It is our right to speak up about injustice
- Alyson Bear | April 03, 2020
The ongoing violations from the Nation is a plague of systemic oppression. It cycles through the generations and all I see is history endlessly repeating itself.
The racism in the air is heavy and it is weighing down on my soul.
I am already exhausted from the struggle of trying to survive in a capitalistic colonial society.
Despite all the racist and hateful comments circulating online, I see such a strong resurgence of Indigenous Nations and allies.
Got Land, resources, and economy? Well, thank a Native, because the infrastructure of this colonial Canadian society is built on the ongoing dismantling, displacement, and genocide of Indigenous peoples and Indigenous Land.
In regard to the circulating comments online filled with racism and hate, people are just showing their true colors. I think during a time like this we should come together and support one another and let go of those who do not support us. There are bigger issues in regard to the blockades, such as the ongoing denial of Indigenous rights, laws, jurisdiction, and authority. I do stand with Wet’su wet’en and I am proud of those on the frontlines defending and asserting our rights and the rights for the land. There is a lot going on in the world right now.
Right now, I have the honour of taking the course, Indigenous Legal Processes with Maria Campbell. Our discussions and readings are all based on Indigenous laws and it is truly the first time in all of my education career I feel safe and comfortable and where Indigenous knowledge is appropriately valued and recognized.
It is a breath of fresh air to be able to speak openly about the truth of our country and in a safe environment. I know many of the other students feel it too and are starting to see things differently because we were never taught the truth about our identity and Indigenous Nations. What was taught was the ongoing biases and stereotypes that cycle through this society. This is proven in the comment sections online. This kind of hate and anger directed at Indigenous people only increases my anxiety and fear in regard to the world I am raising my daughters in.
We are a reflection of our environment. If our Mother Earth is out of balance and the society we live in and the colonial institutions that govern us, then we will most likely be out of balance too. We have a responsibility to the Earth and each other. Times are pressing in determining what we will leave for future generations. It is about being mindful and taking a step back and looking at the full picture.
I wish there was more time to reconnect to the earth and our identity to ground us and make us strong. The daily struggle and the distractions and temptations used to control the masses do a good job to keep us from our own self-development. Therefore, we are not functioning anywhere near our full potential or living with purpose. It is slowly breaking us down and this makes it easier to cave into temptations.
Living life in a good way is the purpose of Indigenous laws and governance structures. It was about being responsible, respectful, proud and taking care of all living things. There was the original taxation system practiced by Indigenous people that was not compulsory but was done because it was right. If you had more than you needed, you shared with those who did not have enough. We took care of our sick, elderly and our children were the center of our world.
These traditional systems and ways have been dismantled and torn apart and it is up to us to revitalize our governance structures and adapt them for modern times. The law today needs to evolve as the people are; you see many more Indigenous youth, peoples, nations and allies standing up for Indigenous rights together.
It is because of professors like Maria Campbell who have come before me and started paving a path to set things right. We cannot forget who has done that and we need to continue paving more paths in all spaces. We also need to uphold each other and that means holding each other accountable in ways that form a more holistic, healthy wellbeing and not tear each other down, as we try to improve our lives. There is enough of that still going on in this society.
That is where I am at right now, fed up with the ongoing status quo of the denial of Indigenous Nations, rights, laws, authority, and jurisdiction, but still grateful and moving forward with the strength from those who came before us.