It is such a dichotomy to witness the ongoing invasion of the Wet’suwet’en peoples’ lands by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police and Coastal Gaslink while truth and reconciliation efforts are supposed to be happening in the lands called Canada and the United States. Even during the observation of Indigenous Peoples’ Day in the United States. A dichotomy Indigenous peoples have faced since the appearance of settlers on their lands.
Two days ago, Gidimt’en spokesperson Sleydo’ sent the following message:
All of our warriors who have stood up for Indigenous rights, we need you now. We are calling on you to stand up and say the genocide will no longer happen on Indigenous lands.
The latest update fortunately is there is a temporary reprieve, the RCMP have left Coyote Camp.
I am offering up prayers.
Today is Indigenous Peoples Day. Across the country, a growing number of cities and states are recognizing this day in place of the traditional Columbus Day. This change reflects the growing awareness that holidays like Columbus Day are used to rewrite the past and uphold institutions of white supremacy, racism and settler colonialism. As Justin Teba writes, in Albuquerque, they issued a proclamation to recognize this as a day “to reflect upon the ongoing struggles of Indigenous peoples on this land.”
I can only write from the perspective of a settler, but I do want to highlight a few of the current struggles. We have a responsibility to educate ourselves about the history of the founding of the United States, to join in struggle with those who are oppressed and to transform our society to end these devastating institutions.
Increased attention to the finding of children’s graves at residential boarding schools has brought the reality of the American Genocide to the forefront. Residential boarding schools for indigenous children started in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a way to erase indigenous knowledge and culture. These were brutal places where children were killed through violence and neglect. The last schools closed in the 1990’s so there are still survivors who are speaking out about their experiences.
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE’S DAY REMINDS US TO ACKNOWLEDGE AND SUPPORT INDIGENOUS STRUGGLES By Margaret Flowers, Popular Resistance, October 11, 2021