Mockasin Telegraph


Mockasin Telegraph Essay, Research Paper

In the book ?The Moccasin Telegraph?, the natives have many conflicts with white people.

Through out the book there are many disputes between the natives and white groups, some

example?s, the CBC workers, the government and the RCMP.

The first conflict in the story is between the natives and the CBC workers. In this

particular part the natives steal the tires off their van and when the CBC workers realise that

their tires are gone, the first people they blame are the natives and right away the CBC workers

want to call the RCMP. This shows that the CBC workers have the stereotype that natives are

thieves because they think right away, it was the natives when there were many other possible

suspects such as the crew members that were the ones playing prank on them. Also there were

allot many outside people on the reserve because of the news of the murder earlier in the week,

and still without thinking twice the CBC crew blamed the closest group of natives. As I would

the natives took offence to the accusation?s so they decide to take advantage of the CBC men.

Silas?s friend pretends he owns an auto parts shop and he tries to sell them their tires back. Right

away the news crew recognises their tires and refuses to pay to get them back. Then Silas?s

friend, Frank Fence-post asks to take a vote on whether they are native tires or CBC tires and all

the natives vote that they are native tires and even some of the crew members along with other

news crews do too. It seems like some of the crew members were scared of the natives because

they were obviously the CBC?s tires and the CBC workers that voted that they were native tires

made it look like they didn?t want to start trouble with the natives. Another reason why the

natives were upset about the dispute between the two groups, is the aftermath of the conflict.

CBC will have hard feelings towards the natives and will report information back to the white

community that would portray life on the reserve negatively. The worst part is that the CBC?s

point of view is the only thing that the white people will see on their televisions. The CBC news

is seen all over the country and when Canadians see this on television, they are most likely to see

only the twisted side of the story and think all natives are rowdy that cause trouble with innocent

reporters. This just makes the stereotype that all natives are thieves worst than it really is

because the reporters will show the footage of the natives stealing the tires of their news van.

Even though Silas?s friends are trouble makers, this will look bad on natives across the nation.

Another big conflict comes between the natives a branch of government called the Indian

Affairs Department (IAD), in the story ?The Mother?s Dance?. One day the IAD come around

the reserve saying that a long time ago, native families were given the choice that they could

have a quarter section of farm land but anyone carrying their family name could never live on

the reserve again. Then a higher branch of the government steps in and says that about ten

percent of the families are living illegally on the reserve. This deal wasn?t fair to the natives.

Silas?s comments on the deal where, ?Them Indians still lived in teepee?s and hunted buffalo.

They don?t understand the white man?s idea of selling the land on which people walk.? (pg. 157)

Silas was exactly right, even some natives to this day had never heard of the concept of owning

land. This was a mistake made by their ancestors many years ago and it shouldn?t cost innocent,

hard working families their homes. Most of the natives felt that this was just another plot by the

government to take more things that belong to them. They thought that this was just a big

conspiracy because all of a sudden the IAD just stumbled upon these contracts. Almost all of the

conflicts that come between the government are about racism and stereotypes but this comes

down to nothing but money. The government is always looking for a way to save or make more

money, so they decide to try and take some from the native?s on some deal that involved tricking

their ancestors out of their land because they figure that they can make some money on it. This

has the natives so upset that they try to take it to court but the government turns it down. After

the rejection of the government, a lot of the people on the reserve lost hope and one of the oldest

ladies on the reserve commits suicide because she, like many others, has no place to go and

doesn?t understand why the government wants to kick them out of their homes. Even though

people had become depressed and a helpless old woman committed suicide, the government had

such a cold heart and it didn?t even think about changing their decision. The government

assumed that they could just come to the reserve and tell them to leave because they didn?t care

about what happened to them as long as they got their land and their money. They had no idea

that some of the bad situations some of the families were in. Some of them were old and

couldn?t care for themselves, some of them couldn?t afford to live in the city and some of the

families would lose a big piece of their native culture. That?s probably one of the worst part,

because nowadays society is about the only place in Canada where that kind of culture still

happens. The government thought that they were so simple minded people and thought that they

had no idea idea what was happening to their land, as their ancestors did. This ignorant view of

the natives probably cost the government the case in court. Luckily, a mixed native woman, by

the name of Grace McGee was as fed up with this whole situation as much as the Hobbema

natives and decided to step in and help. She took the government to court and ended up getting

the land back to the Native?s

Finally, the biggest conflict in my eyes comes between the Canadian Indians For

Freedom (CIFF) with the Hobbema natives against the RCMP. Grover Manybears is the leader

for the CIFF. In the past he made the RCMP look bad. Eventually the RCMP got fed up with

Grover and started giving him unnecessary traffic tickets and pressing false charges on many

natives that had been going to his seminars. Grover, being the leader of the CIFF, took the

RCMP to court and had a couple of the officers fired and many more relocated to Quebec. This

now gave the RCMP more reasons to hate the natives and especially Grover and the CIFF. One

day there is a stand off and 2 officers are killed. Grover is picked out of a big crowd of natives

and is charged by the police. With the RCMP being tied in with the government, Grover has no

chance and receives two life sentences. After the trial, he speaks to the witness that accused him

of killing the officers. He was horrified to find out that she was lying because the government

had threatened her to take away her kids if she didn?t lie in court. This is extremely shocking

because the RCMP are one of the most respected levels of authority in Canada and it looks very

bad on them and on the country when they are heard to be corrupted. Most corruption is caused

by money but this time it was just the RCMP?s hate towards the natives. Realising that the

RCMP was corrupted scared many natives because if they couldn?t turn to their own police force

the only people left to turn to were the government and they were basically the enemy as well.

After Grover escaped from jail, he needed a place to stay. Silas and his friends then take

advantage of the RCMP?s stereotypical views and used them against them. They figured that the

RCMP would never look for an Indian in a rich neighbourhood so they hide Grover and his wife

out in Silas?s brother in law?s basement suite. The next obstacle was choosing an identity so that

they wouldn?t be bothered by the law when seeking work. As Silas says, ?They never bother the

kind of Indians that come from India.? (pg. 191). It helps them in the long run because one day

the RCMP comes to the house where Grover and his wife are staying because a near by truck

matches the one near the jail. When the RCMP asks if their is anyone else in the house, Silas and

his friends say that only an East Indian couple live down in the basement and the RCMP officers

don?t even bother with them. So, in the end it was the RCMP?s own ignorance that cost them

catching an escaped convict that should not have gone to jail in the first place.

In conclusion, the Hobbema natives have many conflicts with groups such as the CBC

workers, the Government and the RCMP. Most of these disputes are over money, racism and

respect and continue the stereotypical view of all three white groups and the natives.

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