Fifty years ago, the Canadian government granted First Nations people the right to vote in federal elections without losing their treaty status.Wow - within living memory, Canada discriminated - legally - agaisnt First Nations peoples. Changing the law was a good idea. But,as Americans have also discovered, legislating egalitarinaism does nothing to change racist attitudes. (Read the comments on the above article for a samll taste.) What does? I'm not sure - not at all. However, I'm going to push for a series of educational seminars on First Nations history and racism through my church. I'm hoping that knowledge leads to changed attitudes.
And, as a part of those seminars, i'm going to include the following:
•We can agree that Canada has moved forward. We welcome the Apology to residential school survivors. We welcome the commitment to work with us to implement the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
•Yet we can also agree that we need to move much further ahead, and we must travel together. Where we have made gains, it is because we have worked together as partners who both recognize and respect one another.
•The key to all our efforts is active and honest participation by First Nations in setting the direction forward.
•Participation is a founding principle of the UN Declaration. It is a founding principle of the Treaties we signed to forge this country.
•I stand here today to make it clear that First Nations are ready and willing to work with any and all partners on a better, brighter future for all our people and all Canadians.Happy Canada Day! May ourour future be more inclusive, eglitarian, and sustainable.