Shall We Choose a Side?

From my personal perspective, based on the media that I am being exposed to on a daily basis I am beginning to see a pretty pervasive trend of pitting one group against another. The issue that’s currently closest to home for me is Indigenouse land title in the beautiful so called British Columbia Canada.  BC is for sure one of the most beautiful places on earth, it is also one of the places where most of the province (almost all) of the province is located on unceded territory of the first peoples.  

This issue has for me in the past been a very black and white topic, it’s a battle between Indigenouse VS. Settler culture. As the indigenouse people across canada stand up for their rights in from what appears to me to be peaceful forms of protest, to protect the territories they have been living on for thousands of years.  We can begin to see the settler as something we need to stand up against. Something we need to stop. Much of this attitude comes from the time of first contact. Since the very beginning there have been breaches of the contracts signed between firstly the British Monarchy, and the later the government of Canada. So it’s understandable why people are tired of waiting around for change.  

At the same time Canadians are being shown what a nuisance the first peoples are. The  media won’t miss an opportunity to portey how the indigenouse protests are an inconvenience. How they are killing our economy and our country.  We can all relate to being annoyed by things that get in our way, especially when we are all just doing our best to survive in the most expensive province of canada.  This causes hate towards the idigenose people of Canada, from all colours of settler not only white. 

Thanks to my mother Kicya7, Joyce Schneider PHD. Who has been helping educate me along the way. Kicya7 shed light on the fact that this separation is in part due to the difference in how we view the world.  Indigenouse viewpoint sees the interconnectedness of all things, so to take resources from the earth needs to be reciprocal. It was/ is very important to take only what is needed. The viewpoint of the settler appears to be one of viewing the earth as something separate from us something that we need to manage to create an economy and generate jobs.  This is something that at this time has become very important to most of us, as we are sustained by this system currently

The question  this brings up for me is ‘why would the media outlets want to encourage hate between people?’ My thought about this is that, if we are so busy fighting each other and hating each other. It becomes much easier for the ones who are calling the shots to take drastic and at times illegal action. Knowing that they have already swayed enough of a target population to hate a group of people that it will be much easier for the public to swallow or even stand behind things that they know inside are deeply wrong. 

At the Same time why are we as indigenouse groups in our efforts to be heard and respected are becoming very rigid in our perception of the settlers of Canada. This is a perfect storm of creating a divide that has the potential to be widened, as well it holds an equal potential of being closed and we could have a rich conversation. This conversation would need to happen across all levels from the leadership of the indigenouse nations, and more importantly to us in our lives and our relationships.  To be able to put down our side of the story to authentically hear the concerns of the other side. 

This is not just something to read, it is a call to action!  It is a reminder to have an uncomfortable conversation. To try to relate to one another more than we try to find things to seperate us  and problems within our fellow people. This can cross over to so many other issues, not only the ones closest to my heart. 

  I do my best to embody this practice as I am half settler and half indigenouse, to take a side for me would be to cause a division within myself. I would not be here today if it was not for the settlers who bravely came to a new land with hope.  At the same time I may have come to forget my allegiance to the earth without the privilege and burden of being raised up as a member of the St’at’imc Nation. 

I hope this helps to serve as a reminder to myself and others. That  there are no sides, there is no us and them, it always has been and always will be just ‘us’.

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