~Aboriginal Voting Intentions~ [pdf]
Reading a variety of coverage and comment on indigenous and pan-Canadian responses to the Idle No More call to action, there are many focussed on the common goal~ stop dicking and dismissing indigenous people, stop destroying environmental protections and human rights, both here and abroad, re-engage democratic processes and with enthusiasm for inclusion this time, please/thank you~ and at every turn, the pain that hovers just below surface rises into words.
The voices of dismay ~ drawing on lifetimes and long histories of experience~ are registered, alongside those of enthusiastic optimism and those of guarded hope. Those with many resources (whether those be money or power or integrity or a strong and unquestioned social base) and those with much less (in some or every category) react to one another, and so far the voices of women can be (?) fairly safely dismissed, the intentions of some (?) Indian Act Chiefs mistrusted, the solidarity of any or every organized group (?) examined for advantage, and the limits of what is possible to imagine for a variety of writers reveal themselves.
None of this is true for every one, and the situation is fluid: not every voice of dismay is a voice for disunity, by intent or in actuality. It is good that we are talking trans-category, even with the confusions that arise in doing so.
Many have no trouble at all following mothers, grandmothers, woman warriors toughened by personal challenges met and surmounted. Some at the grassroots are very happy that the politically anointed help to put the word out~ and vice versa~, others demure. Some want ACTION!!! Some, many many, watch and listen. Consider.
Are we idling, or just using those survival skills that have carried us all along so far?
It is okay to change our minds. How will we change the world, without changing ourselves too?
The idea that any one voice will be beyond reproach and will lead unerringly to transformation of the bleak what is to the brilliant and glistening what may be is okay, as an idea, but it's fulfillment or realization would be either political tyranny-- ask Egypt if that's great just now-- or a social or religious cult, that perhaps would solve some things but in the end would not solve all things for all people. So, while it's important to continue to critique and analyze as we go, it is also essential to bear in mind the levels of destruction involved.
There is certainly enough power and discontent in ndn country and in canada as a whole to hit the transformation point. Way back at the beginning of their work, the conservatives have been preparing, upping the ante of social divisions and mistrust across the country, stripping supports from social matters and plumping up the prisons and the war machines, tightening the social we to be very white and wealthy, so that by this point in the national press there is no space for the working classes, the poor, the co-operative, the socialist, the rural, the upcountry/backcountry (except in terms of eco-travel). The coverage of ndn country is very rare, very scathing, full-blown disinformation campaigns progress, an agreed-upon cluster of transnational wealth investing both time and money in continuing fear-mongering. Splinter campaigns tried & found effective.
This is the situation, today, and so of course there is a slow warming trend, as bit by bit people who have been frozen out and misfiled and attacked from every direction, do a bit of soul searching, and ask themselves whether or not to put their bodies on the line, put their voices on record, join in and stay the course, express creativity in world-shaping ways. Those with some social power (called "voice") decide, from the deepest levels, what exactly to say, to whom, and why, to what pupose.
From whom will we accept leadership? What is an inappropriate idea and what is a cultural difference? Can we remain relaxed enough to work with one another over a longer term, and for the main prize, however that is defined by each one? Can we distinguish between voices of pain, and receive those on the level of compassion, and voices of other forms of truth, and integrate the many messages into a solid sense of what~ as an individual thinker, talker, leader, follower, spirit, being-among-a-larger-being, we want to do?