Time for a story.
Once there was this crazy ass group of people who decided that they ought to own everything and be in charge of everyone. They took on all sorts of crazy beliefs, some of which persist to this day, to justify the murders and rapes and tortures and thefts that followed:
-We have the one true religion and follow the one true God
-Our ethnicity is special and anyone else is less than human
-Our way of life is inherently The Best, partly because of the ethnicity thing and the One True God thing, but also because of something called Progress, which only we possess. All other lifestyles are barbaric and backwards and static and animalistic.
Lots and lots and loooots of the intellectual thought and writing of Western culture was expended perpetuating these ideas. These ideas were absolutely vital to justifying the actions of Westerners for about the last 2000 years (and proto-westerners before that): namely, taking land from other people to support an ever expanding population.
By the time the English and French came to Canada, they had brought in YET ANOTHER fun idea to justify the theft and rape of North America and its indigenous people: Laws!
Yes! If we make a Legal Treaty, in which we technically TRADE something (legal rights) for the land, then it’s all swell and fine and justified! We are men of science, blah blah.
Well, not for the indigenous people of course. Otherwise, swell and fine. The indigenous people have their children stolen from them and sent to residential schools that are so underfunded that one year, 50% of the kids died of tuberculosis due to lack of medicine. They get raped and abused. The last residential school in Canada closed in the 1990’s. Native people weren’t counted as humans in the Canadian constitution until the 80’s.
Now, we all know the real intent of Treaties: to get the land. Only the most ridiculously inept of humans could actually think that giving rights to people who wouldn’t have had their rights threatened without the treaty was the purpose of the treaty itself. We want the land and the resources, so just sign here, ok?
It is therefore no surprise that the positive aspects of the treaties have been systematically chiselled away, ignored, undermined, etc. Recently, the Canadian Government, headed by Chairman Harper the Robot, has destroyed most of Canada’s environmental protection laws in two highly unconstitutional omnibus bills.
After so many generations of goodwill and hardship and abuse, many indigenous people are again saying that enough is enough. The Idle No More movement is growing, it’s vital, it’s terribly important.
The movement is inspired in part by Chief Theresa Spence, leader of the Attiwapiskat First Nation that had to declare a state of emergency a year ago because of the state of its peoples homes and access to food and water. This woman is on her 6th day of a hunger strike being staged about a ten minute walk from Parliament Hill. Her only demand is to meet with Harper. She is willing to die for her people, for this land.
He is, of course, too busy to meet with her. He’s got an important tradition of terror, assimilationism, and destruction to uphold.
I am proud to stand in solidarity with Idle No More. I’ll do whatever I can to help.