The idea for this political cartoon sparked when I read an article on CBC titled “Top 10 indigenous heroes…” Although the article isn’t incredibly current, the issue and message it tries to bring across is still very current today. The beginning of this article correlated this list of top 10 indigenous heroes to the list of 10 Canadian Heroes and one specific sentence in this introduction really stood out for me, “The Top 10 list of Canada’s greatest heroes did not include any women and only one person of colour.” This made me realize that although we hear quite a lot about Aboriginals in our local and nationwide newspapers, rarely any of this news is positive. Looking back now, I see a trend to Aboriginal issues in the news. Generally these articles are about missing or dead people (more specifically women), tragedies in reserves, or the Canadian government attempting to redeem their embarrassing mistakes. I tried to bring light to this issue along with some other messages with my political cartoon. The biggest message is the lack of positive news about Aboriginals in the paper, and this is represented through the words in the newspaper that John A. MacDonald and Stephen Harper are reading as if these negative issues are no big deal. The second big message that I was trying to convey with the then and now was that things sometimes don’t change despite efforts from the affected party. Although the situation is much better now, the Aboriginal population is still very often misrepresented and overlooked in important issues regarding their land and heritage. A fairly current issue regarding this message would be the way they were disregarded during the process of planning the Enbridge Pipeline in BC on Indigenous land until they protested.
These two main messages accurately represent my perspective on this issue, showing that I am clearly unsatisfied with the current situation the Aboriginals are in. The Aboriginals are more than just people who harm their own kind. This list of 10 indigenous heroes helps to prove this and even now, so many Aboriginals are working towards a better future through efforts such as the moose hide campaign. It is quite unfortunate that these issues are not brought to light compared to darker side of the Aboriginals.
Although I cannot offer a solution at this point, I hope this political cartoon has brought some awareness to this issue and hopefully next time you read the newspaper, you will also take into consideration the positive things that the Aboriginals do for themselves and our country.