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Mother of All Struggles - Lee Maracle
(July 2, 1950 - November 11, 2021)
Sto:lo Author, Poet, Instructor [University of Toronto - INS] and Traditional Teacher First Nations House
Canadians have a myth about themselves, and it seems this myth is inviolable. They are innocent. They gave us things; they were kind to us. The reality is that Canada has seized vast land tracts, leaving only small patches of land specifically for us, as though they indeed owned everything and we had nothing, not even a tablespoon of dirt. Canada says it gave us these lands, and Canadians actually believe that Canada "gave us" these reserves. In fact, Canada took all the land but the reserves it set aside for us. You cannot give someone something that already belongs to them.
There are a number of treaties between Indigenous people and Canada. The treaties between Canada and us don't say that we own nothing and Canada owns everything; in fact, they imply the opposite: Canada gets to be Canada by meeting its treaty obligations. That is, you get to be here, at our good grace and our goodwill, not the other way around.
Exerpt from My Conversations With Canadians(1997) From Conversation 1: Meeting the Public
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