Remove the children best strategy ever cruelest Parents have no reason to live Once you take their children, you don’t know if they’re ever coming back a good percentage of them didn’t What about them? They fell into deep depression darling, what do you think? That we watched our kids go to school never to see them again and then rejoiced? what if they suddenly took all your relative’s children away from them? Look what’s happening in the United States right now But what do we call you? But what do we call you? You know human-being? Anishinaabe. You can call me in Anishinaabe. You can call me Eddie If you feel like calling me something but who am I? I’m Anishinaabe.
I wanted to speak to indigenous people in Canada about what colonialism really means to them. Beyond its definition, I wanted to find out what kind of weight it carries in Canada. But who am I I’m Anishinaabe. And we have spirit names in our language and we have clans within our language and that’s who I am He asked me what kind of Indian I was this artist that was visiting our school and and I said I didn’t know I didn’t know what kind of Indian I was and then I went home and asked my grandfather and he said ‘you’re Ojibwe.’ You’re Anishinaabe. He grew up speaking three dialects of Ojibwe. But he never taught me who we were and who we are as indigenous people as Anishinaabe … was not within the home. I grew up not knowing my culture I grew up Not understanding really who I was or who I am today not being immersed in the things that I could have or should have been which is sad because It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful knowing now, but I feel like it’s a different feeling Growing up with that sort of culture as a child. My dad was a fluent Ojibwe speaker — speaker. But he also attended residential schools as a result of attending residential school he was made to feel Shameful for who he is for having long hair for having brown skin for speaking his language so much so that he left the community as soon as he Was finished with residential school and went to Vancouver. But the myth that colonialism is over is Problematic colonialism. Is that ongoing? Paternalistic laws and policies that Intentionally keep us removed from our land Exclude us from decision making about our lands and about our well-being and create that sort of tiered relationship and citizenship status between indigenous people and other Canadians right now in a lot of Rural communities there there is still the issue of clean drinking water. And so we saw with Attawapiskat For there, it being a state of emergency, which is that northern rural First Nations community and if you see the photos of these children who have skin rashes from Cleaning themselves with water like I think a lot of Canadians take this for granted good I can just go to the bathroom Get a drink of water and drink it in a lot of these communities as well Access to health care is a huge issue. So like in Prince Rupert They have to fly down to Vancouver I know so many First Nations people who’ve had to fly down to Vancouver to get adequate health care services when I talk about those Services. I’m also talking about upholding basic human rights For someone that comes from an area on reserve and in communities is that a lot of these issues that you see are from failed federal policies, for example The Indian Act is alive and well I’m not defined by it. But I do know the issues that arose from it So for example, if you look at some of the infrastructural challenges in in the communities right now the clean water and the housing issues it was an Attempt to break down the population to encourage enfranchisement into towns and cities in Canada a lot of Canadians might have kindergartener understanding of colonialism and Don’t really understand that there are still systems of oppression in place So it’s just something that like as Canadians we have to be open to listening to and on top of that It’s not indigenous people’s responsibility to share their trauma but they have. There’s so many testimonies out there of indigenous people sharing their traumas and sharing their story so to ignore it is … that is shameful. Having privilege is not something that most of us can control but what we do with information once we have acquired it, that’s something that we need to take responsibility for. When when you’re talking about assimilation with indigenous people the cultural mosaic and the protective factors of the culture is still present So how do you remove culture from a population is that you remove children. So when that was implemented you seeing one – the mandatory enforced removal of indigenous children from home. So in my story like I mentioned my direct experience my mother grandparents and and Even my late great aunt I mentioned were part of residential schools My uncle’s my grandparents didn’t see my uncles for six years and they’re forced to be taken from an Indian agent So but when you look at that, the system doesn’t stop there A recent study has show that Mothers who lose a child whose child dies have better health outcomes than mothers whose children are apprehended Right, we know that the impacts of taking children is devastating And so when we that’s not left in residential schools, right? We know that though There’s more children in care right now Then there were at the height of residential schools. In places like Manitoba where I’m from 90% of the children in care are indigenous even though less than 10% of the population in Manitoba is indigenous. That’s insane. Parents have no reason to live Once you take their children There’s no reason to pass on culture Because there’s no children There’s no reason to teach the language because there’s no children You don’t know if they’re ever coming back Good percentage of them didn’t I? think when we look at the five criteria of what genocide is that you kill members of a community you Cause serious bodily harm to members of community bodily or mental harm, I think That you deliberately inflict conditions of life that are intended to prevent the well-being or the death of a group When you impose measures to prevent births and when you forcibly transfer children Those are the five criteria of genocide. And remember the genocide also is less than a hundred years old as a specific concept and definition so when we look at that historically Absolutely Canada has committed genocide – absolutely … There’s no doubt about it. It’s been happening for so long over the course of so much time You know ‘that can’t be genocide’ One of the critiques is that you know, is that it has to happen quickly and swiftly We have to you know that the time element was sort of a big critique from people But that makes no sense that leaves an incredible logical inconsistency Which is – what you’re saying then is that if you just kill people slowly over hundreds of years that makes it less bad that makes it less genocidal because of the time element. To say that there wasn’t a genocide and that there isn’t still one taking place would be a disservice to those who have died from it or Who have endured it or who are still being targeted by it.
Truth and reconciliation and the 94 calls to action Can be a medium for us as indigenous and non-indigenous people to to meet, you know to develop a relationship but also it could be a vehicle for You know Canadians to elevate their collective consciousness, you know It can be an opportunity for us to come together and work and move together in the same direction It’s not about reconciliation it’s about you know, people say this, it’s about conciliation. How do we make things right? Period. From the beginning there’s nothing that we can go back and Say we’re restoring a relationship. We’re not restoring a relationship I don’t think any indigenous people want to restore, sort of you know, these colonial relationship So if we want is to have a brand-new relationship Reconciliation is about fixing the bullying that we underwent Severe bullying I have four dead sisters You can’t give them back to me You can’t reconcile with me. I have four dead sisters and then I had to raise my dead sister’s daughters Two of the daughters of my sister died One of the nephews killed himself One of the daughters of the sisters was brutally beaten to death by some crazy white guy No, you can’t reconcile with me but if you give us the funds to reclaim our language and our culture and our literature our storytelling traditions, our clown traditions, our thinking traditions, our medical condition traditions and They’re all written about it – all in my books – It’s easy to find. Meaningful consultation means Listening and being responsive. It’s not a gesture, right? I think buying a pipeline while simultaneously talking about addition is rites and Reconciliation is – those are incompatible things. It means returning land and Jurisdiction and power to indigenous peoples to make these decisions And that involves letting go of power right and privilege if people don’t respond well to that so a friend of mine That I went actually went to school with uses this, you know three points in it and a lot of these things been used around the world, but I mean it’s just sit and listen and listen to to the stories and testimony with every part of your body with everything with your spirit with your heart and Then learn and learn from the testimonies to what has happened not to what’s wrong with us or you know? why can’t take it over but to what has happened to these people these nations and nations of people across North America and Then once you’ve learned what has happened, what how can you put that into action? How can you put that into a movement and momentum? Is that through your own learning journey, is that through – supporting things? Is that through reading books or listening to interviews and Podcasts? You know? How are you gonna put that into action? But I am proud now to say that I am – two spirited and I Love wearing that as a badge of honor.
The work that I do is important but I think on a very Another avenues to have things that help you heal. So this is what I do to heal So for when I carry a lot of energy like I’ll just play like even hearing the chords and the sound like that just The sound resonates to help me process and let things go but if we can flip that algorithm and that frequency on another level to positivity to Occupying space. Well, I’m gonna occupy this space in this system – with indigeneity Well, I’m gonna function within this space from a place of an indigenous thought Well, I’m gonna start placing my indigenous presence in this not indigenous space By just being there and by just being there I’m bringing my ancestors with me