“… the several Nations or Tribes of Indians with whom We are connected, and who live under our Protection, should not be molested ... .” (1763 Royal Proclamation, Canada’s first constitutional document)
Her: I am a proud Canadian!
Me: Really, you are proud to be Canadian?
Her: Yes, this is the country that I was born in, and this is the country that gave my parents a good life and as such me. I love Canada!
Me: And that is why you are a proud Canadian?
Her: Yes, I am proud to be Canadian and it makes me feel happy. I love Canada!
Me: Have you considered that when determining if an entity is bad or oppressive that there is the need to look beyond your own needs and feelings? Have you considered that what you like may actually be selfish and harmful to other people? Have you considered that other people are important when determining if something is good and moral?
Her: I like being a Canadian and I am allowed to like things.
Me: Have you considered that sometimes the most diabolic abuse presents itself as good and as feeling good. Food is one example, but too much good food can make us susceptible to obesity and diabetes.
Me: Have you considered that when children are sexually abused many of them actually feel good experiencing the sexual arousal.
Her: No, I have not thought about that.
Me: My point is, have you considered the fact that your criterion of “it makes me feel good and proud” is far too narrow of a determination that an entity is in fact good? Feeling good and proud may in fact mean you are suffering.
Me: Have you considered that your parent’s good life, and as such yours, may have come off of Indigenous people’s backs, meaning it was and is them who have given your parents the good life that you credit Canada for providing?
Her: No, I have not considered that.
Me: Did you know that Indigenous people were denied their own land while at the same time Canada was granting new settlers with free land or cheap land?
Me: Did you know that as Canada was giving these land grants to settler people, Indigenous people were not allowed to hire lawyers to make their claims to their own land? And, did you know it was against the law for them to do so?
Me: Did you not know there is a history that nationalism leads to genocide and that in actuality national pride is nothing more than masterful manipulation intended to make you feel good while at the same time denying Indigenous mothers, fathers, and children a right to a good life? And did you know that this continues today?
Please like and share this blog. You can also subscribe here but you will need to verify it. Look in your spam folder.
Lynn Gehl, Ph.D. is an Algonquin Anishinaabe-kwe from the Ottawa River Valley. She has a section 15 Charter challenge regarding the continued sex discrimination in The Indian Act, and is an outspoken critic of the Ontario Algonquin land claims and self-government process. She has three books: Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts, The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin of the Algonquin Land Claims Process, and Mkadengwe: Sharing Canada's Colonial Process through Black Face Methodology. You can reach her at email@example.com and see more of her work at www.lynngehl.com.