Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Fishing lodge asks that you not give booze to the "Native Guides"

My Brother-In-Law, David Finkle, is a musician and traditional craftsperson here in Ottawa. He is also a part of Canada's First Nations communities. He sent me this bit of old-timey racism that is circulating from the guidebook of a Manitoba fishing lodge:

The backlash has been swift and severe.

Chief Arlen Dumas, of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation (the "Indian guides" referenced) told the CBC, “The statements are so outrageous. Not only does he offend the very people that provide him his livelihood … he insults all indigenous people in North America.”

Chief Dumas wrote an open letter to the owners of the lodge, which operates on traditional Mathias Colomb Cree territory. They have yet to respond.

Meanwhile the lodge's Facebook page has become the target of a massive (and justified) airing of grievances:
"Unbelievable that in this day and age there exists such ignorance and overt racism. I grew up in the times of 'no dogs or Indians allowed' signs and thought it was at least fading, but this shows that sadly, it is not," wrote Robin Maracle. 
"Bravo, you have completely alienated your workforce, your community and an entire nation," wrote Cynthia Mandeville. 
"The best thing to do would be to turn this into an opportunity to educate yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. The right thing to do is to apologize and move toward making things better," wrote Karen SC.
Many cited a post by âpihtawikosisân, a Montreal Métis blogger who addressed the "drunken Indian" stereotype and myths with stats and references. It's worth a read.

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