I am deeply concerned with the state of relations with Indigenous people in British Columbia and Canada. The dysfunction is a result of decades of government policy.
To de-escalate the tensions that are simmering dangerously close to a rolling boil, leadership must come from the halls of Parliaments across the country. In the past the solution has been to further divide people against each other, or ignore the problem in the hopes it will just go away.
Today, we are paying the price for those past decisions. They are the cause of the gridlock we now experience. We are at a pivotal moment in our history. We can ill-afford more division so we must take an alternative approach.
Whether your concerns are social, economic or environmental (or mix of them all), we are currently greatly diminished from what we can be. Let’s step back, breathe, embrace each other and commit to finding a way through this uncomfortable and confusing situation together.
Let’s acknowledge the mix of emotions that British Columbians and Canadians are feeling right now.
Confusion, frustration, anger, anxiety, fear…
Love, compassion, kindness and hope.
The pressure building on Indigenous and climate justice issues is immense.
The Indigenous justice issues before us right now are deeply personal for. The scale and scope of the challenge we face as a modern society expands far beyond the horizon.
Our political systems have conditioned us to take our spot on one side or the other. Unfortunately, it cannot be defined into this or that, for many people they are experiencing deep conflict.
Internal conflict: with self.
External conflict: with each other and with nature.
It cannot be a question of whether you stand with me or you stand with them. Let’s stand with each other.
For two decades I struggled with this identity crisis that we are enduring. When I reconciled that I was neither either/or, nor would I ever be, rather I was this and that. I found self-acceptance.
So when we face conflict with ourselves, each other and the life-sustaining world around us, at the centre are relationships. Drawing lines in the sand and demanding we align ourselves on one side or the other does not improve those relationships.
Conflict is at the core of our political system. It’s how we score points. It’s how we evaluate and determine winners and losers.
When we are firmly on our side of the line it’s easy to be overcome by confusion, frustration, anger, anxiety, and fear.
When we are sitting with a seat at the same table we can start to understand. It’s through understanding that love, compassion, kindness and hope emerge.
First Nations are clearly their own worst enemy as the Wet’suwet’en charade unfolds. If a single First Nation can’t begin to get on the same page and we rely on elected, non-indigenous governments to fix that self induced problem, there is nothing but chaos ahead. If four Wet’suwet’en Hereditary Chiefs jumping on a jet to join their Mowhawk supporters while refusing to meet with any level of government unless the LNG project is abandoned think they are doing the Wet’suwet’en people any favours in the longer term, I almost feel sorry for them.