With this entry im going to take on an issue that started late last year, and has flared up to gain international attention (for awhile anyway. Now, not so much).
In any case, for me personally, I had been hearing about it for awhile since back in December, but never really gave it a whole lot of attention (life in the real and online universes kept me busy with other stuff). It wasn’t until January that I started paying more attention, actively researching the movement, and actually taking part in the way that I can best do it with my life expectations (online).
The original starters of the movement, in my opinion, had a good stance, in there hope to actively prevent environmental degredation caused by short sighted gov’t planning, as well as draw attention to social inequality of many first nations people. This is a stance that I can agree with.
The problem came, when it seemed to me that the whole movement became to racially oriented. It begun with peaceful protests at gov’t facilities and areas, which was good. We all have the right to speak out.
The problem is, not to long after this, it started moving toward the blockades. Blockading major highways, rail lines, streets, highways, US boarder crossings ect. And the worst part, many of these protesters, to the unbiased eye, took on an oddly racist tone. I take a story from my local news (Well, Winnipeg) as an example.
Reporters were reporting on a small group of natives that was blockading a rail line not far from Portage la Prairie. One older gentalman, im assuming an elder, was lieing across the tracks. When interviewed, he explained that he was there in the name of the environment, because its degradation affected all of us. His children, our children, and all Canadians in general. This man I had the utmost respect for.
The REST however, not so much. Loudmouths shouting stuff like “Oppressors! Get lost white man!”, and other stuff that struck me as veiled racism. And even when a spokesman for CN came with a court order to get off the tracks, they attacked him verbally. Questioned him about what proof he has that its HIS land (overlooking that its not “his” land, and that its not there’s either, really).
But the whole movement seemed to take an ugly turn like this. There were those who took the side of the originators, they had my respect then and still do. Then there’s the loud mouth, seemingly racist douche bags.
The worst part? When protecting the culture trumps exposure of hard fact.
This, Sun media ran into in there reporting (before everyone else!) of the financial mismanagement on many first nations. When most others were siding with the movement out of either guilt for being descendants of oppressors or just because of the media circus fueled by it, sun dared to look deeper.
To look at things like, how Theresa Spence’s reserve received MILLIONS and MILLIONS in gov’t funding, and has apparently nothing to show for how the funds were allocated, physical or recite wise. Exposing how apparently her and her band council lived large and high in the hog, when her people lived in squaller.
For bringing this up, they were automatically labeled racists and trouble makers by many within the movement. As were Canadians at large whom seen this stuff and realized, yeah, what he hell IS going on?
I had it happen to me, both in the Idle facebook community at large, and in groups with people closer to home. Despite being “on there side”, you were pushed aside and judged (falsely!) for asking the questions (about equality!). It seemed that it was more important to protect ALL members of the movement (douchbags included), then to worry about the people that are part of the whole POINT of the protest, the people on the reserves, living in shacks.
First of all, im personally Metis, so there whole racism thing was dead in the water. I just don’t flaunt my ancestry, nor do I use the perks that come along with it. I don’t care what the ancestors of the white man did to “my people” back in the day.
This is NOW. 2013. The oppressors are dead, as are the people that were oppressed. One should never forget, but you will NEVER move forward if you do not forgive.
And frankly, if you are justifying your using the “helping hand” offered by the gov’t by saying “Well YOUR ANCESTORS mistreated mine!”, you need to grow up. I was bullied to the point of almost taking a river dive. But I don’t expect reparations for the rest of my life.
In any case, I came very VERY close to saying, ya know what, FUCK the Idle movement. If those within don’t want to acknowledge that problems exist on BOTH sides, why should I care?
But I didn’t. I know that im not the only one that sees how damaging the most recent actions of the idle movement have been to the movement itself, in the eyes of Canadians. So I started a facebook group called “Idle No More – The Rest Of Us”, a place for those of us whom were spit out from the original movement to converse and discuses. So far its been fairly quiet, but thats not to surprising.
But in any case, thats my opinion on the matter, and this concludes this post.
If you are offended by what I wrote and want to have a word, the comment section is below. Don’t expect me to care though.
All I ask you to do is, THINK FOR YOURSELF!! Just because a “white man” is being critical of a chief, that does not make them racist!
And if your one of the silent ones being shouted down by the loudmouths, SPEAK UP! Don’t let the idiots ruin a good thing (even if it may already be to late).
I have since changed my mind in regards to many things outlined in this post. As such, I wrote a new post exploring these changes.
I decided to leave this post as it was when I first published it 8ish years ago. Feel free to comment on either post. However, I ask that you read the 2ed one before drawing too many conclusions regarding the author.