Columns and Letters

Letter: LTE

June 9, 2021

Dear Editor,
    I’ll tell you what’s been on my mind...Canada. An elder once told me to make things clear; the provincial and federal governments do not represent Indigenous peoples, but their own constituents (their voters). Minister Jordan is a prime example. Every day that passes by, the more I’m beginning to believe it.
    We still have First Nation communities across this country without clean drinking water. Mind you these first nation communities never actually resided on those lands, but were forcefully put there at the government’s expense to be out of sight.
    We still have DFO harassing and stealing our fishermen/women’s gear right from the water as they attempt their own moderate livelihood. Mind you we have treaties in place that allow us to a moderate livelihood. It’s slowly transitioning to “our right to fish” to the commercial fishermen’s “right to conservation.” Their right. Don’t be upset with us, we signed these treaties along with your ancestors.
    The discovery of 215 Indigenous children remains found in Kamloops, BC, which is just the beginning of more remains to be found all across this country, is not only a tragedy but proof of genocide. Canada does not flinch. Imagine your own child being ripped from your home and forced into these schools that were hours and hours from your home. These schools weren’t in place to teach your child ABC’s either but to wash your religion, culture, or spiritual beliefs away. I’m sorry about that – wash is a nice way of putting it. How about beat them out of your child.
    We constantly watch resources leave this province (water, forestry, minerals, wildlife, etc, etc) and never once received any benefits from them. This land is unceded territory; we forget or don’t want to acknowledge that. We never surrendered anything. But yet we have no say in these resources anymore.
    I’ll do my best to paint a picture of this. You imagine a foreign nation arriving in one of your cities, towns, villages that already have governance structures in place. Then all of sudden this foreign nation begin creating new laws and ways for everyone to abide by without your own consent or consent of your leaders. We can go further: imagine this foreign nation now forcing all the small towns into new towns preferably two larger towns to create centralization. These towns will be out of site and out of mind as well.
    And please don’t say we were privileged all these years and even mention tax dollars. The Indigenous people never introduced taxation, it was your ancestors.
    We survived diseases that were brought to us, a scalping bounty placed by Cornwallis of the Crown, residential schools, racism, being stereotyped while being placed in reservations that were meant to keep us out of sight and out of mind. This leads to reason why many First Nation communities suffer economically.
    I honestly would like to know one thing: how does the federal government have more jurisdiction or rights over a nation that has been here thousands and thousands of years before this government has been formed.
    Every day that passes by it seems as if we as Indigenous people are losing more and more of our rights. We always talk about our seven generations ahead, but my fear is that when those seven generations are here – they will be left with nothing. Not even their culture or their inherent right.
    It’s time to come together as a nation and begin supporting one another.
    I will take a stand not just for my children but for your children as well.
    Stephen Googoo
    We’koqma’q First Nation









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