Negative feelings toward natives have no real justification

I feel compelled to write this letter because of all the negative feelings toward the natives that are being expressed in the letters to the editor in recent papers — animosity that I feel is based on lack of understanding.

I feel compelled to write this letter because of all the negative feelings toward the natives that are being expressed in the letters to the editor in recent papers — animosity that I feel is based on lack of understanding.

Round one was all about Chief Spence being impertinent in requesting to meet with Stephen Harper.

Harper is the leader of whites. Chief Spence is leader of her tribe. She has no superior native authority that she can appeal to. Therefore I see it as natural that she would desire to meet with the leader of the whites. It was the whites who partitioned the land and gave the natives some of the less arable land to live on. As long as they live quietly on their reserves, we can forget that they are there. We can forget and enjoy the benefits of all that we have taken from them. We won the war, didn’t we?

We forget that we were the aggressors. English imperialists encountered a primitive people and overwhelmed them. Many of these were peaceful people with a gentle lifestyle.

I believe that Spence is an honourable woman and I admire her greatly. She is giving up her life for her people. I have read criticism of the ways in which money is spent on the reservation. The native culture did not include money. The natives lived on a barter system. Has anyone suggested teaching the natives how to budget and how to spend the money they receive, what can you buy for $10 or $50, or how to make choices in spending? Criticism is not going to help the situation. Is there any way in which we can offer understanding and help?

Now I see that attitude cropping up that Spence’s hunger strike was an attempt to manipulate Harper. They did not see, even after more than a month of her hunger strike, that she was giving her life in loyalty and support of her people. How many whites would go that long, isolated in a teepee with no solid food in order to get what they wanted?

Many years ago I was working in a truck stop in Medicine Hat when an inebriated native came in and wanted to take the place apart. Everyone got very quiet. I poured a coffee and took it over to him, and asked him to sit at a table so that I could serve him. Then I sat down with him while he drank it. He left peacefully, having forgotten his antagonism for the whites. It makes a big difference if we respect and care about the natives — if we try to understand them or if we choose to ignore or criticize them.

If you are treated as an inferior for long enough, you begin to believe it. The whites have treated the natives as inferiors ever since they took over North America. Very few of us have sought to know and understand them. I firmly believe that God created all men equal but different.

Jane Redekopp

Clive

Just Posted

In this Monday, March 15, 2021 file photo a vial of AstraZeneca vaccine is pictured in a pharmacy in Boulogne Billancourt, outside Paris. Questions remained Wednesday about the future of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine in Canada, as Manitoba limited use of the shot and Ontario announced it planned to save an incoming shipment to use as second doses.  THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP/Christophe Ena, File
Alberta could receive 76,500 doses of AstraZeneca vaccine next week

Alberta should be getting a large shipment of the AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine… Continue reading

An anti-lockdown protest went ahead outside a café in central Alberta on Saturday, despite pouring rain and a pre-emptive court injunction. (Photo by The Canadian Press)
RCMP investigating whether credible online threats made against officers

Online images purportedly showing officers attending weekend rally at Mirror in rifle crosshairs

Bowden Institution Black Press file photo
Bowden Institution inmate dies from COVID-19 complications

Bowden death the sixth in Canada’s federal prison system

(Contributed)
FOUND: Police locate Red Deer missing youth

Red Deer RCMP thank the public for their assistance

Red Deer Mayor Tara Veer and several members of city council helped kick off the spring Green Deer cleanup campaign on Wednesday. Veer said city workers do their best to keep the city looking good, but need volunteer help to get rid of litter that has blown into bushes onto road sides over the winter. (Photo by LANA MICHELIN/Advocate staff)
Red Deer city councillors launch spring Green Deer campaign

Volunteers are needed to keep the city looking good

Adam Feller reacts as he gets his Pfizer-BioNTech shot at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic on Thursday, May 13, 2021, in Montreal. Quebec has become the latest province to stop giving Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 shot as a first dose.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Ontario keeps stay-at-home order; Quebec pauses Oxford-AstraZeneca shots

Ontario has announced it’s keeping its stay-at-home order in place until at… Continue reading

The flag of the Supreme Court of Canada flies outside the building following a ceremony in Ottawa, Monday March 15, 2021. The owners of a horse that was disqualified after initially winning the Canadian Derby more than three years ago might have run out of legal room to reclaim the title. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Supreme Court won’t hear appeal from horse owners over derby dispute

OTTAWA — The owners of a horse that was disqualified after initially… Continue reading

People take part in a protest called 'Justice for Joyce' in Montreal, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, where they demanded justice for Joyce Echaquan and an end to systemic racism. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Graham Hughes
Quebec coroner’s inquest into death of Joyce Echaquan begins as her family testifies

MONTREAL — The husband of an Indigenous woman who was subjected to… Continue reading

Quebec Premier Francois Legault, centre, speaks during a news conference on the COVID-19 pandemic, Tuesday, May 11, 2021, at the legislature in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot
Quebec tables revamp of French-language law, toughens rules for businesses, schools

MONTREAL — The Quebec government reasserted the right of Quebecers to live… Continue reading

Permanent residency
Canada announces new pathway to permanent residency for families of crash victims

Ottawa is launching a new policy to help the families of victims… Continue reading

Co-founders Craig (left) and Marc Kielburger introduce Prime Minister Justin Trudeau and his wife Sophie Gregoire-Trudeau as they appear at the WE Day celebrations in Ottawa on November 10, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Ethics watchdog: PM didn’t violate conflict rules over WE Charity, but Morneau did

OTTAWA — Prime Minister Justin Trudeau did not breach the Conflict of… Continue reading

Toronto FC forward Jozy Altidore, center, celebrates after scoring a goal against the Columbus Crew with teammates from left, forward Tsubasa Endoh, defender Omar Gonzalez and forward Patrick Mullins during the second half of an MLS soccer match, Wednesday, May 12, 2021, in Orlando, Fla. (AP Photo/John Raoux)
Bradley, Altidore scores in Toronto FC’s 2-0 win over Crew

ORLANDO, Fla (AP) — Michael Bradley had a goal and an assist,… Continue reading

A football with the CFL logo sits on a chair during a press conference in Winnipeg, Friday, November 27, 2015. THE CANADIAN PRESS/John Woods
Former defensive lineman Klassen tackling retirement as he did opposing quarterbacks

Klassen spent seven CFL seasons with Montreal, Calgary and Ottawa

Most Read