Myths surrounding indigenous people around the world have been damaging their names as a whole. These myths cover many areas such as their rights, personalities, demographics and more. To tackle these common misconceptions brought about to indigenous people, listed below are a few of the most popular myths on them. Provided in this are the snapshots of reality on it.
Indigenous People Have The Same Origin
One of the most common myths is the indigenous people have the same origin, and they are all the same. They are also treated as one homogenous group. However, the truth with this is that every indigenous community has their own cultures, languages, traditions, history, and way of governing.
Indigenous People Do Not Pay Taxes
Most people assume that indigenous people do not pay taxes. Many think that these people are lazy, unworthy of equality, and socially parasitic. Because of this, there is a damaging belief that these people are not capable (or do not have have the resources) to pay their taxes. This is not true though.
To prove, there is a law in India called the Indian Act tax exemption which does not include various indigenous people in not paying taxes. This law also applies only to personal properties, services, and goods located on a reserve.
Indigenous People Live on Free Housing
Any government does not give indigenous people free housing. Everyone must take into account that there is no party that hands out free houses on-reserve. Most indigenous communities are having a hard time paying their purchases and rents on social housings covered by the government.
Indigenous People Do Not Have A Written Language
In the previous centuries, Asian and European indigenous people commonly use visual symbols as their writing system and as a way to communicate with other tribes. They are more used to using drawings and symbols to express themselves and tell a story. One example of this kind of visual language is the use of totem poles.
Indigenous People Are Given Free Post-Secondary Education
It is not true that indigenous people receive a free post-secondary education. This kind of thinking is misleading since it implies that all of them are eligible for funding. However, it is not the case for everyone.
They still have to undergo many steps to apply to band offices in their home communities. These number of applications for this education funding often exceeds the number of slots given to them. Hence, these people often face rejections or even find themselves included in the waiting list. With this, it can be proven that receiving educational grants and other scholarships really depend on their eligibility.
Indigenous People Live On Rural And Reserve Areas
According to statistics, indigenous people reside in every territory of every province – not only in the rural area. Some even live in cities that were only transformed in the latter part of the decade. A number of them even live in urban cities due to their jobs.
The reason a lot of people think this is that they usually stay in the vicinities of their community because of their strong kinship. They are used with the governance and how their communities work, so they decide to stay within their comfort zones.
People who do not research this topic often believe these false notions whenever they face indigenous people. This is probably because of the information that comes from media and what acquaintances tell. These sources only show part of the picture. Hence, there is a tendency that people from negative connotations about them before getting to know these indigenous people.
With this, it is truly important to have the initiative to research these topics to be able to form an accurate knowledge of them.