People who have heard me speak about reconciliation, often say they do not support it because they are angry at this government.
I understand that. I have said many times that reconciliation will not be achieved in my lifetime, nor will it be achieved in the lifetime of my children I suspect,
The attitude that Aboriginal people are just another inferior minority group, responsible for their own situation (look how newcomers have pulled themselves up by their own bootstraps they say) working against the Nation’s interest and corruptly misspending public money is very entrenched. The majority of Canadians believe that, even though a majority of Canadians also feel empathy, even sympathy, for the “plights” Aboriginal people face.
Changing those situations is important, but nothing will be very effective, in my opinion, until we educate Canadians in a manner that results in respect for Aboriginal people and their rights as the original peoples of this land. Knowing the history of residential schools is key to understanding why things are the way they are, but knowing what public schools have done and are still doing is also key, It’s not an Aboriginal problem we’re trying to fix, it’s a Canadian one. That’s gonna take time…and serious long-term commitment. The same long-term commitment that was behind the schools even when every analysis done during their existence showed they were failing. The Americans closed down their operation of Indian Boarding Schools in the 1930s for that reason, but Canada just kept plugging away, usually because churches would not agree to closure. They had their own motives.
Money will not buy new attitudes. Education will. It is through education that we got here, and it is through education that we will fix this relationship.
So to the cynics throwing the stones, keep that in mind. I know that’s not going to make you stop – you are entrenched in your thinking too. But next time attach a note to your stone, with your plan, so at least part of what you do might have a positive impact.