@*@ Header
@*@ Single

The message on this sweatshirt set off intense discussions across Canada.
Photo Credit: Sherri Starr

“Thank an Indian” T-shirt sparks heated commentary

News reports of a teenager who work a T-shirt with a message to school have sparked animated discussions on social media about race and Aboriginal relations in Canada.

Tenelle Starr, 13, wore a hoodie proclaiming “Got Land? Thank an Indian” to her school in the western province of Saskatchewan. School officials told her to change the shirt and not wear it again. But, after meeting with Starr and leaders of her Aboriginal reserve, they changed their minds.

null
Tenelle Starr says she does not think her ‘Got Land?’ sweatshirt is offensive. It did get people talking. © CBC

‘It’s about treaties and land rights’

Starr said her sweatshirt speaks about First Nations treaties and land rights. Starting in 1701 the British crown entered into several different treaties with Aboriginal bands to encourage peaceful relations. Some of those treaties involved bands ceding land for treaty rights to such things as farming equipment and animals, annual payments, ammunition, clothing and certain rights to hunt & fish. Treaty rights are still being negotiated in the western province of British Columbia.

Huge, sometimes racist, response

The original news item about Starr on the public broadcaster’s website garnered close to 100,000 views and attracted around 2,000 comments. Her own Facebook page was swamped with comments, some of them abusive, some of them supportive.  Starr was advised to take down her page by the national police, the RCMP, which is investigating some of the posts.

A family friend and member of Starr’s band council, Sheldon Poitras says the teen has lots of support from her family and community and that she is “okay, you know. She is sticking to her guns. It hardens her resolve to the whole thing. She isn’t backing down by any means.”

The man who makes the T-shirts says his phone has been ringing off the hook for orders.

Posted in Indigenous, Politics, Society
@*@ Comments
4 comments on ““Thank an Indian” T-shirt sparks heated commentary
  1. notalib says:

    And he should also make some shirts with ” if you live in a house thank the white man” and “if you get a free education thank the white man” and “if you get free medical service thank the white man” and “if you get free welfare thank the white man” and ” if you don’t have to pay tax thank the white man”. In the first place you didn’t own this land, your ancestors were emigrants to this land just like the white man you didn’t spring up out of the ground, and even if you did own it you’ve been paid about 7 times for it already. If you think you should get some of the resources well pick up a stick and start digging for it instead of sitting around with your hand out saying gimmie gimmie .

    • Benalbanach says:

      “In the beginning we had the land and they had the bibles. Now they have the land and we have the bibles ” The white man built the schools ? And so he should !

    • Chris says:

      If the white man never came to North America and took what wasnt his and destroyed the way of life of the Aboriginal Peoples, than the white man would not have to pay for such things.

  2. Brian Barker says:

    It’s a child’s reaction to what she sees as an injustice. Good for her, she’s found a voice and is using it! The treatment of the natives in Canada has been horrible. I don’t blame her one bit for speaking out.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Note: By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that Radio Canada International has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Radio Canada International does not endorse any of the views posted. Your comments will be pre-moderated and published if they meet netiquette guidelines.

Netiquette »

When you express your personal opinion in an online forum, you must be as courteous as if you were speaking with someone face-to-face. Insults and personal attacks will not be tolerated. To disagree with an opinion, an idea or an event is one thing, but to show disrespect for other people is quite another. Great minds don’t always think alike—and that’s precisely what makes online dialogue so interesting and valuable.

Netiquette is the set of rules of conduct governing how you should behave when communicating via the Internet. Before you post a message to a blog or forum, it’s important to read and understand these rules. Otherwise, you may be banned from posting.

  1. RCInet.ca’s online forums are not anonymous. Users must register, and give their full name and place of residence, which are displayed alongside each of their comments. RCInet.ca reserves the right not to publish comments if there is any doubt as to the identity of their author.
  2. Assuming the identity of another person with intent to mislead or cause harm is a serious infraction that may result in the offender being banned.
  3. RCInet.ca’s online forums are open to everyone, without regard to age, ethnic origin, religion, gender or sexual orientation.
  4. Comments that are defamatory, hateful, racist, xenophobic, sexist, or that disparage an ethnic origin, religious affiliation or age group will not be published.
  5. In online speak, writing in ALL CAPS is considered yelling, and may be interpreted as aggressive behaviour, which is unpleasant for the people reading. Any message containing one or more words in all caps (except for initialisms and acronyms) will be rejected, as will any message containing one or more words in bold, italic or underlined characters.
  6. Use of vulgar, obscene or objectionable language is prohibited. Forums are public places and your comments could offend some users. People who use inappropriate language will be banned.
  7. Mutual respect is essential among users. Insulting, threatening or harassing another user is prohibited. You can express your disagreement with an idea without attacking anyone.
  8. Exchanging arguments and opposing views is a key component of healthy debate, but it should not turn into a dialogue or private discussion between two users who address each other without regard for the other participants. Messages of this type will not be posted.
  9. Radio Canada International publishes contents in five languages. The language used in the forums has to be the same as the contents we publish. The usage of other languages, with the exception of some words, is forbidden. Messages that are off-topic will not be published.
  10. Making repetitive posts disrupts the flow of discussions and will not be tolerated.
  11. Adding images or any other type of file to comments is forbidden. Including hyperlinks to other websites is allowed, as long as they comply with netiquette. Radio Canada International  is in no way responsible for the content of such sites, however.
  12. Copying and pasting text written by someone else, even if you credit the author, is unacceptable if that text makes up the majority of your comment.
  13. Posting any type of advertising or call to action, in any form, to Radio Canada International  forums is prohibited.
  14. All comments and other types of content are moderated before publication. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to refuse any comment for publication.
  15. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to close a forum at any time, without notice.
  16. Radio Canada International  reserves the right to amend this code of conduct (netiquette) at any time, without notice.
  17. By participating in its online forums, you allow Radio Canada International to publish your comments on the web for an indefinite time. This also implies that these messages will be indexed by Internet search engines.
  18. Radio Canada International has no obligation to remove your messages from the web if one day you request it. We invite you to carefully consider your comments and the consequences of their posting.

*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Current month ye@r day *