There goes the Neighborhood! (#7) By Haida Guy Oct-2/15
Nearly a Century later when the Americans called Hitler on his treatment of Jews and other ‘Untermenchen’, he was confused, citing their own policy on treatment of their own Natives.
These are not sea farers, but as a people they were set adrift from the White European and Native populations in Canada as they
were a combination of both but members of neither, and somewhat like the French Canadians (here we go!) were quite distinct as they had few rights and less respect as a culture, predominantly in Western Canada. Perhaps the most well-known Metis was Louis Riel
who got himself into a spot of trouble in what’s known as the Red River Rebellion in 1870 jousting against the Canadian Government for Rights & Recognition and in recognition of his efforts, hosted/hoisted a neck-tie party in his honor and
hanged him as a traitor, to a country that didn’t recognize him as a citizen?
The Metis have since been lumped in with the other ndns for
convenience, the Governments, not theirs.
In Kanata, we have a wealth of 1st People Personalities that have risen above their lot and become leaders for everyone.
In Music and Cultural Pride and Education there is the Cree Ma Donna Buffy Sainte-Marie.
In the South Okanagan, there is the entire Osoyoos tribe that pulled itself up by its own will and developed N’kmip
Winery & properties creating a self-supporting thriving enterprise from the desert floor itself, so GOOD on those guys.
Locally, The Tsawwassen First Nations (Salish: ‘Facing the sea’) have likewise
stepped forward and upward with two new shopping malls on their land, both partnerships; Tsawwassen Mills/covered (Ivanhoe Cambridge) and Tsawwassen Commons/outdoor/open (The Property Development Group), both adjacent to each other.
I’m just citing a few examples that I’m aware of, they’s more but I don’t get out much so bear with me.
forget the solitary Independent, who just happened to be Native, the single feather that broke the back of Brian Mulroney’s Meech Lake accord, Elijah Harper, I can forgive the last name, back then it stood for something.
There’s Actor Adam Beach who has played a number of memorable parts, the one that stuck with me the most was his role as a Navajo ‘Wind Talker’ that spoke the Navajo tongue in the field and thoroughly confused Japanese code-breakers.
Graham Greene also stands out for his multi Acting performances, I thought he was great in ‘Dances with Wolves’ myself.
Chief Dan George was a local North Shore Vancouver
Native (Coast Salish) and appeared in too many films to mention altho I cannot forget his role in ‘Little Big Man’ with Dustin Hoffman, I can still hear him say ‘My heart soars like a hawk’ don’t recall if it was in that film
but it was a great line and credibly spoken wherever he did it.
In the late 1800’s and early 1900 there was Pauline Johnson who was part Mohawk and who’s
Mohawk father was an hereditary chief, famous for her poetry and later Confections bearing her name & likeness, she was the Shania Twain of her time, and speaking of her, there is another star that had no reservations about how big she would be in the
Music world, no denying that. Born white but her mother remarried an Ojibway and he adopted her and her sister, it’s a bit of a stretch but I felt I should include that, you decide if it’s merited.
white that was born in England as Archie Belaney was as white as my beehind but came to Kanata and adopted Ojibway culture, became a noted author and cultural apostle in the early to mid 1900’s.
many Aboriginal Artists that have distinguished themselves, Bill Reid the master carver whose mother was Haida comes to mind.
You don’t hear too much about Natives that have enlisted in the Armed Forces and
risen above all, but one unsung War hero, Tommy Prince is a stand-out. He was one of THE Most Decorated soldiers in the Canadian Army in WWll, and then re-upped and went to fight in Korea, then later dying of consumption; one too many.
A mystery to many would be the New Hazelton Native Simon Gun-a-noot who was accused of killing two white wastes of skin that hadn’t yet been hung, and then had to lam it for his life, he was later acquitted, unusual for an Indian
in a White Court, the story is documented in ‘Run, Indian, Run’ by Thomas P Kelley; a worthy read.
Let’s not overlook perhaps one of the most famous Native Canadian actors for the ages, Jay Silverheels
from the Six Nations in Ontario who portrayed the Apache side-kick Tonto, of the Lone Ranger (known in Japan as Kemo Wasabi) series on TV and Film for many, many moons. ‘Tonto’ is the name of an Apache tribe, for the record.
At this point, it’s prudent to add that there is one celebrated and esteemed Native Canadian who HAS had his/their say and being on the National Top Sellers Book lists certainly got the attention of the great unwashed public
so Good on Thomas King and his ‘The Inconvenient Indian: A Curious Account of Native People in North America’; there’s more from him but that’s yours to ‘discover’.
herein remains the property of Ray Ramsay / ALadinLadner Publishing:The Written Werd and Dirty Book Store is not intended for Publication, Reproduction, or Broadcast without the Authors permission. Yeah.