It was a quiet afternoon as a Bert, a First Nations Jehovah’s Witness and his White Partner drove up to a cabin hidden among the pines in a remote Northern Canadian Community. It felt comforting for the White Jehovah’s Witness to know that he was with a First Nations Person as they brought their bible message to the First Nations People. As they walked to the door and patted the dog on the head, the First Nations home-owner came out to greet them. But as Bert began to open the bible to read, the First Nations home owner abruptly said “What Tribe are you from?” Bert began to fumble a bit wanting to avoid giving an answer. Once again the home-owner persisted “What tribe are you from?” Finally Bert muttered “Blackfoot.” The home-owner turned to walk back to the house yelling “I am going to get my shotgun and you had better be gone by the time I come out.” As the two Jehovah’s Witnesses scrambled back to the vehicle, in a panic to get down the road, the White Jehovah’s Witness said “What was that all about?” Bert replied “Well I am Blackfoot and he is Crow.” For those who do not know about the history of First Nations people, the Blackfoot tried to completely exterminate the Crow along with many other Tribes of First Nations including the Kootenay and thus the Crow have an eternal hatred for the Blackfoot.
There is a current ‘Politically Corrected Historical Misconception’ that before Colonialism, the First Nations People owned North America and were a ‘Loving and Benevolent Community,’ until Colonialism came along and ruined everything. But the true facts are far from that fiction. From Mexico where Columbus encountered the Mexican Aztecs all the way up to the Artic Circle, Colonialists saw the First Nations Peoples living worse than animals, and thus treated them like animals. The First Nations People (who were not First Nations, but instead most likely originated from Asia,) did not own North America nor were a ‘Loving and Benevolent Community,’ instead in Canada: the Cree warred with the Inuit, the Blackfoot warred with the Kootenay and Crow, the Haida Gwaii canoed up and down the coast from Alaska to Mexico attacking and enslaving as many villages as possible to replenish their tribes, while the Aztecs, Iroquois, Huron, Comanche, Apache and endless other tribes lived a similar Nomadic life, traveling across the land; hunting, warring, slaughtering, raping, pillaging and genociding each other.
The common fare would be for a First Nations War Party to get drugged and painted up (on natural herbs,) and then go out and attack an enemy tribe, slaughtering the men and male children in the most demonic and barbaric manners; (gutting/scalping/castrating them alive in front of their mothers, sisters, wives and children.) Next they would gang rape and kill the older women, while taking the young women and girls as sex slaves to replenish tribal numbers. The young women and girls would then face a horrific life of rape from the men and constant verbal/mental/physical abuse from the women of the tribe. Anyone who says this did not happen regularly among First Nations people is simply a liar, because it was the ‘Norm’ in First Nations treatement of each other.
RESERVES AND RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS
Thus as Colonialists settled North America, there were chasmic differences in opinion on how to deal with the First Nations. Some Colonialist wanted to completely exterminate the First Nations Tribes feeling it was Karma for what they did to each other; because the First Nations People acted worse than animals, they treated them worse than animals. Other Colonialists touched with a more ‘Christian Conscience’ wanted to reform and preserve them; but their dilemma was how do to deal with a mess of warring Nomadic Tribes who by most counts had no permanent communities, nor any intentions of living that way?
And so the Colonialists trying to hem in the First Nations Peoples and settle North America, basically carved out large areas of land for them to live their Nomadic lifestyle and hunt and fish known as Reserves. Then being faced with the fact that the First Nations Peoples had no real desire to educate their children, created Residential Schools where the children would learn to read and write and were guaranteed at least a decent meal and place to sleep as they grew up. Yes ‘Reservations and Residential Schools’ were far from idyllic, but what were Colonialists supposed to do; allow the First Nations People to wander North America aimlessly while the Children grew up uneducated, poorly fed, and with no opportunity for a future?
Yes ‘Reservations and Residential Schools’ were far from idyllic, but what were Colonialists supposed to do; allow the First Nations People to wander North America aimlessly while the Children grew up uneducated, poorly fed, and with no opportunity for a future? The Residential School was a difficult arrangement for both teachers and students alike, because the teachers were struggling with students from a completely different culture who did not speak English and for the most part did not want to be there. And while there were obvious instances of abuse within the schools, the Catholic Church holds particular responsibility in part due to the fact that the Catholic Church was never truly Christian nor acted like Christians, having been created and apostatized by Pagan Roman Emperor Constantine in 325 CE at the Council of Nicea.
But throughout the last 100 years, the First Nations Chief and Councils hold equal or greater accountability to their people as there are endless instances across North America where the Chief and Councils have been found guilty of stealing Government Money meant to Build Housing and Create Jobs in First Nations Communities. In Canada for example, 300 million dollars was allocated for First Nations Housing, yet out of that only 100 houses were built when 1000 houses should have been built.
No one wants to be Politically Incorrect, but the truth is the truth. The First Nations People hold themselves as “Keepers of the Land’ while the reality is often far different. Many of the First Nations People live in squalor 1. because of the Chiefs and Councils stealing the money that should have gone to housing and creating jobs, and 2. because many of the First Nations People are more intent on drinking, than building quality lives. Sadly that reality creates a Stigma for the First Nations People who do want to succeed and build quality lives.
In a CBC News article posted: Dec 01, 2011 CBC went on to say; Political wrangling over a housing crisis in the remote First Nations community of Attawapiskat continued Thursday, with Opposition MPs demanding to know why federal officials never sounded the alarm. “People are living in tents, in shacks, in trailers,” NDP Leader Nycole Turmel said during question period. “Federal official[s]travelled to Attawapiskat at least 10 times this year. No red flags were raised. Why? We need an answer.” About 1,800 people live in the northern Ontario community, where a severe housing shortage has forced families to live in tents and unheated trailers, some without access to running water and electricity. An emergency housing crisis was declared about a month ago and the Red Cross arrived in the community on Tuesday to aid some families living in tents as temperatures plummeted to –20 C. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has said that the community received $90 million in federal money since 2006, and cited poor management by the local band council.
Imagine what a dream it would be and what they could accomplish had any other small town of 1800 people been given $90 million in Government Money? Yet a mere 5 years later and the Red Cross had to come in and save the Attawapiskat Community because the Chief and Council had misused the money so their own people were left starving and living in squalor.
It if for this reason many feel the First Nations should not be given money. Instead the Chiefs and Councils should be disbanded and the Government should go in and rebuild their communities and create businesses for them so the people do have a proper future.
DISAPPEARANCE OF FIRST NATIONS WOMEN
Finally the rape, murder and disappearance of endless First Nations Women is a direct fault of the First Nations Chief and Council and the First Nations Men who are at the heart of the problem. They hold a primary responsibility to build better communities for their people, while protecting their women and children from abuse, and have failed to do so and thus do not have the right to blame anyone else including ‘White People’.
In conclusion, while Colonialists do bear responsibility, the First Nations People themselves bear an equal or greater responsibility for the situation they are in today.