Monday, January 28, 2013

Book 2 of 2013 The Inconvenient Indian

The choice of this book was in part a response to issues I mused about in this post a few weeks back.  It is my belief that issues of the relationship between First Nations and non-First Nations Canadians are really going to need to be addressed as Canada tries to find its way into a new economic (and moral) reality.  One article I read today suggested that Canada is at a similar place now in this relationship as New Zealand was with the Maori people several decades ago--and New Zealand is still working out the details of that relationship.

This book is sort of a history.  In that it talks about, review, and interprets historic events.  But it is not an academic history book by any means.  It is sort of an alternative history I would say. Remember that old truth "history is written by the winners".  Most of the history of First Nations in North America is written from a point of view that is (to one extent or another) pro-European.  [Not only history, I was flipping through a copy of Little House on the Prairie the other day and found a discussion between Laura and Pa which has an assumption that as the Whites move in the Indians automatically have to move out, which pretty much captures the general USan attitude of the time, Canada didn't move Indians out, we just penned them on reserves]  This book tells stories from a First Nations point of view.

I think this is the sort of book that needs to be written and read.  We need to have a variety of points of view on these difficult issues.  We need to know the history if we are to find a path forward.  I am still unsure what the "right" path forward is, but I know I need to be ready to absorb more information as we as a society try to find it.

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