I am awake, I am alive, and this morning I feel the need to share some hard truths because nothing moves forward if we do not get to the root of long-standing problems.
For the last while (and periodically from the start of Facebook), our newsfeeds have been filled with news of yet another First Nation community declaring a state of emergency due to a water crisis. Communities remain under Boil Water Advisories that have lasted almost TWO decades in some cases and just as predictably, a responding outcry for the Federal Government to “do its job”.
And that is where the inaccuracy lies …
Let us understand some truths …
1) No party, no matter their political leanings, is a First Nation party. They may say they support Indigenous values. They may make promises but at the end of the day, they are each a Canadian political party in need of Canadian votes to exist or be in power. The vast majority of Canadian votes are in the hands of the non-Indigenous meaning when push comes to shove they will ALWAYS side with those that got them elected, even if being an “Indigenous Ally” sounds good as a campaign promise.
2) At this time, there is no Federal political party solely representing the needs, values, concerns, desires of our First Nations communities. There have been attempts in the past to form such a party (including some work I was personally doing a few years back) but with no success to date.
3) As much as Indigenous and non-Indigenous love to post on Facebook, demanding the Feds “do their job”, that is not how it plays out at budget time. Let us be clear, there is no “easy fix” to the FN water crises. Water challenges in each community will take huge dollars to rectify, billions over all. But we have heard it in every election, a candidate or party slammed for being “Indigenous friendly” (and they use the other “I” word when slinging their racist arrows). If the Federal government were to announce later today that 5 billion dollars were now being diverted to fix the FN water crisis, the backlash would be ENORMOUS. “What about the state of the 401?” “What about the tarsands?!” “What about our jobs?” What about the pipeline?”
4) The Federal government cannot keep its promises even if it wanted to (debatable) because the people of Canada would never allow it to allocate the necessary funding. In short and as always, Indigenous support is plentiful until it becomes inconvenient for non-Indigenous Canada.
5) We elect those parties. The governing party does what its voters want it to so please let us stop blaming the government in attempts to absolve our responsibility. This has not been solved because it is not a priority for enough Canadian voters.
And my friends, I do not see that ever changing unless …
Reconciliation requires change. New ways of doing things that respect the path and voices of both Indigenous and non. In that vein, do you know what I would love to see?
An Indigenous Peoples of Canada party made up of a seat for each of the 634 First Nation communities in Canada. Those seats would be held by an individual (with proxy) elected by or appointed by the FN community they represent (up to the FN involved how they are chosen). There would be no leader (although natural leaders would emerge in caucus) and no party affiliation. They simply represent the community they serve, with each seat free to vote, not along party lines, but on behalf of their community. In that way, some will be pipeline friendly, some won’t be. Some will be mining friendly, some won’t but all will be heard.
634 Indigenous seats in the House + the 338 existing non-Indigenous seats for a total of 972 seats in the House of Commons giving Indigenous seats 65% of the seats. Now, would they ever vote as a block? Those who secretly think “all Indigenous are alike” are now cringing in their boots but that fear is based in racist stereotypes and not facts. It takes a lot of effort to convince all the Chiefs to agree (or in this case, the Chief’s representative) and that is exactly what it should be. Difficult to override the will of those most often trying to protect Mother Earth from the short-term need and greed of those who were not raised to think of those they are responsible for, the ones who will live seven generations from now.
So there you have it my friend. Allyship is coming out EN MASSE to support spending on Indigenous needs. Water is a basic human right but each time a highway or a hydro bill is put before that right, individuals become the problem.
Think of it this way, our Federal Government and what it does and doesn’t do is merely a reflection of the people they serve. If they look ugly …
Food for thought my friends, food for thought.
None of this is easy. Unpacking never is but the first step is getting real and getting honest.
I think its time.
I love you and I love this country.
Lean More about Sandi
I am SO pumped! So many amazing new offerings this year! Watch the video to hear all about them!
Stay up to date with Sandi's upcoming engagements, seminars, and her powerful teachings.
Join Sandi's Mailing List!
Subscribe to Sandi's Mailing List and be the first to learn of her newest offerings including an upcoming book! Subscribe today so you don't miss out!
First Name *
Last Name *
Example: Yes, I would like to receive emails from Sandi Boucher. (You can unsubscribe anytime)