A while back I bought a picture book called "Rutherford, the Time Traveling Moose" because when I flipped through it, it was all about Edmonton. It was too wordy for my toddlers until now, so we finally read it.
It starts before any humans exist, two pages or so of this to show the climactic changes. Then suddenly, people appear! Tipis and First Nations children waving.

Another page, highlighting settlers coming in to trade.

That's it. That's the extent of Indigenous history.
The rest of the book focuses on changes to Edmonton over the years. And I get it...this book is about Edmonton, but it also pretends to be about history in general.

Now my complaint here isn't really about this one book. It's about how Canadians understand history.
The same thing happens in textbooks around this country. Tens of thousands of years of human existence on these lands is flattened to a paragraph, maybe even a few pages, and then exhaustive detail (leaving out everyone else's histories except for white people)
is given of the last few paltry hundred years. Most of that history focuses on the last hundred and fifty years or so.

It's like a map, that makes North America look like the most massive landform on the planet, and everything else is skewed and tiny. It's distorted.
Settlers often say they learn about Indigenous peoples in school. It's a flat out lie. They learn so little about Indigenous peoples "officially", and most of their learning is "informal" and full of racist stereotypes. They really do believe they've learned about us though.
Canadians are so absolutely ignorant of our history before colonization. They are so absolutely ignorant of our history during colonization, after colonization, and right now during ongoing colonization. That's deliberate. We are erased. We are a tiny footnote.
TENS OF THOUSANDS OF YEARS OF HUMAN PRESENCE, summed up with a single image, a short paragraph. Volumes dedicated to white people, tokenistic references to Black or Chinese or "other" folks sometimes, for the sake of "diversity."
The worst thing? The very worst thing? The hyper focus on white history on these lands absolutely impacts Indigenous kids. Not seeing yourself in these textbooks, in these lesson plans, really does a number on you. You disbelieve what your own people tell you about yourselves.
And why was I in my late thirties before I started learning about Black people on these lands?

These "histories" are skewed, distorted, and unacceptable. They should be rejected outright. The belief that learning about our tens of thousands of years of presence here...
is somehow "pointless" because "nothing happened" is based on ignorance. You don't know what happened, so you assume nothing did. You don't know these lands at all. You just want to rewrite the stories to make believe you originated here at some point.
Your white history isn't actually that interesting, it's a goddamn blip of a horror story on our timeline, and we're tired of your self-aggrandizing bullshit.
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