Genuine settler allies are well versed in knowing about their need to serve the most oppressed in the community versus take on a lead role in community action. Genuine allies know that they must literally stand behind the critical thinkers and intellectuals in Indigenous communities versus tokenize someone for their own selfish validation in their project that they themselves have chosen.
Many settlers do not really think about the amount of money and resources that Canada invests in their ‘strategies of nationalism’ in shaping its citizenry. Millions and Millions and Millions annually! Through this bottomless pit of money, Canada has created a national flag with many re-inventions for their special events, and has created a national song and continually pumps it through primary and secondary schools. As a matter-of-fact Canada spent $500 million on Canada Day 150 for the sole purpose of state nationalism. These national strategies powerfully shape Canadians into thinking they are Canadians. Sadly, as a result in their hearts and dreams, they are Canadians; They don’t know anything better.
What is more, many people do not think about how it is that Canada continually and continually and continually harnesses Indigenous people and their regalia in their national celebrations and ‘reconciliation moments’ for the sole purpose of optics of doing the right thing. Good Canadians continually gobble this up over and over and over again – with little to no critical thinking.
But it gets worse. Some settlers continue to think it is their role to pave the road of Indigenous salvation. Yet, most settlers have no clue about the foundations of Indigenous knowledge, no clue that they need to decolonize or how to decolonize, that they need to think through critical theory or for that matter that critical theory exists, and as such most settlers continue to lack the knowledge of how best to serve Indigenous people.
Clearly, it stands to reason that settler people should not interfere with Indigenous politics and politicians. This is because they lack the knowledge of who is doing the right thing in the Indigenous community and who is harming the people in the Indigenous community. This is precisely why settlers are better off standing behind and serving the most oppressed such as the homeless, the poor, the people with disabilities, and people struggling with addiction. When settlers serve the most oppressed in concrete and practical ways there is little to no chance of them causing further harm to other members in the community.
Settlers interested in peace and systems of power and how it corrupts governance structures, such as how capitalism, racism, sexism, and ableism are horrible oppressors causing great harm, must look critically at the horrid power inherent in Canada’s ‘strategies of nationalism’ and how all too often settlers become and are complicit in this very power.
Genuine settler allies do not interfere with Indigenous politics and politicians. Genuine allies have decolonized, know a legitimate Indigenous paradigm exists, respects the Two Row Wampum Belt, and they work to serve the most oppressed. When they are not serving the most oppressed, they end up serving the very power structure that is harming Indigenous people.
Many Indigenous people are hungry, and they rely on food banks. Why not serve a food bank instead of getting involved with Indigenous politics and politicians? For Pete’s sake, it is not Rock science. Activate the most precious gift the Creator bestowed you with: your mind.
Indigenous events must emerge in situ and organically from Indigenous people, where everyone should always deeply think critically about if the event is a genuine Indigenous event or is it just another political event driven by Canadian politics and thus propaganda and more of the same old same old.
When a settler man chooses an Indigenous topic or event such as Chief Penesi Day and steers it forward, they are taking a lead when they should not. It is not their role, and it is not their role to get tied up with Indigenous politicians.
Everyone should boycott Chief Penesi Day! Otherwise, it is destined to become the very platform that Canada relies on in its “celebration” of the Ontario Algonquin land claims, a so-called modern treaty that will embody the continuation of the Algonquin genocide.
This is the power of ‘strategies of nationalism’. It perpetuates nation state propaganda.
Lynn is an author, advocate, artist, and public speaker. Her work encompasses both anti-colonial work and the celebration of Indigenous knowledge. She challenges Canada’s practices, policies, and laws of colonial genocide such as the land claims and self-government process, sex-discrimination in the Indian Act, the continued destruction of Akikpautik / Chaudière Falls–an Anishinaabeg sacred place, and Canada’s lack of policy addressing Indigenous women and girls with disabilities who are bigger targets of sexual violence. She weaves wampum belts, builds petro-forms, and paints. She also has several professionally published peer reviewed books: “Gehl v Canada: Challenging Sex Discrimination in the Indian Act” (2021), “Claiming Anishinaabe: Decolonizing the Human Spirit” (2017), “The Truth that Wampum Tells: My Debwewin on the Algonquin Land Claims Process” (2014), and “Anishinaabeg Stories: Featuring Petroglyphs, Petrographs, and Wampum Belts” (2012). She has several academic contributions in journals and chapters in books; more than one-hundred community contributions in magazines, websites, news papers, and op-eds; as well as two-hundred personal blogs. Lynn is frequently called upon as an expert by various media outlets to offer commentary on Indigenous issues.
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