Sunday, January 30, 2011

First People

Going to the Canadian Museum of Civilization was not a comfortable experience for me. Located on the northern bank of Rideau River in the French and somewhat dull city of Gatineau in Quebec, the museum - which was founded more than a hundred years ago - exhibits primarily Canada's national history with a particular emphasis on the aboriginal people's culture, the first people who lived in what we call today Canada (before the European colonization).
As it turns out, the aboriginal people still exist. Although one hardly hears of them, they manage to keep part of their vernacular culture and history still go on. Today, they could be found mainly in British Columbia (on the far west coast of Canada), but there's no denying that they are a defeated minority.
I wonder if Canadians feel guilty when they visit this museum; after all, they would not be what they are, Canadians, if they did not dismiss the aboriginal people's culture in the first place. But, the more troubling question one may ask is why do Canadians insist on displaying this nasty history so finely and shiningly in their museums? I don't want to think that this specifically makes them less "aggressive" and "barbaric" than the most vernacular of cultures.           

1 comment:

  1. first of all: they're not aboriginals, they're native americans (indians)... aboriginals are the native people of australia ;)