The recent letter by C. Cox (All Citizens Have Their Special Places, The Daily News, Sept. 28) illustrates some uninformed and common beliefs held by a significant number of Canadians.
They now have a misguided sense of superiority. A common quote showing their ignorance of Canadian history is: “They had the same opportunities as me.”
They don’t know that, despite fighting in the First and Second World Wars and the Korean War, First Nations were not allowed to vote in federal elections until 1960!
The Department of Indian Affairs, and in particular Duncan Campbell Scott, trumpeted the wartime achievements of status Indians. His 1919 annual report explained that, according to official records, more than 4,000 Indians had enlisted for service — approximately 35 per cent of all status Indian males of military age.
Given the challenges that faced these recruits, Scott highlighted how remarkable it was “that the percentage of enlistments among the Indians is fully equal to that among other sections of the community, and indeed far above the average in a number of instances.” Furthermore, these statistics did not include non-status Indians, Métis or Inuit, so more Aboriginal peoples served in the armed forces than any official record can provide.
I don’t have the time or inclination to give lots of examples, but suffice to say that people should read Sylvie Paillard’s great column (Fixing Past Not A Simple Task, The Daily News, Sept. 26) and they will be quickly enlightened.