From that old blue hardcover Canadian History book I remember, it took what became known as the country of Canada approximately 154 years or so to appoint an offspring of the original peoples of what was later christened British North America by people coming from distant oceans and seas, travelling the world doing the bidding of kings and queens, to appoint a representative of the sentient beings they were encountering when they touched dry land.
The “welcoming committees?” were offered gifts of fire water, etc., by the visitors (to soothe their souls, hearts and minds…). In turn visitors were provided beads, trinkets and appropriate clothing to survive the elements, especially the inevitable harsh winter climate.
As the old saying goes: “the rest is history.” And depending on your worldview, it hasn’t been a pretty one by any stretch, for all it has been worth so far. But the visitors would suggest that it has been a worthwhile longterm investment — de facto colonialism and benefits…
As the old adage goes: the rest is history.
But who knows, and is better able to tell the (“word of mouth”) story… of Canada than its original peoples…
And as time progresses, we’re continually offered variations of the nation’s extensive history (colonized, post-colonial and otherwise) for consumption. Including some from the memories of multi-generations of original peoples… and future generations of those blessed and gifted with that oral tradition whose ancestors stood on the beaches of “Turtle Island” [sic] in traditional dress observing arrivals of strange peoples… who had travelled across oceans and seas with the blessings of kings and queens to do their bidding: secure and usurp as much new territory as possible… by the hands of the “savages…” [sic]!
Or, to paraphrase a certain modern day freedom fighter whose ancestors were rounded up like animals and exported to some of those new lands and territory and able to survive the onslaught and inherent inhumanity of the offspring of other settlers… “by any and every means necessary” [sic]!
What we’ve been observing in recent decades and months are the coming of age of new and empowered generations of Indigenous and other peoples drawing attention to long-deferred issues of sociopolitical, cultural and racial importance, coupled with a more confrontational attitude.
The historic perceived passive demeanour is just that — old, useless, passé, now giving way to a more active and confrontational attitude, marking a turning point in the unresolved historic Indigenous, racial… stories playing out on the North American continent… Turtle Island are passé.
Recurring manifestations… protests, uprisings (relatively speaking), and other incidents expressing dissatisfaction with centuries’-old status quo practices across Turtle Island are tangible evidence of original and other chattel peoples’ dissatisfaction with centuries’ old status quo imposition of specious cultural/racial superiority practices, deliberate social marginalizing… by virtue of legal/constitutional, manipulating and machinations…
It’s a long, convoluted, generational journey that’s been fuelled by new and different, determined characters and authors who are blessed and gifted with the capacity to write and tell/speak the traditional stories of the ancestors bequeathed through generations as it were, not relegated to oblivion by usurers and usurpers of colonial/world history.
From their standpoint colonial practices have run their course, have outlived their uselessness and divisiveness and are no longer necessary, let alone acceptable. They’re “mad as hell” and refuse to take it — inhumane discriminatory treatment, recurring promises to do more, better, and the like anymore.
We’re living in the twenty-first century after all, not colonial times.
Haitian film-maker Raoul Peck’s 4-part documentary, Exterminate All The Brutes, tells the story of that sordid global history of colonial usurpation and human inhumanity across Turtle Island.
So when Prime Justin Minister Trudeau announced at the beginning of June that the new Governor General of Canada — aka the Queen’s representative — would be one Mary Simon there’s no doubt that he had in mind what many are probably thinking will be an (imminent) election.
So the prime minister was pulling his political/electoral Ace card, signalling to Indigenous Canadians that their (unresolved) issues will be addressed — if he’s given a new mandate to take the country forward.
Which will include the addressing of those outstanding and perennially unresolved contentious and unresolved Canada-Indigenous issues…
If you watched her inaugural address on Monday, July 26, Her Excellency the Right Honourable Mary Simon, Canada’s 30th Governor General, appears to be ready for the position and all it entails.
In public life for decades she laid it out during her address to Canadians. I couldn’t help thinking that given her decades in public life, her background and stated objectives, that she’s ready for the role and will bring her extensive background to the service of Canadians the duration of her life as Governor General.
If you missed the new Governor General’s installation address it’s likely online (on media websites), social media, etc. It’s likely on the G.G.’s website.
I’m not one for all the royalty business, but Her Excellency simply is a wonderful human being with plans to meet Canadians from all walks of life going forwardThere’s so much to learn about her, and as she stated on Monday, she’s looking forward to meet Canadians from “all walks of life.”
Maybe even those French-speaking Canadians (I mean Quebecers… Quebecois from the nation) who criticized the Governor General for not being able to speak, or be proficient in, French.
But the day she was selected to be Canada’s 30th Governor General, she promised to improve her French.
But In reality the woman is bilingual; she speaks another Canadian language, her native tongue, Ink.
And on her installation day she demonstrated that her French lessons are well underway.
Luckily, Indigenous peoples didn’t forbid Europeans from speaking French or English when they washed up on the shores, landed, or invaded the colony… of Turtle Island back when…
That undying arrogance of !