Friday, April 19, 2013

Mr. Genaille, Why Don't They Like Us?

I had decided not to respond to the coverage of the anti-First Nations comments made by the BC provincial election candidate in the Okanagan, whom I understand will be continuing as an Independent.  My friend Starleigh wrote a good post about it here (

Something happened today though that I wanted to share, mostly because it bothers me, draw your own conclusions.  I am currently teaching a combination of courses from grade two through grade eleven.  I was in our computer lab with my grade five/seven Social Studies class looking up articles about the BC election for scrapbooks they are keeping on it.  My grade five students are all First Nations, I think.  A couple of them ran across an article about the candidate's defense of her comments and the support she was receiving from the community she is running in.  The two students called me over and the younger asked me, "Mr. Genaille, why don't they like us?"

I have many answers to that question.  I have strived to answer that question here on this blog, often.  I have tried to reconcile what it means for the longest of times that people don't like me because I am Native.  I have challenged it where I could and when I could, with varied results, depending on the audience and my own strengths at the given time.  This evening, I watched a news segment interviewing people who were commending this woman on her comments.  

I have tried hard to understand because I want to know why.  I have tried to understand because I want to be able to educate and transform.  I have tried to understand because I don't know how to answer a ten year old when he asks me why they don't like us.

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