I felt a lift in my heart yesterday when I saw the orange t-shirts moving around the barn, at the Pemberton Farmers Market. I thought: allies!! All these people are declaring themselves. Saying, I want to stand for a different kind of Canada. I want to stand with First Nations people, with my neighbours. I want to walk this walk with you.
And so, in that spirit, of the ongoing commitment, to walking towards each other, I want to share this post from Melody Charlie, who styles herself on instagram as @firstnationphotographer, and writes, with a trigger warning, what this means.
She is not the first person I have heard interrogate these words “truth and reconciliation”, and I think they warrant ongoing interrogation. Interrogate our systems and the way racism plays out every day, in our thoughts, or in the things we turn a blind eye to.
As the Honourable Murray Sinclair reminded us, survivors have done the heavy lifting, despite the weight of their own trauma to carry. It’s well past time we had their backs.
“Is it not the most horrific thing that how many thousands were murdered and I’ve only ever read about 1 priest who went to jail. All those nuns, & priests whose sins were magically forgiven by Jesus, despite all the blood on their hands, no jail? And those nuns are still here, some of them hand out turkeys to the poor Indians At Xmas. Imagine seeing your abuser, the one who murdered your sibling at the grocery store, smiling and still playing saviour.
Imagine the years survivors have spent in court to this day exhausted, re-traumatized, waiting for compenseation, $ that some will never see.
The government has ZERO problem sending our people to jail, the police this last year alone shot how many Indigenous people, some of them would still be alive today had they NOT called the police for help. Imagine being shot by someone you called for HELP? Imagine calling the ambulance in your own community (my village) and they show up with not 1 but 2 police cars because they are scared of US? Wait what? We call them to help save our lives (medically) and they are ones scared and need police to protect them?! WTF.
It’s a full time job calling out the systems, I myself have cornered the head of police, questioned the ambulance, advocated in hospitals during emergency medical situations where Doctors, nurses assumed it was another drunk Indian (meanwhile their sober bodies were shutting down). My son has spoke up several times at school, educating his teachers on appropriation. Every single day our people leave their village racism is experienced.
It truly is exhausting. How are we to fit t into any of these racists systems? Where is the truth when the government is 🔥 evidence & how does one go from truth, skip accountability and go straight to reconciliation?
Feels an awful lot like a stat holiday for white folks to get paid for a genocide that they have no intentions in learning about? Because it’s too ‘heavy’. People think they’re to learn about residential schools, when in fact you’re actually learning about religion, rcmp + the government and the murders they are. Besides, they weren’t schools, they were concentrate camps.
Canada’s bloody mess.”