Photo: Bill Metcalfe

LETTER: Hopes for a better society

From reader Charles Jeanes

Two huge events made a mark last month: the federal election, and B.C. adopting a declaration on the UNDRIP regarding Indigenous peoples’ rights.

I am appalled at the election results but cannot be surprised. Canadians live well by any measure relative to billions of people on this planet and our election reflects that we do not want the status quo to change. Naturally we neglected the enormous issues of climate justice, reconciliation with natives, and the urgency of a new, post-capitalist economy. We chose business as usual.

As for our dealings with aboriginal people, the possessors of this land we call Canada before Europeans colonized it: no amount of fine words can reverse history. Will the unceded-and-stolen lands of B.C. now be compensated for? Will natives get justice? Well, there are precedents in history. They suggest the answer is a simple no.

As our old planet spins on and its climate changes and the dominant species lives according to its nature, one must be both realist and idealist. Know what is probable and prepare to make the best of it. Be loving and compassionate because that is best, and we live in a rare place where we can still hope to construct a better society on ample material foundations.

Charles Jeanes

Nelson

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