"The Canadian Government needs to recognize the contributions the native people have made and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 recommendations. Only then will Canadians be truly able to hold their heads up high and declare, "I am a Canadian."
- Irene Vaughan
We are happy to report that Canadians are continuing to call on the Canadian government to put forward legislation clearly establishing Indigenous Peoples's status as Founding Nations of Canada. One of the most powerful actions Canadians are taking is using our Letter-to-the-Editor tool. This powerful tool allows Canadians to successfully publish dozens of letters in Canadian newspapers, an effective and innovative way to call on the Canadian government to turn Recognition to Action.
Below is a letter sent by Irene Vaughan.
Through Canadian Political Economy and a Canadian Humanities university courses, I learned much of how Canada was opened up to development through first the French, Beaver trade, and then the British, development of the railway. Nothing was mentioned about the part our Indigenous people played in assisting the British in wars, and helping the settlers in surviving the harsh Canadian winters. Why in our learning institutions were the contributions of the Indigenous People not included?
In my late teens I worked in the Ungava Bay Region for a construction conglomerate, CMMK. it was here that I learned first hand how down trodden the Indigenous people were being treated. I drove through a reserve and saw the ground huts that they lived in. I was appalled! Inquiring why their standard of living was so poor, I was told it was their own fault as the government had built homes for them to live in and Schools to send their children to, but they chose not to take advantage of these offerings. This was true, as I saw those clean newly built structures, and the dug out huts they chose to live in. This was in 1951. It was only in adulthood that I learned of the reasons why these proud native people fought to hold on to their dignity. Then and now, these people were oppressed, taken advantage of, their rights denied, and the truth of their contributions erased from history.
The Canadian Government needs to recognize the contributions the native people have made and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau needs to implement the Truth and Reconciliation Commission's 94 recommendations. Only then will Canadians be truly able to hold their heads up high and declare, "I am a Canadian."
- Irene Vaughan