Paving the path for the future
by AmandaMcc on October 20, 2016 - 7:14pm
The article “Assembly of First Nations chief Perry Bellegarde its down with the Montreal Gazette” talks about what a reconciliation between Canada and indigenous people can look like. In 2015, Bellegarde visited a catholic school situated in Ontario. The school itself was situates near Ojibwe territory, so parents would send their kids there to attend classes in Thunder Bay. After his visit to the school, Bellegarde sat down with the Montreal Gazette in order to talk about what the country could do in order to accommodate indigenous people who live in urban settings.
When Bellegarde talked about what he saw in the class, it really surprised me. Bellegarde said that when he walked in all the students starting speaking Ojibwe, all of them, “the white kids and the indigenous kids, at a Catholic school. And it wasn’t the white kids rolling their eyes and saying, ‘Oh no, more of this Indian crap.’ They were smiling and proud and passionate.” This passage reminded me of the video that we watched in class called a “Class divided”. In the video, a teacher taught discrimination using eye colour. She separated the students by eye colour, blue and brown. One day the blue eyed kids were the dominant group and the next the brown eyed children were the dominant group. She treated the dominant group better than the minority group. When the experiment was completed, the children realized that they are not so different after all. Even if there were some differences, such as skin colour, there were all the same. The children at the Catholic school surprised me because not only were they very accepting and willing to learn Ojibwe and many other aboriginal practices, they showed that they were willing to put aside their differences and simply treat each other as equals. If these students are able to do something like this and have absolutely no problems with this, why can adults do it?
Bellegarde also talks how he was bullied when he was younger based on his skin colour. He tells the Montreal Gazette how the racism that he experienced had an impact on him after that time. That story reminded me of when I was a younger and I was bullied. I was bullied because of my last name, which sounded funny to most people and the fact that I had a lot of freckles. The bullying had an impact on me that affected me for years. So I do understand were Bellegarde is coming from.
After reading this article, I learned that it is possible for people to set asides their differences, such as skin colour and race and simply treat each other as equals. I can only wonder how long it will talk for the rest of the world to follow the path that the catholic school students as started.
Curtis, Christopher. "Assembly of First Nations Chief Perry Bellegarde Sits down ..." Montreal Gazette. N.p., 14 Oct. 2016. Web. 20 Oct. 2016. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/assembly-of-first-nations-chi...