There is this romantic notion in Canada and the US about indigenous peoples that has been perpetuated by that great disseminator of academic thought and historic accuracy, Hollywood. The Indian Brave is;
…peaceful, kills only to eat or to defend his family, and is not wasteful. The Brave is a spiritual, mystic guardian of the land who exists in harmony with, and as icon of America’s wilderness past, as if he were an eagle or a buffalo rather than human. He is often represented in picturesque nature, showcasing some “natural” skill admired for its primitive purity, like hunting buffalo or riding a horse. The Brave imagery usually includes excessive traditional dress (especially a splendid headdress), thereby reinforcing his flawless naturalness. As a mythic icon of the past, the Brave lacks humanity. Consequentially, the Brave is always shown as stoic, lacking any real emotion, especially humor. This section also includes imagery that romanticizes the traditional Native lifestyle since it is often a key part of Brave depictions.
The romantic notion that indigenous North American peoples were somehow pure and noble and had a culture on par with western cultures is killing people, not metaphorically, but literally. This misrepresentation and cultural relativism is now killing modern natives across Canada.
Cultural relativism is one of the key stones of the progressive left’s belief system and it is defined as such;
Cultural relativism is the principle of regarding the beliefs, values, and practices of a culture from the viewpoint of that culture itself. … In sociology, the principle is sometimes practiced to avoid cultural bias in research, as well as to avoid judging another culture by the standards of one’s own culture. For this reason, cultural relativism has been considered an attempt to avoid ethnocentrism. Cultural relativism is related to but often distinguished from moral relativism, the view that morality is relative to a standard, especially a cultural standard.
The bolding of words is mine.
So, when little Makayla Sault dies because her parents elected to use “traditional” treatments for her leukemia, instead of western medical treatments, what happens? We’re so cowed by political correctness, so flushed with the romantic notion of the noble Brave, so unwilling to break the 11th Commandment (Thou Shalt Not Judge) and declare these “traditional” treatments to be a load of bullshit, we do nothing and stand by while the little girl dies. One needs only go on Google and does a short five minute search to find all sorts of other similar tragic stories.
Oh, but wait. Here’s a hippie couple equally as evil, negligent and pie-in-the-sky retarded and they’re on trial (and rightly so). What’s the difference here? Race perhaps? As one commenter in the Lethbridge Herald article so aptly puts it:
“Children have a right to evidence-based medical care, not just prayer and useless folk remedies.”
Whoa, whoa. Apparently, Makayla Sault didn’t have that right. Because we’re in fact the worst opposite of being racist, we’re deferential. So when native leaders scream in the wake of the suicides in Attawapiskat, the shootings in La Loche, that these and other tragedies are the results of racism in Canada, it’s just the opposite. Canada has given natives plenty of sovereignty, plenty of cultural protections (to the point of promoting it as actually being Canadian culture), and most of all plenty, plenty of cash, to the tune of billions a year. According to the Calgary Herald:
…in 2013/14, Health Canada spent almost $1.1 billion on supplementary benefits such as dental care, vision care and pharmaceutical drugs for eligible First Nations and Inuit Canadians. That coverage is not required by treaties or by the Constitution. And most other Canadians must spend out-of-pocket or buy insurance for such items.
Something is not working with how we’ve approached natives in Canada and we’ve let the left and their insistence on cultural relativism dominate the discussion. When I see TV clips of Attawapiskat, I see a shit hole in the middle of nowhere, with dirt roads and run down modular houses that have boarded up windows, but teenage girls hanging around wearing tight designer jeans. I see boys wearing baseball caps with NBA logos. I see satellite dishes on every home. Jonathan Kay wrote a fantastic article that pointed out, sadly, the following:
Generations ago, aboriginal men in this part of Canada would hunt seal or caribou and come back from the hunt as celebrated providers. But the old skills required to live off the land are either dead or dying — and they’re unnecessary to modern life, in any event. On a tour of Attawapiskat with a former First Nations chief I learned that local homeowners lacked even the basic skills to keep up a pre-fab home, which is why the government has to keep replacing the buildings.
So they want to live in the middle of nowhere, as part of their cultural authenticity, but don’t even have the skills to practice their culture as they romantically remember it.
At some point, some politician has to risk getting labelled as a racist, has to brave the storm of political correctness and just say that enough is enough. You are either participants in our modern society or you are not. The left’s insistence in letting native leaders, willfully blind to the erosion of their backwards cultures in the face of modernity, sequester their own people into remote places, places without hope, all in the name of preserving some romantic notion about a proud people living off the land is killing them. The left are the true racists here.