Reality Hits Canada

cartoonWhen I first started getting involved in advocating for indigenous rights in the international scope, I had one initial thought and that was “ If ignorance is bliss, I am really blissful.”

I had studied a lot of conflicts as a history major (I concentrated mainly on Europe), but I was fascinated by what is called “asymmetrical conflicts” or conflicts where one side is much more powerful than the other. I am certain that subconsciously I was simply preparing myself as an indigenous person for the struggles that come with being a member of a minority that is oppressed and marginalized and very unlikely to ever fight on an even footing.

I learned about Generals such as Skanderbeg who served the Caliphate and learned their ways of war and then conducted an effective resistance against them for decades. I learned about Alaric the goth who went to Rome, learned the ways of the Romans and then returned and sacked Rome. The fight against imperialism and colonialism has always fascinated me.

I studied all of these conflicts, but the one that eventually resonated with me the most was the struggle for independence that the Jews fought, because they were not only a tiny minority, but they fought not one but two dominant colonial entities. The British Empire was still ascendant and in control of much of the world. Although they were fighting Germany, they were still very powerful. The Arabs had been stagnant for a century or two but still had the advantages of sheer numbers and much better weaponry. When you look at the stats, anyone with even a rudimentary grasp of military history knows there is no way the Jews should have won let alone in such a spectacular fashion. It simply isn’t numerically possible. It was the very definition of an asymmetrical conflict; it just had a better ending than most: with the indigenous people actually retaking their ancestral lands, something that rarely happened in the history of the planet.

Fast forward to the modern day, and somehow we are being told that Israel (and by extension the West) are now the “White” oppressors of the poor “Brown” Muslims. Despite the fact that more Muslims have been killed by other Muslims than by everyone else in the world combined. Despite the fact that Jews are neither white, nor colonialists. Despite the fact that Muslims are actually conducting genocides against indigenous people even as we speak. The population of Muslims is 1.57 billion while Jews number approximately 14 million. Suddenly this doesn’t look so much big bully Israel beating up the poor little Arabs does it?

Now this week in Canada, reality has come home to us. We have been pretty insulated, and have never really had to deal with terrorism. The debacle with the FLQ in the 70’s doesn’t even rate a mention to be honest, but in 2 days we have experienced a radical attacking 2 soldiers by running them down with a car, and an Islamic terrorist shooting and killing a soldier guarding the war memorial then trying to get into Parliament.

Some people would have us believe these people were mentally ill but the evidence shows that assertion to be ridiculous. One French newspaper used the opportunity to run a picture of an Islamic terrorist wearing a Metis sash on his head (the cartoon accompanying this post), something myself and other Native Canadians found incredibly insulting given our history of serving in the armed forces here. It was a clear attack against indigenous people, inferring that those of us who actively advocate for indigenous rights are analogous to Islamic terrorists.

What we learned this week though, is something I have been saying all along – these people do not differentiate. They want to kill everyone who is not one of them: Christians, Jews, Muslims, Indians, it really does not matter to them. Canada is learning a lesson that the entire Middle East learned in the 7th century, and that Israel has been learning since its inception: that Fundamentalist Islamic ideology is not just dangerous to its neighbors, its dangerous to everyone. The European Union is finding this out in a harsh way and now its come to our land, and if we ignore it, we will lose everything that makes our Country great.

I am President of an organisation that we started to fight back against this. One Nation Society for Democracy, ( is a group that will advocate for Canadian Rights and Values. We refuse to accept the erosion of everything that makes this country great. At our launch event in Calgary Alberta, we are bringing in 2 speakers – Melanie Philips and Father Raymond deSouza – who will speak about how Europe is currently going through some serious issues with the influx of Islamic fundamentalists and how we can work to prevent those issues in Canada. This is truly an issue that affects all of us. Acknowledgement of the issue is the first step, education is the next, and then we must mobilize and work for change.


Ryan Bellerose

A member of the indigenous Metis people, Ryan grew up in the far north of Alberta, Canada with no power nor running water. In his free time, Ryan plays Canadian Rules Football, reads books, does advocacy work for indigenous people and does not live in an Igloo.

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