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Canada's Apartheid, by John Stackhouse
Stories
Introduction
  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

To December 17, 2001

Below are the responses of globeandmail.com visitors to the following 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?"

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

John Stackhouse has concentrated almost exclusively on the fallout from this development of education. But he has completely ignored the parallel development that has made this success possible --- namely, the revival among native people --- the educated and the not-so-educated --- of the very beliefs and traditions that our society has spent at least 150 years trying, with incredible cruelty and insensitivity, to eliminate. Stackhouse's long series is more notable for what it doesn't say than for what it says. His heroes throughout are the Indians who have escaped the reserves and succeeded in Western life, according to Western norms and values. Many of his articles could be descriptions of anyone in Canadian life --- a legal negotiator, a wealthy entrepreneur, a mine supervisor, a pop musician --- as if these people represent what every aboriginal person must eventually become, given sufficient determination.
Boyce Richardson

The Canadian government should scrap the Indian Act and the Department of Indian Affairs. The special status of the Indians must be abolished. They must learn how to stand on their own feet. Their cultural bias to not interfere in another Indian's family problems and affairs is a great excuse for the Indians not to become a self-helping community - selfishness and greed at the upper echelons of each tribe, the desire to maintain the status quo and to maintain the power structure is a great stumbling block to the Indian tribes. Responsibility for their own situation is a hard pill to swallow - for all the people of any community - the role of Victim is so easily played and so often fallen back upon when one does not have the gumption to become a more autonomous social group. We are at fault as much as the Indian tribes - we have created a situation of helplessness and hopelessness that the Tribes seem to want to wallow in.
Jim Forden

The practice of defining persons into different groups, by race, religion, place of origin, sexual orientation, political view: you can see the list is endless when we classify people's to fit them into a "pigeon-hole" for the benefit of some who would rather emphasis the differences rather than the similarities we all share. We are all stuck on this ever-shrinking planet together and we had better learn quickly to deal with the issues that are predominantly historical leftovers, and develop solutions to future global situations rapidly approaching us all. The worst thing we can do is to do nothing.
R. Bartram Sr.

Every human is or believes he is special. But not all get special legal status. I believe Laws should treat all of us equally while tempering justice with mercy and understanding. It seems to me that aboriginals and non-aboriginals are wrongly kept apart by money and taxes. As a rule the people like each other most of the time. I have no quick fixes but I am glad we are looking for one. This was to me an excellent series in every way.
Linda Ingram

You treat a minority differently from the majority and presto - you have created a fertile ground for hatred.
Jiriz

This series is a long-overdue exploration of our Canadian caste system. Most Canadians feel that this issue has roots so far back in our history that they don't want to - nor can they - deal with it. What they fail to realize is that Canada itself is not very old, and this issue extends itself into the present day. Our attitudes and massive bureaucratic road blocks keep indigenous people from both being successful and not losing themselves. Racist views run high throughout most of the country. This is a sign that we're not doing enough. To better phrase it, we are not willing to do enough.
Phoebe

I am a First Nations citizen and I'm not all that confident that in general the relationship between Canada and First Nations can ever be fixed. I think it is a relationship based on denial and deceit. First Nations people were placed on reserves under duress and gunpoint so Canada could steal the land we had lived on for centuries. And now you say that we must assimilate. I am 41 tears-old, when I was 19 I thought like that. I joined the Canadian Armed Forces because I was proud to be Canadian and wanted to serve my country. I also thought to leave the reserve and join the mainstream. I was in the CAF for seven years and what I learned was that when I try to live in the mainstream I will constantly be reminded that I don't belong. This comes from nice white people who don't consider themselves racist, who would be deeply insulted to hear something like that. Who are very dishonest with their inner-most feelings. With most people there was always an element of fear or distrust in our relationship. Luckily I had a handful of friends who made me feel accepted. I don't live on a reserve, I live in the city. I have a job. In my social circle I mostly mix with urban Indians like myself. I have friends who are white, but I am very cautious. I don't like to have my feelings hurt. In a certain sense I have more respect for those who are open with their hatred than those who can't see the extent of their secret racism.
Doug Nepinak


BackTo other 'Have your say' responses  


 
 

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Have your say
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The current question:
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