TRUTH AND RECONCILIATION by Celine Leduc May 2014
Truth and reconciliation commission was started a few years ago stemming from an official recognition and apology from the Canadian government. Sounds good does it not, on the surface it does as it whitewashes the reality and it is used to save face. To apologize is hypocritical on the part of the governing body and all the political parties. Why? Because we as Canadians are doing nothing concrete to change perspective and we still perpetuate ignorance on our part and make sure the educational system in First Nation reserves is inadequate and proves the unfounded prejudice that “Indians” are dumb. Therefore, things do not change. The Truth and reconciliation document the horrors that First Nation people went through inn residential school, then the government teaches it to Canadians kids and the children of survivors hence creating division fostering shame on the part of Canadians and fear of the other that lead to hatred of each other hence creating distrust and separation instead of coming together as equals. We as Canadians develop a false sense of victimization vis-à-vis First Nation we see them as victims but do not look at ourselves as the bully or aggressor. Instead of seeing a victim why not develop empathy, feel the pain inflicted, see the outcome, and do something to heal the wound. Kids are not encouraged to meet one another, to talk to each other and this is one of the recommendations done by Lee Maracle. Her daughter got Canadian and First Nation kids asked them to research and speak about their findings. Yes our crimes need to be exposed. Yet as Canadians, we need not to apologize unless we ask for forgiveness or even better learn to forgive our ancestors and ourselves for perpetuating the lies of my grandfather.
YES as Canadians we need FORGIVENESS do something concrete about changing our ways hence showing genuine remorse, understanding and most of all compassion. I personally did not do those atrocities, so I can feel I am not guilty, but I am if I keep silent and do nothing to educate my own people. When my ancestors came they were able to settle here and find a certain FREEDOM thanks to First Nations. Yet, as Europeans we were part of the King’s possession be it the aristocracy or as serfs in this land, we were still are under the influence of foreigners to this land and foreigner we remained. We as Canadian never became indigenous to this land, no matter how we try to prove it we are still foreigners and will remain so unless we change our ways we will forever remain foreigners and aliens on this continent. A lesson politicians should learn the land does not belong to them, it belongs to the people all the people so they can live free and in and at peace with themselves and each other.
As Lee Maracle stated in an interview about Truth and Reconciliation she states that: “all is not well in Canada.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N-nK7GErXmE Her statement is based on observation, knowledge of Canadian history and the history of her people, who have suffered at the hands of very evil people who used religions took the name of God in vain to justification horrendous crimes, similar to those committed against Jews in concentration camps, such as medical experiments, starvation, sleep deprivation, rape, murder, et al. Both regimes are totalitarian in dealing with the “other” Hitler could justify his purge as Jews and Roms people were strangers to Germany, he could claim purity of race out of fear of mixing the pure blood of Aryans with the blood of half-humans. This same blood libel exists in Canada and has been used over and over again, be it with First Nation or at the time of slavery. Mixed blood First Nation are name Metis, mixed blood Africans are referred to as Mulato (means Mule) which is derogatory and prejudicial. In the case of First Nation there is an even greater restriction a woman who marries a non-native loses her rights.
The news tells us that there is discontent and some politicians in Quebec want to separate from Canada, claiming it is “Their Land.” False, the land does not belong to them even if they have a paper trail to justify the owning of the land that started with planting a flag and claiming it in the name of a foreign King it does not make it theirs. First Nation wisdom tells me why? If a politician or any “Quebecois” or “Canadian” or First Nation dies they do not bring the land with them, however their bodies are buried in the grounds in a cemetery. The land remains so do the animals and his/her progeny, hence it is not theirs, and the land belongs to the earth and is there to be shared for Jews, Christians or Muslims the earth belongs to God the Creator who created us out of earth. What belong to those who want to separate is the buildings and the roads and asphalt but then it was taken from the earth. What is theirs is their warmongering ways, the 500 year war between England and France a foreign war that ended, when France lost the war to England and had to repay the damages with land that did not belong to them. The aristocracy fled the serfs remained with their mentality of colonialism and their war like attitude that was passed down generation to generation through the educational system and the Church, because the duty of education was given to nuns and brothers of the Catholic Church however it was a political moved which was sanctioned by the politicians of the day. Creating a false sense of belonging and elitist mentality that still prevails today, in both Canada and Quebec. History is our mode of transmission it is a written tradition that speaks of an epic story of valiant and heroic needs, such as the epic story of Dollard des Ormeaux who died defending his land actually he was trying to invade the territory of others. French legend tells us that the Iroquois did not invade or reclaim Ville Marie, because they lost too many warriors. Another interpretation could be that they respected the treaty agreement made between France and their people. Women had the last word in the Iroquois Nation, they were the ones who declared war. France declared war on Mohawk or Kanien'kehá:ka (people of the flint) did not throw the Black beads of war, they stopped an invasion defended themselves just like Amanishakheto in Nubia (today Sudan) when she pushed back the army of Caesar Augustus and then throwing down his bust that had been given as a peace treaty. Sadly most of us do not know her and her legacy we are only told of Cleopatra and how she lost the war. How can we Canadians talk about TRUTH and RECONCILIATION when we do not talk truth and the people of this land, the First Nations or indigenous people? A native friend of mine once told me I know you but you do not know me, I have to agree with him as he not only knows me but also my past and about my ancestors and I know him on the surface but do not know his past or his ancestors.
Let the ancestors speak, this is part of a book I am researching and writing about the unknown and unrecorded history of Canada.