What Do We Owe the Indigenous People?

Meeting Was Held On -

Thursday, September 19, 2019 12:11 PM

Thank you Michael Craig for your research and ongoing information during the discussion. Settlers have caused hundreds of years of disruption- including genocide. It is no surprise that many Indigenous groups experience family breakdown, addictions, violence, high rates of suicide, early school dropout, poor health, poverty and more. More recently, settler attitudes linked to residential schools (“get the Indian out of the child”) have resulted in further tragic multigenerational dysfunction.

Over the centuries in every country on earth, privileged humans have felt entitled to overpower others in cruel ways. What is this about? Why do we do this? People felt that we need to focus on solutions, and that it does not help to lay blame. Others commented that in terms of ‘what we owe’ it is the primary wrong – doers who must take responsibility, from sincere apologies to financial aid.

The Indigenous communities across Canada are different, some wealthy and quite independent, and some impoverished.  There are many languages and ways of relating, celebrating, eating, praying, creating, etc. What do we owe them?

Michael suggested that we petition our leaders, both federal and provincial, to:

  • review the agreements
  • -review the treaties
  • -make an official commitment to act
  • -devise new agreements
  • -honour the Truth and Reconciliation recommendations

We owe the Indigenous communities what any Canadian is owed- respect, dignity, access to housing and health care, a listening ear, and action- for as long as any Canadian requires those benefits.

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