The Nations that make up the Association of Iroquois and Allied Indians have produced a series of videos that raise awareness about hate and racism.
Through interviews with their members, people share what they think about hearing the words hate and racism and how they feel when they experience it. But the series also takes on the question, how do we combat it?
In its video, the Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte, show that hate and racism is experienced on the job, in schools and at sporting events. It comes in the forms of being bullied, marginalized and criticized, sometimes even for not looking “Native” enough.
“It makes me sad that in this day and age we still have to deal with that,” says a social worker named Susan.
Many in the video say hate and racism is learned behaviour, seen on TV or in the home. And they say it can be unlearned through education from a place of love.
In the Wahta video, a man named Phillip said that in the First Nation’s way there is no room for hate. “We’re not taught that… We’re taught to be thankful for what we have.” He said there’s no reason for hate if people are knowledgeable and understand other people.
Hate and racism has an impact on the mental wellness of the people being discriminated against, said one man in the Wahta video.
Hate, said one woman, is a “dark, violent killer.” She said “We’ve got to join hands. You’ve got to love yourself. We’ve got to love each other.
“Be kind to others. Be treated like you want to be treated. Do positive things, even when you’re in a bad mood. Be kind,” says a student named Leland, identifying as Tyendinaga. He said he gets bullied on the bus.
Combating hate and racism is about taking the time to have respectful conversations. Bad behaviour needs to be called out, people said, but modelling respectful behaviour will further the conversation rather than blaming or making someone feel bad for what they have done.
Creating relationships and giving people new knowledge is the way to combat racism, said Susan.
The links to the video series are below. They can also be seen at AIAI YouTube channel.
1-Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte: https://youtu.be/xMsjkc7x1iQ
2- Batchewana First Nation of Ojibways: https://youtu.be/XUqMuUq5iU8
3- Wahta Mohawks: https://youtu.be/BFyRLwrIbSE
4- Caldwell First Nation: https://youtu.be/H9PxXV89IAw
5- Hiawatha First Nation: https://youtu.be/BxXEoDgMU3U
6- Eelünaapéewi Lahkéewiit (Delaware Nation): https://youtu.be/kQE70-n1BhU
7- Oneida Nation of the Thames: https://youtu.be/3g6RRpXDMyI