White Appropriation of FN Cultural Symbols and Idiom.

265 posts / 0 new
Last post
pookie

What do pipelines have to do with this thread?

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..maybe the connection is appropriation.

..according to grand chief stewart phillip around 140 first nations were consulted about the pipeline. from that, the number 33 that trudeau is using were engaged. some of those being only exploratory and still other were concerned about what was happening in their territory and not because they were in favour of the pipeline.

Unionist

pookie wrote:

What do pipelines have to do with this thread?

We shouldn't be discussing pipelines here - it will just confuse the issue. I think it was my fault - I only mentioned Kinder Morgan as a current example to illustrate my main point:

Unionist wrote:

Indigenous people continue daily to be impoverished, disenfranchised, dispossessed, dehumanized, disproportionately assaulted and murdered and incarcerated, in our self-satisfied "democratic" society... and some people want to make an issue about "cultural appropriation" or "offensive" caricatures - by an Indigenous artist. Very convenient diversion. This is such an infuriating story. Meanwhile, Kinder Morgan is portrayed by the same media as a battle between Alberta and B.C. and Canada, with Indigenous people relegated to nothing. Something is rotten in our state.

And I certainly wasn't accusing Rev Pesky of diversion, though he appears to have taken it that way.

 

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

I think this is the place for this story:

The question is, is this culturally appropriate? Some think not.

NOW magazine cover

"This cover is not empowering, regardless of the material contained within, it is insulting and diminishing."

"You would do well to apologize immediately and pull this issue." 

...Who thought that portraying Indigenous people as animals was a good idea? Who thought that mish mashing of cultures and trivializing of sacred items was a good idea??? How many people had to sign off in this?

...All individuals responsible for the cover picture needs to be fired.

This better not be circulated tomorrow.

...This is disgusting, you should be ashamed of yourselves.

Personally I think it's kind of cute. But that's just me.

Were the complaints from FN people as I assumed they were?

6079_Smith_W

So as far as this thread is concerned, I guess pipelines are a distraction from a distraction, Unionist. 

You know, I do agree we probably shouldn't take any risk of going off on that tangent, given how that often goes here.

But politicians and businesspeople waving FN support around like this when they clearly don't care about them is very much like what is being done by appropriating art and culture for profit. And it isn't something we do to white people except as a similar abstraction, like "this is good for the workers" even though working people can think for themselves and many of them oppose this project.

As for this cover some people objected, and the publication made a decision on how to deal with it. It isn't the first time something like this has happened, and it also isn't the first time people have been all over the map making claims about what it supposedly means.

So yeah, a distraction, at least so far as the far bigger issues going on right now are concerned.

 

 

 

 

Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

Were the complaints from FN people as I assumed they were?

Given the nature of tweets, I have no idea whether the people who responded to the magazine cover were First Nations or not. Personally I don't think that is important.

To me, what is important is that people are trying desperately to confine art within socially acceptable, culturally limited, boundaries. That is wrong.

I am most familiar with music (of the various art forms) so I'll give this example. Bob Marley was a 'first star' of reggae music (and I should say, one of my musical heroes). I remember someone complaining about some white band playing reggae because they were just stealing it from such as Bob Marley.

What that complainer didn't know is that Bob Marley was influenced by other musicians, primarily Sam Cooke. Sam Cooke, on the other hand, started his career as a gospel singer, singing songs at least of few of which would have been written by white Christians.

So one can draw a pretty straight line from Christian music to reggae, through artists that were influenced by other artists outside of the particular culture to which they were born. If the cultural limits that are commonly called for these days were in place, reggae might not exist. A musical form that is loved around the world may never have come into being.

Now, of course Bob Marley would still have been a musician. He had music in his soul, and nothing was going to stop that. But it's also true that he chose the path that his music took, and that included what people now call cultural appropriation. 

Nobody owns art. Art is, and must be, the free expression of the inspiration of the artist. Yes, I know lots of art is pretty bad, but time will tell. Time filters out the garbage, and leaves us with the beautiful. As far as I'm concerned, that is the only necessary arbiter.

WWWTT

I noted in an earlier comment about the taboo of using Indigenous ceremonial dress by non Indigenous people’s. Also heard of the sport team names and logos controversy. Reminds me of how Muslims are offended by images of Muhammad. 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Were the complaints from FN people as I assumed they were?

By my reckoning, the three tweets the CBC posted were, but of course we don't know if those were the only three complaints, and if not, why those three were chosen.

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Pondering:

Were the complaints from FN people as I assumed they were?

Given the nature of tweets, I have no idea whether the people who responded to the magazine cover were First Nations or not. Personally I don't think that is important.

To me, what is important is that people are trying desperately to confine art within socially acceptable, culturally limited, boundaries. That is wrong.

That isn't what is happening. The issues are commercialization and respect. In this case a bit of both. That an FN person did the art is a bit of a smokescreen as that individual was probably paid very little.

If I were to paint or sew something using FN imagery for my home that wouldn't be a problem. If I started selling quilts with FN imagery it would be a problem but probably wouldn't attract any attention. If my quilts started appearing on magazine covers or being recognized by the art world that would become a problem. 

Bacchus

I doubt he was paid `very little;. He would have been paid whatever the scale was for such a project

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
That isn't what is happening. The issues are commercialization and respect. In this case a bit of both. That an FN person did the art is a bit of a smokescreen as that individual was probably paid very little.

If, by "smokescreen" you mean "lynchpin".

If I -- a white guy -- drop the "N-bomb", it's a problem.

If Li'l Wayne drops it eleven times in three minutes, it's not a problem.  Doesn't mean every black person likes hearing it, but it's not about "commercialization" or "respect".

Pondering

Bacchus wrote:

I doubt he was paid `very little;. He would have been paid whatever the scale was for such a project

Which is probably very little. Just my opinion but art doesn't generally pay very well. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Just my opinion but art doesn't generally pay very well.

Probably the real pay wasn't the few hundred bucks, but the published cover on a well known and widely distributed free paper.  I'm sure the artist was chuffed to be featured.  If the cover was a photograph of someone smoking a blunt, you can bet that photographer wouldn't have been paid all that much either.  But a tearsheet is a tearsheet, when you're building your portfolio.

voice of the damned

Pondering wrote:

Bacchus wrote:

I doubt he was paid `very little;. He would have been paid whatever the scale was for such a project

Which is probably very little. Just my opinion but art doesn't generally pay very well. 

Well, we can probably assume that he was paid about the same as any other artist doing a cover for NOW. So, if not exactly well paid by absolute standards, at least acceptably paid relative to the industry standards.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Unless he was starving, and worked for a sandwich, exactly what does the pay scale for graphic artists really have to do with this?  Really.

Bacchus

It might have been a really good sandwich

Pondering

Mr. Magoo wrote:

Unless he was starving, and worked for a sandwich, exactly what does the pay scale for graphic artists really have to do with this?  Really.

He who derives the greatest profit carries the greatest responsibility. 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
He who derives the greatest profit carries the greatest responsibility.

Oh Lordy.

Now say it in the original Latin.

The really backward part of this is that NOW seemed to have hired an Indigenous artist to illustrate their cover story about decolonizing cannabis and let him draw what he wanted.  I can't speak for anyone Indigenous, but it really doesn't seem to me like NOW is just being the typical bad guy.

And NOW magazine is free.  We're not exactly talking about Rupert Murdoch here.

Rev Pesky

From Pondering:

That an FN person did the art is a bit of a smokescreen as that individual was probably paid very little.

As noted in the story, the artist, Jason Carter said:

I jumped at the chance," Carter said. "I really wanted to play with the iconography of the bear and the headdress.

Which pretty much tosses the whole 'how much was he paid' thing out the window. 

Don't get me wrong. I think artists should be paid, and well paid at that. At the same time, he was obviously very happy to get the opportunity.

Pondering

Rev Pesky wrote:

From Pondering:

That an FN person did the art is a bit of a smokescreen as that individual was probably paid very little.

As noted in the story, the artist, Jason Carter said:

I jumped at the chance," Carter said. "I really wanted to play with the iconography of the bear and the headdress.

Which pretty much tosses the whole 'how much was he paid' thing out the window. 

Don't get me wrong. I think artists should be paid, and well paid at that. At the same time, he was obviously very happy to get the opportunity.

That he was very happy to have the opportunity does not mean he was the primary beneficiary economically. 

progressive17 progressive17's picture

I am not an expert in these things, but I understand a bear and many other animals are considered quite sacred. Many people think their spirits are connected to those of these animals, which is why the totem is so important.

The destruction of these magnificent animals by the natural resources industry may represent a loss of soul for people with a strong spiritual and emotional connection to them.

Steal their land and rape it. Poison their water. Kill their animals. Genocide. Proud to be a Canadian? Not me.

Rev Pesky

From progressive17:

The destruction of these magnificent animals by the natural resources industry

I just checked on bears of various species native to North America. For the Grizzly bear, the black bear and the brown bear, all are in the 'least concern' category as stated by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

6079_Smith_W

Least concern doesn't mean no concern, and there is reason for concern. They shouldn't need to be in the threatened range for people to pay attention. Grizzlys are extinct in much of their original range, which used to stretch to Ontario. Now they have been pushed into the mountains and the north by us. And they are hunted primarily for trophy. All that went into the decision by B.C. to ban their hunting.

As for other bears, they may also not be endangered yet, but they are still needlessly killed, usually because of stupid people who don't know how to behave in the bush and leave food around, but also because of the practice of baiting them, again, so people can get a trophy on their wall, but it unfortunately messes up their territories and makes them less afraid of people.

And then there is poaching for gall bladders.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

The feeling of loss over the death of an animal among the Indigenous people I have worked with is not dependent on the status of their population (species at risk or endangered). I have had Elders I know describe their concern over otters being trapped by ice and drowning due to the topsy turvey changes to climate in recent years (unpredictable freeze-up and thaw). Others describe their sorrow of thinking of fish being ripped apart by hydro turbines. Everything, plants and animals, are revered and considered as important as human life in the workings of the world. Humans are not stewards of the land but part of the land.

Rev Pesky

From laine lowe:

Everything, plants and animals, are revered and considered as important as human life in the workings of the world.

This concept didn't prevent them from killing and eating animals in order to preserve human life, which they obviously felt was more important than that of the animal killed.

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
Everything, plants and animals, are revered and considered as important as human life in the workings of the world.

I don't doubt what you're saying, nor do I have a quarrel with it specifically.

But why would someone who considers all animals equal to humans be offended at the idea of a BEAR?

Quote:
...Who thought that portraying Indigenous people as animals was a good idea?

Those lesser and inferior animals, eh?  "So I'm a (sacred) bear now???".

I'm not dismissing all criticism of this artist's art as inconsistent sour grapes.  But I can't shake the feeling that the internet and social media have woken the Sleeping Giant of Generic Complaint in all of us.

I honest-to-Gord think that if the artist had drawn a tiger, the same people would have asked why he couldn't have drawn a native Canadian animal -- like a bear! -- instead.

pookie

Slight tangent, but one of the things I am getting increasingly uncomfortable about is having to participate in Indigenous spiritual ceremonies and the like. I am fine to watch respectfully if, say, an event's organizers think it important to have it (though I am also concerned about overkill, too).  But more and more we are being expected to actually take part. Given that these aren't my beliefs, I don't like it.  But I feel very inhibited, intimidated, frankly, against saying "no".

voice of the damned

pookie wrote:

Slight tangent, but one of the things I am getting increasingly uncomfortable about is having to participate in Indigenous spiritual ceremonies and the like. I am fine to watch respectfully if, say, an event's organizers think it important to have it (though I am also concerned about overkill, too).  But more and more we are being expected to actually take part. Given that these aren't my beliefs, I don't like it.  But I feel very inhibited, intimidated, frankly, against saying "no".

Just out of curiousity, but in what work and/or social situations are you being required to participate in indiginous ceremonies? I'm not doubting you at all, just wondering.

Personally, I don't think I'd be comfortable with it either, at least not if it was an event that I was more-or-less being compelled to attend. My own religious affiliation, Unitarian Universalism, has some history of "borrowing" from other faiths, with some amount of controversy. However, given their emphasis on freedom of conscience etc, I'd doubt that people are usually pressured into participating in anything they'd prefer not to.

https://tinyurl.com/y7u6wgua

6079_Smith_W

@ pookie

I certainly get that. I get a twinge when I hear people making references to god in places where there are lots of us who don't believe in that. And I consider myself someone who is pretty laid back when it comes to accepting of believers as allies.

I see this differently in a couple of ways. First off, it is a reminder of what those who didn't grow up in European culture experience all the time when it comes to casual references to Abrahamic religion. So I think it is fair, and respectful.

But another way I think it is useful is the ways in which those beliefs remind us that other living things, and our environment aren't just commodities. Of course you don't have to believe in the supernatural to see that relationship (just as one doesn't have to believe in god to believe in relieving suffering) but it is one of the driving forces behind that appreciation.

Plus no one ever committed genocide in the name of a pipe ceremony, so it is also a reminder that not all religion gets co-opted and used for oppression.

Personally I don't believe it either, but given the wider perspective of us systematically erasing their culture, I think bringing it in at this point is an important mark of respect and on the whole a healthy thing.

I save the more pointed secularism for the many other issues where it is really a problem. And almost all of them spring from European traditions.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..all the indigenous ceremonies that i have experienced, mostly openings, are there by invitation. indigenous folk who perform these ceremonies do not impose themselves on anyone.

voice of the damned

wrong thread

6079_Smith_W

Yeah, I knew immediately what you were talking about.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Rev Pesky wrote:

From laine lowe:

Everything, plants and animals, are revered and considered as important as human life in the workings of the world.

This concept didn't prevent them from killing and eating animals in order to preserve human life, which they obviously felt was more important than that of the animal killed.

The whole ecological cycle depends on all sorts of species feeding upon species to survive. I don't see any hypocrisy in their belief system, Rev Pesky.

As for ceremonies, I am not expected to be of the same opinion and belief. If I am fortunate to be invited, I just remain a respectful and grateful guest to have been invited to join them.

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Well, then there's this:

OMA apologizes for offending Indigenous peoples

Quote:
The Ontario Medical Association is in damage-control mode after its governing council voted against a motion to open meetings with an increasingly cited acknowledgement that they were being held on traditional lands of Indigenous peoples.

I'm not sure that NOT reciting the speech is something they should have to apologize or atone for.  If they'd voted to do it, great!  But if not, I don't see that this sets reconciliation back a decade or anything.  Good grief.

6079_Smith_W

I suppose "thank you" is  just empty speech too, but most of us with any respect say it anyways.

I'm not surprised some get their back up at what really is just a simple acknowledgment of whose house we are in. While it might seem like a small thing, even a meaningless thing,  refusing  to say thanks (by a 105 to 65 vote with no discussion) might be an indication of how seriously they take the other, far more fundamental calls to action in the TRC report, or their own profession's role in the problems.

(and if you aren't sure what I am talking about maybe tune into this week's episode of CBC Unreserved).

We don't even think about the recognition that our cities, our provinces, and the federal government get at all these events. Yet an Ontario provincial organization won't even acknowledge the other political territories that are also there, just because they are Indigenous nations. If we don't see that as a step backwards, there is a reason for that.

 

 

 

Mr. Magoo Mr. Magoo's picture

Quote:
I'm not surprised some get their back up at what really is just a simple acknowledgment of whose house we are in.

Is all of Ontario "unceded" land?

I'm not at all averse to anyone wanting to acknowledge that they're standing on unceded land (if they are), but the idea that we cannot so much as hold a meeting to discuss medicine until we've done so seems a bit coercive.

If you're a bunch of doctors meeting to discuss evidence-based practice and provincial billing requirements, is it really crucial to put "... oh, and we're also standing on stolen land" FIRST on the agenda?  Because to to be honest, if it is then that sounds more like a pledge, or an oath.

Should we require the same at, say, a wedding? 

"Celebrate today, as Chris Martin and Pat Tremblay join in wedded bliss, on stolen Colonial land..."?

6079_Smith_W

It's not about unceded land, it's about recognition of where we live. Like why do they bother to put the word "Ontario" in their name when they also have more important doctor things to do?

What I find odd is all the excuses given in that article about how those who voted against the motion felt it was not enough, or that it was tokenism.

How is it that they were so concerned, yet there was no discussion on the motion? 

 

 

Rev Pesky

From 6079_Smith_W:

Like why do they bother to put the word "Ontario" in their name when they also have more important doctor things to do?

Because they are an organization that represents those doctors who practice within the borders of Ontario.

​You're welcome.

Rev Pesky

From laine lowe:

I don't see any hypocrisy in their belief system, Rev Pesky.

It's not hypocrisy, it's just reality. No matter what someone says, each organism must strive first for it's own survival. 

6079_Smith_W

I suppose you think that is a snappy smart answer because it is so obvious, eh Rev?

Not that different, I suppose, than that room full of doctors who voted down this motion two to one without even talking about it. 

... and when called on it claimed it was because they were so concerned about tokenism and it not being enough.

Course it is going to be obvious when the only government you see is the white one. And yeah, it might seem like an annoyance, irrelevant, and interference in more important work.

But if their profession does their job so poorly that they just assume someone is drunk, and doesn't bother to check for diabetes, or if they leave someone in a waiting room for 36 hours until he dies, or (as in our province) cuts services to HIV sufferers in a community where it is at an all-time high, maybe doctor doesn't actually know best what needs their attention.

Sure there are some warning that this formal recognition is not enough, but I don't think they are talking about a profession who think they are so important that they don't have time for it at all, when in fact they were singled out for contributing to oppression, and not doing enough to change our colonial legacy.

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/reconciliation-more-than-land-ack...

Of course, on a simpler level it's also a reminder to those doctors in the room who are not only so clueless that they don't know where they are, but who also may not know the First Nations health region where they are, even though it is very relevant to their work.

In fact, any convention I have ever been to made that simple formality of recognizing the host organization, or the health region, the city or municipality. Yet for some reason some can't accept the notion that there are other more important groups that have been left out because they are too busy getting their noses out of joint and reminding us that they are too important for that.

 

pookie

voice of the damned wrote:

pookie wrote:

Slight tangent, but one of the things I am getting increasingly uncomfortable about is having to participate in Indigenous spiritual ceremonies and the like. I am fine to watch respectfully if, say, an event's organizers think it important to have it (though I am also concerned about overkill, too).  But more and more we are being expected to actually take part. Given that these aren't my beliefs, I don't like it.  But I feel very inhibited, intimidated, frankly, against saying "no".

Just out of curiousity, but in what work and/or social situations are you being required to participate in indiginous ceremonies? I'm not doubting you at all, just wondering.

Personally, I don't think I'd be comfortable with it either, at least not if it was an event that I was more-or-less being compelled to attend. My own religious affiliation, Unitarian Universalism, has some history of "borrowing" from other faiths, with some amount of controversy. However, given their emphasis on freedom of conscience etc, I'd doubt that people are usually pressured into participating in anything they'd prefer not to.

https://tinyurl.com/y7u6wgua

University events, and conferences.  Generally initiated by non-indigenous leadership.  It has gotten far beyond the acknowledgment of land.   Earlier this year I was asked/expected to take part in a smudging ceremony in a context where  I felt completely unable to say no. I have a quasi administrative role and it would have been very awkward to refuse.

@Smith - I'm sorry....but I can't  see much difference between a reference to "God" and a reference to "the Creator". And I feel like a hypocrite to the extent that I am participating in rituals that seem to be based on animist beliefs.  I can respect the environment for entirely non-religious, non-spiritual reasons.  

Paladin1

Should doctors open every conversation with indigneous patients by apologizing for systematic oppression, identifying and recognizing their position of power and privilage and acknoledge that the conversation is taking place on stolen land?

When the time doctors spend with patients is down to a handful of minutes is that what we're aiming for? Likewise during meetings and such is it really something of import and a hill to die on so to speak? It seems like tokinisim.

6079_Smith_W

Gee, it might be nice if some of them would get over themselves and acknowledge that, even once. Especially in a meeting among themselves, which is the place to come to terms with those problems. It might mean fewer of those mistakes in the treatment of First Nations people that medical professionals seem to keep making. But....

Nobody is asking for that Paladin. We don't even think about these formalities when it comes to white government, or symbols of power and things we are supposed to respect. But when it comes to an area where they have systemic and continuing problems, they have a golf game they have to get to, and don't even have time to talk about it.

This isn't about them having more important things to do. It is about them not wanting to come to terms with ways in which they are the problem.

 

 

voice of the damned

Smith wrote:

We don't even think about these formalities when it comes to white government, or symbols of power and things we are supposed to respect.

Well, if I had to come up with the closest comparison I could, rather than being like saying "Thank you", I'd say a routine statement about unceded land is closer to being like singing the national anthem before a meeting(ie. it symbolizes a particular set of ideas). And it seems to me that, with the exception of maybe Sheila Copps and her style of flag-waving nationalists, even people who are very glad to be Canadian and very thankful that we weren't annexed by the Americans often take exception to mandatory anthem-singing before events, as much as they might agree with the ideals that the Canadian nation is supposed to embody.  

I think the usual objection is something about its being a REQUIRED affirmation of a particular viewpoint.

voice of the damned

Pookie wrote:

Earlier this year I was asked/expected to take part in a smudging ceremony in a context where  I felt completely unable to say no. I have a quasi administrative role and it would have been very awkward to refuse.

Years ago, I attended a summer solistice party that culminated in some sort of Gaian goddess-worship ritual, but was specifically asked by my host(a close friend) not to participate, because I'm not a believer in that sort of thing. I refrained quite happily(since I really don't feel comfortable doing spiritual activities outside my field of interest). I suppose it would have been an experience to witness something from that tradition, but ultimately I think I would have found it annoying.

   

6079_Smith_W

voice of the damned wrote:

I think the usual objection is something about its being a REQUIRED affirmation of a particular viewpoint.

Equating it with nationalism or jingoism is kind of backwards, if that is what is being implied. And contrary to the notion that this is some great imposition being forced on to people,  if an association won't even talk about it, and just dismissed it out of hand there is an indication there is something else going on.

Besides, when called on it that wasn't the excuse offered .

Fact is, it isn't a "particular viewpoint"; it is our political reality, even if it is one which white people really don't want to acknowledge, and one which has been papered over by colonialism. And it is just one small step toward the far more personal problems doctors have of treating Indigenous people like children, blaming them for systemic problems, and not giving them the same care that non-Indigenous people are afforded.

 

voice of the damned

(POSTED BEFORE I READ SMITH'S REPLY ABOVE)

I've just been looking at the History section of the government's citizenship-test study guide... 

Aboriginal Peoples

When Europeans explored Canada they found all regions occupied by native peoples they called Indians, because the first explorers thought they had reached the East Indies. The native people lived off the land, some by hunting and gathering, others by raising crops. The Huron-Wendat of the Great Lakes region, like the Iroquois, were farmers and hunters. The Cree and Dene of the Northwest were hunter-gatherers. The Sioux were nomadic, following the bison (buffalo) herd. The Inuit lived off Arctic wildlife. West Coast natives preserved fish by drying and smoking. Warfare was common among Aboriginal groups as they competed for land, resources and prestige.

The arrival of European traders, missionaries, soldiers and colonists changed the native way of life forever. Large numbers of Aboriginals died of European diseases to which they lacked immunity. However, Aboriginals and Europeans formed strong economic, religious and military bonds in the first 200 years of coexistence which laid the foundations of Canada.

This seems like a rather idealized picture, to say the least, as if the aboriginals just died accidentally from disease, and then everyone just jumped straight into "forming strong economic, religious, and military bonds".

From what I can tell, there isn't much else about aboriginal/settler conflict in the rest of the history section; a few lines about Riel, and something about aboriginals getting the vote in 1960. I think you could probably make a pretty strong case for information about unceded land being included on the test, given that it is an official government document.

voice of the damned

Smith wrote:

Equating it with nationalism or jingoism is kind of backwards, if that is what is being implied.

No, I don't think it's neccessarily jingoistic to agree with the ideals represented by the anthem, or even to want to sing the anthem yourself. That's why I specified that there are many Canadians(myself included) who are glad to be Canadian, even if they look with suspicion at mandatory expressions of those values.

Fact is, it isn't a "particular viewpoint"; it is our political reality, even if it is one which white people really don't want to acknowledge, and one which has been papered over by colonialism.

Well yes, but isn't the purpose of stating that particular political reality to suggest that we need to do something to rectify the injustice of unceded land? That's an opinion I happen to agree with 100%, but it's still something a little more value-laden than just a political-reality like saying "Canada is divided into ten provinces and three territories."

 

6079_Smith_W

And that extended not just to treaties, but to disregarding the Manitoba Act which brought this part of the country into confederation. The Metis Nation had to finally take them to court to have that breach recognized.

I know that for some this might seem a small thing, an inconvenience, or just an empty statement, and it really is just one first step. But until we non-Indigenous people get it, it needs to be repeated. Speaking about our political reality here, the Saskatoon Tribal Council is just as much part of our civic government as the City of Saskatoon is. That it seems foreign should really make us think about how it is for Indigenous people living under our system all these years.

voice of the damned

Smith wrote:

Speaking about our political reality here, the Saskatoon Tribal Council is just as much part of our civic government as the City of Saskatoon is. That it seems foreign should really make us think about how it is for Indigenous people living under our system all these years.

Yeah, I agree, that's something that people need to know(and I'll admit my knowledge of tribal jurisdctions near Edmonton is next to zero). Personally, I'd be quite happy with every schoolkid having to regurgitate facts about their local tribal councils, along with facts about their city government, on social studies tests.

Pages