First Nations Count

by Bayleaf42 on October 25, 2016 - 12:47am

The news article I found and have chosen to discuss is an opinion piece pertaining to the discrimination of indigenous people and their youths. The author of the piece discusses how ignorant thinking and false opinions on indigenous people lead to their ongoing struggle and discrimination and racism. The discussion she wishes to have on the matter is one that I see a lot of, which is certainly not surprising considering I am enrolled in a Race and Racism class. However, class aside, the idea that false generalizations and misinformation can be harmful to a people, such as with the First Nations, is something I definitely agree with. I believe that people need to know what exactly is happening to the people around them, and the education system certainly is not offering this knowledge. The author discusses in a section of her article, that textbooks omit information on exactly how the indigenous people came to be systemically oppressed. I think that, with this as only one example, we can certainly try to understand why a large amount of people believe that the First Nations lack intelligence or drive to succeed. The reality, however, is that schooling is almost impossible for them due to lack of funding, that living standards are poor due to lack of government involvement, and persistent stereotyping and discrimination of these peoples lead to irreversible damage to a person's self-worth. These are things I have known for some time, although I do not remember where I learned them, and these are things discussed in the article, acting as a major reason for awareness campaigns to come into effect. Campaigns such as the one discussed in the article, or messages about the truth behind the Exploration Era -discussing Christopher Columbus not being quite the hero Canadian History makes him out to be, as the blood of countless indigenous peoples are on his hands to a degree- have been rising in the recent years, and I have seen many people's eyes be opened to the cruel reality of these minorities, and the paradigm shift in them is drastic and often confusing.

I appreciate seeing pieces like the one I have read; They are insightful, and they put into perspective how the world is taking a steady shift to one of true equality. Though this shift is very slow, and sometimes people dwell on the negativity that the media chooses to show us, this news gives me a hope that clarity will continue to present itself to people. Despite the tenacious presence of racism in our society, I also see many people of many different cultural backgrounds taking a stand for eachother, and that's a positive hope I'd like to hold onto.

 

St. Amour, L. A. (2016, March 20). Opinion: Challenging the stereotypes about indigenous people. Retrieved from http://montrealgazette.com/opinion/columnists/opinion-challenging-the-stereotypes-about-indigenous-people