THUNDER BAY – CBC is launching a new series entitled “8th Fire”. The series will premier on radio on January 7th 2012, and then on television on January 12th 2012. CBC states, “8TH Fire draws from an Anishinaabe prophecy that declares now is the time for Aboriginal peoples and the settler community to come together and build the ‘8TH Fire’ of justice and harmony”. The website for the documentary is already up, and features videos from the series.
8th Fire will talk about the five hundred year old relationship starting with European explorers and then settlers, and then discuss coming out of conflict, colonialism and denial. CBC states, “Watch 8TH Fire Dispatches now from a team of Aboriginal storytellers from across the country. Up to 40 stories. New ones will be added every day”.
There has been a focus on Attawapiskat, and conditions on First Nations over the past weeks. It is a situation that has not come about overnight, nor is it a situation where real solutions have been found, at least not yet. In many ways there have been baby steps by many politicians. Often now, it is recognised that “we are meeting on the traditional lands of _______ First Nation. Many times now, Miigwetch, the Cree or Ojibway word for thank you is being included at the end of speeches.
There is a need for faster steps. Here in Thunder Bay, as Statistics Canada has forecast, our Aboriginal population is set to grow.
One of the tasks facing Thunder Bay is coming to grasp with the reality that our community’s future and Northwestern Ontario’s future are tied tightly together with the First Nation’s people in our region. That future must be different than the past. The stereotypes, racism, and lack of knowledge and understanding have to end. Getting to know, and understand each other is a great step forward.