Vowel (2016). Myth-Busting. (Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada.)

Vowel, C. (2016). Myth-Busting. In Indigenous Writes: A Guide to First Nations, Métis, and Inuit issues in Canada (pp. 115–168). Winnipeg, Canada: Portage & Main Press.

[“13 The Myth of Progress” …]

[Progress as passage of time and improvement …]

“… the idea that Canadian society is evolving and progressing is an important part of the colonial imaginary. The myth is that progress is tied to the passage of time, thus, things are always inevitably getting better.” (p 119)

[No national effort to correct mistaken histories, despite widespread knowledge …]

“Every single one of us, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, has been fed a series of lies, half-truths, and fantasies intended to create a cohesive national identity. What is most startling about this is that a great many people are aware of the errors and omissions present in our system of education and in our public discourse, yet there has not been a national attempt to rectify this.” (p 120)

[Inauthentic identities arising from colonial myths …]

“We are all being denied a real identity, one based on more than colonial myths intended to create a national identity out of thin air.” (p 121)

[Myths mask historical violence …]

“The violence that national myths commit is to delegitimize the very real pain that is the legacy of abuse and oppression.” (p 121)

[“14 The Myth of the Level Playing Field” …]

[Neocolonial myth of equality, rather than equity …]

“… a central pillar of the Western liberal myth of a level playing field: recognizing Indigenous peoples have legitimate grievances stemming from awful things that were done in the past, but the advent of a modern democracy means we are now all equals and we have an obligation to behave as such.” (p 126)

[Indigenous interests conflict with neoliberal nation-state imperatives …]

“Canadian Aboriginal law is viewed as deeply problematic because it directly impacts Canada’s economic power.” (p 130)

[“15 The Myth of Taxation” …]

[Taxation appears arbitrary …]

“Why are churches tax exempt? Why are nonprofit corporations tax exempt? Can you provide me with a quick and satisfying answer _without_ a historical and sociological explanation?” (p 141)

[“16 The Myth of Free Housing” …]

[“17 The Myth of the Drunken Indian” …]

[“18 The Myth of the Wandering Nomad” …]

[“19 The Myth of Authenticity” …]

[Traditional does not preclude adaptations …]

“The idea that Indigenous traditions require us to use technologies that were only available to us precontact, or more generously, slightly post-contact, is silly.” (p 166)

[Indigenous practices anchored in the past through the colonial notions of tradition …]

“The arbitrary decision to say, ‘That isn’t a traditional practice if you’re using ‘new’ technology,’ freezes us in time, and for no good purpose. It would be like me telling [page break] you that you don’t get to travel anywhere if you’re not doing it in a horse and buggy.” (p 166-167)

[Artifacts are not the sole indicators of culture. Cultures can remain true to their worldviews while adapting new technologies and artifacts …]

“We are just as capable of adapting to new technology and using it according to traditional beliefs and philosophies as you are. It’d be cool if you thought of a few ways in which your culture has used new technologies in a traditional way so you really get what I’m saying here.” (p 167)

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