First Peoples

Idle No More Versus the Nationalists

It’s time to take a deep breath, together.

highEveryone Breathe at Once!

Bilbo’s Bog. Larch Hills

Attempts to discredit the Idle No More movement seem to be ramping up. Here’s a particularly scathing one. It suggests that First Nations villages that can’t pay their way should be eliminated. Here’s another, which suggests that Idle No More protesters are making vague demands which will lead nowhere, whereas the Prime Minister of Canada is being pragmatic. It offers, however, no evidence for either point of view. In truth, two separate languages are being spoken. It works out to this: in the Prime Minister’s version (and that of the conservative and nationalist daily The National Post), Canada is an economic and legal entity, within which citizens accrue benefits according to their willingness to apply themselves to the economic program of the country’s elites; in the alternate version, which intersects more generously with Idle No More, Canada is a community of people with ties to the land and place. Between these two visions, there seems to be a failure to speak a common language. That’s understandable, given that Canada is the most urbanized nation on earth, with jurisdiction over the second largest unbroken land mass on the planet — in other words with perhaps the greatest distance between people and the land that supports them of any nation on earth. It’s not good enough. Rather than demanding that First Nations peoples leave their ancestral lands, a less dysfunctional country would find ways in which to develop those lands and of embracing the people who live on them as equal citizens. That works both ways. The Prime Minister’s pragmatism is a first step. So is the Idle No More’s vision. They’re the same step. It’s time we all looked into the pool.



That’s Us Staring Back

Bilbo’s Bog. Larch Hills.

If it’s not us staring back, then we have a bigger problem.

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