We invited Jacob Devaney, Founder and Director of Culture Collective, to share his recent article from Huffington Post! Jacob has offered to blog about the Gathering to Protect the Sacred from Tar Sands and Keystone XL. Thank you Jacob! In support of the gathering he wrote us this paragraph as well:
“Don't escalate, educate! As the momentum and the frustration builds, with actions all across Canada, the call from the elders of the movement has continued to be non-violence. This is of utmost importance because we cannot afford to jeopardize the moral high-ground and public support of the movement. We all know that even the slightest outbreak of violence will be exploited by the media and powers that hope to silence the voice of Native People.”
A Matter of Honor: First Nations Appeal to The Queen, Remind Canadian Leaders About Treaties
Words have power, many cultures believe that a person's word is what defines them more than any of their possessions or titles. Religious texts such as The Bible agree, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God." John 1:1. Yet today we have lawyers, lawsuits, treaties, and contracts to validate what used to be an issue of individual honor born of honest and virtuous actions. Since the trees, the waterways, and the air we breathe have an eternal quality, any agreements to protect them should not expire over time or be assimilated into the passing ideologies of ages. First Nations People have known this since the original settlers arrived from the east. Though the current passing ideology that allows for the exploitation of nature for mineral, oil, and gas is more powerful than most institutions on the planet, it is unable to bend truths that are self-evident and of an eternal quality. The Idle No More Movement is here to remind us. To the leaders who have sold themselves to the false and passing ideology of infinite resource exploitation for short-term monetary or political gain, it is time to awaken and join your fellow humans for the sake of honoring the life that sustains us all.
Before we get to the beautiful unfolding drama that includes a letter to The Queen of England, let's take a moment to understand a little bit of background thanks to information compiled by Lawyers Rights Watch Canada:
There is enough information like this to fill hundreds of blogs, but this gives you an idea of the conditions that First Nations People have endured for a long while. You can also learn more about human rights issues by reading the statement from the United Nations Special Rapporteur on indigenous peoples in Canada.
It is very important to note that the founding principles of The United States Government, modeled in Canada and The United Nations, are borrowed from The First Nations Haudenosaunee's (Iroquois) Great Law of Peace, which is the oldest living participatory democracy on earth. This is very important because natives signed treaties as allies to the Crown, not as subjects or conquered people. The historic relationship with the Crown accounts for native people fighting and dying as allies in the wars leading to the formation of Canada including the Seven Years War, the Revolutionary War, the War of 1812.
In my previous article, Idle No More: Hints of a Global Super-Movement, I closed with a powerful and eloquent speech by an 11 year-old Sliammon girl named Ta'Kaiya Blaney. Elders of The Sliammon Nation have written a letter to The Queen of England asking her to act honorably where The Canadian Government has fallen short.
Colonial culture has brought many great things to the world, yet it has also left a path of destruction and dishonor. Imperial forces may take lives and land by force, but honorable respect can only be gained through virtuous action. We have an opportunity to understand this history through a lens of knowledge and compassion to heal historical wounds and restore honor. To own our shortcomings as a people is also to own power to make them right. Below are a few excerpts from the letter with some portions left out as they are meant only for The Queens eyes.
Please visit: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jacob-devaney/a-question-of-honor-first_b_2482775.html to read the rest of the article. By "liking" the article and sharing it through Twitter, Facebook, etc. you are helping to exert political and public pressure on The Queen. It will be harder for the Crown to ignore this issue when they understand that the general public is educated.