A controversial blog written by a Vancouver-born political columnist and posted on the website of British newspaper The Daily Telegraph is inflammatory and discriminatory against aboriginal people, says the former chief of a Vancouver Island First Nation.
Rachel Marsden’s article, which was posted on Tuesday, claims the Olympics are “peddling a politically correct fantasy” by placing First Nations culture on a pedestal and failing to give Europeans — who transformed Vancouver into a “metropolis” — their due praise.
“Canada … was third-worldish until the … Europeans arrived and started planning and building infrastructure and government, and teaching the natives discipline, order, and capitalism,” writes Marsden — who has also worked for the National Post, CNN and Fox News.
“The logo for the Games is some sort of native Indian stone carving resembling a bloke with massive oedema of the legs. While the natives were carving away at such lovely things, the Europeans were busy building an entire world around them.”
Judith Sayers, strategic adviser, Hupacasath First Nation and adjunct professor with the faculty of law at the University of Victoria, said the article is ignorant, and a “slap” in the face of First Nations people.
“It’s beyond belief that in 2009 such blatant racism is being allowed to be made public,” said Sayers.
“If the First Nations weren’t there when the white man arrived to give them food and tell them where the trails were, they would not have survived in this country.”
Sayers said if Marsden’s motivation is simply to be controversial, it’s not serving any purpose, and that touting outdated imperialist ideals is counter-productive to a Games and a nation intent on promoting inclusion.