stats Making the Business of Life Easier

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Canada's Apartheid, by John Stackhouse
  Nov. 3

Welcome to Harlem on the Prairies
  Nov. 3 (Saskatoon, SK)

Crystal's choice: The best of both worlds
  Nov. 5 (Mississauga, ON)

How the Mi'kmaq profit from fear
  Nov. 6 (Cape Breton, NS)

The healing power of hockey
  Nov. 7 (The Pas, MB)

Norma Rae of the Okanagan
  Nov. 8 (Westbank, BC)

Comic genius or 'niggers in red face'?
  Nov. 9 (Regina, SK)

Praying for a miracle
  Nov. 10 (Lac Ste. Anne, AB)

To have and to have not
  Nov. 12 (Moosonee, ON)

Trouble in paradise
  Nov. 19 (Tofino, BC)

A cut of the action
  Nov. 26 (Wabigoon, ON)

The young and the restless
  Dec. 3 (Ashern, MB)

The wireless warrior's digital dream
  Dec. 10 (Ottawa,ON)

'Everyone thought we were stupid'
  Dec. 14 (Salluit, QC)

First step: End the segregation
  Dec. 15 (Last in the series)

Have your say: Reader responses

November 8, 2001

Below are the responses of visitors to the following question:

"Do you think natives should have a special status, or should all Canadians, native or not, have the same rights?"

To contribute your thoughts, please go to the main have your say page.

I am an Ojibway woman who was taken at age 6 and put into a residential school until I was age 15. I have nine brothers and two sisters. I was not allowed to associate with any of them. I was punished when I did see them and strapped because I was so excited to see them I would run up to them only to be pulled away from them. I thought I wasn't any good because I was constantly told I was a "dirty Indian". Get your history from a native perspective before you make a comment. We have every right to have special status.
K C, Toronto

The native peoples have been growing into Canadian society as strong educated and self-sufficient people. Although that some of you see welfare and criminal cases, I have been witnessing numbers of native peoples using their treaty status to fulfill themselves as self-supporting individuals within this countries cities and off-reserve settlements. I myself being an ex-welfare case and an employed member of an aboriginal healing lodge have seen and witnessed that ugly low self-esteemed lifestyle on and off reserve. When the native people live in the cities or towns they themselves become taxpayers and in return pay for your medical and what not. But be patient with our claims to the governments and realize that we are a society within Canada struggling to attain equal rights as people not as "Indians or welfare bums" Be well all people.
Daniel Keith Crowe, Miskoginew

"Status Indian" is the government's way of telling us who we are, in order to ease the guilt for what was done to our people by the white ancestors. In the circle of life, the label "Status Indian" doesn't really matter as long as I know who I am and where I come from. I am proud of my First Nation ancestry. I don't know how many others can say the same of their own ancestry. I will be proud to hand my knowledge and First Nation blood down to the next seven generations. My Children will always know who to call Mother and how to live in harmony with her, though they are surrounded in a sea of politics. The government can take away the label but it can't erase who I am.
Sheila Tabobandung-Desjarlais

The average Indian band gets about $8,000 per capita. If you divide the annual budget of Indian Affairs by the number of Indians, you get about $28,000. Where's the other $20,000? Give all that money to the Assembly of First Nations to administer and then we can start talking about equality.
Mark Kiemele

This is so frustrating! When will the general public fully understand the sacrifice Native people made so all in Canada can celebrate living in a free multi-cultural country? Of course the Native people should receive special status. Hundreds of years ago treaties were signed with the Native people understanding that the land was to be shared. It is rather unfortunate that European settlers had no understanding of this concept. People today say that Natives get handouts - that's crazy! I am native myself and I had to fight to receive funding for school. Was it handed to me with a bonus, No! It upsets me that the Canadian government has ignored the treaties signed with my ancestors.
R. Modi from the Ojibway Nation

All Canadians, native or not, should have the same rights. Special status is by definition 'apartheid' and it is this 'state apart' that is at the root of the current problems facing natives. One does not overcome discrimination by holding oneself apart from the world at large. Like it or not, we live in a globalized, increasingly urban world. It is time for natives to join this world and stop clinging to old notions of 'special status'. Practically this translates into 'inferior status' and ensures that native communities will continue to live in the past.
T. Peters

BackNov. 7th Responses  



photo essays
Two worlds - photo essay

Have your say
Offer your views on the issues raised by this series.
The current question:
"John Stackhouse says to fix the native problem, we need to fix the relationship between aboriginal and non-aboriginal Canada. What do you think?"

Read the current responses.

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