It’s good to remember Pierre Trudeau’s 1969 attempt to assimilate the whole of the Indigenous Nations. At that time, they were going to get rid of the Indian Act, and close the reserves, and offer the same solutions they’re offering now. They still have only one solution: eliminate the “Indian Problem” by eliminating the Indian.
Children are dying in Attawapiskat. They are dying because of a system designed by Canada to destroy them: from residential schools built to foster malnutrition, chronic disease, and despair – even torture; to the devastating 60s scoop; to substandard housing; and a generation of bad water and toxic schools – the Government of Canada – through its genocide agency, successively, the Department of Indian Affairs, then AANDC, then INAC – has delivered on its mission of destroying the Indigenous Nations in Canada.
It’s good to remember Pierre – in his buckskins and canoe – bringing the 1969 White Paper to “fix the Indians”
And it’s good of Jean Chretien to remind us of that time; to remember that a genocidaire doesn’t need to dress up in a Nazi uniform, but can be a ‘tit gars de Shawinigan – by making decisions for the indigenous Nations; by adopting a native child (that worked out well didn’t it?); by the incredible double-standards that he maintained as Minister for Indian Affairs – a poisoned school for Attawapiskat; a golf course for Shawinigan.
It wasn’t the Liberals who made the difference then; but the intelligence and activism of people like Harold Cardinal, who called them on every bit of their presumption, prejudice, and colonialist thinking. It was intelligence and activism that won the day – not the Gone Native Pierre with his supremacist concepts. So take a lesson from Pierre’s buddy Jean; and the way the supremacists of Canada have risen up to embrace him.
The machine of genocide grinds on; and those who serve the machine don’t even know they’re part of it. It’s up to the Indigenous Nations to preserve themselves and their cultures and their children – as they have been doing for 150 years. That’s 150 years that Canada’s about to celebrate – by the way – with more money set aside for the fireworks than they’d ever consider allocating to – for an example – the education and health of Indigenous children.
Pierre’s “gone native”, but the Natives sure ain’t gone.
Maybe it’s time for Gumistiyi earn some of those feathers..