I have not blogged much lately because it seems to me that there is a story that is so big that it has taken the wind out of my sails and muted me with its raw implications. That story is the Idle No More movement and the hunger strike of Chief Spence. In light of the injustice perpetrated against the Indigenous people in Canada and the slow death of Chief Spence in the face of Conservative indifference, all the other stories going on seem to pale in comparison. And though it is an inspiring story, it is also a frustrating one because it reminds us of just how much racism there is in the country against Indigenous people. It is so deep-seated and widespread that it one might argue that it remains socially acceptable. And it is a racism that has commonly been voiced by MPs in this country as it was a few years ago by the MP for my region, the sad and pathetic Pierre Poillievre.
But despite the racism and the indifference, this is a monumental event. I see Chief Spence as an important visionary in the struggle for righteousness. Though their struggles are different, I think Chief Spence is not unlike Gandhi, and her hunger strike has the potential to be the Salt March of the Indigenous people. Gandhi's great Salt March was an historical moment that changed the mood of Indians, their imperial overseers, and the world in general. And if Chief Spence perishes while Harper eats bacon, this event will also be monumental. Such an event will change the karma of Harper, his conservative government, and our entire nation. What the Salt March taught people was that it was not the English who were in charge, it was the Indians. From that moment onward, independence was inevitable because it was already a conceptual fact just waiting to be confirmed in the material world. The death of Chief Spence in the face of Conservative indifference would be the conceptual revelation that the Harpercons have no moral authority to govern. And more importantly, it would be the confirmation that the indigenous people are fundamental protectors of the land and the environment in this place we call Canada. This would be the first real step to people finally waking up to the fact that First Nations must be equal partners in the path forward. Their treaty rights must finally be respected and they must finally play an essential part in the future of out country as a whole.
When Chief Spence stands up for her people, she is standing up for all of us because she is standing up for our water-ways, our wild-life, our air, and our future health and survival. Chief Spence has, of course, the basic living concerns of her people in her heart as well - decent housing, education, food, healthcare etc. But while she speaks for her people she speaks for all of us in the face of government that is destroying our democracy, our prosperity, our environment, and our future. If she dies it will be extremely sad. But her strength is not only setting her free, it is setting us all free. We can be free to stand up and say NO MORE! We must respect our indigenous people, our environment, our democracy and our earth. Our power is our freedom.
Let that freedom ring from the snow-capped Rockies of Alberta.
Let that freedom ring from the curvaceous slopes of BC.
But not only that: Let freedom ring from the tundra stoneS of the Northwest Territories.
Let freedom ring from the Hamilton escarpment.
Let freedom ring from every hill and mole hill of Quebec. From every mountainside let freedom ring.
Chief Spence is setting us free. She is showing us the way. And when this happens, when we allow freedom to ring from every city and every province, every house and every Tipi, we can all join together and sing "free at last, free at last, thank God almighty, we are free at last!"
Thank you Chief Spence for your strength and vision!
Rise up against the corporate scum that would rape our land and imprison us. We are many, they are few.
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