…..was yesterday. I remember how big of a deal March 21st was in school growing up. Everyone would get the infamous hand sticker and be all about stopping racism. I couldn’t believe how much this entire day of awareness was completely overlooked this year!
I went to an Idle No More lecture last night at the University. I’ve been a strong supporter of the movement since the beginning but this was one of my first big events to attend. I learned so much in the short two hours I was there. Two founding members spoke – which was extremely inspiring. I love that this movement was started by women! Just regular, ordinary, women who deeply care for the environment, their culture, their history, and most importantly, their future.
The lecture was to bring the focus of Idle No More away from the spotlight that the media has spun it into. It’s not an “us” vs. “them” movement, it’s not even a First Nations movement, it’s a Canadian movement filled with issues that every Canadian should be aware of. I went through a rollercoaster of emotions during this lecture, I felt happiness for what I was a part of, shame for what I was ignorant to, hatred and anger towards our government.
The most important thing I took away from the entire thing was when one of the women brought up our water. She said that 99.7% of our waters had been de-regulated. She asked us, “who profits from this? Cause I certainly don’t. How safe is our drinking water, and for how long?” So what happens when our water is no longer safe, when we can no longer drink it, when we start getting sick from it? It was a terrifying thought.
Here’s a photo that I took. I loved the message, it reads: I am an ally. I am not First Nations, Metis, or Inuit. I am Canadian. I support human rights, the protection of our environment, and our democracy, and the notion that our elected government should act honestly and honourably in carrying out its obligations to all its people.