Thursday, Oct 5, 2017

Editorial

Pride and Respect

Soldiers fought and died for the Native community also
By Staff/Voice file photos

 

A CAV rider salutes the soldiers at the memorial in Sardis in 2012.

 

t never ceases to amaze me how guilty non-Natives are today for something our ancestors did.

 

You never hear about all how many non-Natives were killed on this end of the Fraser River. One guy showed up in Yale with 10 rattlesnake-tipped arrows stuck in him.

 

The truth is that the abuse the Natives dealt with was from the Americans who came up in the gold rush fresh from the "Indian Wars" days armed to the teeth and had little respect for Natives.

 

Many non-Natives: American, British and French had tremendous respect for Natives. But we never hear about that. All we ever hear is how bad the Native community was treated in the past. So why not cover that side of the story instead of guilt-tripping every chance possible on the non-Native community now?

 

When my great-great grandfather, Jules Maurice Quesnel, walked across the country on the Fraser expedition keeping the logs, he was lucky enough to make it back. Back through the poison-tipped arrows again.

 

It's not clear why the natives attacked them, but history tells us that they wanted what was in the canoes and we don't want to think that they wanted to kill non-Natives just for the fun of it.

 

The prairie Natives were friendly. They traded for salmon and berries. The truth is the the truth.

 

Natives sure knew what black powder muskets were because they ran like hell when a gun was pointed at in their direction. None were shot and killed by members of the expedition because they came in peace, not war. The expedition didn't want to kill natives for the hell of it, they were here to explore. But don't ever think that I'm not proud of my heritage.

 

The French were already here catching beaver working and trading for the Hudson Bay Co.

 

From a personal standpoint, I don't think anyone owns the land. You know who owns the land? The future owns the land. We're just caretakers of it. I'm steadfast with that.

 

My American doll is part Native and doesn't bust my chops over anything that took place in the past. I've tanned moose hides, eaten bear meat, smoked eulachon and eaten canned sturgeon a delicacy in the Native community. It doesn't make me Native, it just makes me a part of the community as a whole.

 

Why not talk about how thousands of non-Natives who fought and died protecting Natives and Canada? That part of history is forgotten.

 

From a news standpoint, I've given the Native segment of society all the great and fair coverage the community expects. I've stood in the rain and cold just to give the Native community coverage, to bring a message of understanding and education to the non-Native community, a respect that Natives they say is somehow missing now.

 

It's vice-versa. In the ten years of coverage, one Native person has thanked me. But not one Native has ever invited me to cover any of their events or gatherings despite fair, accurate and caring coverage, despite what I have done for the Native community at my time and expense and many hours writing editing photos, burning out cars and cameras, to convey their message. I can't do anything more than I've already done for the Native segment of the community. I stopped hoping and holding my breath in hopes of connecting with the Native community. It's as if they're somehow better than The Voice and the online community connection isn't worthy.

 

But lets talk about everything that happened. Let's cover all of history. I've studied for Native history in BC for many years now so I know what I'm writing about. It's a fact that I've heard Native people refer to non-Natives as "whities." Where did they ever learn that?

 

It was a mistake putting the kids in Catholic schools. We know that now. But non-Natives didn't know that then. Now their ancestors are forced to cover for the mistakes our ancestors did.

 

I was taught by nuns for the first 6 grades. Do you think I wanted to be there in a shirt and tie with shiny shoes every day? Speaking Latin was not anything I wanted to do but was forced to go.

 

I've heard in the past from various non-Native people how they think the "Natives are a conquered nation and now they want non-Natives to say sorry and keep saying they're sorry in perpetuity for something our ancestors did". I'm supposed cover the truth and convey to community historical facts. Well, that's a fact.
 

The non-Native community deserves that too. The Native community talks about "Truth and Reconciliation" but never any mention of what non-Natives have done for them or how thousands of non-Natives lost their lives protecting the Natives and this land. You can't forget that.

 

Don't forget that non-Natives care about Natives now more than ever.

 

No, I'm not racist, so don't lay that bunk on me. I'm not a colonialist. I love the Native community as much as I do any segment of the community. But I live in the 21st century not 150 years ago.

 

 


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