The indignities of the indigenous?

It is important that we respect Canada’s aboriginal peoples but calling them ‘indigenous’ is basically stupid. Your Oxford dictionary will tell you that ‘indigenous’ means ‘produced naturally in a region.’ Canada’s aboriginal peoples have roots in Asia and were nomadic to the point of their early ancestors crossing ice bridges to North America.

All this comment is because of the outrageous costs to Barrie taxpayers inflicted by a group calling themselves the Ontario Coalition of Indigenous Peoples. This is a spurious action and it might be fair to ask why the city’s lawyers have not been able to get the action dismissed.

The fiasco started just 200 to 300 years ago when nomadic Indian tribes would camp during the summer months at the south-west corner of what became known as Kempenfelt Bay. Later the area became Allandale Village and even later was absorbed into the City of Barrie.

The Indians would camp, fish and smoke some of their catch and enjoy the bounty of the area for a couple months maybe. During that time, the aboriginal people would give birth, live and die. Decisions about where to bury granny were made arbitrarily as specified burial grounds were for civilization. And yes, archeologists might naturally find some of granny’s bones in the area.

But those few bones hardly justify the waste of millions of dollars in development in this part of Barrie. There is no formal cemetery or burial ground under the empty and unused Allandale train station—that was painstakingly restored at outrageous cost by a spendthrift city council.

Barrie does not even use the fenced off train station as a train station. It regularly brings GO trains and busses into the area but the sale of tickets is automated. There is nobody but other travellers to provide information. There are no waiting rooms and no washrooms. It is probably the most ill-equipped train station in Ontario. They cannot even dig a hole for a privy!

But this person who works for the Ontario Association of Indigenous (sic) Peoples is preparing to do a Stage 4 archeological assessment (under the restored train station) this coming summer. It is obvious that even he does not really believe that this further digging will produce very much. You can almost see him smirking when demanding that Barrie City Council give the entire site to his organization. I somehow wonder if we would ever be quite that generous?


Copyright 2018 © Peter Lowry

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