Minister Bennett, Friends don’t Flood their Friends Lands

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There’s always a lot to say regarding Site C, and then there’s more to say…And then you say it all over again because people aren’t listening. I am currently trying to take a break from being an “accidental activist” (I see it more as an Indigenous woman doing what she is supposed to do) so that I can focus on adjusting to school for my Master’s program and focusing on my role as a mom and worker in the community. It is funny because even in whatever break I manage, my thesis will revolve around Hydro projects and resource extraction. It has become a part of my life and it has become so because there is too much to lose… I digress.

So I was sitting there reading an article today and right below where the Assembly of First Nations talked about Site C and its violation of Indigenous rights and Section 35 steamrolling was this:

“Dr. Bennett said that, in a relationship such as the one that exists between Canada and the First Nations, there will be times when the expectations of one partner or the other will not be met. “But I think that there is a real respectful relationship,” she said, “where we actually, I think, are really moving forward in a good way, where people know that’s what friends do. You correct one another.”

Carolyn Bennett is the Indigenous Affairs Minister. Carolyn Bennett should know that “friends” don’t flood their “friends” traditional territories, burial grounds, medicines, history, and then call it a friendship faux pas.

There is no fucking way I would be like “Hey Bill, I like you and I know we have our differences but you always like to keep me accountable. Like when I want to destroy your shit. I know you’ve lived there for generations and people in my position have destroyed your shit since they have arrived on these lands but hey it will all be okay.

Don’t worry Bill, when the bones of your ancestors surface after we flood the property you plan on giving to your children, and then your children’s children, we will make sure that we do an opening ceremony. Hell, Hydro might even add in some quotes at their visitor’s centre a couple decades later in memory of the way we wronged you. Don’t stress though, we will throw a couple bucks your way! We will call it accommodation, and we can do that because we have heard your grievances out thoroughly.

I know your pissed Bill and I know you don’t want our money. Heck, I even respect you more for calling me out on it but let’s move past this, into the land that I like to call “the new relationship”.

No hard feelings right?”

I imagine Bill would tell me to fuck right off.

Where is the real accountability for your actions? Maybe you’ll only be in office for one term and is this how you want to go down? Don’t you want to make some real fucking change? Yes. I am cussing. Because I fucking cuss. And I am angry and upset with this Liberal bullshit where they pass the buck on to something or someone else. Like this:

It is frustrating and heart breaking to see them dodge the bullets and hide behind the mistakes of the Conservatives pretending they don’t have power to make change. You have the power. You fucking have it.

In one of my classes over the weekend my professor flipped through images and asked what they evoked for each of us.

A Canadian flag came up. One of the guys, a young Caucasian male said quickly, “I feel pride when I see that.”

I felt sadness. I felt anger. I felt grief. I felt the land of my people being ripped apart for resource extraction and dam preparation. I felt like that flag represented everything that wants me undone, wants me gone. I felt displaced.

A part of me wants to be able to look at that flag and feel like it’s home. Like I am a part of that country and a part of it’s promise for something better. That day ain’t today though… is it Carolyn?


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