“Why don’t we just vote our way out of this mess?”
Perhaps the stupidest “solution” offered for Indigenous peoples. Every single political party is born and bred from the canadian system of governance which is a constitutional monarchy maintained through a colonial relationship with britain and is only possible through the continued exploitation of our lands for thier purposes. Without their domination of our lands for their benefit they could not continue to operate their bureaucracy and infrastructure (police, military, etc) to maintain their domination over these lands.
Add to this the fact (not opinion, F-A-C-T!) that every political party maintains their moral authority to rule and all parties which have found themselves in majority situations have used their power to undermine, strip away, confine, and otherwise continue the path of genocide that this canada was born from. The Conservatives have a long track record overtly founded on the philosophy of cultural supremacy that the other parties seem to have the decency to conceal a bit more than the Cons. The Liberals will sell out to the highest bidders and their “moral authority” is directly tied to who is filling their bank accounts. They were there for Oka. They were there for Ipperwash. Lets not that.
“But what about the NDP?” some would ask.
The NDP were at the wheel when the military were ordered in to Gustafsen Lake just northwest of kamloops with armoured vehicles, helicopters, machine guns, and other weapons of death as they bombed a civillian vehicle and shot millions of rounds at Indigenous peoples conducting ceremonies on their own unceeded lands. Only through extreme courage and a bit of luck was nobody killed but Indigenous peoples still did jail time in colonial jails for simply being Indigenous on their lands.
“And the Green party?”
Despite the new-agey feel and the environmentalist greenwashing of their party platform, the domination theodicy is still present. Unless their preamble to their charter begins with “We recognize and affirm that these lands referred to as ‘canada’ are the property of Indigenous peoples and all moneys and power derived from their lands are to be returned to them” then their strip is the same colour as the rest of the political parties and they stand on the shoulders of their genocidal ancestors in order to continue the disposession and domination of lands that do not belong to them.
“We should form our own First Nations/Indigenous/Aboriginal/Cree/Salish/Mohawk/etc. Party so we can have a voice/change things/have power ourselves/etc.”
Good idea except for the fact that the foundations of the system you are seeking to empower yourself by is the very cause of the disempowerment you suffer. The system itself hinges on widespread resource theft (referred to as a “staples economy”) which is only possible through the destruction of the lands we live on, the foods we survive on, and the waters we will die wirthout. This system reduces people to simple commodities and guess what? We are people! We also do not govern ourselves by a system which degrades people to having a voice once every 4 years and even then you only get to say WHO you are voting for and not WHAT THEY ARE DOING. Our Indigenous governance is far more accountable to the people than that. If we decided to invest all of our energies into an “Indigenous” political party (an oxymoron if I have ever heard one) we would simply be completing the assimilation process begun through enforced band elections under the Indian Act which are meant only to teach us obedience, disempowerment, and acceptance of what we should not accept.
“What do we do then?”
Stop the paltitudes and show some moral courage to see what is happening and has happened right in front of us. Stop believing the same tired old rhetoric of “reconciliation” while our incarceration numbers are doubling every few years and our children are being swallowed by the settler society through children and family services, drugs, alcohol, colonialist schools, prisons, and the thousands of other ways we refuse to acknowledge. Stop being blind to the non-stop logging trucks taking trees from your lands while you sit back and give them a wide berth. Stop saying to yourself “We have to heal”, and “It’s not my place, that’s for the leaders.” Start saying “My children need these things to live!” And, “My grandchildren deserve better than inheriting a dying planet!” And perhaps most importantly “Let’s stop the domination of our peoples! Today! Right now!”
Do something just please, PLEASE don’t tell me to vote because if that is our big idea for liberation, we’re fucking doomed.