Why isn’t Indigenous history in Canada common knowledge?
Honestly, the answer is simple: it’s hard to learn the truth.
In other words, it’s easier not to talk about it than to talk about it.
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At Tribal Trade Co, we love to share Indigenous history, teachings, and culture with anyone who wants to know more. We’ve shared Indigenous knowledge with thousands of people! And learning about Indigenous history is an important part of being Canadian.
That’s why today we’re talking about 5 reasons it’s hard to learn the truth about Canada – and why Indigenous history isn’t more common knowledge as a result.
Reason #1 It Wasn’t Taught In Schools
Indigenous history isn’t really taught or talked about in school. So, how could you possibly learn about it?
The only option is to seek out information on your own – like watching this video! – which makes it much harder to learn.
When we’re not presented with information easily in school, then it becomes much harder to learn the truth about those topics as we get older – so it’s not necessarily your fault if you feel like you don’t know enough about Indigenous history.
Reason #2 Generations Of Canadians Were Taught Incorrect Information
For generations, Canadians have been taught incorrect information about Indigenous history.
What we’re taught in school makes us who we are. It makes up our fundamental beliefs. When we start to learn about the truth behind things like Indigenous history in Canada, it can be hard to accept that truth because it goes against what we were taught.
There are a lot of reasons why wrong information has been taught for so long. One of the primary reasons is that the truth can be hard to face.
Reason #3 It’s Dark, Traumatic, And Most People Don’t Want To Talk About It
The truth can be hard to face. And the truth behind Indigenous history is that it’s dark, traumatic, and rooted in the oppression of Indigenous people.
This dark history means that most people don’t want to talk about it – no one enjoys intentionally delving into sad, scary, or hurtful stories.
The darkness of Indigenous history makes it difficult to talk about and therefore keeps it from being common knowledge. But, just because something is HARD to talk about, doesn’t mean that it SHOULDN’T be talked about.
Reason #4 School Curriculum Is Determined By The Government
School has never taught Indigenous history properly. Even now that Indigenous history is being talked about a little bit more in Canadian culture, it can still be difficult to learn about it and it’s not often taught in school.
The reason for this is that school curriculum is determined by the government. And, when you think about it, it’s in the government’s best interest not to share the truth – because the government is responsible for most of the trauma that has been inflicted upon Indigenous people for generations.
In short: the truth makes the Canadian government look bad – so it makes sense that they wouldn’t want that truth widely shared in school.
Now, it’s the responsibility of the government to update the curriculum so that it includes Indigenous history – TRUE Indigenous history – so that this knowledge can become more common for all Canadians.
Reason #5 A Growing Number Of New Settlers Have A New Understanding Of What Being Canadian Means
Everyone has their own idea of what it means to be Canadian. Those different viewpoints can make the truth of Canadian history difficult to learn about because it provides so many conflicting views on what being Canadian means.
Does being Canadian mean being Indigenous? Or does being Canadian mean being a Canadian citizen? Who is “truly” Canadian and how does that impact the history we teach?
The reality is, everyone’s answer is different. But, teaching Indigenous history properly would require acknowledging that Indigenous people are the ORIGINAL INHABITANTS of Canada – and, for some people, that can be a hard truth to talk about.
If you want to learn more about indigenous people, cultures, practices, and beliefs, visit our website, Tribal Trade Co., for tons of resources at your fingertips.