Arts

Art for the People and the Similkameen River

Down on the Similkameen River, there are rocks.

Amazing rocks that have been cooked deep underground, broken free and tumbled in the river. They are not from the Similkameen. The river bed has been brought from far away. It is, itself, a river.
It is possible to speak of these rocks with our bodies. First we make a body. Then we give it voice. As humans, we choose visual signs.
Coyote does it, too. Not just visual!

Once you get the hang of it, every point is speech.

Even a praying mantis chrysalis.
We don’t need words to speak with and as the Earth. We already know how to do it with our bodies.
In the last 50 years, British Columbia “land use” policies have led to slime like this on the rocks. Before that, there was none at al. The rocks in the river now have no centre, and do not speak.

It means that we can’t speak either. This is called “balanced management.” It is a great silencing of what, in British Columbian culture is called “pre-modern thinking.” By that is meant thinking that does not flow through the agencies of government and the roles they assign to “citizens.” It is not accepted in British Columbian universities, government policy, or British Columbian publishing. That’s one reason why a group of Indigenous educators and allies have published some songs for people in healing within the river’s flood channel itself.

Yes, the river will take it all away. This is art for the river and her people.

Silence is no longer an option.

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