The word 'religion' does not appear in any Native language because it creates an unnecessary barrier between the individual and the wonders and connections with both the Natural and supernatural world.
Beliefs and practices formed on a sacred and unique relationship with the land, surrounding environment and the supernatural world are an integral and seamless part of the very essence of Native people.
Native people live their beliefs. The Churches started the Residential Schools In fact, both the churches and Canada's federal government are directly responsible for the residential school tragedy. These documents paved the way for the establishment of government funded schools that would assimilate Native people into mainstream society by teaching them European lifestyle, with the desired goal of eradicating Native cultures from the face of the earth.
The first residential schools opened in Upper Canada Ontario in the s, the last one closed in ! The churches were charged with the responsibility of implementing an educational system that ultimately resulted in kidnapping, starvation, sexual abuse and virtual slavery for thousands of Native children - the repercussions from the savagery still echo today.
Any actual academics were taught by sub-standard teachers barely literate themselves. Most Native children did not go past grade 6. Far-sighted Native Leaders wanted education for their offspring to help them cope in the new world that was North America. They had no intension of surrendering their lands, cultural traditions, language, or accepting forcible confinement of their children in residential school far from their ancestral homes, as well as forcible removal of them from the family unit by Indian Agents.
In other words, they made it very clear they desired only education for their offspring, not a fundamental change in their way of life. Native people were victims; they did not willingly agree to Canada's deeply oppressive apartheid policies against its First Citizens.
Who in their right mind would do deliberately do this to their children?? All the Elders want today is to bring the bones of their dead children home. There are almost 95, former residential students alive today - the last school closed in , therefore the abuses were not confined to the last century but well into the life-times of the gentle readers of this web site! Racist and assimilationist policies are still alive on the agenda of the federal government.
Federal apology aside, the healing will not begin in earnest until Native people, the church and state start operating with the same understandings. Moreover, should the outside world be allowed to set arbitrary healing times for a people who have been savaged and beaten for several hundred years? Is this realistic or fair? Rape and sodomy are not easily overcome by anyone, if ever. Most Native people do not complete school This is a very destructive stereotype and does not help the cause of Native people.
Most tribal councils emphasize and support the need for a good education. As a result, thousands of Native children graduate from high school every year; Hundreds graduate from university and the numbers are increasing; they go on to live meaningful, successful and professional lives physicians, lawyers, CEOs, business owners, academics. All Native people are mystical, spiritual environmentalists This fantasy seems to come from the non-Native desire to believe ALL Native people view harmony with the earth as part of a spiritual culture, and as a result are extremely aware of the impact human actions have on the environment.
As a result, a lot of Native people have no knowledge, and no interest in the importance of the preservation of Mother Earth -- just like regular Canadians! These ceremonies may seem mystical in nature because of daily, monthly or annual timing, the use of ancient symbolism, the importance of the unseen world, the incorporation of the earth's gifts and the significant role of spiritual leaders. In fact, they follow a simple theme, respect the Earth Mother and she will respect us.
Many military officers had great admiration for the superiority of Native warriors. They did not very often lose a battle even when vastly outnumbered. Native people were conquered for a variety of reasons including: All of these oppressive tactics deprived generations of Native people from living their culture.
Natives lost all the battles with the soldiers Au contraire! Their intimate knowledge of the land and superior war tactics made them formidable foes. In modern terms, advance and rearguards, skirmish lines, field fortifications were common strategies. Some of the strategies of the great war chiefs are still taught at West Point! In the early years of post-European contact up to , such warriors were highly sought after allies as Turtle Island was being conquered and settled by warring Europeans.
A united Native front could have prevented a European invasion Tribes were too different culturally and lived too far apart on a vast land mass to fight together as a cohesive unit.
There were rare occasions, when large fighting forces were amassed such as the Battle at Rosebud Creek and the Little Big Horn River in in which the Lakota warriors triumphed.
The triumphs were short-lived, however. Ultimately starvation and land theft proved too overwhelming. Natives were savages, war mongers and treacherous No more so than any other civilization on earth past and present who fought hard to defend its rights, lands, sovereignty and way of life. This is another Hollywood myth! Natives raped, pillaged, murdered, scalped Native warfare consisted of 'Warrior to Warrior' combat; there was a tacit agreement never to harm women and children, except to take them as hostages or slaves.
Women were highly valued and many such 'hostages' went on to marry their captors, raise families and take leadership roles in their adopted tribes; Rape and scalping were savageries introduced by the European invaders. Not the case at all. Keep in mind the tremendous human cost that was paid by the Indigenous peoples for the few rights they do have; those that came to conquer instead of parlay refused to accept or understand that at the outset Canada's First People should also have been accorded the same rights as everyone else, instead of being viewed as an impediment to progress, and something to be destroyed.
All Native people do not have to pay tax 1. Status Natives do not pay federal or provincial sales taxes on personal and real property on a reserve.
Why would anyone think that Natives should pay property tax on land they are not allowed to own? Income earned by registered Natives working on reserve for a company, which is situated on reserve, are exempted from federal and provincial income tax. Depending on the province, some Registered Natives do not pay provincial sales tax. Natives cannot vote or hold office Natives represent a powerful voting bloc in elections; Numerous Natives hold tribal, provincial and federal offices.
Bartleman Ojibwe just completed a very successful term of office. Status Native only received the Canadian federal vote in ! Everything is free on a Native Reserve Sigh! If it were only so! Native people pay for their lifestyle much like any other Canadian. Those pesky retail outlets do insist on cash up front for goods purchased! Natives should just assimilate; they are no different from any other Canadian Native people, like any distinct cultural group are different, with different cultures and languages.
Moreover, we are recognized by the Canadian as distinct First Nations, Metis, Inuit Everyday, Canada opens its doors to a diverse group of the world's cultures and celebrates cultural diversity.
Why must it be so for Native people who have always been here? All Natives are "Status Indians" The majority of Native people are non-Status, although recently acknowledge by the federal court as "Natives" under the Canadian Constitution.