Why are they putting down our country?

We do not need to read this crap. The other day the Toronto Star ran an opinion piece headlined: As an Afro-Indigenous woman being Canadian means living in a nation built on my ancestors’ stolen lands by my ancestors’ slave labour. And why are we putting up with this silly bullshit?

Did the early Europeans coming to what is now Canada displace the aboriginal tribes they found here? Nobody needed to steal aboriginal land. There was plenty for all. Besides, most aboriginals in this area were nomadic. Canada is still sparsely settled today. We have lots of land for many more.

Slavery had nothing to do with building Canada. Slavery was abolished throughout the then British Empire in 1834.  There were estimated to be maybe 4000 slaves in what is now Canada at that time. About two-thirds of those slaves were North American aboriginals. The aboriginal slaves were part of the booty collected by warring aboriginal tribes. Never having owned a slave, I do not have to apologize for those in the past who did.

Could you imagine an American continent that never attracted European settlers? My ancestors came here to escape the potato famines of Ireland, the crushing class system of the British Isles and the constant wars of Europe. And I am sure a few horse thieves came with them.

But I am not going to apologize for our ancestors’ mistakes. Some of the stupid things they did were actually well meant. Residential schools for our aboriginal population was a really bad idea promoted by some well-meaning people.

I recognize that some of the treatment of our aboriginal population could have been avaricious, mean and cruel. I still do not refer to them as indigenous (meaning ‘from here’) because their ancestors came here more than 15,000 years ago. My only responsibility is to be sure I deal fairly with others without consideration of skin color, when their ancestors came to this continent or what language they speak. I would also like it if they continue to deal fairly with me.

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