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REPORTING · 16th April 2013
Merv Ritchie
A News Release by the BC Liberal Party titled ”Adrian Dix MUST Immediately Fire NDP Candidate in Kelowna-Mission” reveals how the ignorance and inability of many, to comprehend the reality of the present and past, thrives within the political elite.

Kelowna-Mission NDP candidate Dayleen Van Ryswyk is quoted from an internet forum thread titled ‘Strip then of their status card’ on Kelownas popular news and community website ‘Castanet’, writing the following statements;

“It’s not the status cards, it’s the fact that we have been paying out of the nose for generations for something that isn’t our doing. If their ancestors sold out too cheap it’s not my fault and i shouldn’t have to be paying for any mistake or whatever you want to call it from MY hard earned money.”

“It’s time our generation stopped paying for the mistakes of the past…let us all be one people…THE SAME.. race, creed colour or gender shouldn’t matter anymore in this day and age…enough is enough already.” (sic)

“The government is nothing more than a big black hole that feeds off the working man, sucking his last penny from his hand so they can give it away freely or lose it stupidly on things like fast ferries and about a zillion other stupid things.”

“In my opinion, we have paid our debt…a thousand’s time to move on, heal and grow. If the native people are to be the proud nation they keep talking about, then stand on your two feet and hold your heads high. There are a lot of things to be proud of, stop dwelling on the past. Because like the economy…the gravy train bubble will eventually burst too.”

This attitude is very common among Canadian citizens. Most have not been properly educated and informed on the cruelty the settlers only one hundred years ago, inflicted on the Indian peoples. The Residential Schools issue, though not a minor injustice, was not the most serious of crimes perpetrated. The many other actions the governments and others inflicted have yet to be even acknowledged. It was just over 80 years ago when the Indian peoples were stripped of all rights, even to associate in groups of three or larger. And it is still less than two years ago when Indian peoples were granted to right to sue for the denial of human rights.

Dayleen Van Ryswyk can likely be forgiven as can most others who hold these contemptible attitudes as most Canadians have had the details of the abuses of the Indian peoples if not completely held back and hidden from exposure, then minimized such that the context is lost.

The Canadian School system along with the Canadian media have failed the people of Canada in an extreme manner.

Many people actually sympathize with her words “In my opinion, we have paid our debt…a thousand fold; when in fact the debt in British Columbia has not even been acknowledged and identified. Where has it been written and taught in school how our government of the day purposefully spread small pox in an effort to deliberately infect and kill off as many Indian people as the government could?

As the last residential schools closed just over a decade ago and many who attended these schools continue to live from the affects, how can the debt have been paid even one time over, let alone, ‘a thousand fold’.

The BC Liberals are attempting to use this ignorance of the BC NDP member to score political points when they have yet to acknowledge and even continue to suppress and abuse the Indian peoples with a treaty process which refuses to address the traditional people’s culture. They fund treaty societies and development organizations against the will of the true Indian leadership.

The British Columbian governments have continuously stolen Indian land by genocide and subterfuge. It was originally written about in the Victoria newspapers in the 1860’s in terms of horror, how Dr. Helmcken purposefully spread smallpox to and throughout all the northern Indian Nations; this to get free access to the gold in the Stikine Country.

[At the present rate of mortality, not many months can elapse "ere the Northern Indians of this coast will exist only in story" [...] "... "What will they say in England?' when it is known [...] The authorities have commenced the work of extermination - [...] - Never was there a more execrable Indian policy than ours" The Daily British Colonist, June 1862.]

Today the BC Liberals are continuing down the same path by infiltrating and undermining the authority of the family elders and true Chiefs of the Indian peoples.

Christy Clark and the BC Liberals have no right to complain about an ignorant NDP candidate until they actually take action to reverse the genocidal actions of their own regime.
Why can't we all be equal?
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 18th April 2013
Your society subjugates an indigenous population for about 500 years, takes away the lands on which they hunted and gathered for thousands of years, placed them on small reserves so you can access their lands with impunity, spread a disease (smallpox) for which they had no immunity (because they didn't need it) before Europeans came and it killed hundreds of thousands, killed off their food supply and tried to make them like the colonizers and then, when after centuries they say no to more of this injustice somebody, some immigrant comes along and says."We should all be equal." Why? Because, justice and redress of past wrongs is so damned inconvenient and asking for equality now is also so self- serving.

It was greed that determined policy in North America when the Europeans colonizers came and it is the same greed (at times by the same group) that determines most policy and attitudes toward First Nations today.

Racism of low expectations
Comment by Mr. Peters on 18th April 2013
I do not care if you are pink, yellow, or poke-a-doted, or come from the dark side of the moon. I believe everyone, regardless of ethic background or gender should be entitled to the same opportunities. That does not currently exist. What does exist is an apartheid like state within Canada. And it most certainly is the white man's fault and no other. When I went to university, in the 80's, there were 120 applicants to the program and only 18 of us got in. There were however 2 seats reserved for anyone of Indian status, and they were fully paid for. The problem is no one ever took those 2 seats, while the rest of us had to pay 10s of thousands of dollars to go to school.

The best thing that could happen to the "first nations" is for the Indian act to be repealed and to have all of them become full status Canadians with no more rights and no fewer rights than everyone else. That is equality.

My comments on the state of the Indian culture prior to the arrival of the Europeans did not impart any statement of value to it. They were mere indicative statements of historical observation, we could debate the accuracy of those observations. It is like calling the sky blue, it is merely and indicative statement of fact from observation. You can take offense to it if you like, it however does not change history so you might as well accept it.
No thank you!
Comment by Janice Robinson on 18th April 2013
Who among you would like to be equal to the likes of Dayleen Van Ryswyk or Rudi Peters? Not me. Ignorance/bigotry occurs in humans of all colours, red, white, yellow and black. It is a human weakness.

It would be good if Dayleen and Rudi would keep their dark opinions to themselves........but, oh no! They are not happy campers.

I think a prayer, on their behalf, will be appropriate.
Comment by barb krause on 17th April 2013
Too often lately, we have seen comments from people, saying we gave away to cheaply, stand on your own to feet, U diminished your own resources and expect the taxpayer to keep on paying and paying.

They seem to forget that history proves it was not the aboriginals that diminished the resources. Cod stocks of the Eastern Coast, Multi million dollars boats on the West Coast that pillaged the salmon and herring resources. Europeans that came in and exterminated a lot of our buffalo and other mammals for skins.

They explored as history will prove, as they raped and pillaged their own resources. The same thing goes on today with mining, gas and oil.

Yes we do expect revenue sharing on our resources, something the aboriginals did not ask for earlier. Where did these multi millionaires come from for our resources? And we still have continued racism! These companies would rather outsource most of their jobs, than train any aboriginals.

Up until the early 50ties we were not allowed to own a house, a fish boat, or even vote. And Yes I think we should be compensated. We were the original inhabitants of this beautiful country, But Alas we still have the red necks out there.

Immigrants come to our country, the government helps them out substantially, pays for their medical for years, and other necessities. Why do these racist only complain about the aboriginals? It is sickening.

Not an NDP stance
Comment by Karen on 17th April 2013
I am just glad Ms. Van Ryswyk's comments surfaced prior to being elected. With her attitude there would be a good chance she would have crossed the floor to the BC Liberals where her opinions would be accepted.
A few rebuttals
Comment by david dickinson on 16th April 2013
(1) Medicine
Thirty years ago, being the skeptic that I was and still am, I was a little apprehensive when Chinni Stephen Brown (recently deceased Haida elder) told me he had "cured stomach cancer" using Indian medicine. Then, less than 10 years later, a "gold rush" happened with the Western Yew after it was "discovered" by white people that the bark had cancer-fighting properties, particularly for breast cancer. Throughout western US and Canada people were stripping off the bark of wild yew trees for profit and there was concern that these ancient trees would all but disappear. The issue made national headlines and was covered by Time magazine. Fortunately, scientists soon were able to produce the anti-cancer medicine taxol in the lab and the threat was over. Chinni Brown's Indian medicine? Derived from boiled yew wood. I saw it for myself.

(2) Had no sails for boats
One historical story was about a schooner travelling from Port (then Fort) Simpson on the coast to Massett on Haida Gwaii. The Haidas left Massett in their canoe at the same time the white guys left Port Simpson. The Haida canoe made to Port Simpson and returned to Massett (a two-way trip) ahead of the schooner (a one-way trip)! The Haidas and other northern groups regularly travelled at least as far south as Seattle (probably to San Francisco). I remember reading a tourist brochure from the Seattle area calling the Haidas the "Vikings of the North Coast."

(3) Simplistic music
Marius Barbeau recorded many wax cylinders of native music. On one trip to the Northwest, which included visits to the Nisga'a, Tsmishian, and Gitxsan, Barbeau brought with him a pre-eminient professor of music from Toronto. (These wax cylinders are kept in a museum in Ottawa.) At first, the professor thought a singer was "out of time" as to his ear, the music did not follow a simple four/four or three/four meter. That is, the singer's phrases seemed to be out of time with respect to the steady beat of the drum. It was only when the singer repeated the song exactly as before that the good professor realized it was intentional, and not "sloppy." He could hardly believe his ears. More recent commentators compared the meter to Dave Brubeck's Take Five (in five/four), but this is wrong. The singing phrases do not follow a simple compound meter. The nearest thing we have in Western music is Stravinsky's Rite of Spring or what I call "authentic" rap music (as opposed to "paint-by-numbers rap, which follows regular time). The complexity of this native music was recognized by a professor of music, yet people to this day think native music is overly simplistic!

(4) Are just in the last 200 years getting caught up to most of the rest of the world...
Remember, when the explorers first hit what is now BC, their beliefs were firmly entrenched in the Victorian era. This is why the explorers were so shocked that the natives didn't hide their women away or beat their children. So, who's caught up with whom???
Since you asked...
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 16th April 2013
...She (I think it was) can't reflect the views of the NDP any more than you could, Mr. Peters.
Becoming equals...
Comment by R1chard Jenn1ss on 16th April 2013

The idea of all becoming equals is a fallacy, given enough time and also it's equally short sighted to many other comments.

To truly become equals our entire society has to change. Good by democracy, hello social-communism. Specifically included is title of ownership. Who says you should own ANYTHING over another human being? We can't just reset only a part of this so we can become equals.

This is hysterical coming from such a judgmental small town. Seeing how many don't forget - we should take some of your kids, change their last names, tell them how to talk, and tell you how to live.... It's hysterical because we want to be equal and fair yet have the luxury of what we forget.

To point out, the Native culture was the FIRST to have zero waste. Something we struggle pathetically in our being equal pipe dream society, not to mention co-existence on this planet, zero pollution... With the way society is going we all will be forced to be equals when the unsustainable ends.

Poor NDP
Comment by Mr. Peters on 16th April 2013
And just when I was beginning to think that there was at least one person in the NDP ranks capable of intelligent thought they go and kick his ass out.

What is wrong with what he said? Where are the historical inaccuracy in this "Editors Letter"?
Facts checked
Comment by Terrace Daily on 16th April 2013
We do not know what Victoria paper or letter to the editor comment you are referring to. We have read about a comment in Nanaimo which sparked an outrage. But as to the facts regarding our comment, here is the totality of the comment posted on our website (from a Terrace resident) on Saturday, April 13, 2013 ;

You are right Merv.
By Mr. Peters
2 days ago · "There is no culture on the planet that can claim what the Indian peoples of the northwest can claim"

In the over 10,000 years that they claim to have lived here they did the following:

- never "discovered" the wheel
- never had a written language
- never discovered astronomy
- had no science or scientific discoveries
- had no mathematics
- made no medical discoveries
- never had written music
- only "figured out" a drum and a rattle for musical instruments
- had no metallurgy
- had no sails for boats (only had canoes)
- created virtually no mechanical devices
- possessed almost nothing that required hard manual labour over a period of time, ie. building with or carving out of stone
- made almost no inventions
- are just in the last 200 years getting caught up to most of the rest of the world
- have a history that is notable only for underachievement.

So yes Merv you are right, they can claim something that no other culture can.
I have accepted Ms. Van Ryswyk’s resignation.
Comment by BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix on 16th April 2013
Statement from BC NDP Leader Adrian Dix

Earlier today, I was made aware of unacceptable comments made by Kelowna-Mission NDP candidate Dayleen van Ryswyk. I have accepted Ms. Van Ryswyk’s resignation. A new BC NDP candidate will be announced shortly
we are all people
Comment by eric on 16th April 2013
Although a little short sighted I do agree that it is time that we all become equal.

Special rights, money, land etc granted based on race, religion etc create social divisions that do nothing but breed hatred and divide us all. I do not see how this can be debated, to do so is to be blind to the issues we face today.

We all have the same right to life and liberty, no one person is "more equal" than the other.

Let us all work together as one people and finish this nonsense once and for all.
check the facts
Comment by Steve Smyth on 16th April 2013
That nonsencical diatribe is not attributable to any Terrace citizen--thats the rant/ "Editors letter" that started the furor by being printed in a Victoria newspaper.

From the citzens of Terrace we see the same extreme attitude
Comment by Merv Ritchie on 16th April 2013
Quoting from a reader writing last week;

In the over 10,000 years that they claim to have lived here they did the following:

- never "discovered" the wheel
- never had a written language
- never discovered astronomy
- had no science or scientific discoveries
- had no mathematics
- made no medical discoveries
- never had written music
- only "figured out" a drum and a rattle for musical instruments
- had no metallurgy
- had no sails for boats (only had canoes)
- created virtually no mechanical devices
- possessed almost nothing that required hard manual labour over a period of time, ie. building with or carving out of stone
- made almost no inventions
- are just in the last 200 years getting caught up to most of the rest of the world
- have a history that is notable only for underachievement.