An Open Letter to Idle No More

Jan 6th, 2013

by Heather Martin

Hello Idle No More!

I am a white woman who is coming to you as a friend and ally.  I see great potential in the things you are doing and are about to do.  I say  potential, because the future is not set and the outcomes of our actions are based on the hearts we have inside us.  As an outsider looking in I see a good heart among the people, but fear that the actions of the politically minded will corrupt your cause.  Is it a co-incidence that Chief Spence co-ordinated her hunger strike with the launch of your movement?  Does it bother you that the Attawapiskat Trust financial statements show huge investments in Big Oil, Big Pharma, Big Business?  The people who now claim to speak for you… do they have your best interests in mind?  Are you repeating the same mistakes by putting your faith in corrupt leadership?  These are all questions you must sit down and discuss.

As a white woman on the outside looking in, I can tell you that I hope and strive with you and I know that this problem is one that we created but only you can solve.  What do I mean by this?  I mean that colonialism was not your doing, but the problem of colonialism and assimilation cannot be solved by the same mentality of the people that created it in the first place.  A remembrance of who you are, who we ALL are…. has begun, and we cannot forge ahead with the same old ways of thinking.  We must protect our environment, we must protect human life, we must embrace our differences and share in the marvel of that.  We cannot allow corporate or political figureheads decide what is best for us… you cannot let them decide what is best for you.  These are your rights.

However, there is a responsibility that comes with these rights as well.  You must stand on your own two feet when you stand to be counted.  You must imagine yourself as the victor and no longer the victim of your own life and circumstances.  Most of all, you must examine your own biases and stereotypes of the white world in order to be a part of changing it.

Do not be deceived into believing that everyone within your circle has your best interests at heart, and don’t believe that everyone outside it is against you, for you have many allies who will come forward if they know they are welcome.

In short, I urge you to forge your own path, a new path… one that seeks to protect the rights of your (our!) future generations and one that shelters those who are poor and downtrodden.  You have stood by long enough…placed your trust in others long enough.  Now is the time to do what needs to be done… for you…. for us All.

Let no ONE person speak your truths for you… let your voices instead become a chorus.

May the Creator guide and protect us all.

In Solidarity and Hope and with much love for Original Peoples,

Heather Martin

Saskatoon, Saskatchewan

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