Reconciliation or $hakedown?

They stand towering skyward and majestically dominating the Great Hall of the Canadian Museum of History in Gatineau, Quebec … on the shore of the Ottawa River, across from the Parliament Buildings.

Totems … rising as high as 13 meters … most of them from the Pacific coast … and, although I am not First Nation, I always feel a certain pride as a British Columbian whenever I see them

They are breathtaking in their beauty.

But on my last visit, three weeks ago, I noticed something startling.

The descriptive explanations beneath the poles spoke of their meaning and the way they paid tribute to Great Chiefs, who possessed not only power and riches … but also slaves.

Slaves?

Yes, slaves … according to anthropological researchers, something quite common historically amongst West Coast First Nations.

UBC has a published treatise on it: Aboriginal Slavery on the Northwest Coast of North America;  Wikipedia has outlined the practice in detail: “Some of the indigenous peoples of the Pacific Northwest Coast, such as the Haida and Tlingit, were traditionally known as fierce warriors and slave-traders, raiding as far as California. Slavery was hereditary, the slaves being prisoners of war and their descendants were slaves.[9] Some nations in British Columbia continued to segregate and ostracize the descendants of slaves as late as the 1970s.”

And there was this revealing expose, not for the faint of heart, from respected Vancouver Sun columnist Douglas Todd: https://vancouversun.com/news/staff-blogs/buried-truths-about-aboriginal-culture.

BC First Nations were slave holders!

Of course, that was MOSTLY long time ago … the 1800s, the 1900s, but there were thousands. Where are THEIR graves? Did their First Nations Masters and Owners of those poor, abused unfortunates leave their burial places unmarked?

But the damage from their actions/abuse/victimization affected descendent survivors right up until the 1970s! Just like the Residential Schools.

Shame! As part of Reconciliation, shouldn’t the First Nations also be looking for where their own slaves were unceremoniously buried?

How many of them were abused, tortured? Which Chiefs/bands were the worst human rights abusers? The TRUTH should come out!

Apparently, it’s okay to tear down statues of Canadian historical figures going back to the 1800s (or even Christopher Columbus!) and demand apologies; shouldn’t the First Nations ANSWER FOR and APOLOGIZE for having had and mistreating slaves and their wives/children too?

Shouldn’t BC First Nations leaders tell these slaves’ descendants WHERE ARE THEIR RELATIVES UNMARKED GRAVES?

That’s the problem with the current Truth and Reconciliation process: it’s totally one-sided.

It’s a sham! And many believe a scam!

Since history tells us these descendants were mistreated by First Nations right up “as late as the l970s”, shouldn’t the First Nations PAY COMPENSATION to the slaves’ descendants, who they segregated, ostracized and no doubt psychologically traumatized?

After all, Canada is supposedly dealing now with TRUTH and Reconciliation …. requiring examination and self-examination by ALL Canadians … including the First Nations!

But where are the historic TRUTHS being discussed about the First Nations’ human rights abuses across Canada?

Historians say the First Nations not only took/kept slaves but even enslaved their children as well!

Surely the descendants of these First Nations’ victims deserve apologies and compensation … from the First Nations themselves … not Ottawa.

These truths too MUST be addressed as part of any REAL Reconciliation!

Many Canadians see it as little more than a one-way shakedown.

The politicians may pretend not to have noticed, but the “people” see it: how every call for “reconciliation” and “healing” is also accompanied by “and give us more cash” demand in some form?

Not just for actual victims, but generations beyond … 100 years later!

Ka-ching!!

Certainly, those who suffered personal or direct injury/trauma attending Residential Schools, for example, deserve care, compassion and compensation.

But the other day, I saw a First Nations band member on television, born well after the last Residential schools closed, claiming he and his daughter, about 12 years old, are suffering from “multi-generational psychological damage”.

Ka-ching!!!

It does look like a modern day shakedown … taking advantage of today’s naïve “do-gooders” and pandering politicians.

At some point, our politicians are going to have to develop some backbone and start saying “NO” to these constant demands for multi-generational “compensation” for manufactured, invented or even self-inflicted damages and traumas.

And the cowardly Canadian “national” media should start doing their job as well: reporting historical blemishes/wounds on ALL sides; questioning the ever-escalating demands for “reconciliation” money for/by generations of First Nations not even born, affected by or living anywhere near residential schools; and, maybe even question DETAILS of how/where the billions already handed out have been spent?

The goal of “Truth and Reconciliation” should be to bring ALL Canadians together, to respect each other, to move forward together … not just be a one-way street for activists or scammers to develop new ways for First Nations to cash in for unwarranted millions from Ottawa and the provinces.

And if they really do believe in TRUE RECONCILIATION, First Nations’ leaders should acknowledge, apologize for their own historic failings … and pay compensation to the descendants of their former slaves, who they harmed, segregated and ostracized for generations.

Harv Oberfeld

(Reminder: Follow @harveyoberfeld on Twitter to get FREE First Alerts to new topics on this Blog. No spam, just alerts to new topics up for discussion.)

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24 Responses to Reconciliation or $hakedown?

  1. D. M. Johnston says:

    Oh dear Mr. O, your will have touched a raw nerve, the West Coast first nations were slave holders.

    As I have said over and over, the Residential School debacle should have an international investigation (I do not trust any local investigation) and from what I have read of late, the government of the day is not really at fault, but the religious orders running the school.

    Ha – fat chance you will get money from the various churches as they all hide behind the cloak of religion, gods will, etc.

    So, to get more money they have to shake down the federal and provincial governments, so they are blamed and as you have repeated often, the cowardly mainstream media does nothing, says nothing, and abets this fiasco.

    So what about the first nation slaves, don’t they count, don’t they deserve truth and reconciliation?

    Well, they are all dead and buried.

    What we see happening with the residential schools is classic Goebbelesque propaganda; repeat a lie enough times and the public are bound to believe it.

    The great residential school shakedown continues and forget the fact that the First Nations were slave holders and we all know how slaves were treated.

    Interesting note: A few years ago, I mentioned that the F.N. were slave holders (it was a rather bland post and I was taken aback that they did so) and the Tyee censored the post, as they did three years ago when I predicted a coup attempt after the last US Election. The mainstream media does not like unpleasant truths.

    (Response: According to the historians, many of the descendants of the First Nations’ slave population continued to live on the reserves, subjected to segregation and ostracization….right up until the 1970s. Surely, they (and their offspring) deserve apologies …and compensation from the First Nations who abused them!!! And any Chiefs or band Council members who had a hand in their mistreatment MUST be exposed, denounced and condemned! Take down or cover up their totems! h.o)

  2. Bilbo says:

    Exactly—one sided history is no history at all!

    (Response: Everyone knows history is filled with cases of mistreatment, abuse, human rights violations … but only in Canada is there now an INDUSTRY based on taking advantage of over-apologetic politicians, willing to shovel taxpayers’ money out by the truckload, if it will buy peace and quiet …or votes. h.o)

  3. e.a.f. says:

    I’m “startled” you were “startled” about the information.

    I don’t know when exactly learned some north coast Indigenous people had slaves (Haida) , but I’d estimate it was for most of my adult life, like going back into the 1960s. Even as a kid, like into the late 1950s I was aware one particular group was well know for their raids and war like behaviour. Raids by this group (Haida) were conducted all the way to the south of the B.C. coast. The canoes were ocean going and there has been some interesting articles regarding how far these canoes could/would go. When groups of people raid, in a war like manner, it is not uncommon for them to take “prisoners” who become “slaves”.

    It is true we never learnt about Indigenous slavery while in school and I’m actually “startled” it was posted at the historical site you visited. It is information which is in the Canadian Encyclopedia.

    Now the question is, should this slavery be treated/viewed the same as slavery by Europeans and those of European descent? I’m not surprised that the descendants of slaves were treated differently, even into modern times. They were not part of the “clan” who had owned them. A number of clans in the north your affiliation to your clan came through your mother’s lineage. Not so unlike the Jewish religion, where you “inherited” your religion from your Mother. Back in the day you may not have known who the father was but you always knew who the mother was.

    The custom of having slaves in Indigenous communities was something in existence well before the arrival of the first Europeans , so no one ought to blame them for Indigenous slavery.

    In my opinion what you are writing about are two different issues. The European descent governments which took over in Canada, made their abuses part of government policy and governments were aware of what went on in residential schools as early as the first two decades of the last century. They just kept at it.

    Some clans had highly structured societies, with various classes within them.

    The keeping of slaves by Indigenous People is another issue. It may all be “fruit” in terms of injustices and violations of human rights, but its apples and oranges to me.

    As to whether any or all of this is a money grab, I’ll have to think on that. Time to visit the sibling in hospital who may remember when we gained some of this information.

    This post will cause some real “discussions” I’m sure. Its thought provoking.

    (Response: The point I am trying to make is summed up in one line in my piece: “Certainly, those who suffered personal or direct injury/trauma attending Residential Schools, for example, deserve care, compassion and compensation.” But how disgusting to see so many others coming forward who had absolutely no connection to the Residential schools etc, but claiming great psychological, generational damage … requiring more apologies …and, of course, financial compensation. Ka-ching! And what is worse .. watching politicians, spending YOUR money, not their own, pandering, catering to them … and dishing out millions upon millions to soothe their “wounds”! h.o)

  4. Barry Dudenhoeffer says:

    Hello Harv: There was a ship that landed in Nootka sound where all the crew was killed by the local band except a useful blacksmith who was made a slave but after many years he got a chance and escaped. Nootka sound is near Gold River and Tahsis on Vancouver Island. Would be more evidence for the Native slavery/ treachery.

    (Response: Surely all their descendants deserve an Apology! And financial compensation for the psychological trauma I’m sure they are still suffering …for their suffering and not knowing where they are buried. h.o)

  5. Gilbert says:

    I was shocked to learn that there were many white slaves during the Barbary Slave Trade. I never learned anything about that in school. When I thought of slavery, I usually thought of the USA, especially the south.

    Many Canadians probably don’t know that native Canadians had slaves. This doesn’t suit those who only want to blame Europeans for the problems of the past.

    We now have cultural marxism taking place. Many statues are being removed, schools are being renamed and history is being rewritten. The problem is that this is one-sided. If people have to be perfect to have something named after them, absolutely no one will qualify.

    (Response: The world may often seem like it’s in a terrible state, but the fact is we’ve come a long, long way from how much more terrible it used to be. Millions of every race and colour and faith were mistreated over the centuries; millions of every race and colour and faith did the mistreating over the centuries. The truth is many, many places the world ARE better today … and that includes Canada. Our history is replete with the disgraceful treatment of peoples of almost every background, every race, every culture, every religion … even different sexual orientations. But we have been working at making things better, apologizing to those who have been injured/discriminated against … not just First Nations, but blacks, East Indians, Japanese, Jews, Catholics, Irish, etc. etc. But that cannot be allowed to be EXPLOITED by activists, agitators and, frankly, scammers just trying to shake down Ottawa (and other governments, authorities, agencies) for millions and millions in unwarranted cash to fill undeserving pockets. h.o)

  6. nonconfidencevote says:

    One of the most interesting book I have read was “White Slaves of the Nootka”

    https://www.amazon.ca/White-Slaves-Nootka-Adventures-Sufferings/dp/0919214517

    It was written in the early 1800’s by a man who had been captured with another white man and held for two years until they were freed by other fur traders .
    They were tortured and made to fight for the tribe that owned them in several wars they fought with other tribes.

    To think that the local “nations” ANYWHERE in Canada were not attacking, killing, enslaving, torturing their own “brothers’ is ridiculous.
    Perhaps one tribe was peaceful.
    The extinct Beothuks of Newfoundland were evasive and mostly avoided contact with whites.

    https://www.heritage.nf.ca/articles/aboriginal/beothuk-disappearance.php

    Most likely tuberculosis was the final straw..

    (Response: I really want to see TRUE reconciliation between all Canadians, but if Reconciliation is going to work between REAL Canadians … beyond the fawning of phony vote-seeking politicians, the pandering of all the lefties at the CBC, the cliche-encumbered politically-correct “reporting” of the mainstream media and the money-scamming First Nation activists and agitators, we must ALL address the TROUBLING TRUTHS on BOTH sides of our history. So far, it’s all been one-sided: I believe more of an attempt to shake down government(s) for as many millions as possible than achieve real reconciliation … and it’s not really working with most working class tax-paying Canadians. h.o)

  7. nonconfidencevote says:

    Oh.
    I forgot to mention Harvey.
    Totem is racist and disrespectful.
    Please refer to them as “Welcoming figures”

    https://vancouver.citynews.ca/2021/10/22/surrey-semiamhoo-team-rename/

    The white racist shame session is never ending.

    (Response: Whatever people call them, I find them quite magnificent when you consider the complexity of the stories they tell, their symmetry and the limited tools used to build them in the past. h.o)

  8. john says:

    excellent post, Harvey. One word sums up the whole thing…Ka-ching! Cut off the money tap and see how quickly things settle down.

    (Response: Thanks. It’s interesting … and frustrating to see the Canadian media so weak, so intimidated that they don’t even question the one-sidedness of the “Truth and Reconciliation” program … or the millions and millions being spent/paid out under it … almost unquestioningly. h.o)

  9. e.a.f. says:

    The paying out of money is how we apologize or right wrongs in this day and age. Because its money and no one is held accountable for its spending its easy for governments to do this. Have a problem,, throw money at it. It how a lot of people parent, how governments deal with social issues, etc.

    Governments pay money for bad past behaviour but did anyone ask what the people who had been wronged wanted or needed. Did governments look seriously at the situation or just pay the money and hope it would all go away. Its easy for governments to pay people and have them go away, but people learn they can get the money just to have them go away, even if there isn’t much of an issue.

    Generational trauma is a real thing, in my experience, opinion. however, throwing money at it doesn’t help. Doesn’t matter how much money is in your life, bells and whistles it doesn’t change it. What does change things such as generational trauma is a dam good shrink who is culturally aware. Services such as parenting classes, better prenatal care, better housing, clean water, on going psychological services. Just giving people money at some level doesn’t change things for the better but it seems that is what the world today thinks solves everything and anything.

    (Response: Too many people in out society today treat as their “job” finding, filing for figured out ways to get money out of government(s) without doing any actual work. And some of them are quite good at it! Not just with individual schemes and scams, but much larger projects and programs that pump millions in many, many pockets … with very questionable results or returns. Ask Canada’s Auditor General!! h.o)

  10. Stu de Baker says:

    I have found these us against them blogs to be interesting and not in a good way.

    Before WW II, My father taught school on a small coastal “reserve,” not because he was qualified, but because no one else wanted it and he, having a new bride accepted; if only because of the supplied free house. He created the first soccer team on that reserve and my older brother was born there.

    My father was born on a BC island in 1912, to immigrant Irish parents, yet he spent 75 years being a bigot and a racist. When the hypocrisy was pointed out, it was always; “that’s different.”

    This is what I see here and wonder if it isn’t simply because we have been caught and are being called on it.

    In past blogs on the flip side of this issue, you went on at length Harvey, about why the families of indigenous victims, in unmarked graves, waited so long to come forward; “why now?” you asked, over and over. “Where were these people for the past however many years?” you stated and “why weren’t they looking for their children?”

    And the mother of all forceful questions; “WHERE’S THE PROOF, of children’s bodies?” you yelled.

    So why are you not asking those question of the “slave” families, over an alleged abuse which existed for even longer than the residential schools? Why aren’t you asking for proof of graves and bodies, in this instance?

    Instead you toss it back to the First Nations; ““shouldn’t the First Nations also be looking for where their own slaves were unceremoniously buried?”

    Shakedown? I don’t know. I’m not even sure the word shakedown is applicable.

    What I do believe is, it’s payback time. They have become educated and are simply taking advantage of a system that allows it. A system of guilty Canadians, in denial, who believe words and dollars will make it all go away.

    Until that system changes, the First Nations will continue to take advantage, reclaiming land, insisting on shared resources, getting first dibs on territorial jobs and demanding we take better care of nature.

    It just seems like good capitalistic business practices to me. They demand, we supply.

    But then, maybe having two young members of my extended family, both female, one 26 and one 14, take their own lives because they didn’t fit into either culture, makes me a little too sensitive to the Indian bashing.

    (Response: It’s not just a matter of “us versus them”. Once any society deliberately starts down the road of “Truth and Reconciliation” to explore grievances and find out what went wrong, it has no choice but to retrace its historical steps. But it MUST examine what it litters BOTH sides of that road: not just one side; and, it must uncover painful truths, uncomfortable actions by BOTH sides. But that is NOT what many Canadians believe is happening …at all!!! From the people I’ve talked to about this, I’d say many Canadians believe those who suffered and can prove direct injury should receive compensation …BUT what we have going on now is a FARCE: a one-sided $hakedown by First Nations activists trying to get millions and millions more dollars from the federal government without doing any actual work, without allowing any resources to be developed on or through their lands … and, of course, many of them without contributing/paying any taxes. And weak, gullible, vote-seeking politicians have bought into what many taxpayers see as a scam! I’m sorry to say it, but that’s EXACTLY what millions of Canadians believe … and that the government is just caving into the ever-increasing push for bucks. And if the CBC and the rest of the national media talked to REAL Canadians … not just First Nations activists, band members, pandering politicians, armchair university socialists … the TRUTH would be very uncomfortable. h.o)

  11. HARRY Lawson says:

    Harvey,

    Glad to see you will not avoid controversy lol
    Your heart must be doing good.

    Truth and reconciliation ? Priced out paid for until next time. Yet how many of indeginous population still do not have safe drinking water.

    That is just as much fault from the indigenous population as the government………..

    I guess it is all about priorities.

    On a personal note I am no longer homeless, I am over the worst of the covid , I just hope no long term effects.

    (Response: Glad things are getting better for you. Every Canadian community deserves clean drinking water … but the government MUST (since the media won’t!)ask TOUGH QUESTIONS: what happened to their old water system? Was it polluted by nearby mining and industry? If so, shouldn’t THEY pay to clean it up? Was it polluted by local indigenous actions, neglect? If so, shouldn’t THEY pay to clean it up? h.o)

  12. Not Sure says:

    Harvey, you said that the press should talk to REAL Canadians, “not just First Nations activists, band members, pandering politicians, armchair university socialists”. So Trudeau is not a REAL Canadian? nor is Singh? How about O’Toole who promised to implement the 94 calls to action if elected. Murray Sinclair is not a REAL Canadian? nor any Indigenous band member? How about me? Am I not a REAL Canadian because I don’t share your outrage on this topic.

    OK maybe you are just mad because you think the press is not doing its job and aren’t talking to Canadians who oppose the findings of the Truth and Reconciliation report. But seriously, if as you told Stu that this is not about us vs them, you might want to reconsider those choice of words because once we use REAL Canadians it becomes us vs them.

    That aside. This is the fourth time since July that you have raised this issue. This time the trigger was not the lowering of the flag or Singh’s photo op or the non raising of the flag. This time, it was your startling realization that some groups of Indigenous people held slaves.

    (Sidebar: many cultures would have had some prisoner of war type slaves which is not the same as chattel slavery, the way we know it. Indigenous people especially in South and Central America were enslaved by the Spanish. In the US, the Americans used some First Nations as slaves as well. But what startled me was learning that the Cherokee and neighbouring tribes had African slaves. They were trying to become farmers like the white settlers. The slaves traveled with the Cherokee on their Trail of Tears when they were forced off their land by the US government. So yeh there is some ugly history. https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smithsonian-institution/how-native-american-slaveholders-complicate-trail-tears-narrative-180968339/)

    But this isn’t a whataboutism story. If a group of people has been unjustly treated we don’t drag out some morsel from the past involving a small % of those people as an excuse to not rectify the problem.

    There are some people who are tired of this problem that hasn’t gone away in what seems forever. Suck it up. It happened in the past. Get over it. But I don’t think that is a majority view. People want solutions. And no we don’t want a solution that involves just shovelling money if the problem isn’t resolved.

    So instead of bashing people maybe we should be suggesting workable solutions. Is it feasible to implement e.a.f.’s mental health suggestion. What about Harry’s clean water suggestion. Or are they too expensive. There are 94 calls for action. Some are controversial and Indigenous people may not get exactly what they want, but nobody said this was a two year process. And some are simple and require no money at all. As long as we are making progress there is hope.

    (Response: Trudeau, Singh, O’Toole? NO, they are not the “REAL Canadians” I’m referring to above! They are part of Canada’s ELITE … all of them. Making salaries most Canadians can only dream of, with benefits, perks and privileges none of us will ever see. I’m talking about working Canadians, the people who struggle to pay their mortgages, their rents, put food on their families’ tables, clothes on their kids’ backs and, maybe, if they have a really good week, have enough to get out for a dinner or an outing once a week or once a month. Haven’t you noticed how the media … especially the CBC … studiously ignore talking to working class Canadians when it comes to the so-called “truth and reconciliation”, compensations, First Nations project funding demands and the millions being handed out, almost on demand? I sure have …and I know why! The media ..and the politicians won’t like what they hear. h.o)

  13. Not Sure says:

    Harvey, what exactly do you think most Canadians would say about Truth and Reconciliation. You keep saying that media and politicians wouldn’t like what they would hear. Here is a poll taken last month.

    “The survey also asked respondents what they believe is the main obstacle to achieving economic and social equality for Indigenous people. In 2016, 26 per cent said the Canadian government was the biggest obstacle, while an equal number of respondents put the blame on Indigenous people themselves.

    “That changed in the 2021 survey. A total of 37 per cent of respondents said Canadian government policies are the main obstacle, while 16 per cent said Indigenous people are.
    The survey also found that 17 per cent blamed attitudes of the Canadian public for inequalities affecting Indigenous people, while 12 per cent say all three factors were equally big.”

    https://www.ctvnews.ca/canada/growing-number-of-canadians-aware-of-mistreatment-of-indigenous-people-blame-government-survey-1.5606432

    If I am surprised at all by those results, it is the number of people who are now more likely to blame government than Indigenous people.

    Here is another recent poll,

    “More than four in five Canadians say it is important to end long-term drinking water advisories in First Nations communities (89%) and to take steps to end bias against Indigenous Canadians in the justice system (86%).

    This does not mean that Canadians want to set aside all matters related to the legacy of the residential school system. Significant majorities of residents believe it is important to release all government records (88%), investigate all marked gravesites located near former schools (84%) and demand an apology from the head of the Catholic Church for its role in the system (79%)”

    https://biv.com/article/2021/10/most-canadians-agree-steps-toward-indigenous-reconciliation-poll

    Let’s try to focus on the things that are achievable.

    (Response: I agree “focus on the things that are achievable” …but that’s the problem: those organizing the “discussion” (First Nations, government, social activists, media, pundits) are only focusing on ONE side … voicing, promoting, pushing the ever-ongoing indigenous complaints about Canada’s history, all part of their ka-ching, ka-ching, ka-ching agenda. I have not noticed ANY of those involved in the so called “T and R” hint at or even dare to suggest First Nations also have a lot to apologize for or even address publicly their own past horrible actions. And maybe even confront how many Billions poured into the Reserves over many, many decades to improve conditions, but disappeared into the pockets of Chiefs, Band council members and all their relations? The REAL truth can be UGLY …on both sides … but for REAL Reconciliation, the failings on both sides must be addressed! h.o)

  14. e.a.f. says:

    Stu de baker makes an interesting point about, its get even time. Some Indigenous people have learnt well from our capitialist society and now are simply demanding they be given what they are owed.

    The word “shakedown” has several meanings including working the bugs out of a new product or process. However in the context of this article I would suggest the meaning is a swindle or a piece of extortion. for there to be a swindle or piece of extortion there has to be intent to commit the crime and in my opinion no one set out to swindle or extort the government. Indigenous people are simply attempting to obtain what they are of the opinion they are owed, given the ugly history of racism in this country, not only the residential schools, the reservations, the lack of services offered to non European descent citizens, inability to vote. Those who volunteered to fight in WW II lost their Status. They were unaware if they left the reservation for 4 or more years they lost Status. Basically laws in this country were designed so more and more Indigenous People lost their status, such as women who married non Status men. However Status men could marry non status women and the women gained status.

    For all those who think Indigenous people and others of colour aren’t owed what they demand, watch the documentary on the Knowledge Network, its named the History of B.C. and is in 3 parts.

    At some level we, our government, the government can never pay enough to “equal” things out.

    Watched an interesting Knowledge Network documentary last night, or part of it, Its about the bigoted and racists history of B.C. Includes the feds also. A friend of mine had told me about it and it had shocked her.

    One thing which was explained was the difference between being and bigot and a racist, bigot, you think all those things but don’t do anything about it, but a racist takes action to achieve their goals due to their bigoted ideas. One part of the film brings up slavery again and how it was practiced by the federal government in WW II. I knew about the interment camps where people of Japanese ancestory were jailed and how they lost all their belongs and kept in those camps even after the war was over. (grew up in Richmond and our Mother knew women who had been in those camps.
    What I did not know was that men were seperated from their families and forced to work in other camps and were not paid. Hence, in my opinion, the federal government practised slavery. The people who were in those camps, were not free to leave, they had to work, they were not paid, they had no rights

    The documentary explained that prior to the arrival of the railroad in B.C. the population was about a third Indigenous, a third Asian, and a third white/European. Once the railroad arrived people of colour were pushed aside. There was a real program to move people of colour out of jobs and turn North America into “white”
    countries,. Its why the Asian exclusion acts were pasted. A former P.M. coming to Vancouver back in the early 1900s decided to outlaw opoium for political reasons, thus making people criminals. There is discussion regarding a book which contains photos of “criminals” and they are pretty much all people of colour. You could get arrested, if you were black for playing piano in a brothel. That surprised me because some one I knew when they were a kid, of 10, they worked for a local grocery shop in Victoria as a delivery boy on their bike, on Saturdays and he recalls making deliveries to the local brothel and that would have been around 1931/32.

  15. R J B says:

    The idea that these natives (Indians) were peaceful caretakers of the land or benevolent tenants couldn’t be further from the truth. The various tribes warred on each other constantly. The were violent. Want proof? Ask the Hurons or the Neutrals…Oh! Right, you can’t. The Iroquios wiped them out. How about Slavery that was rife among the first Indian tribes until Europeans came over and freed the slaves and put an end to this so called “Valued Cultural Tradition”. Is slavery peaceful and humane? The idea we “stole” the land from them is also ridiculous. The more technologically advanced and numerous cultures invaded and conquered. That is exactly what has been happening since the dawn of humanity all around the globe. Are they responsible enough to look after themselves and efficiently spend the billions of the tax payers dollars given them? Certainly not. They must come into our society as equals and learn to stand up on their own two feet. Many today are and that is good, get educated and take responsibility for yourselves. Quit trying to extort money out of the Government (us the taxpayers) and start working and pay taxes like most everyone else in the country. So you Natives, Indigenous, Indian or what ever you call yourselves, bring out the other side of the story and quit the BS. This is not “Their Land”. The land belongs to all. They came onto this earth with nothing and will go out with nothing, just like every human being on this earth.

    (Response: I support reconciliation; I support compensating those who were truly harmed .. but I don’t support just handing out millions of dollars to people EXPLOITING Canada’s history just to cash in! The only REAL Reconciliation will take place if the TRUTH is part of it: and BOTH sides examine and apologize for their own historic failings… right now, all we are hearing is ONE side, egged on by weak, ill-informed politicians and intimidated media, too afraid to investigate, report the truth or even ask any tough questions of First Nations activists, agitators and leaders. Sad! h.o)

  16. Bob Nye says:

    Why allow this!

    (Response: Because we have very weak politicians and media …who are terrified of addressing the REAL truths on BOTH sides, or standing up to First Nations demands for more and more financial handouts, challenging the “politically correct” lefty activists and agitators or even asking tough questions on ANY indigenous issues … or just plain telling the TRUTH. h.o)

  17. Joe says:

    Finally someone making sense on this topic; time to clue in our politicians and the media!!!!

    (Response: People should be contacting their MPs, Trudeau’s office and the media to demand they start looking at the TRUTH …as part of Truth and Reconciliation …and don’t just be scammed for BILLIONS! h.o)

  18. Richard Stevens says:

    Why are the Doukobor (sp?) never mentioned when we discuss residential schools and the forcible removal of children off the settlements by the RCMP?

  19. Douglas Sherlow says:

    Politicians have to get some backbone and stop these continual handouts to native peoples who feel hard done by. The media also bear some blame for failing to expose the hypocrisy of the phony natives who continually cry wolf that they are being ill-used.
    CBC would be a good place to start.

  20. Minerva Johnson says:

    It is time for the whole truth!

    (Response: too bad the politicians and the meadia are afraid of that! h.o)

  21. Mike says:

    Thank you Harvey for taking this brave stance that runs against the persistent narrative that all indigenous were harmonious living benevolent stewards of the land, living in idyllic conditions until the arrival of the evil white man, at which time all was ruined.
    Those who seek financial compensation have tapped into the strange anglo-saxon well of race based guilt that extends to remorse over things done by ones racial ancestors! We non-indigenous are born into sin, as it were. “I’m so sorry about things done that I had no hand in and would never approve of if I’d had any say, here have some more money”
    Why is remorse and recompence for past sins the sole expected role of the whites, and why is it shouldered so unquestioningly?

    (Response: Thanks. The truth will set us ALL free: pandering and caving in to blackmail will only make divisions worse! h.o)

  22. Clarian Currie says:

    Slaves were not created in any single area of the globe, eg Africa raided, captured, bought and sold their fellow humans. Europeans practiced slavery. Apparently China is doing so as I write this.
    As a Canadian of European decent, I have no right or claim to any land any where in Europe, nor does any other European unless we purchase it.

  23. Karen Harris says:

    Indigenous? The guidelines for qualification as Indigenous in Canada leave room for a mathematical reduction of indigenous DNA as the baseline is ‘one parent with status’. A non FN mingles genes with a genetic or historic FN and their offspring are FN Status. One parent of the next generation is all that needs to be Status. Then that diluted generation marries outside the mainstream of their parent’s FN but retains FN status. FN Status holders whose parents and/or ancestors broadened the gene pool of their Nation with stellar success. But it does beg the question of WHO is Indigenous and recompensed as indigenous. After the first 50/50 FN and other origin each generation could marry outside the FN and still, with one parent holding status, be considered FN ad infinitum. Please, correct me if I have misinterpreted this constantly evolving process.
    There is one race, the Human Race. All else is cultural accretion evolved from geographic and climatic factors , survival strategy. Humans are a migratory animal. Humans are warriors, whether fighting for land, food or precedence.
    I am delighted to see this topic under discussion. I have been fascinated by the dearth of contribution by archaeologists, anthropologists, ethnobiologists, and historians.
    Who among the FN would relinquish their modern conveniences, health care, their free education through university, or their tax free benefits, to return to the natural culture pre Colonial days? FN achievements are stellar, traders that distributed goods across the continent, seafarers, artists, aquaculture, land management, religious connection with nature, but in encountering new cultures, like all humans, they did embrace all that improved their lives. Few would relinquish those mod cons now.
    Hereditary slavery is one reason the taking of children to residential schools so impacted Canada’s FN. They had long histories of taking children from other tribes, some to replace their own children, lost to illness, accident or war, others as slaves, many as hereditary slaves. They knew how they treated child slaves and had just cause to worry about their children, taken as cultural slaves.
    I would appreciate input from historians and anthropologists.
    All cultures are fascinating, all cultures evolve. We need to incorporate the best of each to promote effective collaboration of all humans inhabiting this stressed planet.

    (Response: It always bothers me when I see first nations [or anybody else] say they are independent peoples, not Canadians… But then I watch them rush forward for free healthcare, education, housing, welfare cash, from the Canadian government, funded by Canadian taxpayers. And some of their leaders do not impress either: I still recall when I spent two weeks in France with the Haida from the Queen Charlottes as they paddled their long canoe Lootas from Rouen to Paris, as part of an exhibition by the Museum of Man. It was a great experience with people I really liked… But then their hero, Bill read arrived and promptly ordered the Canadian flag taken down from the accompanying barge supplied for the group and their equipment by the French government. When I asked Reid why he told them to take down the flag, he replied that he was Haida, not Canadian. So I followed up and inquired why then does he take $$$ grants from the Canadian government and the Canada arts Council‘s??? Reid was not happy with the question … or me. But I was! It’s too bad that more media today don’t ask those kinds of uncomfortable question! h.o.)

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