The Revolution Will Not be Televised (But it Will be Tweeted)

Photo by Deanna Rae

On December 10, 2012 thousands of Indigenous Canadians gathered to peacefully protest an ideology that would see rivers and lakes unprotected – ripe for industrial pollution, and measures that would threaten their sovereignty on their own lands.

At issue is the breaking of spiritual and legally binding promises by the Government of Canada. At issue is the continuing colonization of the original peoples of this land.

The movement is called #IdleNoMore and the issue is Bill-C45, an ominibus bill that tosses in everything but the kitchen sink, all attached to the budget. It’s designed this way in order to slip as many egregious changes to legislation as possible under the radar. If you catch one, there will be ten more that won’t get as much attention.

It doesn’t just affect those who have been dominated by the Indian Act. It affects all Canadians, and especially our children.

And that’s why all Canadians need to learn what is happening and need to stand up with their Indigenous sisters and brothers. Cousins, we are all in this together.

If you don’t care about leaving a clean place for your children then you might as well stop reading now. Because this is about dealing with things today, so that those yet unborn can have their tomorrows.

I am an artist. I deal in pattern recognition. And anyone else who sees patterns knows what I’m talking about.

This government is attempting to systematically sell off our resources and make even more resources available for exploitation. It’s a short term game plan and one that this current government doesn’t even hope to survive. But by the time the next election rolls around it will be too late to stop all the destruction. Sure, the Conservatives will be voted out (unless Canadians go back to sleep again), but their friends will already be enriched, their ideology will have been advanced and they will likely have future seats on corporate boards and their MP pensions.

Don’t worry about them, they’ll be all right.

And they will leave the rest of you holding the environmental and economic bag, much like the Republicans did to Americans, who are still digging their way out of the mess that was left behind.

This is much greater than angry protesting natives, this is about becoming aware of the world in which you live.

First they gutted the sciences, long term studies that would help us understand our ecosystem better so we could develop more responsibly, and no one said a word.

Then they cut funding for our shared history and those who work to preserve it, while at the same time dumping tens of millions of dollars into celebrating a British colony war that happened before we were even a country, and still no one said anything.

Then the world was made aware of the shameful conditions for small children growing up on underfunded, polluted Reservations. A small murmur and then nothing.

And now, because of the apathy they see, this government has taken galling steps to sell out our wilderness, our resources and sovereignty. And not even to the highest bidder. It’s a yard sale with no regard for responsibility or care for anyone who might be negatively affected (in other words, all of us).

From millions of protected waterways a couple weeks ago, we now have hundreds. Yes, you read that right.

So why are Canada’s Indigenous Peoples the only ones who are standing up? Why are they now the World’s Protectors?

I urge you stand with them, no matter where in the world you are from. I urge you to become aware. 

And I urge you to set an example for your children.

Show them that we are not sheep to be fleeced, but giants who have slumbered.

Show them that they can have a better life because of you, not a worse one because of apathy.

Show them that the only way to make the fundamental changes this world so sorely needs is in looking out for each other instead of hunkering down in isolation.

We know the way the world works. We know everyone is grasping for their piece of the crumbling pie. 

Don’t your children deserve a better fate? Don’t you deserve a better one, too?

The old model is tearing this planet apart and the planet is responding.

There is still time to change.

There is still time to stand.

There is still time to walk into a better tomorrow than our path today would suggest.

Join us. Walk with us. 

Share our simple joys.

And together we can be the first population in the world to peacefully and radically change the course our government has set.

It’s not about politics, it’s about people.

It’s not about anger, it’s about finding sanity right now.

It’s not about revolution, it’s about the evolution of our society.

We’re ready.

Are you ready?

Because now is the time.

Hiy hiy

35 thoughts on “The Revolution Will Not be Televised (But it Will be Tweeted)”

  1. The Earth, God, Mother Nature have given us an all abundant natural source of energy…oil. It is made by the Earth for the Earth. It bubbled to the surface on its own before man found it, it wanted to be found. It spilled into rivers before a well was ever drilled. Who was to blame then?
    Embrace our Earth in all it’s glorious abundance and share it with everyone. This land is our land, this land is your land…

    1. lol, way to troll. Any healthy relationship, whether among people or between the Earth and humans, is about a balanced give and take. What have we given back to the Earth for all it’s given us? When we reduce the Earth’s biodiversity it can’t help protect us as in the past from new diseases. Whether the assistance is medicinally or through its natural, checks and balances buffer. Keep in mind that those checks and balances not only protected humans but also the foods that humans eat. As a result of our take-take relationship, the environment’s biodiversity may not be able to helps us, or our cohabitants, as it may once have.

      Indigenous laws and governments were never given a chance to evolve on their own terms. They weren’t able to develop their own secular ideas, yet we still think of them in romanticised ideas, or as something that belongs in the past. Those systems were dynamic and involving. What would Canada look like if there were laws and governance systems around that were dynamic, involving and participatory? And one that respected human diversity.

  2. Right here standing tall…We need to protect our children’s futures. This issue brought my 10 year old to tears telling me “mom this is horrible” Enough Said

  3. Try as I might, I cannot understand the govts justification in how they are dealing with First Nations. How they can justify in taking and taking…down to what little we have left? In its unqenchable greed and racism, taking everything from FN’s is not enough. Harpers PC gang is going further to sell out out waterways and land so that theres even more stress on the backs of all FN’s, Inuit & Metis, and this is not to meantion even more pollution. I honestly BELIEVE the govt wants FN to suffer and die slow, painful deaths. They have made horrific cuts to our health care-so even if we do get sick with cancer and other chemicles (created from pollution), we don’t even have proper health-care to help us when we are in dire need. He’s building more jails (where inmates are barely kept fed) and WHO are the ones populating them? Statics show that 85-90% are FN or Native descent…this is a subtle, yet outright threat to ALL First Nations, Inuit and Metis, if you DARE stand up for yourself or your people. The way the Harper gang act in secrecy refusing to allow FN Chief’s into Parliment, goes so show EXACTLY what they think of us!
    Harper and his gang have got to be the WORST yet for RACISM, SEXISM, etc.
    Their arrogance and ignorance has forced us First Nations to make a stand..and maybe its time that we quit being ignored and treated like some kind of dumb breed of human beings…its time we quit settling for the pathetic financial crumbs they throw our way. Crumbs that they threaten to take away from us if we DARE try to step out of line…yes, its time we took the bull by the horns, GREAT SPIRIT be with our people..hai, hai!

  4. There is a need to draw everyone’s attention to the devastating legislation within Bill-C45, this article has been a contribution to countless others now circulating. Activists to professional environmentalists, like Mark Mattson a lawyer and national Waterkeeper, have been working in unison to educate Canadian citizens.

    Might I urge you, in the wake of such events that can act as a catalyst to bond together like minded people, not to ostracize contributors to the cause based on culture.
    “So why are Canada’s Indigenous Peoples the only ones who are standing up?”
    They are not the only ones.
    Hundreds of thousands born of varying culture and creed, all from Mother Earth, resonate to her call. Her voice is for all to listen, let us not call those deaf who are not or those blind who do see.
    Let us act together, for we have been, and will continue to.
    The Indigenous People of Canada have much to teach, much which regretfully has been ignored, as do all cultures which now call her home.
    Brothers and Sisters of all shades of clay, you are not alone.

    A~ Hai Hai

    1. Well, I hope you noticed the post is actually all about invitation and inclusiveness.

      I didn’t see any other groups standing up against Bill-C45 yesterday, so it did beg the question in my mind, at least. It was well publicized and shared across Facebook and Twitter, but no one came to stand beside us. Although, I could be wrong. Maybe there were some vocal and active supporters but I just haven’t read anything about that yet.

      Thanks for your comment.

      And your example.

      1. Aaron a provocative and truthful post but you are wrong about no else standing up to C45. Practically every enviro group in Canada like Waterkeeper, Sierra Club, along with many others like Council of Canadians, The Green Party of Canada have been screaming about it for months.

  5. I disagree with this initiative! The indigenous people would be better off now if there were no treaties and they had progressed along with all the other pioneers that struggled to make this country what is today. Then we would all be working together to make our country a better place. There is so much corruption on the reserves with the band and councils, it is shameful! The reserves have not been underfunded, finances have been misused and mismanaged. That is why the bands do not want their finances publicized. It is public money and I for one am tired of paying taxes for programs that are not accountable to the tax payers. Many indigenous people say that it is the fault of residential schools but many aboriginals asked those schools to take their children and educate them. They did not ask them to abuse them however and that was wrong. But the truth is there were many white children in residential schools as well. My father was one of them. He came from and English speaking family, he lost his language, he was beaten if he spoke English! He was physically, sexually and emotionally abused every day by other students, the priests and various other staff. He was beaten so bad, one day, he could not sit down for 2 weeks! You never hear of non-natives blaming somebody else for all their problems that are a result of things that happened to their grandparents or great grandparents. It is time the aboriginal people to start being self sufficient, independent and proud peoples like their ancestors. IT is time to stop looking for hand outs and start educating the young people so they can work for a better future for themselves and their children. All the social programs are not sustainable, everyone has to be productive contributing partners in society. You accuse the government of not caring about the waterways, our land and the people, that is just not true! Everyone of the people that represent us have children and grandchildren and many have chosen public service so they can leave things better off for their children and grandchildren. My question is how could you have so many people at a protest? Because somebody is paying your way to be there and perhaps nobody is working and contributing to the country as a whole! It is time this whole system changed so that everyone is contributing and we are all on a level playing field. This is how many people feel, I am tired of all the complaining. Let’s teach the aboriginal children to be proud and self sufficient!

    1. I have full control over the moderation of these comments, so let’s keep it classy.

      Dena, I understand where you are coming from and with the knowledge you have, your opinion is the result. I wouldn’t take that away from you.

      However, if you truly wish to understand, I recommend more study.

      1. One cannot choose who they were born. So all views, ways of thinking, religions, sexuality- everything must be respected as long as they do no harm. No child should be born in oppression. And yet, I have been and I have enjoyed opening my eyes to the experience. It opens my eyes to what is wrong and allows me to honour the way of my people. The society around me does not value life, everything has life within it, and to walk into a forest and say, now how much money can I get from this, how can it benefit me? That is wrong, because after my pockets are filled- I have destroyed much life. To set up pyramids of people as if they are more than you, to not even have the ability to converse with someone who orders your life and the lives of your children- that is the way to destruction, because they came for power and money. We are limited in what we can know in this life, we should know everything about every aspect and have a voice. And our reserves are held in common, because greed will have one landowner with a million acres, while the poor live on top each other, struggling to pay the bills. We are not in your society because, it is not our way- respect that- while I respect yours.

    2. awsome! your story is one of many..mine as well.. its time we share all sides of this story..stop blaming!! and lets come to an understanding.. so we can stand together…. and fight all in humane issues together! regardless of race and color! love and peace to all, even from us whities lol

    3. Dena, you are buying into the Conservative lie.

      They told that story when they froze the assets and sent in a Third Party Manager [read high-priced southern consultant paid from reserve funds] to look into the funding at Attawapiskat. Months later [months of stalling any further assistance], the Cons were embarrassed when the Third Party Manager reported that the finances were in order.

  6. Interesting that you chose not to post my comment about the Navigable Waters. As someone of First Nations descent, my comments must mean little to you if they aren’t patting your back. And to take the Sierra Club seriously… for shame.

      1. Sorry, I made a comment yesterday that the “unprotected waters” to which you are referring in Bill C-45 fall under the Navigable Waters Act. This Act has nothing to do with environmental protection. Bill C-45 will not leave our watersway unprotected as they will still be protected under other legislation both federal and provincial. I do not disagree with protesting, but when the protesters themselves are uneducated about the issues there is a problem.
        I also want to clarify that I am not angry, I was disappointed that my comment did not show up in your blog and I assumed that it was because I was correcting the misinformation that states “From millions of protected waterways a couple weeks ago, we now have hundreds. Yes, you read that right.” The waterways in question were in the thousands, not millions, and the changes in the act only affect the navigability of them.
        I had shared more… It was obviously lost somehow and I apologize for sounding angry, that was not my intent.

        1. Shan – your opinion on this largely incorrect.

          Bill C-45 has weakened Canadians’ historic right to navigate the lakes, rivers, and streams of Canada without being impeded by pipelines, bridges, power lines, dams, mining and forestry equipment, and more.

          The Navigable Waters Protection Act (NWPA) of 1882, considered Canada’s first environmental law. The reality is that it has significant environmental value due to the fact that it preserves the intactness of our water ways by preserving navigation rights.

          You are correct that it is thousands not millions of waterways removed from NWPA. Only 1% are left under the new act.

  7. Pingback: Idle No More
  8. The Provincial or Federal Goverment are not going to let businesses polute the rivers and land. They have rules and laws set in place already. If they didn’t protect them,they would be kicked out of power so fast.

  9. Saving our water,land,air,from pollution for ALL Canadians should naturally be a concern for any ordinary person. Because Fracturing (fracking) a shale gas well requires 11 million litres of water,and chemicals used make up between 0.5 and 2 percent of fluid. The fracking is typically done in impermeable rock some hundreds of metres—sometimes thousands of metres—–beneath fresh water Aquifers,but drinking water sources can be polluted if well is poorly constructed. According to the Commissioner,800 substances are known to be used or suspected to be used in fracturing,and many are TOXIC. And I’m sorry if some misinformed people feel this is O.K. for all the unprotected lakes,rivers,and streams, which will not just affect First Nations,but everyone,even tourists,that will come and swim in our poisoned lakes. Our treaty rights and soverighty rights protected these waterways and land but Harper’s Bill C-45 has taken away our rights. We have been lied to,presented as ignorant,our voice was never heard,said we were vaGUE,our Trust Fund was mismanaged by government. Now if this dosn’t open some peoples eyes as to why they have done this,nothing will. They can go on and mismanage your Tax dollars, we the First Nations don’t get one red penny from your money,, we have a Trust Fund shared with the Crown, we are sopposed to get 40% and the Crown gets 60%. But the government dosn’t want the public to know. Because they are busy spending this money on theirself, They are terrible guardians they don’t want to spend anything on us. They love this cash cow and are laughing all the way to the bank, did you wonder why Harper quickly removed his money from the bank,and put everything in his wifes account duh.

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