every child matters
Well I sat down to write about the farm, or flowers today, but I can't say I can think of much else but the 215 kids who were killed by the white supremacist institutions of this country.
We've had Oka, Grassy Narrows, Idle No More, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Land Back Lane, Wet'suwet'en, Colten Boushie, Tina Fontaine and many more calls to action. Time and time again the racist history - and present - of this country is brought to the fore. And every time, there's equivocating, and both sides-ing, and soon enough the news cycle turns over. The next thing you know the chattering classes are clutching their pearls about "dangerous activists" defacing some statue or "impeding economic progress".
I hope that this time is different. I hope this time we don't look away.
We found a mass grave of children at a government-run school in this country. If that isn't genocide, I don't know what is.
So what do we do? Read the Truth and Reconciliation Commission findings. Read the calls to action. If any apply to you, do what you can to implement them. If that's not in your power, contact your representatives.
Subscribe to indigenous media. If you're on twitter, you can follow individual journalists, here's a good list. Otherwise here's some others:
Books are of course a great option. I found this one - 21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act - concise, illuminating and full of things that should be much more widely known.
You can find out whose land your on here:
Our five acres is one tiny part of the traditional territory of the Stz'uminus people.
"The process of colonization of Hul’qumi’num territory began in the mid 1800s. In the late 1850s and early 1860s, the colonial government in Victoria invited colonists to “purchase” Hul’qumi’num lands in the Cowichan and Chemainus districts. By July 1859, close to 10,000 acres was “sold” without Hul’qumi’num consent. Colonization continued through the 1860s and 1870s, and although commitments were made by then Governor of the Crown Colony, Sir James Douglas, to compensate the Hul’qumi’num for the loss of their land, compensation has never occurred and treaties were not pursued. In 1884, the Esquimalt and Nanaimo (E&N) Land Grant trans-formed the land status of the territory. Under the terms of the grant, approximately 800,000 hectares of land on southeastern Vancouver Island were granted to private interests in exchange for the construction of a railway from Esquimalt to Nanaimo. The E&N Grant resulted in the alienation of approximately 250,000 hectares of Hul’qumi’num territory. Today, close to 84% of Hul’qumi’num land is in private hands, with a few large land holdings managed as forest estates by large corporations. Crown land — including parks and protected areas — amount to just over 14% of the territory. There are 23 reserves, representing less than 2% of the territory, mostly located at permanent village sites and camps."
- Interim Strategic Land Plan for the Hul’qumi’num Core Traditional Territory
And while residential schools are no longer a thing (as of 1996), indigenous children are still separated from their parents and communities at alarming rates. Though less than 10% of children in Canada are indigenous, they represent over half of those in foster care.
As someone once said, there are decades where nothing happens and weeks where decades happen. We have ignored our culpability and our duties towards reconciliation for decades, and now is our watershed moment.