LETTER: Indigeneity and Canada Day

From reader Andre Piver

The history of colonization has torn us all from our “indigeneity.” Being indigenous truly means coming to be and existing in local material interdependence within our extended family, village and land, and sharing traditions that evolved in that place. Without these, we now rely on polarizing beliefs expounded by large partisan special interests and, centralized institutions, naturally selected for risk management.

We are all disconnected from each other and ourselves. The Canadian version of colonization was recent enough that we have now been confronted with a tiny part of the brutality. The parallel knowledge for the colonization of “white” lineages has largely been lost.

Amongst Europeans, the most recent shredding of the fabric was the abolition of the “Commons,” when workers were required for coal plants and iron foundries. They were forced to leave their clans and villages to sustain their lives and became disconnected consumer-cogs in the machinery. Currently what remains is consumption as a source of imagined status/esteem/success (life as a game of Monopoly, literally called a “zero sum game” in modern management theory). “I have my money and I have my car so I don’t need you.”

Rebuilding local capacity for the essentials, rather than globalized long supply lines is the deepest answer both to reducing our carbon footprint to possibly survive the climate catastrophe, and regain an (Indigenous) human ecosystem, we are still hard-wired for.

Andre C. Piver