your Friends.
    If you're bothered by the nicknames, just simply ask them if they would mind not calling you that. No point in getting indignant about it. Your true friends will understand your request.
    For others you don't know.
    You could do the same thing here to. However you will run into those that persist. Best thing to do is just ignore them. Giving them recognition but talking back to them only gives them power.
    Just rememmber; "A man convinced against his will is a man of the same opinion still..."
    You can't cure everyone's ignorance.

    I have never judged a book by it's cover simply because people surprise me everyday, and I have no idea what kind of day they're having either. They could be a great person with an 'off' day.
    I simply choose to believe that there is a deeper internal message for me with everyone I meet. What I get out of that meeting is up for me to decide.
    So, chin up my friend! The world is what YOU make it; don't be tinted by other's views.
    I'll leave you with this thought.
    "Someone else's opinion of you does not have to become your reality"
  8. Guest

    Guest Guest

    But when everything that's standing in your way, is the result of another's ignorance and what not it's pretty hard to overcome it.
    Take a visit to a reserve sometime, see how they're living, or better yet sit down and have a conversation with a native about all the shit they've had to put up with.
    sure there are exceptions to ever rule, but it's hard to be the exception when people won't give you a chance.
  9. Guest

    Guest Guest

    fuck they deserve some cash, and I for one don't have a problem with paying a few extra dollars in taxes every year to pay for it.
  10. spAce cAdette

    spAce cAdette TRIBE Member

    "We will not be seen as cooperating with Indians" -representitive of Premier Mike Harris' office

    This was said only hours before the death of Dudley George at Ipperwash Provincial Park on Sept. 6, 1995.

    He was the first native person to be killed in a land claims dispute in over a century. He was also unarmed.

    The Provincial gouvernment has to this day been successful in obstructing a formal inquiry.

    If these peaceful protestors hadn't been native do you think this would be allowed to happen? Something to think about...
  11. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    You're talking to native blood (right here). 1/8 Montagnais. And I come from a line of happy people, as are many natives that I know. They may not be succesful in all the ways that are important on paper, but they are happy. You are right, dazed. I'm not arguing with you. I'm just kinda tired of hearing about scapegoats. So the Guv. is fucked, and they fucked over the natives, but that doesn't mean that they are gonna fix their errors, although it would be nice. It's wrong to think it might happen, and waiting for it will likely lead to no where.

    Ming. <---believes people are masters of their own destiny.
  12. spAce cAdette

    spAce cAdette TRIBE Member

    Also note that the provincial gouvernment has been raked over the coals at the Walkerton inquirey, that they were unsuccessful in preventing. But then again Walkerton is predominantly white is it not?
  13. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    I don't understand your point.
  14. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    Sorry, that may have sounded rude.
    I just meant, I don't understand. Really.
  15. spAce cAdette

    spAce cAdette TRIBE Member

    My point is that people in Walkerton had bad drinking water, the provincial gouvernment was indirectly responsible. The white people who live there got a formal inquirey into what had happened.

    In contrast, at Ipperwash one unarmed native protester was shot three times by OPP submachine guns, another was beaten to a pulp by 10+ OPP officers, and a 16 year old boy was also shot by the OPP. These actions were brought on by the Premiers office trying to take a law & order stance. Intresting that this doesn't warrent a formal inquiry, but the former does.

  16. CC

    CC TRIBE Member

    i had two or three courses at university that deeply looked into the situation that aboriginal people have brought on them. 99% of people have no idea what horrible things the government does. land claim stories are never told truthfully. most often it's not about land that is just sitting there doing nothing. often times, they force people to move, and demolish their houses and places of work.

    do some reading and you'll see why aboriginal people are the way they are. they are treated with less rights than any other group in canada. and in most cases they have less legal power than us. employers won't hire them, they can't own their own property or obtain bank loans...

    our government is one of the most crule and ruthless in the world.

  17. Guest

    Guest Guest

    liek I said, there's always an exception, but for someone who has been raised in poverty on a reserve it's easier said than done. I don't think the government is soely responsible. I mean we did take their land from them a very long time ago, and our current government should be blamed. However, they can do a little more to help them, and it would take very little effort, and it wouldn't even cost the tax payers that much. Considering we're living on their land and haven't paid any rent, it would definately be the right thing to do.
  18. swilly

    swilly TRIBE Member

    to add to the discussion i would like to say that on my reserve of wikwemikong there is 68 percent unemployment rate. further i was one of about 20 percent of the people in my age group that graduated from highschool and 1 of the 3 that went onto postseconday education. i doubt that one can find comparable figues in canada with the exception of maybe other reserves. Seeing all the infrastructure and help other people had, to aid getting into univeristy makes me feel quite jelous since i had to do it myself.
    i guess what really bothers me is peoples perceptions for instance my girlfriend is teased by her friends for dating me because of my backround and her parents think i am bound to be drunkin unemployed idiot not only that but they think of me as being a lower class citizen primarly because where they where from in Brazil natives were treated like slaves up till quite recently. these are some of the most difficult things to over come because everytime i go out for a casual drink like anybody else it seems to reinforce thier beliefs. it would seem that i have to be twice as diligent to recieve the same gratification
  19. mingster

    mingster TRIBE Member

    Swilly: keep your head up!
    Your individual is greater than the sum of their collective.
    You're bigger than that, hear?

  20. swilly

    swilly TRIBE Member

    to add to this point a couple of years ago there was a program on the poor white communites in BC that had to start paying rent to a local reserve because they built on stolen land. however there was no mention of the living conditions on reserve as there was mention of how this commnuntiy aquired this land. i thought it interesting how it only showed the one side
  21. matty

    matty TRIBE Member

    I think I can empathize a bit with you swilly. I'm not native but did live in Nain Labrador for an extended period of time. I have a first hand perspective of the conditions in that community as well as Davis Inlet & Hopedale.

    Living conditions there make regent park look like a resort. Medical and educational facilities are noticeably sub par. The only presence of non aboriginal people was limited to that of the RCMP and miners there to use the area for it's natural resources and leaving nothing behind. All in all it's quite awful.

    Unfortunately people are wack, especially large groups of white people it would seem. Don't forget that you are proof that the stereotypes that a lot of people throw around do flamboyantly are just that, stereotypes. The opinions of the people making remarks like you mention count for nothing. They are just demonstrating how narrow minded they are and chances are their views on everything else are just as misguided. Try not to put stock in what they say and keep educating people about the situation. It takes people like you to lay it on the line and get the real 411 out there.
  22. CC

    CC TRIBE Member

    i think that the government should not give small handouts to the native people and try to figure out what's best for them. instead of pumping out a little money each year, i think they should have another solution. i'd be willing to bet that if you said once and for all that the land that the natives have now, they can keep forever with no exceptions and you gave them a huge amount of money that things would improve. if they could be given the chance to develop their own businesses and their land wasn't always being taken, everything would be fine. i think that if the people as a whole were given control over their lives that things would get better. it's easy to give up if everything looks glum. some people go out and create great lives, but others don't make it. i just think that we should let the native people do what they want and not fuck them over. so basically, just assist them in starting their own economics and give them the same rights as the rest of us, and everything would turn out alright.

  23. Subsonic Chronic

    Subsonic Chronic TRIBE Member

    As much as we're critical of systemic racism towards blacks in the U.S., we don't realise how much it happens in Canada towards Natives. A lot of the time, the problems are nicely tucked away on reserves instead of visible to the public, so we assume it doesn't happen.

    I guess in mostly urban areas like Toronto it's less widespread, but unfortunately farther north and in the West, we get treatment like the "night rides" where drunk natives are dumped in the snow on the outskirts of town. And that's practically a regular practice.

    It's pretty deplorable.

  24. mutslaster

    mutslaster TRIBE Member

    let's also look not just at the systemic racism that exists, but also at the actual people who are determining policy.

    according to ontario finance minister joe flaherty, for example, native people aren't "real people" and therefore shouldn't be privileged with federal health care funding. this kind of attitude only serves to reinforce racism against native persons in this country.

    article available at thestar.com
  25. mutslaster

    mutslaster TRIBE Member

    fucking ubb.

    well, you get the point.

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