The Dashing Chronicles: Rainbow Socks, Canada’s Birthday and Celebration
- Winston McLean | January 20, 2017
John L.: The year 2016 is in the books and it is now time to look forward to what 2017 will bring. Here to enlighten us is the columnist voted most likely to wear pants, Eagle Feather News’ own Dirk Dashing. Dirk, glad you could join us.
Dirk: John, last year we saw the defeat of the moderately evil Zarnak of the planet Omicron Persei 5, the return of rainbow socks with the individual toes, and after years of job creation, universal healthcare, deficit reduction and the elimination of Bin Laden the Americans finally got to elect a privileged white male to the White House.
John L.: Um, riiiiight. So tell me Dirk, what do you see happening in 2017?
Dirk: The year 2017 is going to be a year of reflection, John. For starters, it’s Canada’s 150th birthday. For most Canadians this will be a year of petting beavers and gathering around stately erections in our nations’ cities. I hear Kindersley will be having an especially big erection this year, which should make the news.
John L.: Now there are many who feel that reflection on Canada’s heritage also means telling the truth about certain dark periods in Canadian history. That its not always been 150 years of unicorns and hamburgers.
Dirk: True, John. Broken Treaties, residential schools, stolen children, missing and murdered women, children and men, Steven Harper’s hair. These are definite legacies. Plus I’m hoping the other side of that coin will be celebrated as well.
John L.: The other side of that coin?
Dirk: John, the commemorations should also be about celebrating survival, and in that way we honour the ancestors who paid such heavy, ungodly prices. And when we do that we make space for those moments of triumph.
John L.: I must say, Dirk, that I am not used to you sounding so thoughtful. And rational. I’m getting chills.
Dirk: I’m scared too, John. I think I pee’d a little. But let’s not digest. My point is we’ve also seen progress, especially these last five or six decades.
John L.: Can you give me a few examples?
Dirk: Sure. 25 years ago in September a huge land deal was signed at Wanuskewin. And when I say huge, John, I mean it was large. [Dirk spreads his arms out wide, palms up as though cupping something large and feeling the heft of imaginary, um, bowling balls.]
John L.: Oh, you’re talking about the Treaty Land Entitlement Framework Agreement. Didn’t that deal see about half a billion dollars go to 25 First Nations to buy land and creating new reserves? I imagine there will be a celebration of the Framework Agreement, right?
Dirk: That’s my guess. But that’s not the only thing that needs celebration this year.
John L.: Lay the truth on me, Brother.
Dirk: I feel we should also recognize those doing constructive things about the Calls to Action from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. Hell, why not do the same for those actively supporting the work of the Missing and Murdered Women and Girls inquiry? Let's do crazy things like that.
- Big Brothers Big Sisters moving forward on TRC calls to action
- Flag of Reconciliation raised in Saskatoon
- Inquiry to examine root causes of national MMIW tragedy
John L.: That’s a fantastic idea. Are you on medication, Dirk? I mean you’re making a hell of a lot of sense today.
Dirk: Yeah, I don’t know what’s wrong either. It’s just that some of my relations feel compelled to leap up and down about the hateful, hurtful, disgusting things that have happened. But if we all stay there, if that’s all we do, then what’s the point, what do we accomplish?
John L.: You know, you already angered some people talking this way. Some people feel there is nothing in this country’s hidden history to feel good about.
Dirk: I’m not saying ignore the truth, John. I am saying, if you cling to the angry who’s going to want to play with you?
John L.: This has been an unusually sane interview this month, Dirk.
Dirk: As usual, John, I’ve been a pleasure.
Dirk says, “This New Year's I resolve to be less humble and more awesome since they are the only things I do in excess, including those things best done in moderation. Yeah, I’m confused too.”