I imagine you have probably seen some of the media coverage on the popular occupy movement. Every day that I browse through the many newspapers I read on line or websites I visit I witness a development with this movement that seems like a wildfire. Protest movements like this are common with my people right across Canada.
Aboriginal people have been getting the short end of the stick for some time now. So, we have had to turn to protests involving road and rail closures and marching to Queens Park and the Parliament buildings in Ottawa to bring issues to the attention of the Canadian public and the leaders of the country. We have been protesting for a long time and we are very good at it.
Mostly we have found the need to protest because we just have never had a strong enough voice when it comes to Federal and Provincial politics. We also don’t have much control or influence in any type of media. Thankfully, due to the vision and hard work of many of our leaders and entrepreneurs we do have some media and we are developing in this field. Still, when it comes right down to it other than the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) and TVOntario everything else is owned by huge corporations and they often have the agenda of the very rich, one percenters of this world to promote.
I am not 100 percent sure about what the occupy movement is about but I think it has to do with the fact that people are really getting fed up with the control that the one percent very powerful and wealthy of our society has on our government and media. It surprises me that most people I talk to sympathize with the occupy movement. They seem to have a lot of reasons.
Many people I discuss this development with tell me they have been stung in their investments as a result of the big mess with the sub prime mortgage fiasco in the United States. That dive wiped out so much of the savings of average Canadians who had invested in risk mutual funds and stocks. So, they feel they have been robbed. They also seem very angry because hardly anybody in charge of the financial institutions in the United States and Canada have been held responsible for defrauding so many people out of so much money.
My older friends talk about the protests of the 1960s and the antiwar movement that was responsible for temporarily changing the landscape of politics in North America and even managed to end a very unjustified and terrible war in Vietnam. This time it seems like the protest is coming from all parts of society not mainly the students and that is probably because so many people lost so much money and in turn trust in the businessmen and leaders in charge of the financial world. There are probably a lot of newly unemployed people joining this movement also as a means to voice their disappointment in governments and business. People also seem to be getting fed up with going to war all over the world for questionable reasons.
Some times you just have to stand up for your beliefs and join with your friends and neighbours to make sure attention is paid to issues that are important to the average person. Take for example the protest that recently was held at Queens Park in Ontario to shine some light on the third world conditions people are living in back in Attawapiskat, my home community. The result of that campaign has been media coverage from coast to coast and even world wide. Hopefully, something will be done to help Attawapiskat and the many other First Nations where drinking water is dangerous, the housing situation deplorable and the health and education of my people underfunded.
So, I think I agree with so many people these days that it is time we all stood and let our governments and business leaders know that we understand very well that the world is becoming more and more unfair and that the fact that one percent of the population has more wealth and power than 99 percent is just not acceptable. With that in mind I suggest you have a listen to this great song circulating on the internet called “We Are The Many” and you can listen to it by googling ‘makana youtube’. I think it will become the anthem of the occupy movement.
Under The Northern Sky is the title of a popular Aboriginal news column written by First Nation writer, Xavier Kataquapit, who is originally from Attawapiskat Ontario on the James Bay coast. He has been writing the column since 1997 and it is is published regularly in newspapers across Canada. In addition to working as a First Nation columnist, his writing has been featured on various Canadian radio broadcast programs.
You can visit Xavier’s website www.underthenorthernsky.com to find out more about this interesting person.