Winnipeg and beyond: National tragedy, national embarrassment

MACLEANS-cover

This article below from Maclean’s is the most depressing thing I’ve read in a long time. Alongside utter heartwrench, the studies, polls and statistics are just as damning. People of Winnipeg, around Manitoba and Canada as a whole should be deeply embarrassed; we need to wake the fuck up.

We need to accept that Canada is a nation built on colonialism, despite what our cowardly Prime Minister believes. We need to accept that Canada, from its beginning, has marginalized, tortured and segregated Aboriginal people to a frightening degree. We need to accept the fact that, as Winnipeg’s Police Chief Devon Clunis said back in December, Aboriginal folks don’t choose a life of addiction and abuse. Obviously for most môniyâws in Winnipeg (and beyond), they are either too afraid or intellectually unable to begin a complex discussion.

My dad, a Métis man who grew up in the foster-care system in southern Manitoba, took me to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission event in Edmonton last year. We watched a sharing circle, and listened to folks like Robert Falcon-Ouellette recount the effect that residential schools, abuse and neglect had on his parents, and ultimately himself. I cannot truly understand the experience of an Aboriginal man, woman or child. All I can do is listen, learn and help where I can.

Winnipeg has too many people that think like Brad Badiuk. Even their politicians think the same way. Winnipeg has too many native kids on the North End who enter and leave this world amidst violence and abuse.

To anyone who has ever lectured an American about how racist they are towards African-Americans, give your fucking head a shake. Wake up and start to realize what hundreds of years of colonialism, abuse, segregation and discrimination have done to an entire culture in our country.

Stephen Harper, who wants to remake Canada in his own milquetoast, white, conservative image is ultimately accountable for every senseless tragedy in our country. He’s supposed to be our leader. According to him (facts, statistics and polls be damned), the issue with why Aboriginal women and men die at a neglectfully alarming rate isn’t sociological at all; it’s just crime, plain and simple. It’s because of his profoundly arrogant attitude that I see no difference between Harper and any ignorant yokel complaining about drunk native folks.

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