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Old 10-18-2004, 02:25 AM   #1
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Aboriginal Healing Forum Wraps Up On Bitter Note

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FROM: THE LONDON (ONTARIO, CANADA) FREE PRESS NEWSPAPER

http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/London...15/669496.html

Aboriginal Healing Forum Wraps Up On Bitter Note


CP 2004-10-15 02: 34: 54


FOREST -- An aboriginal forum convened to build cultural bridges ended on an
angry note yesterday when a native teacher said he doesn't forgive whites for
stealing his land. Bruce Elijah, a spiritual teacher from Oneida of the
Thames, said aboriginal people were systematically pushed aside by Europeans who
brought smallpox, alcohol and a Bible "based on lies."

"I'm told I need to work on forgiveness. I've got a ways to go on that one,"
Elijah said. "But I will never, ever forget what my people have sacrificed."

The two-day forum was arranged by the Ipperwash inquiry as a way to promote
understanding and healing.

The inquiry is examining the 1995 shooting death of native protester Dudley
George.

Elijah, the final presenter, said governments in Canada and the United States
broke every treaty ever signed with First Nations.

For their generosity and trust, he said, 15 million aboriginal people living
east of the Mississippi at the time of Christopher Columbus were nearly wiped
out.

"Your churches . . . your military did away with our people."

An uneasy silence grew when Elijah, speaking at the Forest Golf and Country
Club, predicted natives will rise up and take back the land within seven
generations.

But it will be done peacefully, not by arms or a coup, he added.

"If you teach people the truth, they will take it upon themselves to use it
in a good way."

The Ipperwash inquiry is probing the circumstances surrounding the shooting
of George by an Ontario Provincial Police officer in 1995 after a group of
natives occupied Ipperwash Provincial Park, citing the presence of a sacred burial
ground.





Copyright The London Free Press 2001,2002,2003
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Old 10-18-2004, 10:49 PM   #2
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Umm.. Im a bit mixed about this. Im not sure how to react so all i can say is that i like what his last comment was how we will take back what is ours but we will do it peacefully and that when truth is taught people will use it in a positive. I believe it is a time for truth and realization and sometimes it is painful but it needs to be heard in order to be healed. Why should we be forced to live within a nation built on lies give people the truth and let them decide for themselves.
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:19 PM   #3
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I felt the same way reading this myself Angel. I mean I'm glad he said what he said even though myself personally does'nt feel exactly like he does, but it kinda bummed me that it had to be said there where things were supposed to be about learning. But somehow i got the impression things were not going as nicely as the article would like you to believe and one frustrated man said what was on his mind.
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Old 10-18-2004, 11:52 PM   #4
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I know this man. He is a dedicated, loving man who wants only what is best for his people, all native people. I found it a bit out of character for him to say what he did. I can only guess that it is frustrating for any of us to try to forgive and the next thing you know, something else happens.
With native people it is one crises after another. It is much easier now to hear of bad things happening to our people from coast to coast with all the technology and information sharing amongst our nations.

I went to Stoneypoint within hours of the shooting of Dudley George. After I recieved the call, I immediately contacted others and dressed and was out the door. It's that quick.

We find out if something bad happens in a matter of hours. We could be celebrating a victory one morning and find out there's another crises happening that afternoon.
That's frustrating. And it builds up..... and up. A person can only take so much.

Bruce Elijah gives and gives. He is not a bitter man. He speaks for many of us who have that difficulty of forgiving.
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Old 10-19-2004, 10:56 AM   #5
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Well the guy seems and sounds like a passionate man and yes that is good. Youre absolutely right sumtimes it feels just when we are making progress something else happens, there was another post I read about an elder and his words , sumthing to the idea that all people have been tested and we are being tested and that our creator knows we will be ok. I find somewhat of a comfort from those words. I beleive we are a strong people and in the end we will prevail.
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Old 10-19-2004, 11:25 AM   #6
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I too find Mr. Elijah's words very emotionally and passionately stated, especially at a time when I, personally, very recently stated to a few friends that I think as the older I get, the more prejudicial I'm feeling towards non-Indians...feeling philosophical and antagonistic over alot of the issues that he addresses... I give the man a lot of credit for stating what he did so publically that their local newspaper would even care to print it...the ole' addage 'you can forgive, but never forget' just doesn't cut it sometimes you know...
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Old 10-19-2004, 12:58 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii
I know this man. He is a dedicated, loving man who wants only what is best for his people, all native people. I found it a bit out of character for him to say what he did. I can only guess that it is frustrating for any of us to try to forgive and the next thing you know, something else happens.
With native people it is one crises after another. It is much easier now to hear of bad things happening to our people from coast to coast with all the technology and information sharing amongst our nations.

I went to Stoneypoint within hours of the shooting of Dudley George. After I recieved the call, I immediately contacted others and dressed and was out the door. It's that quick.

We find out if something bad happens in a matter of hours. We could be celebrating a victory one morning and find out there's another crises happening that afternoon.
That's frustrating. And it builds up..... and up. A person can only take so much.

Bruce Elijah gives and gives. He is not a bitter man. He speaks for many of us who have that difficulty of forgiving.
Well said as usual Ki!
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Old 10-19-2004, 09:47 PM   #8
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That's what I was thinking Kiwehnzhii... that it got frustrating and finally someone had to speak his mind.
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