Cowboys and Indians…

Two things before I get to my actual posting:
1. The Men’s Hockey team is finished. The can’t score. They can’t stop anyone else from scoring. And that’s that.
2. I have never seen so many 4th place finishes from the Canadian team. There have been 5 or 6 now. We are the world’s best fourth-place finishers. Isn’t that typically Canadian? To be close to the top, but not close enough to be noticed. Just close enough to go for drug testing in case we make it to the top. How typically, stereotypically Canadian…

To the subject at hand…

We are supposed to live in a world of political correctness. Aren’t we? Not according to American music books…

I remember the song “Indian Dance” from my ABC beginner piano books by Boris Berlin. But it was the late 80s and political correctness wasn’t exactly “in vogue” then. At that time I knew that “Indians” (Natives or Aboriginals these days) didn’t live in “teepees” anymore. They lived among me and the town near which I grew up.

The problem with people out here is that they don’t see anything beyond the Port Mann bridge. And if they do, they must live or have connections in Surrey. Woo hoo! Surrey (sarcasm implied)! People out here live in their own bubble. Unfortunately things are so close at hand, that people don’t have to travel far to get what they want. Malls, movie theaters, casions – you name it – it’s here. The only thing you might actually have to plan for is a Canucks or Lions game. That’s it. People are closed in. And therefore, closed-minded.

Take my piano student who played the “Indian” songs today. He didn’t know that they don’t dress in their ceremonial garb everyday. He didn’t know that they don’t live in teepees. He’s never seen a real, live “Indian”. When I explained that I lived around them and went to school with them all of my life, he couldn’t understand that. So, now he thinks that all “Indians” live in Saskatchewan, because I have no idea where they live in Saskatchewan. I tried to get him to understand that the correct term is “Native” or “Aboriginal”, but the music book said “Indian”, so that’s what it was.

But it is an American music book. And “Indians” in America don’t have the power their Canadian counterparts have. The power nor the publicity. In some ways their plight is more desperate than those of our Native people up. You can’t believe that the issues don’t exist up here. But down there, Native Americans are lost in the melting pot that is the United States. Lost without a single voice to plead for them.

This is not to say that I am a voice of authority on Native issues. I’m not pretending to be. I’m just stating facts. But when’s the last time you heard George Bush trying to get the “Native” vote, or any US political party trying to get it? It’s too small of a minority when compared to African Americans or Hispanics. Plus, they don’t play basketball or football. That would help, don’t you think? The only Native American sports figure I can think of is Notah Begay III, a PGA golfer (This leads me to an interesting survey. Did you know that the following NHL players are Métis: Darcy Tucker, Wade Redden, Dan Cloutier and Sheldon Souray? Fred Saskamoose, the first Aboriginal player in the NHL, went to school in Duck Lake, just 10 minutes north of where my family lives in Saskatchewan. Did I really know anything in this paragraph until the research I did 5 minutes ago? No.). But I digress…

The point is that even in Canada, a land that prides itself on its multiculturalism, we really don’t know anything about each other. We all live in our own little worlds, staying inside them unless push comes to shove. I can say that I learn more about what it is to live in a multicultural society everyday. In my studio, I have Korean, French, Korean-French, Iranian, Chinese, Japanese, Korean-Canadian, and Caucasian children. Some were born here, others weren’t. Some lived in the United States for a few years. Some are recent immigrants. But the nice thing about teaching music to them is that it’s a universal language. No matter what language you speak, “do” is a female deer, “re” is a drop of golden sun.

Cowboys and Indians, though? Well, that’s another story…

Advertisements
1 comment
  1. Anonymous said:

    I know you are very serious about this posting, but the Sound of Music reference seems really cheesy.Joel

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Slaw

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

CFL.ca

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

Mental Floss

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

The Hairpin

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

PassiveAggressiveNotes.com

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

Visual News

Content that educates, engages, and inspires.

stuff antonia says.

lipstick, sacraments, espresso, & grace. not necessarily in that order.

Rage Against the Minivan

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

The Weekly Sift

making sense of the news one week at a time

Peter Enns

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

Lainey Gossip Articles

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

TheCourt.ca

THE COURT is the online resource for debate & data about the Supreme Court of Canada

Crumbs from the Communion Table

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

David Akin’s On the Hill

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

Blog - Elizabeth Esther

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

Experimental Theology

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

gailvazoxlade.com

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

Love is an Orientation

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

The Atlantic

My ramblings on life, politics, sports and other things.

%d bloggers like this: