Last Friday the Mother and I went to the Idle No More protest in Ottawa. It was something to see. Thousands of people, mostly First Nations, walking right down the middle of the street right in front of the Parliament buildings. Drums were beating with a deep, rollicking energy; people shouted and whooped and waved flags. At the center of the sea of protestors were the chiefs– wearing headdresses and beating on drums and singing. I felt out of place (note: total whitey McGee here), but I still found myself standing, locked in amazement, at the edges, almost grasping the power of the situation, but maybe not completely. I would have loved to be right in the middle of them, hitting a drum, singing a booming, unforgettable call to war. It felt like war. Like a calm, collected war, marching with incredible composure past the towering buildings of Parliament, the center of Canada’s power made delightfully insignificant under the rolling beat of the First Nations’ drums. Thousands of them. Of us? I’m not sure.
Anyway, I got some great pictures. I would try to explain the energy of that crowd, but it’s something you had to have felt, I think. It wasn’t a frenetic, violent energy… it was so calm, so collected, so fantastic. What a way to stage a protest! I think the whole world should take a look at how First Nations fight the power. No bombs, no guns, no violence. Just drums and singing.
At the end of the day, I’m so glad I went, but I’m also frustrated and angry. Why do thousands of people have to assemble and walk right in front of Parliament to get our government’s attention? Why does it take that much? There’s been so many problems with the First Nations and our government. I won’t say I perfectly understand it all, but my somewhat ingnorant understanding is that Harper is a moron and the First Nations people have been treated very badly, not just recently, but apparently since Canada has been a country.
So what do we do about it? Well, I’d ship Harper off to a small island off the coast of Somewhere Really Far Away From Canada and Up North Possibly Past Antarctica– but I don’t think anybody could actually pull that off. What I really think needs to be done: Government, DO SOMETHING ABOUT YOUR FIRST NATIONS CITIZENS. And Regular People: Respect your fellow Canadians, even if they don’t look like you and are considerably better at staging protests than you are.
That’s what I think about this whole thing. Just do something already. Change the way things are, for the better. Come on, Canada– you can do it! I believe in you!
Yours truly, Onceabasementdog.