'Thank an Indian' shirt generates intense reaction


petros
+1
#1
Political activist Michele Tittler said she found the message of the 'Got Land? Thank an Indian' offensive.




The experience of a Saskatchewan teen who wore a shirt with the message "Got Land? Thank an Indian" to her school and found herself in some hot water, is sparking animated discussions on social media about race and Aboriginal relations in Canada.

The original news item about Tenelle Starr on CBC's website garnered close to 100,000 views and attracted around 2,000 comments.

Starr, 13, wore the bright pink hoodie-style sweatshirt to school in Balcarres, Sask., 90 kilometres northeast of Regina in early January. School officials told her to change the shirt and not wear it again. But, after some meetings with Starr and leaders of her reserve, officials relented.


Starr's Facebook page was then swamped with comments, many expressing support and admiration for what she did and others criticizing her.

Joseph Gordon said his niece was bearing the scrutiny well.

"She's fine," Gordon told CBC News Thursday. "She is a strong girl but she has a lot of people sheltering her and keeping this from her."

There were also many negative and hurtful postings, which led to concerns.

"It was racist remarks with attempts to shadow it in opinion but they were pretty forceful, pretty racist," Sheldon Poitras, a friend of the family and a member of the band council for the Star Blanket First Nation, told CBC News. "The family was concerned about Tenelle's safety."

On advice from RCMP, the family decided to deactivate Starr's Facebook account. An officer from the File Hills detachment of the RCMP confirmed that an investigation had begun.

Much of the online discussion dealt with people's perceptions of racism and what was conveyed by the message on the shirt.
Some people felt linking current day land ownership with historic Indian treaties was inappropriate.

Michele Tittler was posting on social media sites connected to the story. Tittler, from Vancouver, is a co-founder of a non-profit political organization called End Race-Based Laws, or ERBL Inc.

"I was immensely offended," Tittler told CBC News Thursday, regarding the message of the shirt. "And I was going to do everything within my power to have that shirt banned from that school."

Tittler said she had written to the Balcarres school and also sent notes to Facebook, complaining about the content on Starr's page.

She is also planning to lodge a formal complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission , although it's not clear on what grounds. Tittler is, however, convinced that the message of the shirt is racist.

"This is racism," she said. "Canadians are really getting sick of the double-standard. No white kid could walk into a school with a shirt that says that in reverse."

Tittler also emphasized that her comments were directed at adults and not Starr and she never meant to frighten the teen.

She said ERBL Inc. was created a year ago as a reaction to the Idle No More movement.

Political activist Michele Tittler said she found the message of the 'Got Land? Thank an Indian' offensive. (CBC)

Tittler said she is passionate about the plight of Aboriginal people and wants a unified future for Canada, without race-based laws.
 
SLM
+9
#2
Some people really and truly need to get a life. There are so many more things to be offended over before you get to some teenagers sweatshirt. Perhaps if people actually focused on those larger issues and got some of those resolved, the sweatshirt woudn't even exist.

Having said all that though, it's not an untrue statement.
 
petros
+10
#3  Top Rated Post
Kudos for her being original and making a truthful and blunt statement.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+5
#4
I just get so furious at the brutality, discrimination, and exclusion white people have suffered throughout history.
 
petros
+4
#5
We've had it rough.
 
SLM
+9
#6
Some people like it a little rough.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+2
#7
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

We've had it rough.

I think any statement or suggestion that any group other than white people have ever been discriminated against as a group should be charged as a hate crime.
 
petros
+4
#8
Fortunately I have no white guilt.
 
barra
+1
#9
Is there something untrue or even a bad comment on the teens shirt? Looks like an honest statement that has a sense of humour. Maybe Greek comedy in a form.

Not sure why Ms Tittler is so offended? We should, however, probably do as the shirt says and thank an Indian for our land. It is long overdue. Maybe many of us in the last 6 or 7 generations are not aware that we did indeed take the land from them and not in a "polite way" either.
The first nations can never get "over" the harms, some is irreparable and of course their way of life and lives were all altered forever. But they can get "through" things with cooperation and awareness. And a little levity is what we all need at times.

The pink shirt brings a sore topic into the humour realm, which means that Greek Tragedy, just became Greek Comedy. Both are always derived from hurts and damage, but one moves out of the realm of victim and tradegy into comedy, means that time of tragedy is over and healing has begun. And in a way, the message is softened even more by the colour and on a young girl. She may not be aware of the many challenges that faced her people, but she is willing to present it in a new form. IMHO.

If anything I have never met a true Canadian who could not poke a bit of gentle fun at themselves. Or she should be reporting all forms of teenage offensive shirts; I have seen far worse slogans on a teenage body. I suppose she would even be offended at the "sayings" that emerge from Rick Mercers episodes.

Quote: Originally Posted by barraView Post

Is there something untrue or even a bad comment on the teens shirt? Looks like an honest statement that has a sense of humour. Maybe Greek comedy in a form.
Not sure why Ms Tittler is so offended? We should, however, probably do as the shirt says and thank an Indian for our land. It is long overdue. Maybe many of us in the last 6 or 7 generations are not aware that we did indeed take the land from them and not in a "polite way" either.
The first nations can never get "over" the harms, some is irreparable and of course their way of life and lives were all altered forever. But they can get "through" things with cooperation and awareness. And a little levity is what we all need at times.
The pink shirt brings a sore topic into the humour realm, which means that Greek Tragedy, just became Greek Comedy. Both are always derived from hurts and damage, but one moves out of the realm of victim and tradegy into comedy, means that time of tragedy is over and healing has begun. And in a way, the message is softened even more by the colour and on a young girl. She may not be aware of the many challenges that faced her people, but she is willing to present it in a new form. IMHO.
If anything I have never met a true Canadian who could not poke a bit of gentle fun at themselves. Or she should be reporting all forms of teenage offensive...

Quote has been trimmed, See full post: View Post
Please note, I did not see if the girl wearing the shirt is of First Nations blood, but presumed she was and if not still kudos to her.
 
petros
+2
#10
It isn't easy going from the stone age to the iron age skipping everything in between. Hunting at Superstore is easier than chasing buffalo all over the damn place.

Quote: Originally Posted by barraView Post

Please note, I did not see if the girl wearing the shirt is of First Nations blood, but presumed she was and if not still kudos to her.

She is F'N.
 
barra
#11
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It isn't easy going from the stone age to the iron age skipping everything in between. Hunting at Superstore is easier than chasing buffalo all over the damn place.


She is F'N.

Yup. Side note, I have visited Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump - Interpretation Centre, in Southern Alberta. Fascinating place.

But herding Buffalo, fishing, berries, rawhide tents, lodges and nomadic lifestyle, were a much more earth friendly way to live. We could/should take notes from the First Nations.

Sigh, I still admit, I am very grateful to shop in heated or cooled stores with ready made items. That gratefulness comes with doing some things the "old fashioned methods" in the past.

Michelle Tittler should don the same pink shirt if she really is for non-racism in our laws.

Thanks.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

It isn't easy going from the stone age to the iron age skipping everything in between. Hunting at Superstore is easier than chasing buffalo all over the damn place.


She is F'N.

Thanks.
 
mentalfloss
#12
In before 'they're not Indians!'
 
Tecumsehsbones
+2
#13
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Fortunately I have no white guilt.

You know what I like about the Germans? They acknowledge the Shoah without emoting over how guilty they are. All but a few of them, of course, weren't even born when it happened. Yet somehow the large majority of them manage to get their heads around the idea that the corporate entity of which they are a part (Germany) did some really terrible things, while at the same time understanding that they, personally, bear no blame for it. All but a few wack-jobs feel no need to disparage Jews, or deny history, or try to justify the actions of their country, or adopt an indifferent attitude as a defence.
 
petros
+3
#14
Quote: Originally Posted by barraView Post

Yup. Side note, I have visited Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump - Interpretation Centre, in Southern Alberta. Fascinating place.

But herding Buffalo, fishing, berries, rawhide tents, lodges and nomadic lifestyle, were a much more earth friendly way to live. We could/should take notes from the First Nations.

Sigh, I still admit, I am very grateful to shop in heated or cooled stores with ready made items. That gratefulness comes with doing some things the "old fashioned methods" in the past.

Michelle Tittler should don the same pink shirt if she really is for non-racism in our laws.

Thanks.


Thanks.

They used to torch the prairie and boreal to hunt without the fires the prairie and boreal are no longer the same.

Head Smashed In is pretty cool place. Wanuskewin in Saskatoon is pretty cool too. There are a few a buffalo jumps in SK that aren't parks that anyone can find cool artifacts.

The coolest place for find artifacts is massacre bay on the south SK river. 1500 men battled it out over some stolen horses. It's not uncommon to find human bones laying around.

There is a lot of cool history on the prairie.

Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

You know what I like about the Germans? They acknowledge the Shoah without emoting over how guilty they are. All but a few of them, of course, weren't even born when it happened. Yet somehow the large majority of them manage to get their heads around the idea that the corporate entity of which they are a part (Germany) did some really terrible things, while at the same time understanding that they, personally, bear no blame for it. All but a few wack-jobs feel no need to disparage Jews, or deny history, or try to justify the actions of their country, or adopt an indifferent attitude as a defence.

I refuse to shoulder the load of what the English did. They didn't treat people of my culture any better when they came over as pioneers 100 years ago.
 
Tecumsehsbones
#15
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

I refuse to shoulder the load of what the English did. They didn't treat people of my culture any better when they came over as pioneers 100 years ago.

You're very close. Just acknowledge that post-Confederation Canada abused the Indians as well as the English, and back down a little from your defiant "refusal" to a simple understanding that you weren't there and didn't do anything, and you'll be pretty solid.

Well, except for the part about cheerfully accepting the benefits of being Canadian whilst denying that any of the disadvantages attach.
 
barra
#16
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

They used to torch the prairie and boreal to hunt without the fires the prairie and boreal are no longer the same.

Head Smashed In is pretty cool place. Wanuskewin in Saskatoon is pretty cool too. There are a few a buffalo jumps in SK that aren't parks that anyone can find cool artifacts.

The coolest place for find artifacts is massacre bay on the south SK river. 1500 men battled it out over some stolen horses. It's not uncommon to find human bones laying around.

There is a lot of cool history on the prairie.


I refuse to shoulder the load of what the English did. They didn't treat people of my culture any better when they came over as pioneers 100 years ago.

Thanks for sharing that information. One day I will visit, but always with the understanding, that I will never truly understand what they all went through in history.
 
karrie
+3
#17
Quote: Originally Posted by barraView Post

Yup. Side note, I have visited Head Smashed in Buffalo Jump - Interpretation Centre, in Southern Alberta. Fascinating place.

But herding Buffalo, fishing, berries, rawhide tents, lodges and nomadic lifestyle, were a much more earth friendly way to live. We could/should take notes from the First Nations.

It was an earth friendly way to live for the people who were here at the time. Take our population numbers now and recreate that life. I bet you'd find things quickly looking less than 'earth friendly'.

Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Kudos for her being original and making a truthful and blunt statement.

Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

You're very close. Just acknowledge that post-Confederation Canada abused the Indians as well as the English, and back down a little from your defiant "refusal" to a simple understanding that you weren't there and didn't do anything, and you'll be pretty solid.

Well, except for the part about cheerfully accepting the benefits of being Canadian whilst denying that any of the disadvantages attach.


But, make sure to do it in the specific words that he's looking for?
 
petros
#18
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

You're very close. Just acknowledge that post-Confederation Canada abused the Indians as well as the English, and back down a little from your defiant "refusal" to a simple understanding that you weren't there and didn't do anything, and you'll be pretty solid.

Well, except for the part about cheerfully accepting the benefits of being Canadian whilst denying that any of the disadvantages attach.

CPR who handled the homesteaders lied through their teeth to get E Europeans to immigrate. They (E. Euro pioneers) had no idea what went on in regards to how F'Ns were treated.

The CPR advertised (to Ukrainians) wide open Prairie that was ready to be plowed but they found out they spent $10 on land that was forested and had to be cleared and the boulders that where part of the package had to be removed as well when they arrived.

The English homesteaders got all the good land that didn't require clearing. It was plow and plant for them.

Other Europeans where sold land in a desert and couldn't meet the homesteading requirement and sold out to executives from the CPR that knew these people would fail. These CPR guys created some of the largest ranches in Nor Am that are still around today

The English abused the English? They were the abusers. F*cking arrogant pricks.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#19
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

CPR who handled the homesteaders lied through their teeth to get E Europeans to immigrate. They (E. Euro pioneers) had no idea what went on in regards to how F'Ns were treated.

The CPR advertised (to Ukrainians) wide open Prairie that was ready to be plowed but they found out they spent $10 on land that was forested and had to be cleared and the boulders that where part of the package had to be removed as well when they arrived.

The English homesteaders got all the good land that didn't require clearing. It was plow and plant for them.

Other Europeans where sold land in a desert and couldn't meet the homesteading requirement and sold out to executives from the CPR that knew these people would fail. These CPR guys created some of the largest ranches in Nor Am that are still around today

The English abused the English? They were the abusers. F*cking arrogant pricks.

Of course. It does not, however, follow that if the immigrants were abused, then they cannot have abused the Indians.

I've said several times that my preferred solution for the "Indian problem" in the U.S. and Canada is full legal equality and nothing else. Maybe if we implement that we can get past the reflexive defensiveness.
 
petros
#20
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Of course. It does not, however, follow that if the immigrants were abused, then they cannot have abused the Indians.

I've said several times that my preferred solution for the "Indian problem" in the U.S. and Canada is full legal equality and nothing else. Maybe if we implement that we can get past the reflexive defensiveness.

Almost every Rez in SK is surrounded by Ukrainian homesteads. The English didn't want to be near any of 'those people" so they to created buffers. In the end the FNs and Ukrainians relied on each other and in some places still do today.
Last edited by petros; Jan 17th, 2014 at 10:30 AM..
 
EagleSmack
#21
And the whining continues.
 
Tecumsehsbones
+1
#22
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

Almost every Rez in SK is surrounded by Ukrainian homesteads. The English didn't want to be near any of 'those people" so they to created buffers. In the end the FNs and Ukrainians relied on each other and in some places still do today.

Which is great. As time goes on, the effects of the past will smooth out. Certainly the best way to slow that process is differential treatment.
 
CDNBear
+5
#23
Nice work, I'll have to order me a couple.
 
karrie
+2
#24
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

Nice work, I'll have to order me a couple.

I wonder how many people will be willing to argue with you about them, instead of a school girl?
 
gerryh
+1
#25
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

I wonder how many people will be willing to argue with you about them, instead of a school girl?


me..
 
CDNBear
+1
#26
Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

I wonder how many people will be willing to argue with you about them, instead of a school girl?

Not many likely, but you can never adequately predict the response of stupid people.

Quote: Originally Posted by gerryhView Post

me..

That's just cuz you wanna sexy wrassle with me, lol.
 
petros
+2
#27
Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

Nice work, I'll have to order me a couple.

The kids in her school decided to make their own shirts in support. They will say "We are all treaty people'.

PS welcome back. I hope work is going well for you.
 
CDNBear
+2
#28
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

PS welcome back. I hope work is going well for you.

Yep, just some down time today due to snow. The WoT server I was on went down, so I figured I'd drop by while I heated up my lunch.
 
karrie
+3
#29
Quote: Originally Posted by petrosView Post

The kids in her school decided to make their own shirts in support. They will say "We are all treaty people'.

And that's the thing.... we all got signed into this perpetual agreement that, well, sucks balls. White, french, native, recent immigrant, doesn't matter. We got signed up whether we wanted to or not. I find it weird that as Idle No More is pushing to educate people about what it really means, people like Tittler are freaking out and crying discrimination.
 
petros
+1
#30
Quote: Originally Posted by TecumsehsbonesView Post

Which is great. As time goes on, the effects of the past will smooth out. Certainly the best way to slow that process is differential treatment.

Things are changing rapidly on the prairie. F'N men and women are taking full advantage of the opportunities that weren't available before. The animosity is dying off with the old and the faces of the communities are FN and white.

In another 10 years poverty a sh*tty memory. Any poverty will be by choice. There are no longer any excuses.

Quote: Originally Posted by karrieView Post

And that's the thing.... we all got signed into this perpetual agreement that, well, sucks balls. White, french, native, recent immigrant, doesn't matter. We got signed up whether we wanted to or not. I find it weird that as Idle No More is pushing to educate people about what it really means, people like Tittler are freaking out and crying discrimination.

Tilter is against racism but just has an odd way of going about trying alleviate the problem. She has this thing about legal equality so she says.

Quote: Originally Posted by CDNBearView Post

Yep, just some down time today due to snow. The WoT server I was on went down, so I figured I'd drop by while I heated up my lunch.

Thanks for dropping by. What are you building?
 

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