Why Idle No More holds back the dream of Canadian equality

23 Jan 2013 Why Idle No More holds back the dream of Canadian equality

National Post, Jan 23 2012: When it comes to speaking out about the Idle No More protests that have been spreading across the country, I’ve been Idle Too Long, and I feel the need to express my point of view without disrupting innocent travellers on highways, or cargo-carrying freight trains.

First, allow me to clarify that I am a Cree man with full status. I have family in positions of political power in my home province of Alberta, and should declare that my opinions are my own. While everyone needles over the finite details of the current situation, I’d like to paint my thoughts for you with much broader strokes.

I am so very proud of my culture. The way the plains Indians lived on this land was a fantastic example of community, art, respect for our environment, ingenuity and spirituality. I’m proud of the native-inspired tattoos that I sport permanently on my body. As a father, I’m teaching my son that same respect and understanding of where his blood derives from, in the hopes that his pride will outshine the prejudice he will inevitably experience growing up, or at some point in his life.

I’m also very proud to be Canadian. Our vast mosaic of cultures, languages and beliefs make up this welcoming land of opportunity for all. Whether you like it or not, we all have the same citizenship, but some have a different view on the value of it.

I don’t pretend to know all the ins and outs of the government bills, documentation or policy that is driving the current protests, but I’ve intently watched news stories, read columns and have regularly monitored the comments being made on Facebook. Based on all of this, I feel the need to break my silence on this issue.

It’s embarrassing how the Idle No More protest is being handled. Keep reading

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