First Nations: Canada’s Own Third World
Our original fellow Canadians – the First Nations of Canada – are Idle No More: Finding new confident voices and a new self-belief to tackle a right-wing federal government that is mandated to be in charge of our great Rentals on Native Land.
Long been marginalised, side-lined, cast-aside and ridiculed by ‘mainstream’ Canadians, the First Nations, it seems, have had enough.
As oblivious immigrants in most cases, we may boast and gloat about multiculturalism in Canada, but the reality is, the Original Canadians are far worse off in their own homeland.
Of all the Europeans, Asians and Africans inhabiting this land of great potential, it’s the True North Americans who have been treated with most disrespect on their own rightfully ancestral land.
Take heed from some eye-opening facts, my fellow immigrants and newcomers, for it does not take long for opportunists, big business interests, giant financial Corporations and self-righteous political ideologies to devour everything around them with pure brute force.
Land of the Poor
According to a United Nations report, it is not in some backwater tinpot Third World country that people are suffering from poverty, inequality or food-shortage. It’s our very own A Mari Usque Ad Mare Canadian people, many of them First Nations. In 2011 alone, more than 900,000 Canadians relied on food banks every month.
And we thought food shortages, rationing and inequality was a Third World phenomenon, didn’t we my Fine First-world Friends?
Water, Water Nowhere
In this land of more freshwater than anywhere else on the planet that I know of, it’s the First Nations that lack clean running water. According to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC), more than half of all drinking water systems on Native Canadian land reserves pose a significant risk to the health of residents.
Scarcity, cleanliness, drinkability of water? Sounds like the Third World from which most of us hail from, doesn’t it, my fellow migrants?
Rise of the Uneducated
There are fewer graduates among First Nations children than any other Canadian group – immigrant and non-immigrant combined. And the academic gap between educated Canadian Haves and Native Have Nots is increasing each year. If this trend continues, soon there will be more uneducated and illiterate First Nation kids and adults in North America than some under-developed countries.
Illiteracy, uneducated youth? A glimpse of our respective Third Worlds right here in North America, isn’t it?
The Great Land Grab
Your Conservative government has gone steps further to ‘officialize’ the exploitation of First Nation lands through the notorious Second Omnibus Budget Bill C-45 that is being protested and criticised by everyone with a shred of conscience.
Ruling classes? Authoritarian dictatorships? Doesn’t it ring a bell to many of us, my gawky-eyed newbie immigrants?
Go forth and learn
I have just begun to give a starting point for you to get acquainted with the struggles and hardships of our Original fellow Canadians. Hopefully this will introduce my fellow newcomers to a world largely hidden from their own struggles of settlement and stability in Canada.
The First Nation issues have long been considered an outside issue for many newcomers to Canada because they sound so alien and remote to us.
But make no mistake, dear immigrants, there are many lessons to be learnt from this ugly treatment of the few by a powerful, rich and self-righteous class. It is not just a sidelined political issue. It concerns us globally as Canadians and humans.
First Published: February 1st, 2013