Socially Acceptable Stereotypes in Canada: The Broke, Dependant Indian

Brad Badiuk, Winnipeg teacher, on leave after controversial Facebook posts on aboriginals

This article upset me more than it should. I, being part Native, should be used to the comments made by this teacher by now, but I am not. Wait! Go back for a second, and repeat to yourself what I just wrote: ‘I should be used to it by now’. There is something wrong with that statement. It signifies capitulation, acceptance of degradation. That is wrong no matter how you look at it. Why should I get used to people thinking this way about friends, loved ones, ancestors, and most of all, myself? I won’t. I refuse, and so should you.

The above story reported that a teacher made stereotypical comments about Native people on a public Facebook page! When will these negative stereotypes against Native people stop, or at least be acknowledged for what they are: Socially acceptable racism. The only time the media seems to get involved is where there are “mismanaged funds” to gleefully report so the rest of Canada can point and say, “Aha, we knew it! Your stealing our hard-earned tax dollars and squandering it”. The media frames news stories, starting controversy. Little by little the media has succeeded in eroding the respect Canadians have for any Native people and no-one calls them out on it.The thing is, it’s not true! Canadians need to do some research, from credible sources.

Native history is not taught in school. Real history, the one that should matter the most. Residential schools weren’t even mentioned in any History class I took below university! The larger Canadian public has no idea that hundreds of thousands of children were taken away from their parents and raised by residential school systems. Many abused, many broken, and this was a short generation ago! How can you parent when three or four generations of your family were “raised” by a government institution or a church that did not act Christian towards their charges? The terrible things that happened in those places was covered over. Then, to make matters worse Native people are blamed for the many negative effects of such a sick, twisted system that was designed with one goal in mind, to break them. Think about it. Research it, learn it. Then ask yourself if ENOUGH is even being done to compensate this, this outrage, this genocide! There, I said it! Genocide happened here too, and even the UN agrees! This teacher, who should have been mindful of his role as an educator, especially because Winnipeg is home to the largest Native population in Canada. He had no business contributing to the negative stereotypes of Native people in this way! It’s shameful!!

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