Warning to Immigrants Entering Canada

Written by Harold McNeill on July 31st, 2015. Posted in Tim Hortons Morning Posts, Editorials


800px-Wawadit'la(Mungo_Martin_House)_a_Kwakwaka'wakw_big_house

This Victoria, B.C.  Big House is illustrative of a proud Aboriginal past where wealthy, prominent hosts would use it as longhouse for potlatching and housing guests. Potlatching was an innovative way for re-distributing wealth between families and clans, but the practice was brought to an abrupt end in 1884 in Canada through an amendment to the Indian Act. The same was done in the United States a decade later.

This was done at the urging of missionaries and government agents who considered the cultural practice to be “worse than a useless custom that was seen as wasteful, unproductive, and contrary to ‘civilized values’ of accumulation of wealth.” (Wiki Source). For those who didn’t know or may have forgotten, and that likely includes at least a third of the Canadian population, the Aboriginal people of Canada and the United States were the first to claim the Northern part of this continent as home.       

Note: September 8, 2015.  This pencil video narrative tells the story of early settlements in North Central America.  (LINK)

Introduction: Warning to Immigrants  

I felt compelled to write this post after receiving another of those wide circulation emails that spoke harshly of Muslims and others whose religious and cultural practices differed from that of white, english-speaking, middle class, Christians. Also, the fear mongering about the target groups and the harsh legislative agenda of various conservative leaning governments around the world over the past ten to fifteen years, has reached hysterical proportions.

In that vein, many Canadians may think Donald Trump an outlier, but it remains clear a significant number of people support him.   “This is our country not yours” is a refrain repeated over and over and fear mongering on a wide scale is a tactic used to cement the concept (e.g. “Mexicans are rapists”, “Muslims are terrorists”, etc.).  Make no mistake, when it comes to racism, Canadians can play that card with the best of them.

Why do so many think it appropriate to have taken one point in Canadian history (primarily in the mid-19th, to early 20th century) and presume it was the religious and cultural practices of a number of people of that time which should be used to define our country as being the sole domain of white, English or French speaking, Christians in the upper middle class.

It remains clear a number of people today think the definition was just fine and that it was intended to remain fixed even though we are one of the most multicultural societies in the world, a place where Jews, Muslims, Christians and those who subscribe to dozens of different belief systems, could come and not be persecuted.  However, as recent as the past decade and a half (2000 – 2015) we have watched as dozens of Federal Bills target one group or another for reasons that extend well beyond peace and good order of the land. The spillover effect of those bills also negatively affect those whose ancestors arrived before the first ‘white’ settlers ever set foot on the shores of North America. Many who are white, middle class, Conservative and Christian see this as justice.

But, think for a moment, wouldn’t it have been more appropriate to let the people who peacefully occupied this land for nearly 12,000 years, set the definition? After all, they were the original immigrates to North America and it was they who claimed a land that was unknown to the rest of the world. All who followed after the 15th century were clearly the interlopers in a land that was sustaining it’s people and all other living things in a very balanced manner.

With these thoughts in mind I took the text included in the original email and changed it to reflect an Aboriginal source rather than the elderly Greek named in the original. I know this is rather presumptuous on my part, as I am a white, middle class, a one-time practicing Christian with immigrant forefathers, but the racist texture of that original text demanded a strong response.  The revised edition of the text is next with the original following immediately thereafter. It may help to put this discussion in context by reading the original text first – just scroll down:

REVISED TEXT

Is there no one with the back bone
to speak out about  this ????

It will be interesting to see who passes this on, or who sticks their head in the sand.

THIS, FROM A MAN WHOSE ANCESTORS MIGRATED TO NORTH AMERICA
ABOUT TWELVE THOUSAND YEARS AGO.

This is not funny ….. It’s what all of us are thinking, but not saying .

The man, an elder in his community, states what is fact and what we all should know! This elder would now be in his 70’s or 80’s.

A GREAT PERSPECTIVE FROM AN ‘ORIGINAL’ CANADIAN.

My ancestors came to Canada about 12,000 years ago. They trekked over a small strip of land that stretched from what is today Russia to Alaska and then spread out across a vast land that was filled with bounties beyond imagination. Did they put out a hand and look for someone to support them, of course not – they were the first to this land and their people and culture evolved over thousands of years.

 While each clan and tribe developed in slightly different ways, each held a strong belief that they must remain at one with the land and the Great Spirits who guided them. They continued to build new bands and settled most areas from sea to sea and were at peace even though life was hard. They even learned to occupy vast stretches of bitter cold land that stretched outward from what people now call the North Pole. They never complained.

The bands are now called different names that in English became the Cree, Dene, Coast Salish, Blackfoot and hundreds of others. While these bands sometimes fought, they were generally a peaceful people who lived off the land and were at one with nature. For that matter their entire belief system which stretches to this very day, was based upon being at peace with nature. But, when the first white settlers arrived, it all began to change.

Take a moment and think about our history! For 12,000 years our people maintained a civil society that thrived, expanded and was at peace with the world. Now, it is reserves and poverty and abuse and there often seems to be little hope for the future. When the white people came, they said they were ‘civilized’ and knew a better way.

Their claimed their God was the only true God and He lived in the verses of the Bible, Tanakh, Koran or other religious texts they brought with them. They criticized us for speaking to our Gods in our language and in our land, a land on which we had hunted and fished for thousands of years before they even touched our shore. It was a land we freely shared among all who lived here, but these immigrants didn’t like our ideas, our Gods and our ways. The called us savages.

If all those people who came here on sailing ships and then spread out across the nation in wagon trains and along the rivers didn’t like what they saw when they got here, why didn’t they just go back to England or Ireland or France or wherever it was they came from – they had that option.

If they didn’t want to live like an original Canadian, they could have just set sail BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM, WE DIDN’T NEED THEM THEN AND WE DON’T NEED THEM HERE NOW!!!  I think our country would be much better if we still cared for the land and the animals and the people in the way our ancestors did for 12,000 years.

When will this stop?
They have named their own public holidays and because they pray to different Gods and have all kinds of different churches and places of worship, they often fight among themselves thinking one church and one belief system is better than all others and they think we should be the same as them.

They also brought alcohol and disease which decimated our people. They even took our children and forced those children to pray to a strange God and made those children eat strange foods in their Christian residential schools just so our children would become more like them. Many adults in those schools abused our children in the most awful way and many of those children died. Nobody cared, nobody listened and we were never consulted about this change – they just went ahead and did it.

Our customs and foods which once healed our minds and bodies and were from our own forests and animals, were now institutional and have become Big Macs and Slurpees and Coca Cola – everything that makes our people sick.  Why? Because they did not think eating good food from the earth and sharing property and welcoming people into your community was a good thing.

And, regarding our traditional songs and dance, I am sorry, but after hearing what they sing in English, French, Arabic or some other strange language – enough is enough. What’s wrong with our traditions, why did they want us to change everything?

Now our language is dying and is mostly replaced by English and French. Let’s get back to the way it was. This has to stop now, while we still have some power to be able to stop it.

I am not sorry if this offends some people, but this was OUR COUNTRY, MY COUNTRY.

If you understand what I am saying – please pass this along

As an aboriginal, I am not against people coming to Canada, I am just asking them to be more respectful of the customs and traditions of the people who first claimed this great land. If you come to Canada, get a sponsor from one of the aboriginal groups; have a place to lay your head; learn to live at peace with the land; pay your dues, live by the rules AND LEARN ONE OF OUR LANGUAGES. – LONG LIVE Aboriginal Canada!!!

PERHAPS YOU ARE PART OF THE PROBLEM
Think about this: If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone,
YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM!

We can again become a country where we are at peace with the land and still be Canada, but not if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people who migrated to Canada because it was their choice?

Think about it!
IMMIGRANTS FROM ENGLAND AND FRANCE AND OTHER COUNTRIES, NOT ABORIGINAL CANADIANS MUST ADAPT. IT’S TIME FOR ABORIGINALS TO SPEAK UP!

If you agree – pass this along. If you don’t agree – delete it, that’s your choice… But be aware of what changes are being made by our Provincial and Federal Governments …. Next it will be demands for CHRISTIAN LAW or JEWISH LAW or SHARIA LAW and they will want their songs and prayers in school and at other institutions, but not ours.

End of Revised Text (The Old Text follows the Cartoon)

bloody-boat-people_reuben-brand

FOLLOWING IS THE ORIGINAL TEXT

There is not one politician with the back bone
to speak out about  this ????

Interesting to see who passes it on, or sticks their head in the sand..

FROM A ‘***** GREEK *****’ WHO MIGRATED TO Canada IN THE LATE 1940s.

This is not funny ….. Its what all of us are thinking but not saying .

Nik Ziogopoulos states what is fact and what we all believe! Nik would be in his 70’s at least.

A GREAT PERSPECTIVE FROM A ‘NEW’ Canadian- Nik Ziogopoulos

I emigrated to Canada over 60 years ago – On the ship there were Poms, Italians (Spags), Germans (Huns), Yugoslavs (Yuges), Poles, Ducchys, Ukes (Ukrainians) and Greeks. (Note – All European people!) all looking forward to starting a new life in Canada . I arrived with 30 quid in my pocket and that’s all I had to my name. Did I put my hand out? Of Course not – I got a job and paid my way just like everyone else who came to this country back then.

Now, it’s my taxes that subsidize these people who think they have Gods given right (read Allah) to come here and criticize those of us who have worked for the country we now call home.

If I didn’t like what I saw when I got here I would have gone home – they have the same option.
If they don’t want to become a Canadian, they can GO BACK TO WHERE THEY CAME FROM WE DON’T NEED THEM HERE!!! 

When will this stop?
They want two of their own public holidays, because Christians have Christmas, Easter and Good Friday.
They force our children to eat Halal Meat Pies and Sausage Rolls from the school canteens, so the Muslim kids can feel more Canadian. We were not consulted about this change – they went ahead and just did it.
Our foods are slowly all becoming Halal foods, our cheeses, chocolates & even good old sanitarium foods
Our Government is ALLOWING this to happen. It has to stop now, while we still have some power to be able to stop it.

Regarding Our National Anthem

I am sorry, but after hearing they want to sing the National Anthem in Arabic – enough is enough. Nowhere or at no other time in our nation’s history, did they sing it in Italian, Japanese, Polish, Irish(Celtic), German, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Greek, or any other language because of immigration.

It was written in English, and should be sung word for word the way it was written. 
The news broadcasts even gave the translation — not even close.

I am not sorry if this offends anyone, this is MY COUNTRY.

IF IT IS YOUR COUNTRY SPEAK UP – please pass this along

I am not against immigration, just come through like everyone else. Get a sponsor; have a place to lay your head; have a job; pay your taxes, live by the rules AND LEARN THE LANGUAGE as all other immigrants have in the past – and LONG LIVE Canada!!! 
  
PART OF THE PROBLEM 
Think about this: If you don’t want to forward this for fear of offending someone

YOU’RE PART OF THE PROBLEM! 
Will we still be the Country of Choice and still be Canada if we continue to make the changes forced on us by the people from other countries who have come to live in Canada because it is their Country of Choice?

Think about it!
IMMIGRANTS, NOT Canadians, MUST ADAPT. It is Time for Canada to Speak up!

If you agree – pass this along. If you don’t agree -delete That’s your choice… So be very aware about constitutional changes allowing municipal bodies to be recognised …. Next it will be demands for Sharia law ….

End of Original Message

Concluding Points

It’s clear that moving back to a time when Aboriginals occupied this country for over 11,000 years, isn’t going to happen any time soon, but does that mean we are justified in continuing to harden our cultural values around white, Christian, middle-class, conservatism as we have done in the past and as accelerated over the past fifteen years?

While the above comments by the gentleman from Greece may be seen as extreme to the majority of Canadians, those comments clearly resonate with a sizeable minority and as long as that minority holds sway, we will most certainly keep moving further in that direction.  The following list identifies the right wing position in the United States, but it is clear these same ideals flow over the border and through the Conservative ranks in  Canada. Consider the following:

  • American (and Canadian) exceptionalism and the need to protect it by strict immigration policies;
  • Anti-abortion under all circumstances (”Life begins at conception”);
  • Pro-capital punishment;
  • Pro-gun rights;
  • “Law and order” attitudes favoring harsh penalties for criminal behavior; Supporters of the “war on drugs”
  • Anti-affirmative action;
  • Anti-entitlements; anti-gay;
  • Anti-science (including denial of evolution and climate change);
  • Belief in the promulgation of “Christian values” in schools, courts, and public ceremonies;
  • Reverence for people in uniform; given to patriotic display;
  • A fondness for military solutions to international problems;
  • Biblical certainty in matters of morality;
  • A conviction that those who disagree politically should be the objects of coercion (e.g. “if you are not with us you are with the pedophiles”);
  • A view of oneself as beset by evil forces conspiring to take what one has;
  • (Equating) compromise with “weakness.”    (Link: The Mind of a Conservative)
  • (added) Using fear as a means to achieve political ends (Foreign Affairs told to produce three terror related releases a week)
  • (added) An obsessive need for security of person and state at the expense of personal freedom (e.g. Bill C-51)

Take a moment and consider the long list of legislative reforms that have been passed by the Federal Government over the past decade and couple that with the political leanings of the men and woman who have recently received senior judicial appointments, to see how the above ideological underpinnings are being solidified. No wonder Aboriginals, Muslims and other targeted communities (e.g. Progressive charities, Environmentalists, etc.) have been feeling the pinch.  Will this change any time soon?  I doubt it, but a change in government might be a small step in that direction.

While it is far from clear as to whether Harper, Trudeau or Mulcair will prevail in our next election, it is clear the vast majority of the people in this country do not support the path we have travelled over the past decade. However, with a split vote, Harper’s Conservative view of Canada could very well prevail and the points noted above will gain an even greater foothold.

Harold McNeill

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(Web Source).  I rather expect ‘silence’ is not one of my strengths.

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  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Hi Dorthy, So glad you found those stories and, yes, they hold many fond memories. Thanks to social media and the blog, I’ve been able to get in touch with many friends from back in the day. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Well, well. Pleased to see your name pop up. I’m in regular contact via FB with many ‘kids’ from back in our HS days (Guy, Dawna, Shirley and others). Also, a lot of Cold Lake friends through FB. Cheers, Harold

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Oh, that is many years back and glad you found the story. I don’t have any recall of others in my class other than the Murphy sisters on whose farm my Dad and Mom worked.

  • Harold McNeill

    November 26, 2021 |

    Pleased to hear from you Howie and trust all is going well. As with you, I have a couple of sad stories of times in my police career when I crossed paths with Ross Barrington Elworthy. Just haven’t had the time to write those stories.