I can only dream that in a previous life, I was one of those who fought along side Gabriel Dumont and Big Bear in defence of Métis and Aboriginal life and land for the decades leading up to the 1869 and 1885 ‘rebellions’ in Saskatchewan and Manitoba. Perhaps it is ‘in the genes’ that I side with anyone who is defending their right to live more in harmony with Earth than with money or business, for when I look along my family tree I find relatives who fought and died during that time in an effort to fend off an encroaching evil.
This vast land north of the 49Th parallel was, and still is a ‘Garden of Eden’ for tens of thousands of people who for millennia lived with nature, without thinking that they ‘owned’ the land. Many French explorers and Coureurs des bois during the dawn of European exploration and exploitation found this simple, natural life much more appealing than the morally and emotionally destructive world that they had left behind. So many explorers of the ‘new world’ fell in love with this land and her people that a new race was born which still exists here today; the Metis.
Yet a Garden of Eden cannot exist in our industrialized world because it will be the first place to be stripped of its resources while its inhabitants and defenders are labelled ‘belligerents’ and ‘terrorists’ and buried in mass graves by the ‘colonizers’. This is what happens when one peoples ‘manifest destiny’ is different than another’s and it remains an all too familiar occurrence in our present day. Which is why, one hundred and forty years later we still need men like Dumont and Riel and Goulet who could see the destruction of their Garden of Eden and who fought back to protect it. At first they used the politics of the ‘orange men’ in an effort to halt the slaughter of bison, beaver and the clearing of forests but the king of England and those to whom he paid allegiance could see only the fortunes to be gained and cared little for anyone who might stand in his way. It was only after the damage had been done and the people of Big Bear and Poundmaker were dying of starvation and disease, that they took up arms to secure food and attempted to regain some of their fast disappearing Garden.
This Garden, from the Atlantic to the Pacific and from the Arctic Ocean to the Great Lakes is now called Canada. Queen Elizabeth of England rules this land through her Governor General but the collective, political attitude towards this Garden of Eden has not changed since William of Orange ruled; that there is money to be made and to heck with anyone who gets in the way. Our world has changed much in the last few centuries, except for the faces and attitudes of those who rule and the treatment received by anyone who would defy their quest for power and wealth. So entrenched is this grasping for control of the world that entire populations of otherwise peaceful people have been taught that raping a land and killing it’s inhabitants is acceptable and even a desirable pursuit. If you doubt this then you have only to pick up a history text book from England or the US or even Canada to see that the ‘hero’ is always justified in destruction and genocide.
Or you can ask Diane Francis, an American author and editor of the National Post news paper in Ontario, who has released a book, entitled “Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country“. I suppose many of the same people who believe the history texts would call my attitude towards subjugation a ‘terrorist threat’ but I do not like the propositions that Ms. Francis is putting forth in her book. For instance; “What country has the natural resources America needs? Canada”…
In her writing Ms. Francis suggests that the world is a big, scary place full of overcrowded, technologically advanced countries that see our Garden as the next Walmart for their society and who have, or are already executing plans to take what is available. For this insight she should be applauded but her desire that we should fall faint at the threat and rush into the protective arms of the United States is less than palatable for people in Canada who side with Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake, Crazy Horse and Dumont. Indeed she is paving the way for those same Americans who don’t know where the Ukraine is but think it should be bombed, to begin beating the drums of Canadian conquest without really knowing why.
History repeats because it is easier and more profitable than to envision a different future, at least to those who profit from the never ending story. To that end it is entirely possible Ms. Francis is correct and that our Garden of Eden will again undergo a forceful colonization. Looking at the state of our world these days it is even feasible that this generation or the next will have to endure it. Yet have we in our Garden not already come to accept the ‘protection’ by our neighbours to the south offered now by Ms. Francis? Did we in our Garden actually need protection before the world came to see us as just the political puppet of our protectors?
Fear is something that should be fought, not propagated but this is exactly what Diane Francis is doing by suggesting we give up our Garden completely before we actually have to fight for it. If we in our Garden are to fear anything, it should be that those who govern our Garden no longer spend much time or money looking after the place or in mending her fences. Truly, a form of ‘financial’ colonization of our Garden has been taking place for many years by interests from around the world and they are here because those who govern our Garden have invited them in, unbeknownst to those who live here. Even Ms. Francis who uses this threat to entice our surrender underestimates the Chinese investment in Canadian resources by a factor of three (or more).
Yet for all of this, I and even Diane Francis can be considered naive for thinking that future colonization of our Garden can be avoided. You see, long before Columbus had come to the North American continent, elders of the many tribes here foretold of three colonisations of their own Garden of Eden before it would be returned to them by the Creator.
It is the story of the three snakes which invade their land over the course of many generations into the future. At first the ‘white’ snake comes and takes the land but makes some attempt to let the Native people live with their own culture and beliefs. After a brief time a ‘red’ snake comes to shore and while initially befriending the ‘white’ snake, makes no attempt to befriend the Native people. Soon the ‘red’ snakes’ intentions become known and while the ‘white’ snake is fighting with the ‘red’ snake for ownership of the Garden, a ‘black’ snake comes and begins to fight with both of the other snakes. Only when a great light appears in the sky will all of the snakes leave for their own lands and the Garden can begin its long period of re-growth. Through out this story the Native people (Human Beings) are instructed to hold onto their beliefs and ways of life and neither get tied up in other civilizations nor stay in one place for too long, lest the colonizers find them.
Residents of any Garden rarely have a choice in which country will come calling with evil intent but they do have the choice in how well they are able to stand up to it. Perhaps it is because people in North America are waking up to the ‘red’ snake that the thoughts put forth by Ms. Francis will be well received in some circles, but I refuse to think that we in our northern Garden of Eden will throw our lot in with a country which has turned itself into the fourth Reich. Nor do I believe that we should fall for the ‘lesser of two evils’ argument when being forced to make a choice between some entities that we are told are a threat and that of Ms. Francis’s ilk, which we know are a threat.
Wake up Canada; if the elders are right then it is better to die standing than to die on your knees.