I apologize for using such a term as Red Skins when referring to our First Nations People. However, as a young boy I didn’t know any better, growing up in the UK and attending British public schools such things were never mentioned. The only education I received was at the movies, or when playing cowboys and Indians, The good guys were always the cowboys or cavalry. Most movies ended with the blue coats charging to the rescue of a beleaguered wagon train and chasing off the frightful savages. It never occurred to me they were trying to defend their lands. In 1969; I arrived on PEI, I still wasn’t very smart concerning First Nations. One night I attended a fancy dress dance at the legion, I was with my boss, a handsome and smart man for whom I had much respect. During the evening a woman staggered across the dance floor, she was dress in Indian clothes. I turned to my boss and said , it looks like that squaw has had too much fire water. He bristled, I’m an Indian he said, I almost died on the spot. I had no idea, had never given a thought to indigenous people, perhaps I’d assumed they had all disappeared . I apologized as sincerely as I could , I explained my ignorance and lack of education. Fortunately he was a lot smarter than me and we managed to move on. Since that moment I made it my business to better understand the history of this continent. It’s not something to be proud of , we and our forefathers stole this beautiful land from the First Nations. We treated them cruelly, forced them onto reservations, and in general dismissed them as non-peoples. Indeed we still are slow to offer help, many Canadians still speak of them as a lower form of life. When Wayne Easter stated it wasnt his fault, can’t blame him for his ancestors, I cringed. This is tantamount to claiming no responsibility what so ever, It wasnt me!!!! , the kind of response a school boy might offer. Of course we are to blame, how can we suddenly brush aside the crimes of the past. I realize we can’t change history, however we can change our attitudes, we can offer help, we can do the right thing. Refusing any blame is not the right way to make amends. Politicians more than anyone else should understand this and at the very least attempt to apologize. So Wayne Easter get off your high horse and do the right thing by apologizing .
God Bless and keep reading