Seven fallen feathers by Tanya Talaga is definitely a hook you should consider adding to your ‘must read‘ list. Especially if you have no idea what aboriginal populations are going through, and how it got there. Take a look for yourself, here are 5 quick lessons and book quotes from the book of the week: Seven Fallen Feathers – Racism, Death, and hard truths in northern cities
Cultural set out to destroy the political and social institutions of the targeted group. Land is seized, and populations are forcibly transferred and their movement is restricted. Languages are banned, spiritual leaders are persecuted, Spiritual practices are forbidden, and objects of spiritual values are confiscated and destroyed. And most significantly to the issue at hand, families are separated to prevent the transmission of cultural values and identity from one generation to the next. And in dealing with aboriginal people, Canada did all of these things.Seven Fallen Feathers
1 – What happened with the Canadian Natives anyway?
The quote above says it all, cultural genocide displacing and costing the lives of thousands of people. Many resisted, many died. Those that remained suffered tremendously under the heavy hand of oppression and racism. THAT ladies and gentlemen is strategically omitted from Canadian history classes (I mean why wouldn’t it be right? Traumatizing stuff) however they will learn about slavery, and African American oppression. Perhaps the reason for this is because most of the language around that has already been written for them by our friendly neighbors, the USA. Perhaps it’s apathy, or maybe it’s shame. Whatever the reason behind it is, the fact is that it has in fact happened, and unfortunately that part can’t be erased from history.
“How do you explain racism to your child? Tell them to ignore them. Tell them it has nothing to do with them and make them promise to never retaliate” she told him to turn the other cheek! “ just don’t become a racist yourself. Those racist attitudes will always be there don’t become them.Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga
2 – Canada’s dark history.
Seven Fallen feathers shines a light on some dark and very well hidden canadian history. ie: Guess what the sixties scoop is? I’ll give you a hint, it’s not a type of ice-cream. The Sixties scoop refers to the “scooping” of native children. Scoop is kind of a cute word isn’t it? I picture a giggling child going down a slide at the park, but it was far from joyous. The physical and emotional separation from their birth families continues to affect adult adoptees and Indigenous communities to this day. Other terms/historical events to get familiar with for some clarity on the First Nations issues in Canada, Jordans Principle for example.
Thunderbay Who is referred to as the hate cr ime capital of Canada in 2013 by statistics Canada. they were crowned that title for having more reported hate crimes than any other city in the country.Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga
3 – Canadian Hate Crimes
Natives in general are victims of daily overt racism. Racial slurs yelled from car windows, trash, eggs and other disgusting things thrown at native kids from car windows as well. “Go back home!” is often uttered, which is ironic because they’re First Nations, meaning they are home. The title of this book refers to the 7 deaths of aboriginal teenagers kids in Thunder Bay. Also controversially known as “Murder bay”, the 7 deaths were almost at the blended on teenage alcoholism and misconduct many of the parents were not contacted when the children were found dead some parents were contacted three or four days after the children already went missing. Also, each investigation seemed to rush to the conclusion that they were incidental, but all of them were teenagers that were found dead, most of them in the river. Canada is internationally known for their kindness, what a terrible hypocrisy that image is, especially in Northern cities.
Many homes on reservations don’t have any plumbing.Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga
4 – Water issues
This issue could be an entire book in itself, however, like many good reporters, Seven Fallen Feathers author, Tanya Talaga, addresses this complex issue by showcasing many related details to this multifaceted problem. The truth about Canada is that to this day, there are people living in third world country conditions with no potable water, and in homes without plumbing. Organizations such as Water First are actively developing solutions for urgent drinking water challenges on native reserves. The link will allow you to donate and learn more about the issues at hand.
The students have never been to a big city before they’ve never seen the street lights need never seen the strip malls with fast food restaurants many of them have English as a second language to their native tongue ObjibwaySeven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga
5 – Culture shock
Seven Fallen Feathers does an incredible job humanizing the dead aboriginal students. They all had dreams, passions, they were all adorable children once, who loved swimming, nature and sports. They all had dreams of becoming someone, to help their families out of poverty, and harsh realities. They were also slapped in the face by culture shock. The reason why the students had to move away from their families to get a highschool education is simple, there are no high schools on the reserves worth going to. If they want high schools with gymnasiums, libraries and a half decent lesson roster, they have to leave their reserve. When they do they are shocked by the bright lights, strip malls and blatant ignorance and racism towards them. Tanya Talaga captures the feeling of vulnerability that we can all relate to.
The public has not responded to the whistleblowers. As musician Gord Downie said: “We have been trained our entire lives to look away”.Seven Fallen Feathers – Tanya Talaga
Former Ontario Premier Mike Harris, famously said “Get those fucking indians out of the park” in 2005 referring to protesting aboriginals over stolen land. Former conservative prime minister had the infamous apology to Residential School Survivors on June 11th 2008, which was the first time in Canadian History that the historic indian reservation school system atrocities were acknowledged by canadian government. They seemed to spend more time trying to hide the fact that it ever happened, as told by the CBC radio special, the untold history of resistance to residential schools. Lastly, Justin Trudea, current Prime Minister has proposed a reconciliation framework which included a plan to give millions as reparation payments for individuals for historic injustices. However, they have yet to see that go to fruition as noted in this article “You’re a liar”: Indigenous people voice anger at Trudea Town Hall in B.C. Keep your government accountable! If he lies to them about this, what is he lying to us about? Call him out! Get social, your voice matters.
Most improtantly, read this important book, and gain raise your concsiousness!