When I think of the things this government and the governments before this one have done to our native population, I feel shame. As a Canadian, who actually took great pride in my nation, am disgusted, embarrassed and heart broken over the treatment we have perpetuated upon our First Nations’ people. It now makes sense that we are in Israel’s corner standing silent when they violate human rights of the Palestinians. We are really no different.
Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat is on a hunger strike. She is not doing this solely for the treatment her community has received at the hands of this government, but the treatment, disrespect, discriminatory manner it perpetuates on all First Nations’ communities. What we have done to Attawapiskat alone is shameful, yet it only represents one of the native communities of many.
Stephen Harper apologized to our native people for the horrendous abuse our native people received while in the government’s care, Residential schools. The next year, Mr. Harper was arrogantly stated that Canada has "no history of colonialism". This is a true WTF moment, of which there seem to be many involving the “Harper” government. Our whole country was built on colonialism. We are a nation of settlers. Much of our history, and plenty of it not so distant, is based on the violations of human rights on another population. To deny the aspects of our history which is not so flattering will never allow for any true healing between the First Nations’ people and the rest of us.
When we look at a community such as Attawapiskat and look through the history of our dealings with this community alone is shameful. We can look at the toxic school which we denied was making those utilizing the school (teachers and students) sick. We can look at the half hazard method of cleaning up the mess. We can look at promise upon promise to built a new school, which still isn’t open nor operational. We can look at the recent housing crisis and this government placing the blame of the victims rather than make an honest effort to rectify the situation. The list goes on and to think that this is just one community. There are so many more that face the same hardships and receive the same treatment by our government.
What I find most offensive is Mr. Harper’s palatable scorn demonstrated in regard to our native population. His dismissive, overbearing comments in regard to the First Nations’ population disgusts me. I never thought there would be a day that our elected representative actually disgusted me. I many have not liked them all, or disagreed with their ideology. To actually be disgusted and offended by virtually everything he says or does, dismays me. Mr. Harper is taking this country in a direction that is contrary to that of a democratic nation. In a democratic nation, each and every human being is equal. In Harper’s world some just seem to be more equal than others.