Canada: On the ongoing colonial repression of Aboriginal First Nations

Attawapiskat and colonialism: Seeing the forest and the trees

Attawapiskat

Attawapiskat protest

By Robert Lovelace, rabble.ca

December 6, 2011

If you can cut through the racism, ignorance, and half-baked opinions of pundits, politicians and sound-bite media, most folks will realize that Attawapiskat and many other First Nations have been labouring under the repression of colonialism far too long.

The antidote for poverty is self-determination and no one can give you that. You have to stand up and take action yourself to make it happen. Colonialism does not give way on its own; it must be defeated through vigorous and enlightened opposition.

It is difficult in the face of human suffering to turn attention to the systemic and structural reasons that have led to this catastrophe, but this is the very time when thoughtful analysis is needed. The homes are small and cold. The tedium of poverty bears down day by day and those who have stolen your children’s future call the daily bread on your table a “handout”. It is difficult to feel anything but shame through the numbing that is required to get by every day.

But there are reasons behind this suffering. There is a history. There is a structure to oppression, denial and indifference that houses this suffering and there is a system that perpetuates it. Continue reading