On Never Ending Indigenous Grievance

If you ask a conservative, “What do you want?” a conservative would probably respond with a fairly short list of maybe 10 or 11 things.  Likely if you could give these to him or her, they’d be happy to go home and get on with the rest of their lives.  If I were leader of a conservative party in Canada I would offer to disband the party outright if the other parties agreed to… say, cut personal income taxes in half and make it constitutionally illegal to raise taxes or introduce new taxes without a referendum.  Just as an example of one thing on my list of nine or ten things.  That would certainly successfully shrink the size of government and force government to focus on its primary purpose, securing of the rights of its citizens.

Progressives on the other hand… they could not give you a list or an answer.  What they want never ends, it is constantly evolving.  The Left believe in agency;  there is always people that must be championed, an agenda to be pushed,  causes to be fought for and hence they industriously create victims on an almost daily basis, whether they be victims of racism, sexism, capitalism, climate change denialism, etc…. and colonialism.  Ah yes, we all need to answer for the sins of “our” colonialist past.

So I’ve lost all hope that if you were to ask an Indigenous person here in Canada, “what do you want?” they would not answer.  It’s not that they don’t know or won’t answer, it’s that there is simply no answer.  This can never end for them.  They don’t want an end game, they want this parade of Indigenous grievances to continue through my lifetime, my children’s lifetimes and their children’s children’s.

What’s inspired this post is a recent episode of TVO’s the Agenda, where Steve Paikin asks a panel of Indigenous persons about what Canada’s 150th birthday means to them.  The Agenda seems to be the go-to place on TV for Canadian Indigenous spokespersons to go and air their grievances to sympathetic ears.  None, I should add, are indistinguishable physically from you or me.  The one dude is blonde.  But regardless, they all wear their Indigenous status proudly, one even claiming he won’t call himself Canadian, and almost predictably they cannot get past a lens of “genocide” and discrimination.   Paikin asks them to name an accomplishment of Canada in the past 150 years and has to ask the question twice, offering up the second time his example of Medicare (which is fairly lame, God help us if that’s the best we’ve done in 150 years).  True to form they can’t even accept that.  Then the one person offers up that were it not for Indigenous peoples teaching white men about socialism and community, there would be no Medicare.  This is utter bullshit.  It’s all bullshit.  It needs to be called out as bullshit.

Because you believe something doesn’t make it true. A friend at work says we live in a “post-truth” era.  The truth doesn’t matter anymore… what seems to matter these days is narratives and how those stories make people feel.

I could go on for pages about the state of Indigenous peoples when the Europeans came ashore in North America. If the myth of the Noble Native, living in peace and harmony with the land and each other as spiritually enlightened beings makes you feel better then go ahead and believe it.  But it doesn’t make it true.

So you watch this and ask, instinctively, “What do you want?” Do you want us to apologize?  We’ve done it.  Do you want money as compensation to settle land claims and what not?  We’ve spent billions and today the federal government spends approximately $9,000 per person for Indigenous people versus approximately $7,300 per non-native person.  Offers to settle land claims with cash have been rejected.  Do you want sovereignty or special status for Indigenous people and rights… forever?  Do you want to punish white people and get revenge?  Those white people who did this are all long dead and you will get nowhere, ever, asking Canadians to support Indigenous people ad infinitum, everyone who is pounding out a living day to day, fighting traffic and paying taxes will never support a system that says to one group of people you are never expected to pull your own weight.

The sad answer is that they have no answer. They have exactly what they want right now – victim status, nearly unlimited money thrown at them by politicians who hope the problems and noise will disappear, and sympathetic liberals at TVO, CBC, Macleans and other media outlets that give their “leaders” minor celebrity status by letting them spread lies and falsehoods that only make the condition of their people worse, not better.

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