Dear fellow human being, non-native and indigenous relative,
I listened to some good advice tonight at the #J16 Idle No More forum. It was wisdom shared with the allies, advising us how we can be respectful and respected. The answer was, that we have to be willing to be respected “on the terms” of those whose traditions are a part of the territory we are in. We have to share our blood, sweat and tears with the local indigenous communities, and understand ‘respect’ as they deem it.
In order to understand the terms of those who are indigenous to this land, and who know best how to care for this part of the Earth, I ask all of us to pursue this open invitation to share blood, sweat and tears as being a part of the Idle No More movement.
As allies, we won’t idle in the duties our forefathers neglected. They should have been there, standing alongside, with RESPECT. We will continue to seek you-the indigenous- out, in order to see the land the way you have, to learn from your example, to respect your heritage, and to read the good books- or listen to the good words which have been shared.
From day one, you have opened that door, and with every generation that passes it by, we continue the cycle of violence and oppression. It is high time we understood what it means to live in this Turtle Island, and to be respectful. This is the task of an ally who is Idle No More, as I currently understand it.
My answer to the invitation is YES. I will take the invitation to sweat; I will read the recommended book; and I will sit outside and reflect upon Mother Earth and her children. I will reconnect with the earth, as it makes sense; and teach my neighbors about indigenous human rights, as it makes sense; and remain an ally of Idle No More, as I cannot ignore it anymore.
If I am my ancestors, I do not want to repeat their crimes. Thank you, Idle No More, for correcting us; please continue to do so.
Photo by: Idle No More, J16 Teach-In -University of Victoria, BC