Tuesday, January 15, 2013

What "Exactly" are the Protests About?

I remember New Years a few years back. Dennis brought his guitar and we sang a few songs. He wears a big cowboy hat and his voice is gentle and kind, just right for working with horses. He mostly posts about his love for horses and his training techniques, but just yesterday he read my post about the "Ally Bill of Responsibilities" by Dr. Lynn Gehl, and Dennis asked me this quesiton

Sheena, I haven't read all your blogs but can you tell us exactly what all the protests are about by the 1st nations it looks like there is disagreement among themselves. Your insights would be much appreciated.

Hi Dennis. I've been on my "official" treaty walks for over a year and a half, my masters of education degree focuses on anti-racism, I lived on-reserve for five years, I've had many First Nations friends over the years, I have First Nations cousins, my parents took me to pow wow's when I was little, BUT I am still just a student in the study of the impact colonialism has had on the first people's of our country. If you want to begin to understand the issues behind Idle No More, you must go back 250...400 years and re-learn our Canadian history. This is why this post regarding an Ally's Bill of Responsibilities is so important. I have not walked in the shoes of the oppressed. I have mostly benefitted from treaties which have never been implemented. We have a deep, dark history to unpack, and then a long, long road to walk toward justice. I'll post some related links to my blog below.

Here is a series of speeches in print form to hear from a variety of FN leaders, summing up what needs to be done to implement treaties (and sadly, what hasn't been done, and the consequences...) http://www.treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2013/01/listen-to-amazing-leadership-coming.html

Dennis, here's another entry point. http://www.treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2013/01/the-push-and-pull-of-being-canadian.html

Dennis, here's the basic history, rethought, in news article form. http://www.treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2013/01/ottawa-citizen-unpacks-500-years-of.html

Dennis, here's my first awareness of the movement "Idle No More" and it included a prayer gathering. Intriguing that people are talking so much about prayer in this movement. Sounds like something followers of Christ would be interrested in. http://www.treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2012/12/prayer-on-monday-for-idle-no-more.html

Dennis, if you are new to the concept that Canada was formed by extensive treaty making, here's a blog post that may be helpful. http://www.treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2012/11/so-youve-just-found-out-youre-treaty.html

One more, Dennis, and remember, you asked http://www.treatywalks.blogspot.ca/2012/11/so-youve-just-decided-youre-not-okay.html

Sheena, I think we have a good understanding of our past history with the 1st Nation people. We have fostered a few and are required to spend time and learn of the history - it is sad that we have made such huge errors and mistakes along with the animosity it has created. I am very glad to see you taking this journey. We look forward to your answers. As I said there seems to be disagreement and separation among the 1st nation as well as our Canadian nation.

Hey, Dennis. Although people are calling for unity, First Nations people are as diverse as my heritage of Scotts/Irish/British and Norwegian. As any group of diverse people, there will be diverse opinions. The British crown entered into treaty with diverse Nations; I don't think we need to be afraid of disagreements as long as we are all talking. And maybe, especially, listening. If you have a good handle on the history in general, then I'd look at the speeches from the Chiefs' Forum on Treaty Implementation. There is so much rich leadership being offered our country from these treaty keepers. Thanks for your engagement on this historic issue.

Note: Dennis' question and interaction is used with permission.

1 comment:

  1. Sheena thank you for your answer to my question and your insights and study of this frustrating issue. We pray often for the 1st Nations and the government that there will be a better understanding and communication from both sides and a reconciliation will come soon.