There are good things happening. And there are good people who are coming together to make these good things happen. The good people (that’s what Anishnaabe means by the way. That’s what we call ourselves) are having visions and taking action not just for themselves but for everyone and for future generations.
Today the Walking With Our Sisters – Edmonton Exhibit opens today. The vision of one woman, Christi Belcourt, has come to life with the help of over a thousand people across Turtle Island who beaded vamps to commemorate our Indigenous Sisters who have gone missing or who have been murdered. This exhibit is opening this morning in Ceremony so that this exhibit will help with the healing of those who have passed on and those who are with us and suffering because they have no answers. This exhibit will travel widely and bring attention to this tragic part of colonial history. There is always hope that this exhibit will ignite the human compassion in everyone and also bring the respect and honour for all women into focus. Here’s a link to a cover story in the Globe & Mail this morning.
Indigenous people have always resisted the acts of colonization with fearlessness, determination, and spirit. Sometimes it is subtle by singing those songs or telling those stories to children. Sometimes it is huge and in your face like the Idle No More movement that has inspired artists from all genres to create, brought out the drums into public spaces where people Round Danced, and have united people across Turtle Island. It is reminding people who occupy traditional lands that We Are Still Here and to Honour The Treaties. On October 1st an Indigenous community in New Brunswick, Elsipogtog, has served an eviction notice to a corporation who is occupying their traditional lands and who are planning on destroying it by extracting shale. Elsipogtog are one of the firsts who are taking such action and are practicing their Treaty Rights. It’s always been about protecting the land, the wildlife, the birds, the fish so that future generations will be able to hunt, fish, and grow healthy food and drink clean water. This is also a statement: We are alive, thriving and we will continue to fight for our Treaty and Human Rights.
It is also about raising awareness and consciousness. It’s about peace. It’s about time that we as human beings acknowledge a world wide colonial history that has corrupted so many people into thinking that land is up for grabs no matter what the cost. And look at where it has got us. Are we better because of colonialism? Are we better because we steal lands that we think are not being used? Are we better because we kill those who are seen as different or who live independent of religious organization? Are we better because we have enslaved nations of people? Or have raped our way across continents?
I want to believe in the Good People who are rising above all of this and who are focused on peace, enlightenment and bringing good things to the masses. I want to have hope that we can see this part of ourselves, our history, and, shake our heads and realize how insane it’s all been. I want to wish that we can shake free of this dis-ease and move forward in knowing that we are all in this together that our future depends on all of us doing the right thing, right now. I want us all to able to look any child in the eye and say, hey kid it’s gonna be alright because I’m doing my part to make this world safe, abundant, and a good place to grow old. I am doing what I can, it may be small but it is part of the change.