White people, here’s your one-time Canada Day special: Native people apologize back!

Some in the native community feel that perhaps we are being a little lax in not issuing an apology of our own.

We are not without some culpability. In the centuries that have passed since that fateful day of contact, we ourselves have been negligent and irresponsible in not acknowledging our liability in many regretful incidents and events in the past.

So in the spirit of cooperation, I would like to offer up these apologies to the people of Canada on behalf of the NAFNIP (native/aboriginal/first nations/indigenous people):

We hereby apologize for being so inconsiderate as to occupy land that, one day, your people would want. Even though we did not have a postal system or an Internet, this was an inexcusable oversight. We hope you are enjoying it.

We apologize for having so many politically correct and incorrect names for you to call us – everything from native to aboriginal to first nations to wagon burner to status-card number 48759375876-1.

In retrospect, to make things easier for you, we should have stayed in India, where we were originally thought to have come from. Unfortunately today it is really hard to get decent palak paneer on the reserve.

We hereby apologize for not understanding the subtle connections between God, children and sexual abuse. Some are still struggling with appreciating this association.

They are forgetting that, early in the Bible, it says, “Let there be white. And it was good.”

We apologize for wanting rights to minerals and other natural resources that exist beneath our feet. When you negotiated for our land, you meant to the Earth’s core.

We did not fully comprehend that when we were put on reserves where our rights to the land only went two or three feet below the surface.

Anything that falls down a sewer grate basically belongs to the Federal Government.

We apologize for being so concerned about the disappearances of so many native women.

We did not realize that the professional attitude of most law-enforcement agencies towards this issue was basically “out of sight, out of mind.” From now on, we’ll report any native women that go missing as white women with dark tans. That should speed up response time.

No need to thank us.

We hereby apologize for straining the Canadian health system due to our propensity towards diseases like diabetes. I know it has been said we put the word “die” in diabetes, but being introduced to all that Kraft Dinner and potato chips was definitely worth giving up the steady diet of salmon and deer.

I am sure the vegetarians are happy.

We apologize for launching so many land claims against the federal and provincial governments. One of our most ancient teachings tells us it is our sacred responsibility to make sure as many lawyers as possible are fed and looked after.

Where would they be without us?

We hereby apologize for wanting autonomy from the Federal bureaucracy of the DIA (Department of Indian Affairs). … Wait a minute, make that DIAND (Department of Indian and Northern Development). … Sorry, but I think it’s now called INAC (Indian and Northern Affairs Canada). … No, I have just been informed the Ministry’s official name is now AANDC – short for Aboriginal Affairs Northern Development Canada. … Now I forget what my original point was.

And though it had nothing to do with us, we are sorry for obvious reasons for the unique acronym of a once-testy office known as the Government of Ontario Native Affairs Directorate.

Finally, and perhaps most of all, we apologize for helping Canada/Great Britain win the War of 1812 against the Americans. There are many in the native community who feel Barack Obama would be a far more interesting leader than Mr. Harper.

But in our defence, who could have guessed?

Drew Hayden Taylor is a playwright and filmmaker who lives on the Curve Lake First Nation in Central Ontario.


Doctor and medical student interrupt Minister Joe Oliver at press conference.


Prior to 1952, Canadian immigration policy engaged in racialization of potential immigrants by adopting a nationality preference system which favored European immigrants over non-Europeans. Emphasis was placed on white immigrants because they were considered to be of “superior stock,” more desirable, and more assimilable than immigrants of colour. Non-Europeans were deemed undesirable and policies were put in place to prevent their immigration to Canada. For example, Section 38(c) of the Immigration Act of 1910 was amended in 1919 to create a class of immigrants considered to be “undesirable” for admission to Canada. Included in this category were African Women in a Prairie Province, those belonging to nationalities unlikely to assimilate because of their peculiar customs, habits, mode of life, methods of holding property and because of their probable inability to become readily assimilated or assume the duties and responsibilities of Canadian citizenship within reasonable time after their entry. This was seen as something that would consequently prevent the building of a united nation of people of similar customs and ideals. Accordingly, potential migrants were racialized and ranked into categories, with “preferred immigrants being drawn from Great Britain, United States, France and, to a lesser extent, northern and western Europe. The federal government subsequently extended its preferential policies to include other “white” immigrants including Ukrainians, Italians, Poles, and Hutterites who were previously classified as “non-preferred.” This was due to the failure of its efforts to produce the large numbers of “preferred immigrants” required to settle Canada’s western prairie land.
Reblogged from stop smiling

In the process of struggling against racism white people will discover that there own lives have not been filled with joy or freedom. If they don’t struggle with racism they will never be able to chart their own path to freedom. Their humanity will always be tainted, imprisoned by the horrific lie that “at least my life is not as tragic as ‘others’.

I have bent my back to this plough for some decades now. It is Canada’s turn. Look for your complicit silence, look for inequity between yourself and others. Search out the meaning of colonial robbery and figure out how you are going to undo it all. Don’t come to us saying “What can we do to help?” and expect us not to laugh heartily. You need help. You need each and every white person in this country to commend those lone people of colour sticking their necks out and opposing racism where it rears its ugly head. You need to challenge your friends, your family whenever they utter inhuman sentiments about some other race of people.

We — I — We will take on the struggle for self-determination and lay the foundation… But so long as your own home needs cleaning, don’t come to mine, broom in hand. Don’t wait for me to jump up, put my back to the plough, whenever racism shows itself. You need to get out there and object, all by yourself.

We have worked hard enough for you.

— Lee Maracle, Bobbi Lee: Indian Rebel, 1975 (from Epilogue in 1990 revision)

No Colonialism Here: An all-too-easy journalists guide to Canada’s aboriginals


Let’s start with spelling and nomenclature. Always use the word ‘aboriginal’ with a small ‘a.’ Use ‘aboriginal’ instead of Indian, Métis or Inuit. If you’re writing a story in the high Arctic, who cares if there isn’t a single, solitary Indian or Métis within a thousand kilometres or more? Similarly, use ‘aboriginal’ if you’re writing about treaty rights on a northern reserve. Nobody cares if there aren’t any Métis or Inuit in the story, or that only Indians signed treaties. Details like this can confuse the reader and audience. Facts and details are to be avoided. Your audience won’t know or care. Most likely, the Inuit in that story about the Arctic won’t complain or raise a fuss. Neither will those Indians in that treaty story. Literacy levels are low. They probably can’t afford to subscribe to your newspaper or news service. Why waste a lot of words when one will do — ‘aboriginal?’ (Don’t forget to use the small ‘a’: no need to suggest any complicated legal significance by using a capital ‘A.’)

Avoid using the term ‘Aboriginal peoples‘ — that pluralizing ‘s’ also has legal complications. It’s like that term older journalists once used — ‘native peoples.’ The ‘s‘ at the end of ‘peoples’ meant something in international law. Why get into any of that? Who cares? Back then, we journalists called them all ‘natives’ with a small ‘n’ and they seemed quite happy. Maybe people in Africa, Asia or Australia didn’t like being called “natives,” but our natives didn’t mind. Our “aboriginals” don’t mind today either.

Make sure you use the possessive, such as “our aboriginals” or “Canada’s aboriginals.” It reminds everyone in your audience who really owns this country and who’s in charge. Don’t encourage minor irritants who cling to notions of self-determination.

Read the rest here and you too may cover Canada’s aboriginals with confidence! http://www.mediaindigena.com/dan-david/arts-and-culture/no-colonialism-here

200,000 now out for the student strike demonstrations in Montreal!
More than 300,000 students currently on strike to protest tuition hikes. Largest student strike in Quebec history.

200,000 now out for the student strike demonstrations in Montreal!

More than 300,000 students currently on strike to protest tuition hikes. Largest student strike in Quebec history.