Running away from politics.
This week I wanted to write about the brain and memory. A fascinating subject that can involve science and spirituality. But, as luck had it, I met a reader who asked me to write about the problem with the pipeline and rail blockades paralyzing the country. Readers often dictate what I write about. This person whom I never met before, wanted my view since she “likes to hear the other side.” I remembered old Buddy telling me years ago that he believed the “news” should expose all sides of an argument.
The rank and file of the first nations, like most Canadians, are very concerned with the issue of pollution and what it is doing to our human civilization. They worry about the costs of doing nothing and repairing the damage. There is a complicated explanation suggesting that there is a transition period in which we must use the old polluting energy until we develop a capacity to replace it with clean, but people not in the energy-producing provinces are only reluctantly willing to tolerate it. They want action now. This time they are confusing the Indian Act rights with the pollution issue.
Back to the strikes. The Trudeau government announced publicly that they will consult with first nations about digging pipelines through their lands but said that “the pipeline will be built.” It’s the equivalent of a boy saying to a girl, you will do what I want, but you have a choice to take a gift and do it willingly, or I can leave you here and you can walk home.
The Wet’suet’en like other BC First Nations have an ancient culture and a self-governing system based on hereditary chiefs similar to other monarchies. They are mostly not living on reserves and do not support the Indian Act way of electing leaders. It didn’t bother us until now when Canada wants to dig an unpopular energy transfer project through their land. We may view it as Germany telling Poland that they will build a pipeline from Russia to Germany and they have permission from a few Polish people living in Germany to cross Polish territory.
The majority of First Nations people in Canada tolerate me and you “the European Colonial invaders” because they signed treaties with us, but they want us to respect the fact that they have their own traditions which are in no way inferior to ours. They also feel that their ownership of their land is just as important as we consider our rights in our yard, where our home sits.
It seems like we have multiple problems. The BC first nations want us to honor their leadership choice, not the one we imposed upon them. Other First Nations are clearly showing us that they stick together and will not tolerate us using force for reconciliation.
Canada is a big country and it would be impossible to guard all our pipelines, railways and roads. We must govern by agreeing on laws, achieving consensus and negotiating favorable outcomes. You can add to it the arrogant approach of Justin Trudeau and wait for an explosion. There are well-known explosions we can observe, like Syria or Kosovo.
Now add another problem to the mix. Most Canadians clearly want their government to curtail emissions, not grow them anywhere in the world. They see the Alberta government beginning to gain support for a pipeline and trying to expand the win to include new bitumen mining up north. They are not blind or stupid. They view the present conflict as an opportunity to practice demonstrating against global warming, so they join the fray. Those are the non-native folks that we see demonstrating.
Most Canadians get their news from credible sources, not from supermarket tabloids or right-wing extremist propaganda like Rebel Media which the Conservative party will not deal with. If we wish to do business, we must all have the same information.
No-one has a solution to our current problem since it is older than we are. First, we can never win by forcing people to conduct their lives by our rules. It will simmer and pop up again. Second, we can’t assume that people aware of a coming worldwide catastrophe will ignore it because we tell them that it's not so.
The Indigenous population, like anyone else, can be bought for a while, but eventually, we must address their deep-seated concerns. There is a line that we can not cross with any human being. There are things that we are willing to die for. We do that, and the outcome will be a disaster for all. There was a British law once that a husband couldn't beat his wife with a stick thicker than his thumb. We changed the law. We must change the law of who we say can speak for the Indigenous people as well.
The other huge issue is our neighbors of all colors do not want pipelines unless we pay a high price, make it safe and declare a deadline for contributing to pollution. We can talk big, but we can’t win. We can try to force our political opponents to build pipelines, but they can’t. In Russia, we could, but here we can’t. We must show them that we understand the problem and work with them to solve it.
I foresaw the present conflict when I first heard our present Premier during the election campaign saying that he will fight Ottawa to get a pipeline built. It was a promise to force his old opponent to fight a war he can not win. It was dangerous and uncanadian in my opinion. Now we have other politicians joining in, risking an end to the Canada we know.
Starting a war of any kind is easy, but it never ends with a win. Those who start it always are not those who fight it. I advocate to stop the game and start playing it right.
Here is a link to my blog: https://thesimpleravenspost.blogspot.ca/ Feel free to check other articles and comment.