Your First Culture
People have been surprised by this new culture shift. The move towards recognizing diversity and equity and inclusion. People grow up believing the tenants of Canadian society, that we're the land of the free, we have the right to choose who we are, and so forth.
As the subaltern peoples are raising their voice and demanding real change for equity and inclusion and recognition of Canadian diversity, the People of Privelege are mostly shocked. They believed that they weren't racist, or homophobic, or any of the kyriarchal names attached to them.
The truth of our history has begun to unravel and reveal itself. The people of privelege have seen that it is a lie. Institutions and Governments have been working hard to give people a framework within to work that doesn't upset the status quo. And they did it without consultation, without understanding exactly what the subalter are saying.
Clotaire Rapaille said it best:
Most people are exposed to one culture before the age of seven. They spend most of their time at home or in their local environment...Your first culture has emotional imprints that affect you throughout your life. They are based on emotion and trust. They are what their parents taught them and so on backward in time until the colonists first arrived.
Therefore, the extremely strong imprints placed in their subconscious at this early age are determined by the culture in which they are raised. (p.22)
When it comes to the Canadian culture code, the code is "TO KEEP". Rapaille's explanation is as follows:
Canadians, for instance, seek leaders who are capable of maintaining the culture. As menstioned earlier, the Canadian Code for Canad is TO KEEP. This code evolved from the severe Canadian winters. Canadians learned from the beginning to use what they call "winter energy," to act so as to conserve as much energy as possible. They do not seek leaders with vision, capable of making major breakthroughs. Instead, they elect prime ministers who serve as guardians, who voters believe provide the best chance of keeping the Canadian culture the way it is. (pp187-188)Our culture was born in colonialism and exploitation of the Indigenous nations. We have worked hard to maintain that cultural history as it is passed down from generation to generation.
While the government teaches us that we have all these freedoms and we are one people, hyphenated Canadians, "a multicultural society, an “ethnic mosaic,” in which people of different backgrounds and heritages are able to live together without losing their distinct identities.
[But] Canada’s policies with respect to the Indigenous Peoples within its borders contradict the idea of protecting the separate identities of minorities under one national umbrella... The ultimate goal of the Indian Act has always been the assimilation of the Indigenous Peoples as separate nations into mainstream Canada. (Facing History and Ourselves, 2021)
What this means today, is that we are still in this place, culturally we are still maintaining the colonial past through our enculturation processes. We don't like change, we keep.
The Culture Shift
So now we are experiencing the culture shift of our lifetime. The subaltern are tired of being subaltern and want to be and equal and included part of Canadian society.
We are discovering as a nation, that not all is equal, not all is fair, not all is inclusive. We're discovering the horrendous behaviour of our forefathers. The residential school system that was established to "...beat the Indian out of the Indian, [and] they had to make us feel ashamed of who we are” [Ellen Gabriel, 2019], in the child and make them White, even though they could never be White. The residential school system that murdered children and buried them in graveyards and unmarked graves. Watching the Canadian police treating Persons of Colour aggressively and disrespectfully.
The Covid-19 Global Pandemic has put us all into the same boat. The popular saying, "we're all in this together" has resounded loudly. But it has been discovered that we're not all in this together equally. And so it is time for all, especially Persons of Colour, collective voices to be heard and force a culture change from the old colonial historical culture, to a new truly inclusive, and equitable future, so that we can all be Canadians together.
The demand for culture change has been so loud, that the People of Privelege are beginning to fear that their history and culture is about to be cancelled at their expense. Protective movements, the rise of Aryanism and fascism, very conservative governments, religious groups acting out, are all scrambling to keep the status quo through controlled "change" but still in their colonial world view.
We need to listen for understanding and hear with compassion!
What they are missing is that it is not about culture cancellation, but rather the need to add the other voices, the subaltern voices, to the culture shift. Subaltern peoples are actually playing catch-up to the privilege of society of privelege. Their voice will bring their culture and history for meaning to Canadian culture. For a time, they will accelerate that voice and may seem like they're drowning out the priveleged voice, but it's not. It's actually making sure that they are heard. Canadians need to accept everyone's history and story as part of our country's social fabric.
We have to learn from our history. Colonial culture and history is brutal, divisive and soul destroying. We need to learn from our history and ensure that it isn't repeated, but changed for the better. If we change to be accepting of all people, all Canadians, we can create a new Canadian culture that is truly inclusive, equitable and diversity-ready. Then the Charter of Freedoms and Rights will apply to everyone, equally and we can develop our new culture on a people positive stance.
Something TO KEEP.__________________________
References: Rapaille, Clotaire. The Culture Code: An Ingenous Way to Understand Why People Around the World Live and Buy as They Do.2006. Random House: USA.
Perez, Alexander. 2019. "Indigenous Women Say Canada’s Legislative is Discriminatory: Indian Act Continues to Harm First Nations Women, Petition Launched" in The Link. February 18, 2019. Concordia University: Montreal. source: https://thelinknewspaper.ca/article/indigenous-women-say-canadas-legislative-is-discriminatory
Facing History and Ourselves. 2021.Stolen Lives: The Indigenous Peoples of Canada and the Indian Residential Schools Examine the Indian Residential Schools and their long-lasting effects on Indigenous Peoples of Canada.16 Hurd Road, Brookline, MA. source: https://www.facinghistory.org/purchase-stolen-lives