An Open Letter to Stephen Harper

This is an open letter to Stephen Harper asking why he refuses to call an inquiry into more than 1200 missing and murdered Native Women in Canada?

April 5, 2014

Prime Minister Stephen Harper
80 Wellington Street
Ottawa, ON K1A 0A2

Dear Prime Minister Harper,

Silence can be golden; it can convey all manner of emotion. Silence can also be telling. It can proclaim a thing loudly, much more than a shout ever could, as in this case: your silence has spoken of your beliefs, your attitudes. It lights the way, exposing your intentions.

You know that it will be next to impossible to break down the barriers and truly explore why so many Native women are going missing in this country. The reason? Well, I believe if you called an inquiry then you know that at the very bottom, at the very heart of the matter you would find yourself. It would become personal and you would be forced to admit that negative stereotypes that have been allowed, and even encouraged to perpetuate over generations. These stereotypes have both directly and indirectly lead to violence perpetrated against Native women in Canada. Exploring the issue of Missing and Murdered Native Women would also uncover the cold intentions of all those that came before you; the very foundation that Canada has been built upon! We would paternalistic deals with the Catholic Church to “assimilate” Native society. In truth, a plan to ultimately control them by completely disfiguring everything about their culture with the sole aim of breaking their hearts and smothering their pride until they gave up their collective will and assimilated, or died.

Further on, we would catch slight glimpses of the well hidden control of the media designed to undermine the fight for Native people to be recognized as humans, as citizens. We would see how the media has historically been used to taint the image of Native people in Canada; to poison the view Canadians have of Native people so it would permeate every aspect of society. Why? In order to keep them as a permanent underclass that has no right to even elect those that have controlled every aspect of their abused existence, that is, unless they gave up their status, their “Indianness”. A ridiculous term since First Nations people are not from India!

It has been one short generation since Native children belonged completely to the parents instead of the government. Thirty short years since the last were ripped away from their families for one purpose only: to exterminate the culture, and assimilate the savage. What chance did Native people have after growing up under a legacy of abuse? I am not even referring to the abuses suffered in Residential School. I am referring to the fact that generations of human families were torn apart! That is abuse in itself. That was enough abuse to suffer through without the further sexual, physical, and psychological trauma suffered at the hands of abusive nuns and priests. To be fair I know that not everyone suffered abuse, but the closest ones to me did! To this day they still suffer the effects that terrible and dark chapter in history had upon them, my daughter being one of them. She was interviewed for the article in the above link.

You see Mr. Harper, by not acknowledging the truth you perpetuate the lie. The lie that says those who legislated the atrocities on Native people have won. I am here to tell you that your government has not won. Native people all over this country are waking up. We are realizing that we have value. Our women are just as worthy as your women. We have intelligence, and we are beginning to use it in mighty ways. The paternalistic, inferior education system forced upon reserves will not prevent us from getting an education. It will not prevent us from voting, from becoming elected, and changing the system.

While I am not expecting a personal reply to this letter, I am hoping you change your mind and truthfully, honestly, and compassionately address this issue. If you do not, your silence will tell us how you feel, who you are, and in the end it won’t matter at all for we shall stand up proclaiming loudly with a collective and audible voice that we are not going to continue to be and underclass in Canadian society. I refuse to accept that I am inferior. I refuse to accept that my life is worth less than that of other Canadians simply because I am of a different colour.

Sincerely,

Ronda Longard
Concerned Canadian Citizen

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