We are experiencing an Indigenous blockade of our rail lines. The Conservatives want to use force to open up the line and the Liberals are taking another path – negotiation. What do the indigenous groups want? Do they want Canada to starve? Do they want to destroy the country? What is the solution here?
I think Trudeau should tell this story to help us understand.
The Indigenous people came to this land a long, long time ago and they built a house and lived on this land, in this house for a long time until white visitors came. It took a while, but these visitors were eventually invited to stay in the house and share the land. But the visitors brought more family and friends –more people until there were too many for the size of the house –not enough room for everyone. So the white visitors threw out the indigenous people and gave them a shed in the back yard to live in. No running water and few amenities and not enough land to make a good life. As many years went by the distance between them grew, and the white people tried to get them out of the shed as well. But that didn’t work. And here we are. So, if you are mad about the blockades then you understand how indigenous people feel about someone else restricting their lives and threatening their livelihoods. And here we are.
The issue is not just about a piece of land to build a pipeline on, it is about building a bigger house so indigenous people can have a place In Canada. It is about respecting the land and the people. Even bigger than that, it is about respecting the whole Earth as a sacred place that will support us if we use it properly. It is about an understanding and a respect for other each other. We have to elevate the conversation and we white people must be willing to share the abundance if we hope to have a future here.
We don’t just need the permission of the indigenous Chiefs; we need to include them in making decisions that effect all Canadians, and open a door that allows them back into the house. Show them, not just tell them, we respect their right to manage the land. That is hard for us because we think in terms of contracts, not relationships. “When will we ever learn?” (Pete Seeger)