EYES ON CANADA
Writing this, my stomach is in a million knots, aching in waves of pain that I can’t seem to suppress. I’ve said nothing... until now. I have followed the ongoing events with Indigenous nations across the country to stand in solidarity with the Wet’suwet’en people. I support my people. It’s difficult to put in the words the impact this has had on myself, let alone the impact I am seeing it have on our Community, and our fellow nations, but also more importantly our children. Our children do not feel safe. In 2020, our children have to worry about their safety more than ever, not only from racist citizens of Canada, but from the government itself. The world can clearly see where Canada stands, and what it stands for.
Anger comes first, then sadness, and then a resolve to do whatever it takes to help our fellow people, for we know their pain and struggles firsthand.
The media incites hatred by portraying false realities to the Canadian public. It encourages violence against peaceful people, exercising our inherent rights to our own land, or what is left of it. It is almost beyond the general Canadian public’s comprehension that we are protecting the lands for our future generations, that we aren’t out for personal gain or money but in the best interests of our children, and for the generations yet to come.
Entitled. Greedy. Hateful. Close minded. Racist. Violent. I see people with an agenda at any cost, that is how I see Canada. Some things never change. The phrase, “Reconciliation is Dead,” echoes in my mind. Reconciliation is dead, because it never was. Trudeau thought he had us fooled, but is clearly following in his father’s footsteps. There’s a meme on Facebook right now that comes to mind because it shows Trudeau as a wolf in sheeps' clothing, except you have never, for a second fooled us.
Your train was cancelled? Your shipment won’t arrive? What an inconvenience to your privileged self. Consider that a lesson learned. Every single day of our lives as Onkwehonwe people is a battle. Every day there are ongoing issues in our lives. For the first time in your life, you are woke! Congratulations and welcome to what it feels like to be Indigenous in Canada today!
Do you know your survival of your ancestors was because our ancestors took you in, and helped you survive. Whether you like it or not, it is fact.
Recently I was at a Toronto Rock lacrosse game with my family, and also a large number of community members from Kenhteke (Tyendinaga). When the national anthem was sung, my family (of 7), remained seated for the duration, as we always do. I am not a pretender. I am not a people pleaser. I am a realist. Everything that Canada stands for seeks to destroy every ounce of my being as a Mohawk woman. Two men ahead of us scoffed loudly and said, “they must be Americans.” My children know their worth as Kanyen’kehaka. Do you know that it’s easier to just stand and blend in? I know this, but my sense of self worth and being the best and realist role model for my children will win every time.
Seeing so much hatred in response to the uprising of all of our men and women, both Native and Non-Native is absolutely disgusting. Canada is in the spotlight right now. Do you like what you see? Are you still a proud Canadian?
I can only speak for myself, but I know that I am not alone in my thinking but I’m tired of not speaking my truth. There are power in words. There is power in action. Nya:wenkowa to our people, both Native and Non-Native who are out there doing the work, and standing up for all of us, for our fellow Onkwehonwe Nations. Nya:wen to our fellow Onkwehonwe communities for standing with us, and standing together. It is powerful to see. Nya:wen for showing our youth that we will do what it takes.
While Canada continues to crumble under a racist, self-serving regime, just know this uprising is just the beginning. The World is watching, our youth are watching. We will not stop. We will stand together in unity, in solidarity to protect what is left of Yethi’nihstenha tsi yonhwentsyate (Our Mother, the Earth).