by Harvey Oberfeld
July 12, 2021
Beau and Dian Sutton had a dream.
In 2014, they bought a hilly half-acre wooded lot near Chilliwack River to build a home.
Then someone told them part of their property “might” be an indigenous gravesite.
There were NO grave-markers, NO symbols, NO plaque … NOTHING showing any special acknowledgement or even respect for that particular site.
Then, as CBC reported at the time, a local First Nations chief “felt his ancestors were buried there and that he had a responsibility to protect them.”
Where were he and all his relations for the years, decades before? There was nothing to mark the gravesites of their former relatives or band members … no symbols, no markers, no plaque, nothing to show respect, let alone “protect”, the men, women, elders and, yes, children buried there.
But the Sutton’s dream turned into a nightmare … after the local band suddenly developed interest in a site they had ignored for decades … or more.
The TRUTH is there are THOUSANDS of First Nations children, adults and elders who lie buried by their own people all across Canada in unmarked graves … without any memorials, monuments or plaques of any kind.
In Saanich, outside Victoria, construction of a $1 million home was halted after discovery of an unmarked Songhees First Nations grave; in Montreal, the site of a 27-story office tower was also stopped when unmarked graves were found; and, in Vancouver, a piece of a paved parking lot at the foot of Granville and Marine Drive was found to be an unmarked Musqueam burial ground.
Anyone who searches the topic on Google will be amazed …and maybe appalled … at how many such instances have been uncovered … First Nations burial sites totally unmarked and then neglected and ignored by First Nations peoples themselves right across Canada.
The TRUTH is unmarked burial sites have long been part of the history, respected tradition and culture of the Indigenous peoples of Canada.
Although you would never know that watching the news lately!
Where are the tears, anger, demands by First Nations activists directed at THEIR OWN leaders, THEIR OWN band councils, THEIR OWN tribal members to fund THEIR OWN identification and proper burials of their own people lying in unmarked graves?
The tragedy of Canadian Residential Schools, and the discovery of unmarked graves, apparently by white school/government officials in the last Century, however, has changed the “conversation”.
Canadians now recognize those schools were a terrible, misdirected, brutal stain on our country’s history …. in the the last century.
But so was the federal government’s treatment of the Chinese, Japanese, East Indians, Jews, Muslims, blacks … and, at various times, even the Irish, Italians and Germans in the 1900s. Not to mention the terrible societal discrimination they ALL faced trying to buy homes in certain areas, get into universities or join social clubs or golf courses.
Canada, like other nations, does indeed have an imperfect past … but let’s keep it real: so does EVERY other nation … and that includes Canada’s First Nations.
But you would never know that watching the one-sided, pandering news coverage by the CBC “public” broadcaster or other Canadian private networks pushing the First Nations’ activist agenda.
I believe millions of Canadians are not buying it … and are actually becoming more resentful of the various governments’ pandering to the radicals.
Civilized peoples seeking REAL reconciliation deal with uncomfortable TRUTHS through dialogue, mutual self-examination and understandings … not the one-sided “holier than thou” attitudes, and finger-pointing Canadians have witnessed from First Nations’ activists and mouthpieces in recent months.
Vandalizing statues, tearing down monuments, disrespecting Canadian national holidays, spitting on Canada’s history (during which, by the way, thousands of First Nations’ heroes served the country loyally and valiantly) or trying to extort millions from the taxpayers will only make things worse, not better.
I put it to you millions of Canadians, in fact, resent what they see happening across the country.
You won’t ever hear THEIR voices on Canada’s intimidated, compromised politicized advocacy-driven “news” media … but talk to REAL Canadians (not just the professional political, pandering community “experts”) and you’ll discover how millions of Canadians are not buying into the First Nations activists’ shakedown agenda.
Which is why REAL RECONCILIATION is not happening across the country!
TRUE reconciliation requires facing REAL TRUTHS and looking forward … not backwards; working together for our future … not rehashing our history; and, not trying to shake down the federal government for more hundreds of millions of dollars!
So why ARE we seeing so many increasing demands, so much agitation, hate, violence, vandalism and destruction?
Because activists, agitators and anarchists see dissention, disruption and violence as an increasingly successful way to extort concessions from governments and also cash in themselves for hundreds of millions of dollars of federal funds.
Weak politicians at all levels are caving in far too easily, willing to pander to too many demands, in the hope of buying peace … and First Nations votes.
More and more Canadians from coast to coast to coast are tiring of what they have been witnessing for months now.
It is NOT the way for First Nations to win friends and influence people … nor ever achieve REAL “reconciliation”.
(Image: Courtesy of delmarvanow.com)