The stories we live by in a society, and as a civilization, are a cross-pollination of narratives, derived from age-old belief systems, traditions, rituals, religions and literature, tempered and adapted organically by modern epistemology, pedagogy, philosophy, cultural context and the purely experiential. There’s an inherent, and perhaps predictable narrowing, or reduction, of the “allowable” within these structures. And because of an inevitable tendency toward identity and ideology, our struggles individually and socially arise as and when this unconscious mechanism is either unwittingly or deliberately used against us.
This is about Canada’s treatment of its indigenous peoples over the past century and more. It’s not an easy topic to discuss, and I believe that most of us are ignorant as to just how terrible it was.
Ever since we’ve had psychoanalysis, psychotherapy, pharmaceuticals and grandiose illusions of purpose, meaning and happiness, we’ve had stigmatization and violent prejudice toward those who don’t sort nicely into categories of “normal” behavior. We’ve also dehumanized vast swathes of societies in favor of political, ideological, economical or dogmatic ignorance and stupidity.
Every lifetime has its ups and downs, peaks and valleys, flurries of activity and depressions or lulls — and ultimately, its end. The same can be said for a forest, a tribe, state or nation; a civilization, a religion, or a species.