The tear gas has finally cleared and our vision of what the free trade of the Americas means to Aboriginal People’s is still misty.
When asked a question by National Grand Chief Matthew Coon Come, our esteemed Canadian Prime Minister Jean Poutine (as President Bush calls him) gave the standard political reply we’ve come to expect from this highest of Canadian non-Aboriginal political offices…. a non-answer. Any clarification that Coon Come was asking for on how Aboriginal people in Canada would benefit was shut down by the PM who said that time was short.
Never mind that non-Aboriginal people got more than one question per person, it was only the National Grand Chief. These were the slaps in the face that Canada can’t seem to get beyond. Things were never done so obviously in past years. I thought some level of respect had been achieved in meeting as equals. I was angry when I heard that bit of news. Yes, Canada is one of the best places in the world to live… providing you are not Aboriginal. If you are Aboriginal then it is the 63rd best place to live. Quite a discrepancy if you ask me, but that is reality.
Coon Come’s question on how Aboriginal Peoples would fare and benefit under the free trade regime was valid and required. What was further needed was an honest answer by the leaders of the Americas.
They say when you are angry you should think of your happy place, a place where the problems of the world cannot really touch you. I am thinking of just sitting there in the blind. I’m waiting for the geese. I’m playing cribbage to pass the time. Talking and listening to stories. Reconnecting with the people that are important in my life.
Every now and again, after drinking the tea in my thermos I go out and have a leak. I am marking my territory…. Canada. I am 63rd in the world while you live in number 1 conditions. I have questions and sooner or later you will not only have to answer them but you will have to deal with them.
We have been patient while you have manipulated numbers showing hqw much you benefit our people but we are tired of your platitudes and rhetoric.
Learn from the past and you won’t make the same mistakes. It’s a common saying but the lessons seem to fade with time. The previous generations have been patient but the future is upon us. It is upon us and what will we do, Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal? I do not know, but I am heading to my happy place. Like many Crees I am going to enact an age old Cree spring ritual. I am going goose hunting. I will sit in the blind but I will remember the way our National Grand Chief was dealt with because if he can be treated this way then what can I hope for? When hope is a precious commodity not shared by all, then why do you not understand that the actions of a desperate people may not be to your liking?