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Life's managed, not cured. Strength's a decision, not a secret

An essay on missing and murdered indigenous people!

Let us acknowledge the colonial settlement known to be Kingston, Ontario as being on traditional Huron-Wendat, Algonquin, Mississauga and Haudenosaunee territory. Let us continue to acknowledge the colonial continent known to be North America is more accurately recognized as Turtle Island by indigenous communities and idle no more factions throughout the land. Finally, let us acknowledge that the rights to this land and the stewardship over it were taken away from our people through theft, wars, lies and falsehoods.

If I am being honest, the topic of missing and murdered indigenous people is absolutely a frightening one to me. I tried initially to be clever and write a presentation that would pass as just vague enough and not touch too specifically. When I realized that wasn’t going to work, I rose to the challenge to speaking my perspective on such a pronounced problem throughout our nations. Suffice to say,  it is a topic that is outside of my comfort zone and I had to ask the creator for a great deal of courage to be able to speak here today.

Traditionally speaking, western culture and native culture had a glaringly obvious dichotomy. The settlers favoured civil obedience, societal norms, strict prudence, colonial governmentalism, the monetary market system & the letter of the law. The natives favoured self determination, liberated freedom, consensus model, mutable pluralism, the honor system & the call of the wild. So You don't need to be a anthropological historian to see how a clash was going to inevitably arise.

the colonials were preoccupied with supremacy and dominion. Settler colonists never recovered from the erroneous belief that they were solely right about how to conduct a civilization, so they orchestrated a genocide, an apartheid and a rah-rah, nationalistic, patriotic agenda. Our roles were diminished from dignitaries to primitives in a flash.

In 1763 during the Pontiac Uprising in Fort Pitt, Penn., Gen. Jeffery Amherst hinted that the smallpox epidemic could be used to wipe indigenous populations and passed on through blankets, innumerable blankets, including Hudson’s Bay Company blankets, were then infected and used in biological warfare. Fast forward a little over one hundred years, 300 Lakota Refugees were shot and killed on Dec 29th 1890 at Wounded Knee after attempting a traditional Ghost Dance. Statistics from the CBC show that indigenous kids were, generally speaking, just slightly more likely to die within the walls of indian residential school than Canadian soldiers to die serving in WWII. Again, I say in jest, anthropological degree need not apply to figure out that the examples outlined above stand as irrefutable evidence of historical murder of indigenous people.

A friend of mine suggested a pause here and say something to the effect that too little has changed for our people today. Whether blissfully unaware or intentionally ignorant, either white washed culture perceives us as voluntarily vanishing or white supremacists figure that there are just so few of us left that we can be knocked off one by one by those who think they'd like to have a go. It sickens me to imagine how useless we become rendered in the gaze of reductive ideological ignorance.

At this time, a quick glance at a couple Stats Canada websites paint a picture of native people that are still facing disproportionate impoverishment and systemic violence. The findings show indigenous people in crowded homes more than double the amount of the non-indigenous. Also the indigenous were living in housing in need of major repair more than three times the amount of the non indigenous. The number of indigenous people who can conduct a conversation in an indigenous language is low and the numbers representing indigenous people where an indigenous language is the mother tongue is lower yet. The amount of indigenous identity populations with no certificate, diploma, or degree from an educational establishment is more than double the number on total non-indigenous identity populations with the same affliction.

Indigenous people account for one in four admissions to provincial/territorial correctional services, even though the same study is noted for stating that we represent only 3 percent of the adult Canadian population. It needs to be said that this overrepresentation in corrections services is egregiously more pronounced for indigenous women than it is for men. where the number is actually only 26% for indigenous men, it is actually 38% for indigenous women. According to a report in the Globe and Mail, as of January 29th 2018, 91 long term water advisories are in effect in Canadian indigenous communities. 40 advisories were eliminated since Nov 2015, 26 new ones have surfaced in that time.The hard purification tablet to swallow becomes this; if we leave the solutions up to the govenementalists than we won't be seeing water clean up initiative enacted in time.

If you think you can denigrate a whole group and disassociate their identity from their politics, than why would it be a stretch to suggest that you also thought you could shamelessly kill them and/or forget about them like they never existed? As Scott Gilmore said on June 5th 2017 in his Maclean's article - "Most of us don’t see that Canada. It has an unemployment rate worse than Sudan and the median income is on par with Latvia. There, the infant mortality rate is worse than Russia. The sewage systems often don’t work, and there is no fire department. Medical facilities are few and far away. Drug and alcohol addictions are rampant. TB is at epidemic levels, and the rate of HIV infection is higher than Nigeria’s. This is a Canada of broken windows in tarpaper shacks."

None of this includes ongoing accounts with child protective service agencies, removing of indigenous children from indigenous homes, placing said children in white homes with zero connection to that child's culture or home community. This detestable practice is also known as, " The Scoop". I know it might sound outrageous but it continues to happen at alarming rates. According to a recent globe and mail editorial - "Barely eight per cent of children aged four and under in Canada are Indigenous, yet they account for half of all children of that age in foster care. In Manitoba, 10,000 of the 11,000 children in foster care are native, according to Indigenous Services Minister Jane Philpott. Some of them were apprehended by child welfare workers as soon as they were born, right in the hospital." What is worse is that this doesn't even begin to elude to the countless uprooted indigenous children's lives that have come into contact with foster care and remain untraced or unaccounted for, thus making them missing. When deleterious actions are drawing apt comparisons to, "the new residential school system" than we know that something has gone terribly wrong.

What has gone wrong is that, in 2018, indigenous lives could be rendered unimportant right down to the infant level by the apathetic elitism of - a predominantly white washed - mainstream society. What is wrong is that, in 2018, it can be said that First Nations, Metis and Inuit people understand and recognize that the threat to becoming missing and murdered is quite pervasive. What is wrong is that, in 2018, we give rise to colonial apologist sentiments and turn blind to decolonizing individualist plights. BUT WE MUST STOP THIS ONGOING INSANITY AND BE IDLE NO MORE ABOUT IT!!

I am 2-Spirit; It’s my belief that I have the spirit of man and woman and I am the human embodiment of both maleness and femaleness. As a child and young adult, I was often engaged in the tasks and duties commonly associated with girls just the same as the ones with boys. I am non-binary and genderqueer, I use they/ them/their as my personal id-ing pronouns. When I was a teenager I decided to push the envelope with my unapologetically provocative look and attitude. I would periodically find myself marginally warding off the imminent threat of being harmed because of my non-gender adhering aesthetic, mannerisms and style.

Here’s a more glaring personal example that stands out: I was approached by an angered individual, who was seemingly going to swing a crowbar at my head because they didn’t like that I was listening to my stereo loudly in public in the middle of the day. I highly suspect these grievances were accompanied by their distaste for my choices of: makeup in red hues, tube top, daisy duke style cutoff short, and ladies size-10 wooden clogs. I only narrowly escaped a possibly extreme bashing event by fleeing into a well-lit 7/11, I was only 15-years-old. If I tried to stop and think about every single possible time that I could have been murdered or could have gone missing, it would be enough to drive me into permanent hiding.

I think that we still have some headway to make before we see what actual acceptance and validation of the third independent gender looks like.

It wouldn’t necessarily be easier if I suddenly decided that I am a full fledged trans woman either. Individuals who identify as trans are treated to a whole host of unplanned horrors at the hands of simply trying to live in a harrowingly hateful world. It can be unspeakable the level of struggle that these folks have to endure daily for simply attempting to make their outside into how they feel on the inside. I look forward to the day where we are cheerleading and championing trans identity instead of viewing trans identity as risk potential for compounding trauma or an opportunity for imposing of our ferocious identity policings upon others.

Each of our perspectives is uniquely all our own. Every person is a nation onto themself. Each person is a culture within a culture. Each person is a potential guardian angel and each person is a potential devil in disguise. Each day is a miracle and each day is a chore. Everything is a blessing and everything is a curse. Even if someone is a bad person for us specifically, the opposite of love does not have to be hate, it can be indifferent disinterest. The opposite of feeling love is capable of being your elimination of an energy from your world, long before it ever even has to consider being an elimination of any being from this planet.

Human life is fragile and trauma can be an abrupt end to it if we are not careful. Let’s instead bolster people and lift them up. Elevating others to be their best selves. Elevating ourselves to be our best selves. Wisely investing our time and energy in ourselves and other. Giving of your heart’s desire to decent people in the good faith that it is a most bankable thing to do. Be the change you want to see and live the compassionate life you know the world deserves. For no better reason than that the world needs to remember that love is a gift to be given.

We deserve meaningful lives. We deserve dignity. We deserve fulfillment. We deserve stability. We deserve options. We deserve an emotional equal to be found in other individuals. We deserve to be treated as full persons with fully-fledged realities. We hold worth. We hold value. We hold merit. We hold a great deal. We deserve safety. We deserve to feel security. We deserve to love and be loved. We deserve life. We are special. We deserve of the dearest and most precious.

"Dementia!! I know her... she's a drag queen, right!?!"

I sense the surveillance in those pupils; you’re on spying me. I'll just bet that you're not waiting to scavenge my truth's with the intent to counterfeit my idea's without embellishment or elaboration. I’m not obtuse; I’ve noticed you studying me as though I were a tome of subversive culture. Imagining that I alone held an anthology of the occult of queer irreverence in postmodern times. Allow me to explain that this alternative program - that you’ve made me the instructor of - is flawed to a fault. The pages of my autobiography are inexplicably ascribed in my blood-pumping veins. The texts of my memoirs are illegibly scrawled in my sweat beads culminating. You can’t copyright infringe on this 18-karat-gold-trimmed film reel that remains turning on the 8-millimetre-film projector in my head continually.

No more social media.

I permanently deleted my Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+ & LinkedIn accounts over 2016 & 2017. It came down to a choice: A.) Be everything TO YOURSELF and fulfill all the needs that have to be met (as defined by you with no prejudgement).  B.) Project outwardly being everything to everyone and never feel fulfilled and always feel phony.  Without a need for deliberating too hard, I went with choice A.).

Sometimes, the absence of social media in my life feels punative, actually, it mostly feels like a welcome blessing though. I've started to rebuild my attention span and I'm starting to refocus my mind. My thought's are my own again, not some open ended submission awaiting approval from the far reaching peanut galleries of internet society. During the heyday of social medias' frenzy in my life, I was so metadistracted, I had no clue if I was coming or going unless some phone or laptop was going off about it with some notification from somewhere.

Several folks believed that my social media would stand tall forever, but they were mistaken. In healthy patterned models, where people encounter formulating bonds, we first meet and start the build up of false community. The next step in the healthy model is to have a conflict where false community breaks down, that is where one finds an opportunity to build up real community. The theory being that building of real community will lead to the connection that follows the healthy trajectory toward true strenght to stand the test of time.

Unhealthy patterned models find us assuming disconcerting levels of intimacy, passion & commitment with sellected strangers. Within the unhealthy formulas; false community is built so staggeringly high, that it will have no choice but to be disasturous when it breaks. When the impossible height of false community finally topples down in our unhealthy dynamics, seldom could be done to repair it, because it was first established on unhealth and lies of great magnitude. Whether you are healthy or not, we are all inclined to a certain level of false commmunity building in the beginning stages. It is about how you breakdown false community and rebuild real community in it's place, that determines the strenght or flimsiness of the connection, partnership, friendship and/or other bond.

"Maybe, if you, 'like me', I become a different person, a better person. That would mean I did something good. I'm gonna get as many people as I can to like me as often as I can!"  I'd argue that this sounds like a general way that an individual might carry a common faulty thought process around about personal social media stimulus. We are being manipulated, yes by corporate interest and meddling, but also by ourselves and the various renditions of ourselves we want to peddle out to those in our contact lists.

Because I had created many cop outs posing as wrinting in the past, it was a bit easier for me to see the need to delete that which I used to think was so important for me to post. "Renditionization" is a term I have been using lately to discribe the distortion surrounding an avid Facebook poster who is continually posting a varying accounts on events. In renditionization the creator is creating said varying account solely based on blindly wanting to believe something different about what has happened. It has been my observation that Facbook, in specific, has created a epidemic of renditionization that makes reality feel disfigured and unreal. It's a most unusual and specific phenomenon that we have yet to determine what the long term effects of it will be on the human psyche.

Those stoic types who are inclined to silently observe are becoming frighteningly insular. Social Media has given so much spectacle with use of such minimal social cue required. We are creating a culture of creeps who spend the whole time on the internet, creeping the illusive people that they couldn't ever be dreamed to know how to begin trying to talk it. Are our young people learning to hold cell phones the way they used to hold hands & to look at laptop screens they way they used to look in each others eyes? It's a compelling question, that's for certain.

I'm not trying to tell you what to do with your social media. I'm telling you to be cautionary in your use of it. I was once unassuming and highly-involved, and I'm mostly indifferent and highly-uninvovled now, so think critically, that's all. I'm sure I started using social media for all the same reasons that anyone would and I felt I've been left burnt for it, so I disengaged altogether. Do you really need data-mining, shadowy, middle men currating over your every expression, just to stay connected to people? I would sincerely hope not.

Bemusing's on my new found appreciation for good composure.

I was told to be a dilettante because I was thought to be too anachronistic to be a savant. My charlatanry became the contrived focal piece of my whole devise. For whatever reason, I was making a hard work out of extra-especially not being a genius.

To water yourself down is a reductiveness that I would highly advise against. That engagement in intentional output omission should be considered flatly disingenuous. Eventually people do tire exponentially of repeated willful muck up.

I'm growning more fond of higher levels of portrayed competency in blogging of late. People will share in the plentitude of your perspective; provided they don't propose that you're plain puerility that presently has more platform than is apropos. The bottom line on your alphanumeric arrival into others' lives is: absolutely bring that a-game from the word go!

As they'd reflected over many years elapsed and many mask's they'd worn previous.

It has become apparent to them that they have some painstaking work on their hands to reintegrate their unduly pronounced anger. Regarding their contention and hostility, it was no surprise, it had also become a load too heavy for them to bear. It was, however, a surprise just to what extent that they had conflated these darknesses unnecessarily with their general make-up of their being.

They have been blindsided by this devastating adult-onset rage, it has consumed a larger than expected portion of their adulthood thusfar. This is a huge spot of bother that they want to recognize before it breeds paralytic inertia through their whole being. They want to learn to live without torturing themself; incessantly debating hypothetical variables on that which has already been decided and done.

There was once a time when the words, "carefree" and, "easygoing" were obvious discriptors of their person and they are determined to take themself back to that place. They are hopeful for the future and trying not to feel hokey for putting it that way. That indeed there is nothing hokey about a solitary human being's legitimate hope.


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