Nelson Grade 6 math textbook, thankfully not a Quebec publisher or we’d never see this representation!
It’s not that all sorts of peoples haven’t been teasing and mocking shit public figures say since forever. The jokes about Ralph Klein, former Premier of Alberta, notorious for getting drunk and wandering into a homeless shelter, where he then threw change at clients there and screamed, “Get a job!” Or when he plagiarized and essay for an online college degree…well, had those jokes been made immediately public, all that kitchen table chatter, it would have easily sparked news reports the way some twitter hashtags do now.
What’s different now, is we get to collaborate, and learn from each other. Sometimes when we call out, we still miss things…and then someone points it out and that light goes on.
Do you realise how much more quickly our youth are learning to recognise and name microaggressions, microinvalidations, and yes even lateral violence? How much more supported our youth are to understand and push back?
A lot of people of my generation felt lost in a fog of isolation, and how many of my peers are gone forever as a result? It’s still happening, at shockingly high rates…and so much more needs to be done…
But social media is giving people a wider community to tap into, and when it comes to understanding, recognising, and addressing the nasty attitudes and the embedded structures that impact us daily, that access is so, so important.
I mean, I feel like NDNz sort of just got this access a few years back, compared to a lot of other groups, and it has linked up academics, artists, activists, Elders, youth, community members and so on…in a way we just didn’t have before.
Not saying it’s all good, you know it gets hairy.
But in terms of immediately addressing Settler BS, wahwa!
Kihtwam itwek, nitotemitik!
Can you imagine picking a First Nation…let’s say the Cree. Picking the Cree and saying, hey guys, I know you have your own language and culture and history, but we need a space for all the people who don’t feel accepted by Settler society and who don’t really have a strong enough connection to another First Nation. You guys don’t mind, right? They’re going to start calling themselves Cree now. Wait, that offends you? What are you, some sort of elitist? Fuck you racist Cree for not letting them use the name and identifying as part of your First Nation! You are replicating colonialism! What? You have specific indigenous laws governing adoption and membership? Who cares! These people need a label for their identity, and you’re it!
That would be pretty outrageous, wouldn’t it? You’d be denying Cree people their distinct identity just so other people could feel part of something.
This is why there is a distinction between big “M” Metis…specific, unique peoples with their own language, culture and history…and little ‘m’ metis, which just means mixed, and can be any mixture at all of native and non-native.
What revolution looks like to me, sovereignty summer schools?
It is so easy to get bogged down by all the problems indigenous peoples face. Poverty, suicide,…
So these arrived today, Tłįcho mittens in white stroud (wool) with smoked tanned white deer hide palms, fleece inserts and rabbit fur trim. They are for my eldest, who now has the same size hands as me…I’m hoping she’ll keep growing and I’ll inherit these!
Tonight I’ll make the pattern for my youngest girl’s mittens. Can’t wait, I love making them!
Really tired of people acting like I’m lying when I say we don’t get tax exemptions or anything. All these mysterious Metis people these folks know are getting MAD tax deductions apparently.
Moss bag by the incomparable Lisa Shepherd. Yes, obviously I have babies on the mind, and my cloth-print moss bag I used with my first two was worn out and had to go. Time for a new one!
For those who don’t know me, I am a trained teacher and an indigenous mother. I have very strong beliefs about the importance of education. You can read some of those opinions here: http://briarpatchmagazine.com/articles/view/calling-all-our-superheroes
So I am not anti-education, by any stretch, and I even feel it is necessary for our children, native and non, to succeed in this crappy colonial, racist system because unless we jump through those hoops (and yes often even if we jump successfully) our children face marginalisation.
Nonetheless, I have little to no faith in the structures we are given as ‘options’. What I mean is, most schools are shit, the teachers are often shit, the admin are often shit, and the educational policies are definitely shit. School systems are still mired in 19th century mentality, and more importantly, schools are NOT safe places for the majority of children. Not even for most White children. “Safe and successful” schools are experienced by a tiny minority of extremely privileged children.
You’d think that with things so bad for most people, that there’d be a continent-wide movement to change this, but inertia is powerful. Particularly when economies are centered around the absolute need for parents to work full time just to survive, making it imperative that children be in the hands of daycare workers and teachers for the bulk of the day. Which, btw WOULD BE FINE IF THE SYSTEM DIDN’T ACTIVELY PERPETUATE VIOLENCE.
But I’ll tell you this. People have successfully brought education back to the community level before, and it can happen again. Freedom Schools. indigenous Survival Schools. Language Nests, etc.
Our communities, native and non, need to figure this out again. And we need to make it happen, by supporting our kids, and structures which elevate rather than pacify them. Yup, we need to keep those full time jobs, because that shit is life and death, no lie. But we also need to figure out how to support new models of education NOW. Cuz trust me, by the time the state figures this shit out, it’ll already be too late for our kids, and probably even our grand kids.
If I can teach Chemistry to 9 year olds in a third of the time it usually takes to run through a highschool course (and I’m not talking little Einsteins here, just regular kids)…then we can teach ALL our kids everything they need to succeed in this stupid standardised testing system AND what they need to learn to decolonise and recreate or create sustainable, human structures into the future.
Do you believe that? I absolutely do. Now I’ve got to figure out how to do it without letting my kids starve in the meantime.
And I WILL figure that shit out.