April 28, 2008

Brief Thoughts from Beyond

I'm writing this as the Kanienkehaka are being besieged by the Ontario Provincial Police. I'm also watching the news with everything circulating this "Truth and Reconciliation Commission", and the head judge of the commission being announced. I'm also sadly disappointed about the Assembly of First Nations future attempt at...well, whinning. May 29th, 2008 is the set date for another one of it's "Day of Action", except this one with the added "against poverty."

Last years June 29th Day of Action was met with lukewarm response with a few actions taking place in major cities. It's was mostly peaceful except for a few Mohawk blockades on roads, highways, and rail lines. But what's sadly disappointing his the lack of real leadership on the AFN's part, and, really how disappointing their best can do; Phil Fontane. Every so often I see him in the news, or in an article, but his lack of vision and leadership is becoming myopic for many indigenous youth.

Startling even more is how much this brings to mind, how much indigenous people in this country, do not know what's going on. We do not know what's going in the doors of band council meetings, in the cross country or cross-sea's dealings between these politicians and other officials, and we don't know about the kinds of social, political, and economic thoughts and idea's our people can and are putting forward. Maybe it's me, and no one is suggesting anything. But as we become devoid of our own peoples voice, we naturally have left, the Colonial Settler states. In it's ignorant media, education, and leadership. Canadian civil society depresses me with it's racism and prejudice, and it's lack of understanding of our issues. But I guess actually looking at these issues around their citizen legitimacy and such is, well, pretty darn to hard to look at.

Of course all this talk about "reconciliation" is one sided. The indigenous peoples are unequivocally assumed to give up something, to rise to the standard of it's Settler counter-part. What has Settlers, the Canadian state, or Canadian civil society given up for our people? Have they had to compromise, over and over and over again, like we have. With our rights, with our existence, with our relationship. Where has their law been changed to become more align with our own. We're force to change our ways to the way colonial law decides our rights and fight within their courts to get decision on by them about us. Or we are asked to defend our position on "why we are from here" and "do you have proof for that". Shall we ask instead, "Why should you be allowed to stay here, on our stolen indigenous land."

So you can see why I'm skeptical of the Assembly of First Nations, or the Four Host First Nations, or any other political structure based of colonial paradigms and ideals. And why I'm apprehensive about this "Truth and Reconciliation Commission". I believe it is good for people like my grandmother who are alive and get something about it. But this question of the residential school system, it's effect on our peoples, on my generation, is something larger. We need to really ask ourselves, what is going to be our generations response to this massive assault from the past on our peoples today and from here on. I'm afraid that the longer we wait, or ponder these things over in negotiations, land claims, protests, we're going to slowly loose. Loose what? Loose our existence, in a meaningful way.

My faith in our political leadership has been trampled.
My faith in our elders resolve to deal with these issues is trumped.
My faith in the system is non-existent.

But my faith, in something else, is still strong.

If we are to act in a meanful way on these issues, it will take a fearlessness not seen since our ancestors.  Something so powerful and...dangerous.... to create a lasting effect just as powerful or more then the residential school system, the colonization, and it's ensuring result.


Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)