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Made of Sterner Stuff – The Problem with Allies – Bruce McIvor

by ahnationtalk on September 29, 2021114 Views

September 29, 2021

Allies depress me more than opponents.

Many who outright disagree with me about respecting Indigenous rights are open to persuasion. I don’t include the committed racists in this category. I’m talking about those whose opinions rest on a lack of information, context and empathy. If I listen to them honestly and without judgement, they often do the same for me. When they realize I will not ridicule them for their opinions, they become more receptive. They begin to acknowledge I might have a point—maybe they should have a rethink.

For example, several years ago I spoke to a group of people working in a resource extraction industry. As expected, I didn’t receive a warm reception. For an hour and a half I fielded questions and comments I hear on a regular basis: Why can’t we all be treated equally? Indians don’t pay taxes. Don’t your clients want to work?

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