MacLean’s Feb 2, 2015 issue included a front page headed story claiming Winnipeg is the ‘most racist city’ in Canada, this based on a ridiculous survey conducted by academics far removed from the real world. Here is a response I submitted as a letter to the editor. Just thought you might appreciate this contrarian point of view
Re ‘Racist Winnipeg’, if Winnipeggers are at fault at all, it is for bothering to respond to such a childishly simplistic, biased survey in the first place.
The collection of legislation, judgements, decisions, which make up the ‘Governance Structure’ under which our natives live is based on the racist prejudice that our natives are some kind of mythical ‘noble children of the forest’ who would live in gracious harmony with nature if only the white guys would stop persecuting them. Winnipeggers and those of us who live in the Regions understand that this is politically correctness gone mad, we understand that natives are not children, but real people, with real needs, living in the real 21st century world. We see this Governance Structure as the root of the problem – it sets natives apart, it denies them full Canadian citizenship. It makes it very difficult for ordinary native people to lead a useful, meaningful life; to make a contribution to their community, to participate in the larger community, to matter. Little wonder drugs and violence prevail.
We do indeed have a worse race problem than the US, as they have nothing to compare to our ‘Indian Industry’, that is, the army of bureaucrats, consultants, lawyers, politicians on and off reserves which administer that Governance Structure. An ‘Indian Industry’ that consumes billions of dollars and kneecaps the economy of the Regions, while trapping the native people in meaningless lives of frustrated poverty.
We in the regions recognize this Governance Structure and Indian Industry for the abomination it is. The problem is complex, and solutions not obvious, but the first step would be for the Center to develop an understanding that the problem originates in their own ignorance and prejudice in creating and maintaining this abomination, and not in the Regions including Winnipeg.