"Cowardice asks the question...is it safe? Expediency asks the question...is it politic? Vanity asks the question...is it popular? But conscience asks the question...is it right? And there comes a time when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor politic, nor popular but one must take it because it is right." ~Dr. Martin Luther King

Sunday, 6 October 2019

TRYING TO MAKE SENSE OF IT

I caught a glimpse of the Prime Minister expressing regrets once more for injustice inflicted on past generations of original inhabitants of North America by past governments . The Human Rights Division has ruled the government must pay $52 billion in compensation. The government has appealed the decision but spokespersons explain, apologetically, process leaves them no option.

$52 billion...hmm...that’s not pocket change...makes me think of a couple of other groups who could be eligible.A community in Nova Scotia has  ancestors, brought here as slaves.Who  knows how many children were shipped from the UK . TO solve their poverty problem they transported  them to Canada and let anyone who wanted  take them as unpaid labour... no follow up to ensure  their wellbeing. Many farmers of the day placed a higher value on animals than they did children.

Parents  sold their children into indentured service to pay off debt. They might be able to make similar claims and get a judgement for another $52billion.

Merrily ...merrily...blithely as they go....the dollars.

What about the M├ętis people...John A MacDonald’s statue has been removed.He was responsible for hanging Louis Riel. Has anybody thought about demanding compensation for that injustice.Would he have to be tried again, posthumously, before they could calculate how much wrongful death might
be worth in dollars.

In an FB commentI , I professed ignorance  of Indigenous affairs. I sought  answers to various questions. As yet, no-one has chosen to enlighten me. It  could mean two things. They don’t know
the answers  or they don’t want to tell me.

I am left with an  impression . Indigenous people choose to live on Reserves. Certain
advantage accrues.They pay no taxes..elect a Chief ...manage their own affairs...
and receive annual payments to fund the cost from the Federal government under Treaty Agreements Children often  have to be placed in foster care because parents are not  caring for them .It’s
not a good option but it’s the best we have.

On reservations ,sewage contaminates drinking water . There’s something about mercury but I’m not sure where it’s coming from.Housing is inadequate. Schools are poor. Children  are addicted to drugs and alcohol before they are ten years old. And little girls engaged in prostitution in Winnipeg disappear regularly without apparent concern.

There’s no reason to expect  $52 billion in compensation for injustice to children of past generations will likely be spent more wisely than the rest. Why would it be different now?

It’s my impression from what I’ve read over the years. I stand to be corrected.

For generations migrants have been leaving homes, families and everything familiar to travel thousands of miles for better opportunities for their children.Some return. Transition being too hard. Most endure. Not all are successful but the children are better off.

Why should little Indian children expect less from their parents?

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