150+ years of colonialism, colonization, genocide, attempted assimilation, racism, murder, rape, and the vehement hate for our people by a so-called “nation.”
It is a very influential space and time in which we are living and our Indigenous children are being born in this very significant time. They are being born as witnesses to their parents responses to the continued colonial tactics on the lands and territories on which they reside. They are being born in a space where the possibility of creatively manifesting Indigenous liberation and serving the cause are two paramount processes which are unfolding before their very eyes. They are being born as physical examples and answers to our ancestors prayers. They are our continued prayers. Indigenous children that are born today have the opportunity to recognize their ability to stand in, and live in, their own Indigenous liberation rather than colonial agendas. They are the ones who can be raised by parents that never entered the halls of a residential school.
The Indigenous children born today are born at a time where their very breath and existence is a means for celebration. For they are our old one’s living prayers.
There was a point in time in Indigenous civilizations where the coming together of the peoples lead to tactical plans to defend, preserve, and resist all systems and symptoms of colonialism before they even left the minds and mouths of the colonizer themselves. Today, the opposite is occurring. We have collectively self-actualized a negligent response time to colonial paradigms, therefore only responding to colonially created crisis and events after they happen.
Where does this leave us? It leaves us in a colonial crossfire completely unarmed and unprotected. This maintenance and prioritization of colonial systems and symptoms provides space for our own systems to be subservient to our own indigenous existence.
An example of this is seen as in the agenda of “Canada150.” We, as Indigenous peoples, and Indigenous parents specifically, are focusing on how to resist “Canada150” rather than the more important question of “what should we be celebrating in our lives in order to re-situate ourselves in liberation, sovereignty, and nationhood as the land changes?”
The dialogue that our children and young people need to hear during this time should originate around our own successes, the things we are grateful for, and the love that we have for all those before us who resisted for our own existence.
Instead of #Canada150 we need to talk about and practice the ways that we practice falling in love with the resistance and our methods of devoting ourselves to the cause. Some of these actions and practices of love for the resistance and devotion to the cause look like:
-The generations of powerful matriarchs who prepared us to fundamentally and intelligently succeed in the ongoing battles of revolutionizing ourselves and our peoples.
-Our ancestor’s resistance to all forms of colonialism, even if it lead to their extermination, exclusively for the sake of their unborn grandchildren.
-The Indigenous art-creators, songbirds, laugh-makers, story weavers, movement builders, motion orchestrators, and metamorphosis coaches resurrecting the fires that burn within us and within the lands and territories in which we are born from.
-Reconciliation being an extinct term in our vernacular because it has become a habitual practice in our daily lives, specifically between other nations.
-Indigenous children being celebrated as they are born on their lands and territories.
-Liberated Indigenous families resuscitating a kinship model that is fully committed to land based practices, authenticity, and revolutionary love.
-Indigenous feminism founded in the land, practiced by the grandmothers, and interwoven in the thousands of descendants that are to follow simply because that is who we are.
-Moshums and kokums gracing the lives of, and instilling knowledge in, their own future generations completely unrestrained from colonial ideals of family relationships.
-Indigenous children able to freely express themselves safely within their own homes.
-Indigenous birthing practices unbound and free from colonial dominance
-Mother tongues slicing through formerly forbidden domains, as the words drip down walls of rooms and buildings that have attempted to extinct them.
-The knives of our forefathers being lodged into the heart of colonialism so as to reaffirm our dignity and strength as Indigenous peoples.
-Indigenous children growing up in homes void of residential school residue and colonial pain.
-Motherhood, fatherhood, and their direct influence in childhood consciously recognized as the fundamental role in ending all forms of colonization.
-A sustained relationship with wild game founded on homage and subservience to the animal’s life-cycle for our sustenance.
-Indigenous peoples conducting themselves in adherence to their role in the treaty relationship, and highly disputing the human behaviours which are fundamentally sacrilegious to treaty.
-The terms “Raped” and “Murdered” no longer being the only phraseology to describe “indigenous women” in media.
-Healthy Indigenous women overthrowing colonialism, patriarchy, misogyny, violence, rape, and murder all in the name of self-love and the generations of babies on their way.
-Indigenous fathers relearning how to be fathers in a landscape that attempted to destroy the Indigenous father.
-Indigenous Peoples falling in love with themselves, their ways and their lands over and over and over again as the resurgence untangles itself from the colonial shame and post-forbidden ways of existing as a Nehiyaw, Anishinaabe, and every other nation. Indigenous children knowing 100% that they are loved, and they can become love, simply by being.
Instead of #Canada150 we need to talk about and practice the ways that we practice falling in love with the resistance and our methods of devoting ourselves to the cause.
For our children, and our grandchildren.
Because this is all for them.
Image by: Melanie Cerventes