If I was to point to one thing that continues to enslave our Indigenous peoples, it would be their inability to own their own land or their own home on Reserves. Without ownership, capitalism has no way of taking hold; prosperity will always be a dream. There can't be a mortgage without ownership. No lease. No licence. No security can be given, so no funding can ever be put in place. No infrastructure will ever be invested.
Instead, we are told that the federal government will take care of the Indians pursuant to the Indian Act. Calling our First Nations Indians is like saying the world remains flat. At the very least, Canada should rename the legislation. We are not in India. By 'taking care of Indians', the government means granting money--an allowance--that is insufficient to do much more than foster dependence. All of the programmes that Canadians feel are unfair--those that provide favourable grants to Indians--are destined to fail. Why? Because the underlying premise of grants, money, and entrepreneurship requires an understanding of ownership.
I love Canada. It is an amazing country with unlimited potential in the coming decades. What I don't understand is why it is so difficult for us to come to a peaceful resolution with the ancestors of those who helped us found this great land? We even named our country after an extinct tribe's word for land. (The name was originally the Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian word Kanata, meaning 'settlement', 'village', or 'land'. The Saint-Lawrence Iroquaians are now extinct.)
I am not, by nature, a civil rights type of person (whatever that means). I get on with my life and I try to leave others be. However, this type of behaviour by me and other Canadians is the cause of this continued injustice. I have decided that, going forward, I will be part of the solution.
Watch this space.