I just finished reading a book on the sanatarium that operated in Kamloops from 1907 to 1958. In 1913, it had already 218 residents affected by the deadly tuberculosis.
I learned that the provincial government would not take Chinese at their facilities in Kamloops for there was already a “general” hospital for the Chinese in Vancouver.
Already, over half the patients in that hospital were TB patients.
At the Kamloops Sanatarium, nobody from the First Nations would be treated because they were considered wards of the federal government, not the provincial.
It is said the federal government had no treatment program of that sort for them. Yes, the disease was also rampant within their ranks.
So we non-natives should not be too surprised to see the First Nations becoming more demanding as the years go by. Have we always treated fairly these trusting communities? The answer is no. For the last 300 years we have taken advantage of them over and over. You see, the First Nations people have phenomenal memories.
In my opinion, if you do too many wrongs to people for too long, what goes around comes around, or in this case the circle will eventually close around you.
Now that the Site C dam on the Peace River near Fort St. John has the approval from the province to continue, you can kiss good-bye to the Kinder Morgan twinning of their pipeline from Alberta to the West Coast.
The reason being that the First Nations have the environmentalists on their side, forming a powerful partnership. Besides, our premier doesn’t want to experiment the breaking of the tight rope he is walking on right now.
As for the Chinese, history tells us that we, the people of European descent, thought in the early years that the Chinese were low cast people. Perhaps our prime minister should consider an apology on our behalf to that group as well.