Imagine being illegal on your own land in your own home

I invite you to consider this over your coffee this day these potent words from Melody Charlie, 

“Human Indigenous lives that have been taken for generations , stolen, raped, murdered, without charges & for years without question. Especially given that it was illegal for “Indians’ to even access legal support. It was illegal for Indians to leave the reservation. It was illegal to hire ‘Indians’. It was pretty much illegal to be an Indian. Imagine being illegal on your own land in your own home.”

We must be more careful with our parades and our celebrations and our festivals that we are not sanctioning a dance on other people’s graves, that we’re not allowing ourselves to be seduced by free hotdogs and face-painting into ignoring great injustice, that we’re not permitting ourselves to believe a fiction that it’s either/or, us or them.

The great challenge we are called to navigate, I think, in these ever-stranger days, is to hold in our bodies the truth of all our truths, even the ones that seem to be in deep conflict with each other, and instead of being divided-and-conquered, or cancelling each other out, to keep orienting back towards relationship and understanding.

My wonderfully wise meditation teacher shared this month that we need to say hard things and do hard things, without hardening. Can we soften towards the fact that a fun parade and family-friendly celebration also feels like one more assault of someone’s humanity?

Can we soften towards each other even when it’s hard, even when the truth hurts and the words pierce our bubbles of “innocence”?

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. . 153 resistance . . I definitely do not celebrate a birth that's felt like the death of many. The birth of this country has cost lives, languages, land and so much more. Sadly, it’s a birth that can never bring back life. . . Human Indigenous lives have been taken for generations, stolen, raped, murdered, without charges & for years without question. Given that it was illegal for "Indians' to even access legal support, it was illegal for Indians to leave the reservation & it was illegal to hire 'Indians'. It was pretty much illegal to be an Indian. Imagine being illegal on your own land in your own home. . . But it's legal to cut down what not only gives us life but the ocean and animal life too. It's legal to poison clean drinking water. It's legal to put profit before people. It's legal to kill Indigenous lives, I've lost count & had to step back from the number of Indigenous lives being lost to their systems that are to be protecting us. . . So no matter what this country claims about protecting us, it can never protect us enough from its self, from it's system, from the queen or from the illusions of their dollars & their dreams. Sadly, all the money in the world can't fix us or save us, only we can save us from ourselves, from them and from it. . . In many ways it feels like the death of their systems is the rebirth of ours, because reality is, the birth of this country was never really the death of us like they visioned it to be. . . We continue to sing, dance, pray, play & live in gratitude. So maybe if I'm to find something I'm grateful for every July 1st, it's always been our resilience. It's always been what this country has never been able to take, our spirit. Even though it still somehow wants what it's never had but no amount of land, dollars, destruction or control could ever give them what we've always had. . . Even with my eyes closed, even with my eyes covered, I still see you #kanata. For I was here long before you were ever born. . . Of course I challenge you to #rethinkcanada, share #firstnationsresillience. . . #cancelcanadaday #indigenousresistance #firstnations

A post shared by Melody Charlie Photography 💫 (@firstnationphotographer) on

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