Here in Canada, our knowledge on our own history is dismal, and given the dog and pony show we saw in the opening of the Vancouver Olympics, it seems that is further compounded by a lack of knowledge on contemporary struggles as well.
For decades the Native communities across Canada have been abused, subjugated, robbed and murdered. With little more then payoffs and lip service, being the apology, with no real solution achieved. Still, in the new millennium, we are struggling with, fighting against the theft of our traditional lands.Land claims are purposely dragged on by both Federal and Provincial leaders. In some faint hope that they will miraculously go away. Or become the issue for some other elected party.
When the insurmountable evidence is finally to much to ignore, they throw money at us, in hopes of making us go away. And as a collective people, we seem unable to look past that monetary reward and lap it up with glee.
We are still very much enamored by trinkets, beads, shiny bobbles and fire water.
And when push comes to shove, we push back with lawlessness and violence. Only aiding the Gov't in keep the opinion of us, in low standings, in the court of public opinion.
Given the very real fact that there are hundreds of land claims unresolved, the fact that our people are still subjugated in some ways, the opening ceremony struck me as a dog and pony show...
Reminiscent of the my childhood when the odd tourist would wander onto the res looking for "injuns". Being oh so disappointed when they found us wearing "whitemans" clothes instead of sitting around a fire, skinning Deer, in nothing but a loin cloth and sporting the icon head dresses of the midwest tribes.
This only perpetuates the stereotype and certainly was not an accurate portrayal of the contemporary Native community. And how that community is seen by the general public. For had it been an honest representation of how the average Canadian sees the Native community, you would have seen brand new snowmobiles, drunks, the slaughter of hundreds of Moose for no reason, crates of guns being dragged across imaginary boundaries, violent confrontations between masked MWS members and the OPP, faux roadblocks and scores of contraband smoke shops on wheels being dragged around by dancing gas huffing juvenile delinquents. All set to the tune "Ball of confusion" by Love and Rockets.
What we did see was an antiquated lie. Canada doesn't love the noble savage, Canada wants the noble savage to die off. Unless of course, we can be quietly caged and dragged out to perform our dog and pony show, for profit or to show the world how nice Canada is to it's Native communities. What a farce.
My ceremony would have been much different, highlighting the growth in my community, how my community has contributed to Canadian society and how we as a people, despite the adversity we have been forced to struggle through, have achieved so much more, then just feather, leather and colourful costumes.
Doctors, lawyers, entrepreneurs, leaders in business, musicians, artists, and so much more.
But no, we were relegated to our past, a culture that has long since died a painful death, one that we should be as proud of, as we should try to distance ourselves from.
To me the opening ceremonies were a lie.