Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cowboys and Indians: Three

There’s the Bad: This is the Good
1999: I get a call at home. It’s a former aboriginal student who’s now a mother. I taught her years ago and to be truthful, she was one hell of a bitch. I have no idea why she’s calling, because I haven’t seen nor spoken to her for years. “Hello Mr. M," she starts, “I’m phoning because I have something I want to tell you… it’s been bugging me a lot of years now.” “Oh!” I respond, “this sounds important… go ahead!” She pauses and I can hear a deep breath being taken on the other end of the line, then she dives in, and all I can do listen, dumbfounded. “When I was in your class I was such a brat… I mean I was really a bitch… I was all mixed up, especially after what happened in my family… but it was no excuse. I’m really really sorry!” We go on to discuss things that I haven’t thought about for a decade at least, and I assure her that she wasn’t as bad as she thought and that she need not apologize. She’ll have none of it, so I assure her that her apology is accepted. What’s not lost on me though, is that of all the people I’ve ever known, nobody has ever had the humility and class to apologize like this young woman. If I could, I’d reach out over the phone lines and give her a hug. Later, I get to know her when her young son passed through my class, and I discover that she’s still got has as much piss and vinegar as ever. It makes her apology that much more admirable. I can’t help but think of how people change… and often for the better.

2002: If you’ve read the last post (There’s the Good; This is the Bad) you’ll remember Mr. T’s son. Anyway, the boy has become a man, has married his high school girlfriend, has become a father of 4 wonderful children, and has pursued postsecondary education. He’s a loving father, moves easily within either native or non-native circles, and for all intents is on his way to becoming a leader.

2002: An aboriginal acquaintance of mine is completing university, as an adult student. He’s put a lot of years into the military, and has decided that it’s time to “give back to his people”. Every time talk of what he wants to do comes up, he lists a number of occupations he’d be interested in holding, but always he comes back to one theme. “I want to give back to my people!” Imagine that, being motivated not by material gain, but by a desire to help one’s people. He’s a leader, and gets things done with military precision. As they say in business, he’s a man to watch.

2002: I’m having coffee with a casual acquaintance. He’s one of the local natives, a quiet traditional man with a whole house full of kids… thirteen I think. W is filling me in on what his son has been up to. Turns out his boy is well into law school. What amazes me though, is what W tells me his son is motivated by. “It’s the corruption,” he says, “these big shot Indians need to be taught a lesson, and my son wants to do it… there’s just too much corruption. I think these young guys are going to get organized.” All I can think of is, that if society in general had more young people motivated by such noble causes, it’d be a much better place.

2003: I’m sitting in an important native government office. I’m waiting to meet with a manager of a department to discuss business issues. A handsome young man walks by, and we lock eyes. In seconds we recognize each other. “Mr. M!” he exclaims, “what are you doing here?” Before I know it, I’m on an invited tour of the entire complex, as my former student proudly introduces me to people I usually only see on television. Last of all he shows me his office. Stacks of files sit on a desk by a computer. He gestures toward the other offices, “Those guys do all the talking,” he says, “I do all the work… all the stuff they don’t know how to do!” He’s as proud as a peacock. I remember the friendly, but shy, young man that spent a year in my classroom many years ago, and I feel a bit of pride as well. Who’d have thought that one day he’d be a big honcho in Indian government.

Philosophical Statement: The stories above are being repeated in one form or another thousands of times within the aboriginal community. Young aboriginal men and women in ever growing numbers are moving ahead in what can only be described as positive directions. Sure, it’s costing the country a fortune to fund their dreams. Yes, large sums are being wasted or pilfered by corruption. But, if given a chance, these young men and women will do good with what our taxes are paying for. If corruption can be checked, you’ll never be able to stop them. What else can we ask for?

8 comments:

DazzlinDino said...

Good posts, i am enjoying them....

Consider yourself quote tagged as well.....

W.L. Mackenzie Redux said...

DT I'm sorry for not posting more feedback on your Natives threads...they deserve lots of thoughtful commentary as I know you put a lot into them.

I want you to know how much I enjoyed reading your anecdotal accouts of interface with our native brethern. I had a few similar when dealing with the first nations equivilent of redneck bigots, immoral trash and self abusing human flotsam...Every Culture has this...but I do envy your recollections as a teacher.

Few of us have the opportunity to touch so many lives and reap the personal rewards of seeing those lives bloom....having a feeling you had something to do with them turning out right. It's envyable to have done this as one's vocation.

As for your philosophical musings ...I agree to a point that it's easy to transfer the contempt we feel for the acts of some less evolved individuals on the ethic group they belong to.

My main creedo is everyone is an individual first and that is how you are judged....not as a group.

That aside, I am comfortable with the many ethnicities that comprise Canadian society....its when crass minority political lobbys spring up to reap the gelt from liberal guilt and multi-cult entitlement patronage that I get riled up.

It is a wacked out world of political correctness gone postal and its hard to deliniate the fact one is attacking a bad idea or bad politics and not the so called group these political dogmas say they represent. I have had good Muslim neighbors and friends yet I am disgusted by their political leadership and denounce their self centered political agenda...same for First Nations, I separate the respect and admiration I have for my native acquantences and the contempt I have for the racist, avaricious politics of much of their political leadership. As I said many times DT, for people to get along they must abandon group-based partisan confronational attitudes and patronage politics and think and act as an individual....one's image of oneself and those you meet must be of an individual responsible only for himself within a goup of individuals who can only be expected to do the same thing.

This way we lose the factionalizing effect of making an individual responsible for the actions of others.

Debris Trail said...

Bill: I couldn't agree with you more. In fact, my final post on this series will deal with exactly what you speak of. Group Politics always has $$$$$$$$$$$ right under the surface, and aboriginal politics is no different. It took me years to separate the individual from the politics... like I've shown, I hope, and my hate for the group was misplaced and confusing. I needed to realize that it's the hijacking of aboriginal issues by greedy politicians and bureaucrats, both native and white, that I was raging against, not the native people themselves. As for the low-lifes, I find their numbers are diminishing rapidly. The last great battle I feel will be FAS. As for hating an entire group, I ask: does one hate all Panamanians, because their politicians and bureaucrats are corrupt? Thanks for the comments, I appreciate feedback, especially when I'm opening my heart a bit more than usual. Cheers!

W.L. Mackenzie Redux said...

Debris Trail said...
"In fact, my final post on this series will deal with exactly what you speak of. Group Politics always has $$$$$$$$$$$ right under the surface"

You onto them DT! ALL group-bassed lobby groups revolve around making vacuous claims on the collective treasury via argumets of revisionist victimization OP...they use group politics to repress other groups through phony HR witch hunt or compete with other groups for patronage largess under the multi cult extrotion game....in the last one, we see minority group political lobbies threaten governments/industry/individuals with "racism" claims if they do not pay the blackmail....$$$$$$$$$$$ makes all the so called injustices go away. ALL discrimination claims are predicated on a dollar value in this twisted multiculture.

Debris Trail said...
" As for the low-lifes, I find their numbers are diminishing rapidly."

I suspect this has more to do with a number of factors from first nations cultural leaders re establishing some self worth in younger generations through appreciation of cultural history, spirituality and tradition...these are things that government ket wards of the state had sucked out of them...loss of identiy ia loss of self worth and the social demons of addiction and anti social behaviour have a play ground with this.

O also think that there are more commercial and career opportunity for many natives that wasn't there 3-5 decades ago. I don't think this is the result of any affirmative action meddling by big brother as much as it is the natural result of an expanding technical economy creating more work and general affluence. I think most native people have taken advantage of post secondary education to tap into the off reserve job market....also many reserve councils have pulled up their socks and created jobs on the reserves with band sponsored enterprise businesses.

I'm very happy as a Canadian to see first nations people succeeding and regaining self worth and self respect....what I attack as a Canadian patriot are the malicious land and treaty claims and the politics of cultural apartheid in the nation within a nation agendas ( and multi-cult). I agree with native self government within reserves but I oppose the concept of "nationhood" when this is taken to the extremes which I have seen in the text and oratory of radical first nations lawyers and politicians who think first nations are above the rule of law or the crown. If they reject crown subjet status then tear up all treaties and treaty claims made with the crown.

This land claims thing must be put to an end before it fractures the nation any worse than it is now.

Debris Trail said...

In Saskatchewan we settled the land claims issue. Based on written records the treaties for finally completed. I'll be writing though, on how may natives turned their goldmine into personal piggy banks. Again, corruption mangled at least some of the benefit. It's as if the Liberal bureaucracy in Ottawa gave workshops on how to reap the greatest personal gain from funds that were not meant for personal gain, but rather collective gain.

What's amazing, is that dispite all this, it's the middle class native who is moving ahead. And, you are completely right; it's employment oportunity that seems to have done more than anything. There's no proof of this, but I'd wager a fair bit that starting about 1990, more positive has happened to more aboriginals than in the previous 100 years. As far as getting a sense of self; its been mixed. On the one hand cultural education has created pride and dignity, on the other, its produced some of the most racist and arrogant natives I've met. Furthermore, there's an incredible amount of historic revision going on when teaching history... it's the CBC Moonbat version, and it completely flies in the face of anthropological fact.

As far as using race and self-imposed apartheid for political gain... it's rampant, and most of it comes from the Liberal bureaucracy and native thugs/chiefs at the national level. In my opinion, they are to the native people what Mexican politicians are to Mexicans. Frankly, they're holding aboriginals back more at this point than anyone else. The beetles wrote a song about them infact, "I ME ME MINE!"

Meaghan Champion said...

"You onto them DT! ALL group-bassed lobby groups revolve around making vacuous claims on the collective treasury via argumets of revisionist victimization"

Would that include arguments by Caucasian Canadians who freak out about non European immigrants coming to the country and changing the landscape?

Just wondering.

Meaghan Champion said...

"what I attack as a Canadian patriot are the malicious land and treaty claims"

This is an example of a smuggled premise, which amounts to little more than an unsupported assertion, masquerading as facts, when it's nothing but an opinion.

That's fine. This guy is entitled to his opinion. But pay attention to how if I ask this guy to define this idea of "malicious land and treaty claims" he will never actually give an answer.

Again... Debris Trail... these are the very basic logical fallacies that I told you at the outset would be used by proponents of the "assimilationist" agenda... ones which blank out completely the context of history, and present actions, and for which there is very little substance.

In this guy's premises is the idea that it is "malicious" for aboriginal people to have their property rights respected...

It is presupposed that Indian people do not have property rights.

It is also presupposed that Contractual Obligations entered into between the crown and Indigenous Nations in Canada should not be honoured.

Is it "Malicious" for people to want their property rights respected?

insert *crickets chirping.wav*

W.L. Mackenzie Redux said...

Debris Trail said...
"In fact, my final post on this series will deal with exactly what you speak of. Group Politics always has $$$$$$$$$$$ right under the surface"

You onto them DT! ALL group-bassed lobby groups revolve around making vacuous claims on the collective treasury via argumets of revisionist victimization OP...they use group politics to repress other groups through phony HR witch hunt or compete with other groups for patronage largess under the multi cult extrotion game....in the last one, we see minority group political lobbies threaten governments/industry/individuals with "racism" claims if they do not pay the blackmail....$$$$$$$$$$$ makes all the so called injustices go away. ALL discrimination claims are predicated on a dollar value in this twisted multiculture.

Debris Trail said...
" As for the low-lifes, I find their numbers are diminishing rapidly."

I suspect this has more to do with a number of factors from first nations cultural leaders re establishing some self worth in younger generations through appreciation of cultural history, spirituality and tradition...these are things that government ket wards of the state had sucked out of them...loss of identiy ia loss of self worth and the social demons of addiction and anti social behaviour have a play ground with this.

O also think that there are more commercial and career opportunity for many natives that wasn't there 3-5 decades ago. I don't think this is the result of any affirmative action meddling by big brother as much as it is the natural result of an expanding technical economy creating more work and general affluence. I think most native people have taken advantage of post secondary education to tap into the off reserve job market....also many reserve councils have pulled up their socks and created jobs on the reserves with band sponsored enterprise businesses.

I'm very happy as a Canadian to see first nations people succeeding and regaining self worth and self respect....what I attack as a Canadian patriot are the malicious land and treaty claims and the politics of cultural apartheid in the nation within a nation agendas ( and multi-cult). I agree with native self government within reserves but I oppose the concept of "nationhood" when this is taken to the extremes which I have seen in the text and oratory of radical first nations lawyers and politicians who think first nations are above the rule of law or the crown. If they reject crown subjet status then tear up all treaties and treaty claims made with the crown.

This land claims thing must be put to an end before it fractures the nation any worse than it is now.