Why REAL Reconciliation is NOT Happening

Beau and Dian Sutton had a dream.

In 2014, they bought a hilly half-acre wooded lot near Chilliwack River to build a home.

Then someone told them part of their property “might” be an indigenous gravesite.

There were NO grave-markers, NO symbols, NO plaque … NOTHING showing any special acknowledgement or even respect for that particular site.

Then, as CBC reported at the time, a local First Nations chief “felt his ancestors were buried there and that he had a responsibility to protect them.”

“Felt”? “Protect”?

Where were he and all his relations for the years, decades before? There was nothing to mark the gravesites of their former relatives or band members … no symbols, no markers, no plaque, nothing to show respect, let alone “protect”, the men, women, elders and, yes, children buried there.

But the Sutton’s dream turned into a nightmare … after the local band suddenly developed interest in a site they had ignored for decades … or more.

The TRUTH is there are THOUSANDS of First Nations children, adults and elders who lie buried by their own people all across Canada in unmarked graves … without any memorials, monuments or plaques of any kind.

In Saanich, outside Victoria, construction of a $1 million home was halted after discovery of an unmarked Songhees First Nations grave; in Montreal, the site of a 27-story office tower was also stopped when unmarked graves were found; and, in Vancouver, a piece of a paved parking lot at the foot of Granville and Marine Drive was found to be an unmarked Musqueam burial ground.

Anyone who searches the topic on Google will be amazed …and maybe appalled … at how many such instances have been uncovered … First Nations burial sites totally unmarked and then neglected and ignored by First Nations peoples themselves right across Canada.

The TRUTH is unmarked burial sites have long been part of the history, respected tradition and culture of the Indigenous peoples of Canada.

Although you would never know that watching the news lately!

Where are the tears, anger, demands by First Nations activists directed at THEIR OWN leaders, THEIR OWN band councils, THEIR OWN tribal members to fund THEIR OWN identification and proper burials of their own people lying in unmarked graves?

The tragedy of Canadian Residential Schools, and the discovery of unmarked graves, apparently by white school/government officials in the last Century, however, has changed the “conversation”.

Canadians now recognize those schools were a terrible, misdirected, brutal stain on our country’s history …. in the the last century.

But so was the federal government’s treatment of the Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Jews, Muslims, blacks … and, at various times, even the Irish, Italians and Germans in the 1900s. Not to mention the terrible societal discrimination they ALL faced trying to buy homes in certain areas, get into universities or join social clubs or golf courses.

Canada, like other nations, does indeed have an imperfect past … but let’s keep it real: so does EVERY other nation … and that includes Canada’s First Nations.

But you would never know that watching the one-sided, pandering news coverage by the CBC “public” broadcaster or other Canadian private networks pushing the First Nations’ activist agenda.

I believe millions of Canadians are not buying it … and are actually becoming more resentful of the various governments’ pandering to the radicals.

Civilized peoples seeking REAL reconciliation deal with uncomfortable TRUTHS through dialogue, mutual self-examination and understandings … not the one-sided “holier than thou” attitudes, and finger-pointing Canadians have witnessed from First Nations’ activists and mouthpieces in recent months.

Vandalizing statues, tearing down monuments, disrespecting Canadian national holidays, spitting on Canada’s history (during which, by the way, thousands of First Nations’ heroes served the country loyally and valiantly) or trying to extort millions from the taxpayers will only make things worse, not better.

I put it to you millions of Canadians, in fact, resent what they see happening across the country.

You won’t ever hear THEIR voices on Canada’s intimidated, compromised politicized advocacy-driven “news” media … but talk to REAL Canadians (not just the professional political, pandering community “experts”) and you’ll discover how millions of Canadians are not buying into the First Nations activists’ shakedown agenda.

Which is why REAL RECONCILIATION is not happening across the country!

TRUE reconciliation requires facing REAL TRUTHS and looking forward … not backwards; working together for our future … not rehashing our history; and, not trying to shake down the federal government for more hundreds of millions of dollars!

So why ARE we seeing so many increasing demands, so much agitation, hate, violence, vandalism and destruction?

Because activists, agitators and anarchists see dissention, disruption and violence as an increasingly successful way to extort concessions from governments and also cash in themselves for hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds.

Weak politicians at all levels are caving in far too easily, willing to pander to too many demands, in the hope of buying peace … and First Nations votes.

More and more Canadians from coast to coast to coast are tiring of what they have been witnessing for months now.

It is NOT the way for First Nations to win friends and influence people … nor ever achieve REAL “reconciliation”.

Harv Oberfeld

(Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to all new postings on the Blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, National | 37 Comments

Premier John Horgan Should Apologize to British Columbians

There are more than 700 BC families and hundreds of their relatives and friends now in mourning and planning funerals for victims of BC’s recent brutal heat wave.

BC’s Coroner Service says that’s TRIPLE the normal number of sudden deaths recorded at this time of the year.

And no amount of government excuses or spin will change the truth: many of those could still be alive if Premier John Horgan and his NDP government had kept their 2017 election promise to “invest in more paramedics, so that no one is left waiting for an ambulance in their time of critical need.” 

No doubt that is a broken vow … four years later, still not only substantially unfulfilled, but a situation getting even worse.

But that is not why I am calling on Horgan to apologize.

Governments … all governments … fail to keep promises: and if leaders had to apologize each time they did, there would be daily announcements of lists of regrets.

But where Horgan fell short this week went beyond the pale … even for a politician.

““I’ll await the coroner’s determination. As Dr. (Bonnie) Henry said, fatalities are part of life,” the Premier told reporters Tuesday. 

“The public was acutely aware that we had a heat problem, but it was apparent to anyone who walked outdoors that we were in an unprecedented heat wave and again there’s a level of personal responsibility.”

Oh … so it was the “responsibility” of people who had heat strokes, suffered accidents etc, and lay there on their beds or floors for hours waiting for ambulances that never came to take care of themselves!

I don’t recall reading THAT in the NDP’s Election Platform … in 2017 or in 2020!

Imagine so many BC families hearing that from BC’s Premier as they are immersed in grief, arranging to bury their dead, arranging funerals, buying caskets or urns, burial plots.

Their elderly, sick heat victims should have taken better care of themselves. Or their surviving family or friends should have done better. Don’t blame the government.

Remember, statistically, there’s a pretty good chance that many of those who died, and their friends and relations, had believed in Horgan and the NDP, had voted for them … and had done their very BEST for the past year and a half to follow all the government’s guidelines, orders and appeals in the fight against Covid.

But, they … like millions of other British Columbians without air conditioning or alternatives … were largely powerless against the brutal record heat that suffocated the province for days, taking a terrible toll on the elderly, frail and sick.

Emergency 911, first responders, police, fire and paramedics were so overwhelmed … and understaffed … they couldn’t even get to some of those dying at all!

And Horgan’s response…

“We were doing our best to break through all of the other noise to encourage people to take steps to protect themselves,” was Horgan’s message.

Ahh… protect yourself.

It’s YOUR fault … especially those of you in your 70s, 80s, 90s … for collapsing, getting sick and needing help from OTHERS when the province was so overwhelmed!

What a horrible reaction from a “leader” when BC is in the midst of a crisis.

Now I know Horgan is a very intense, competitive … and some say ill-tempered … political being.

However, a Premier MUST be capable of differentiating between his political opponents, pestering media, badgering bloggers … and those who are ordinary taxpayers …citizens who LOOK to their Premier for leadership, support … and sympathy during tough times.

Horgan let them down.

And even after Horgan’s remarks hit the fan, the Premier’s response wasn’t much better.

“Nothing can ease the pain of losing a loved one, whether it’s from the unprecedented heat wave or any other cause. Mourning families deserve our compassion, and the wording of my comments didn’t reflect that. Please continue supporting one another & checking on your neighbours,” he tweeted.”

Notice: NO apology for his FAILURE to show/express any REAL sympathy, compassion, understanding.

Horgan’s response is just not good enough.

If he won’t … or can’t … bring himself to admit he was way off track with his remarks, that will reveal a character flaw and forever become part of his permanent political and personal legacy.

Like P.E. Trudeau’s giving the finger to hurting British Columbians in 1982.

Premier Horgan should say “I apologize” OR “I’m sorry” to those people who suffered or lost loved ones during BC’s heat epidemic, when the government services/help they desperately needed did not come.

And are still suffering and grieving.

And to ordinary British Columbians who believed he and his NDP government would solve BC’s paramedic response crisis … but are still being let down, and paying with their lives.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter for FREE First Alerts to new postings on this Blog.)

Posted in British Columbia, Media | 33 Comments