Today there is a frightening trend in our culture. I’m speaking of identity politics.
At its worst, identity politics leads to nationalism—the “sense of national consciousness exalting one nation above all others and placing primary emphasis on promotion of its culture and interests as opposed to those of other nations or supranational groups.” This attitude is becoming increasingly apparent in my people, indigenous people. And it’s worrying to say the least.
I’m in Grade 12. And I’ve just begun to realize this. In all of the schools I have attended, especially my high school, there is an emphasis on promoting Indigenous culture and ideas. In every classroom and hallway there are aboriginal symbols and teachings. This is increasingly the case in universities and inevitably will be the case in all high schools.
But there is a difference between promoting culture and forcing a culture on everyone. For example, at the University of Winnipeg it is required of you to take an Indigenous Studies class no matter what your major is. In Indigenous Studies, you learn about the traditional beliefs and such of indigenous people. On the surface, this seems like a great thing.
However, if you dare to explore how indigenous people originally arrived in Canada, you cannot mention a land bridge (the Bering Strait). That would be considered a “closed minded” or “racist viewpoint.” It is widely believed by indigenous people that “the Creator brought them here” or perhaps “they travelled here on the back of a giant turtle.” This is a real life example from a current student who shall remain unnamed for his own protection. For the same reason, I have chosen a pseudonym.
How is the promotion of indigenous origin myths any different than teaching the creationism of Christianity in public schools? Aren’t liberal-minded educators supposed to be against things like that?
People are so blinded by progressive guilt about my people to realize this hypocrisy. They are teaching that facts are wrong and “racist.” They simply want to push the culture and teach that it’s wrong to think differently.
Indigenous activists continue to call for even more indigenizing of schools, classrooms, and well, pretty much everything. They want our culture to be everywhere and to have special protections by the UN and Canadian government.
The government must have a specific “First Nations” space on their various platforms. How crazy is that? Where else do you see the government having to address a race of people and have policies for them specifically?
It is quite odd that we, as a race, have this “special” status in government, yet the real problems of indigenous communities still go unaddressed. Teaching random people creationist myths is not going to bring clean water or other much-needed resources to struggling indigenous communities.
What does this all lead to in the end? Hate. It is an ever-growing hate that I have personally experienced along with many family and friends. I used to harbour a deep-seeded hatred for those of white skin colour. And it was encouraged in me.
This is all a result of how they teach history and modern issues in school. Everything is the white people’s fault. Our problems stem from them. History isn’t taught as what happened in the past, but how “whiteness” happened in the past and made things bad for the present. This is how a disturbing number of indigenous people think and how they teach modern issues in school. This combined with progressive pride is very, very dangerous.
We should not “indigenize” everything we see. It’s all well and good to discuss indigeneity in terms of history or culture, but it shouldn’t be mandatory. This leads to a forced indoctrination rather than a learning experience.
My people didn’t like it when Christianity was forced down our throats, so how come we insist on forcing others to believe our own religion and mythology?
We are walking down a dangerous path. It may be in the name of good intentions, but you know what they say about good intentions.