More respect deserved than continued use of ‘Indian’
What’s in a name?
The time is long overdue to remove the word “Indian” from all acts, regulations, ministries and departments. It was wrong-way Columbus who gave this name to the first peoples he met in North America. I find the use of this word offensive because it denigrates the First Nations people.
The only peoples that should be called by that name are from India, where Columbus thought he was. Except, because we already use it for others, we now call them South Asians. That has me confused because it does not denote which country it is referring to.
I have e-mailed both the federal minister and our MP Alistair MacGregor on this and they have not responded. Either their staff determined that it was not important enough and did not pass it on or both the minister and our MP don’t want to broach the subject.
In this time of truth and reconciliation, we should accept the fact that we did not discover this country but invaded instead. Look what we have done to them since arriving. It started out friendly enough, on both sides, but soon turned into the destruction of their homelands and the sending of them off to reserves. We treat them as wards of the state and not very well at that. Residential schools, and forcing religion on them, as they were considered heathens, are some examples.
The racists are a blight on the land and they should be sent back to the country where they came from, based on their ancestry. We don’t want or need them here.
We should use the name: First Nations or Indigenous. All legislation should reflect one of these names or some other, whichever is decided upon. I suggest asking them before making a decision on their behalf. Indigenous would confuse the racists, as they probably don’t know what it means, if that is what is chosen.
There needs to be less platitudes and more serious discussions. The government can start on this path by fixing the water problems that are occurring on reserves and all the other problems they face because of lack of action.
Imagine what they have to go through to prove their “status”. Look at the federal acts and regulations that use the term “Indian”. It is disgusting.
While the government is in compensation mode, maybe the Crown should throw in some pound sterling also for all that they scurried away with and have never apologized for. Slowly, place names are being changed to reflect where we live: in First Nations territory. I know we can’t change the past but a lot more respect is deserved.