So, I live on the west coast of British Columbia, on what is the unceded ancestral territories of the Tsleil-Waututh, Squamish, Musqueam, Hwlitsum, Katzie, Kwantlen, Kwikwetlem, Matsqui, Qayqayt, Semiahmoo, Tsawwassen, and Stó:lō Nations. The name of the province alone illustrates the colonial hold on this place.
We adjust when names are changed, to businesses going bankrupt or changing ownership, to humans who get married and take on their spouses names, and even to families whose names are adjoined with a hyphen. Every day is a new day of the week, the date changes, the month, the year does so too, and we experience those growing pains at the new year writing last years digits but we slowly adjust and conform to the new place names. No minute is the same; we embrace change all day
The stealing of the land from Indigenous might have happened just as slowly or just as quickly, but it was common knowledge when you arrived, interpolated into a history written before your first breath. Never questioning it.
We have the capability to change and adjust and become entwined within the new until it is normalized yet we find ourselves in a moment where resistance to change is getting the most attention. Where was the resistance of the colonizer in the 1600s and beyond?
Why resist what benefits you?
In Canada this weekend the streets happened to showcase the performance of the “freedom convoy” of cross-border truckers protesting vaccine-mandates. When impacted, such as by losing their jobs by choosing not to get vaccinated during a global pandemic which has claimed the lives of over 5.6 million people worldwide, the people doth protest.
Surprisingly, this convoy raised over 8 million dollars in a very short time, illustrating their financial power, sure, but raising a larger issue: If money talks, then it is claiming it wants the people set free from public health orders and scientific knowledge meant to keep people as healthy and safe as possible. They want to reject science and get their jobs back. They also want to overthrow the government because of “overreach”, too many rules and regulations stifling their way of life. Would we all get to go back to “normal” if they took the vaccine?
Everything has changed. There’s no going back.
This quest for “freedom” is a farce.
Unlike the colonial takeover of Canada. Unlike the residential school system stealing children from their homes. Unlike the current water advisories across Canada.
The choice is ours to make.
Either take a vaccine or suffer the consequences of a changing world.
These truckers, and frankly, everyone, has a choice in this situation. To follow the advice of medical and scientific professionals advising governments worldwide, or to take a vaccine, stay home and yes, lose your job. Or look for a new one? One must adjust to this new way of life either way, and the choice in how to do so is our own.
During this past week, it has become glaringly clear that the rights of Indigenous communities continue to be shelved. If this convoy can raise money to strike public health orders that likely will never bend, then we know they have the power to resist, but are fighting for continued inequality, such as loopholes that rescue their individual way of life at the risk of harming the greater population.
Please choose to use your money for good and consider donating to the Indigenous Residential School Survivors Society, The Orange Shirt Society, The Legacy of Hope Foundation, The First Nations Child and Family Caring Society, Tk’emlúps te Secwe̓pemc First Nation, KUU-US Crisis Line Society, Landback.org, or the many charities for Indigenous communities listed at Canadahelps.org.
That’s Not All Folks
The health care workers who choose to save lives every day, they are the modern day military, they have been assisted by the military throughout the pandemic as well, and it is these professionals who will carry the weight of our society through this war on disease. I read that the convoy would donate their unused funds to veterans. The veterans of this war on Covid-19 are already in need of our support. They may not tote guns but they are in hand-to-virus combat on the front lines, embedded in the trenches fighting and airborne enemy. So if the convoy plans to donate to veterans they should include these amazing individuals sacrificing their lives for the greater good.
We owe them all more respect.
Please donate to The Frontline Fund and show your support for the selfless rather than the selfish.
To those who recognize that the shortest path often takes us through rather than around a problem. We will get through this together.