Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Forsaken No More

The Snows - A Video Poem by Russell Wallace

Uploaded on Feb 27, 2011

commissioned by the University of Toronto back in 2000. My mom (Flora Wallace) translates the words into Ucwalmícwts. A poem about age and transition. Thanks to Wayne Lavallee and Tzo'kam for their voices. ~ Russell Wallace


one of the intial confusions about the idle no more metaphor
for those not arising from a part of the land that requires a winter reality of long waits for the machinery of convenience to rise to the challenge of meeting the weather

i keep thinking about two contrasting uses of fabric, hiding the face for masking identity, covering the clothes for food preparations
two strategies, disrupting oppressive norms, maintaining life

the federal government wastes millions of dollars fighting in court against fulfilling it's duties, moral and legal, and this wastage is set at the doors of First Nations by conservative spin doctors~ this predatory behaviour thrives in an environment where Canadians do not know their histories, and are taught to fear

one recent example: fedgov spends $10 million at court to resist talking to Manitoba First Nations about discharging land debt with a piece of property in Winnipeg worth $8 million. court rules against fedgov, and the question on any ordinary mind is, why is the fedgov working so hard to keep First Nations down?

if it isn't racism, what is it?

First Nations, first rights*

 we have pundits claiming that the huge expenses associated with First Nations are all about indigenous greed, and none about the fedgov automata fighting immorally every blessed thing, fedgov interests drifting very far from the collective interests of Canadians, a continuing hostile takeover unfolding simultaneous with windowdress behaviour

*pretty thorough sketch yet at the same time, softly softly: no mention of the formation of Manitoba as a result of Metis indigenous activism, the fact that Louis Riel was democratically appointed yet unable due to violence of the settler state to take his seat in parliament; no mention of the mass killings of indigenous people by early settler judges representing the state, not the take-over of the province by continuing voices of apartheid.

of course the impact is bizarre, it is incongruent behaviour and quite shamefully, it persists

i have already said most of what i needed to say about Wally Oppal and the Missing Women Inquiry,

While I am glad that he titled his report Forsaken, and that numerous police officers have been quoted saying that this report will be real handy with improving policing, there are two things that remain unaddressed.
a) Mr. Oppal was employed in a decisionmaking capacity, a part of the system that failed at the time of it's failure, therefore he should have declined the role and allowed an equally qualified and far less complicit person to be selected to head the inquiry;
b) Mr. Oppal should have stepped down when the government refused to support the voices of any but the police and the government, rather than accomodating the damage control decisions from the top.
I think in all these things, his need to make right the collective failure overwhelmed his ability to be a strong and effective ally of indigenous people and of poor people and of women. Everything else is built upon this base.

Finding systemic prejudice without acknowledging racism, classism and sexism fails us.

As the government that set the terms of the inquiry to exclude other serial predators of indigenous women in our region, and other disappearances and lax policing of regions of our province, in failing to support the voices of all but itself and it's two arms (two levels of policing), virtually all of the important questions have been sidestepped. So, we have had a discussion about local policing, specific victims, and a particular series of decisions made.  We have not included missing women across Canada, or even across the province, so the bigger question of how to be safe, free, and supported as an indigenous woman remains a question not asked.

The problems of contempt for the poor, continuing official contempt for indigenous people of all categories, the disempowerment of women in particular certain categories of women continues apace, in an active way.

The tendency of the population at large to mistreat indigenous women with impunity cannot be effectively disrupted in this context.

No unhappy man is going to redirect himself away from murdering the most vulnerable, when he lives and breathes in a state of amnesia, in a realm of official contempt.

Idle No More upcoming events (from the blog):

  • Wednesday, December 19, 2012 at 8:30am in EST
  • Today at 12:00pm
    Canadian Consulate General, Minneapolis
  • Thursday
  • Thursday at 12:00pm
    Thompson, MB - Provincial Building 59 Elizabeth Drive
  • Thursday at 7:00pm.
  • Friday
    Consulate General of Canada - San Francisco
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 8:30am in UTC
    'Canada Gate' - Entrance to Green Park from The Mall
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 1:00pm in UTC-04
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in EST
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 10:30am in UTC-07
    START: Kinsman Park END: Sir Winston Churchill Square
  • Friday at 12:00pm
    Unknown location (Downtown somewhere), Will be announced closer to rally
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 11:00am in UTC-07
    Lloydminster City Hall
  • Friday at 12:00pm
  • Friday at 12:00pm
    Angus Street & 5th Ave to The Saskatchewan Legislative Building
  • Friday at 12:00pm


    Millbrook First Nation, NS - will be having a peaceful protest Friday also (link to be provided)

    Cabot Square, Montréal
    Friday at 1:00pm
    Highway 10 file hills sk
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in UTC-07
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in UTC-08
  • Friday, December 21, 2012 at 12:00pm in PST
    550 South Hope Street, 9th Floor, Los Angeles California 90071
  • Saturday at 3:00pm
  • Saturday, December 22, 2012 at 4:00pm in EST
  • Sunday, December 23, 2012 at 10:00am in PST

  • APTN News London ON 19 Dec 2012

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