It has been nearly 600 years since the first meaningful contact has been made between First Nations and Europeans; there is much history between both sides. It appears after all this time, not much has changed as Canadians are facing the Idle no More Movement. There has been plenty of comment towards the movement and much of it has been negative. I do take one major issue with these negative comments and it is that of calling the First Nations a problem. For the last 150 years, this is how Canadians have treated First Nations, as a problem and not as a people. Instead of meaningful dialogue between both parties, Canada has taken the approach of what to do with the First Nations who already occupy land as they are a problem.
Since Confederation, Canada has imposed reserves, the Indian Act, residential schools, status cards, cultural genocide, patriarchal society and even death to 50,000-100,000 children with mass graves.
Despite all of this, First Nations are finding strength to say enough is enough and are demanding equality and restitution for 150 years of damaged caused by intergenerational trauma. They are finding their pride even though they were forced to live on small plots of land, not allowed to find meaningful work or get a valid education or practice their own culture as part of a plan called the Final Solution for the Canadian Indian Problem implemented by Indian Affairs for the sole purpose of destroying First Nations.
Since the 60s, First Nations have been finally allowed to get a meaningful education that allows them to understand their rights under the laws of Canada and to understand the importance of the Royal Proclamation, The Great March West by the RCMP and responsibility of the government of Canada under Confederation. It may seem to Canadians who have not researched our history that First Nations are needy, lazy, unmotivated and drunkards but there is nearly 600 years of history making it a complicated matter with no simple solution. It is interesting that when First Nations do take proactive steps like the Idle No more Movement many dont support them for taking initiative, being spirited and proud. But I guess to many equality feels like favouritism when the playing field is leveled and Canadians favoured status is challenged by those who have been treated as a lowest class problem for too long.