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COMMENTARY · 5th June 2013
Merv Ritchie
I am a product of Hitler’s Germany. My mother was raised during the time of Hitler. She was six years old when Hitler was appointed Chancellor. She was seventeen when the regime was falling and bombs were falling all over Germany. What could she do if she thought as a youngster, ‘I want out!’ - ‘I do not support this government!’

This is my dilemma today. I watch the government of my country commit crimes of unbelievable wrongs, invading other countries and yet I am stuck here as a resident, a citizen, of a crime ridden country.

I can’t claim political asylum as I am not presently being persecuted for political crimes. I will however, in the future, be held to account for the crimes of the Nation I am residing in.

My government is selling out the Nation to communist regimes, yet I can’t run to another country and complain, asking for safe haven.

I want to yell at the top of my lungs to the world community of decency, love and compassion, “I do not belong in this cruel, habitat destroying Nation!”, but no country will come to my aid.

I want to call out to all Nations to help me protect the last pristine nourishing habitat on the planet, the Sacred Headwaters, but no one will answer my calls.

I wonder if Mom ever thought the same. Did she worry about how she and her German compatriots would be treated by the world community in the future?
Just remember this quote.
Comment by Helmut Giesbrecht on 6th June 2013
The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore, all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
George Bernard Shaw
You can substitute "woman" for "man".

Progress may be painfully slow but progress is always made.
One day.....
Comment by Janice Robinson on 6th June 2013
I was riding down a dirt road, near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan, with a Cree Elder. I was in the area for two months, as I was contracted to do some work at the federal prison located there. It was my day off, and he was showing me some of the country. The year was 1993.

We stopped on a small hill, and got out of the car. Down the road came this speeding pickup truck. Dust was flying as he initially drove by us. Then, he came to a quick stop, put his vehicle in reverse, and backed up until he was along-side us. He was a white man, about 50-55 years old. "You people looking for trouble?! No Indians own any land up here. What you doing here? Get away from my property before I call the cops on you!" Following the Elder's lead, I got back in the car, and we left.

As a 20 year old, I was travelling, in B.C. with some friends. Passing through Williams Lake, on a hot day, we stopped for the night. After settling in, we went to a local bar for a couple of cool ones. Three of us were of First Nations descent. He rushed out from behind the bar, pointing at us, "No! We don't serve Indians here! Get outta here, now!" I was young. I was shocked. I had never experienced this before.

Walking out the front door of the bar...Voila! There was Chief Dan George, about to enter. I kid you not! We explained to him that the bar does not serve Indians. After asking if we all were of legal drinking age, he invited us back in the bar....and, we had the honour of sharing the next two hours, and a few cool ones, with Chief Dan George. He gave us some helpful hints on how to deal with racists (of any colour).

In 2001, right here in Terrace, B.C., in the territory of my ancestors (Tsimshian), I was told, "You and your family should get the hell outta here! You can all cease to exist!" This place is lousy with racists, who are not the least bit interested in the history of this beautiful place. Some even shamelessly "work with Indians." There's a lot of money to be made in Indian country (treaties, consultants, arts, therapists, etc.) They're sneaky about their bigotry, but it is shameful just the same.

First Nations people are the favourite targets of all racists (white, yellow and black).

Where can our children go, when racist trauma gets to be too much? Germany?

Nah.....we are not ever going anywhere. We love this place. We welcomed the racists here too! They come and go, and many non-Indians are beautiful people. Word is...that we will stay.

God's blessings on you and all your loved ones, Merv. Your Mom is, no doubt, very proud of you and smiles... a lot.