Go forward responsibly
The Idle No More movement has captured the imagination of the aboriginal people and of many other Canadians. But why? Perhaps because we are all fed up with the ineptitude and the insensibility demonstrated over all those years by the federal, provincial and local governments in dealing with such a flagrant inequity towards our own aboriginal people.
The inaction of those governments is deplorable i.e. Attawapiskat Reserve. Our paternalistic attitude toward aboriginal people is despicable. Non-aboriginal Canadians tend to show a superior attitude toward them without really trying to genuinely understand where they are coming from. They were inhabitants of this land long before we stepped on this continent. Why do we ignore our responsibility toward our environment sustainability every time we want to exploit our natural resources which, by definition, also belong to future generations of aboriginal people and to all other Canadian citizens?
For me, the now consecrated expression Idle No More expresses an invitation to all Canadians to go forward in a responsible way. I also think it means to look forward with a different set of eyes, with an emphasis on human dignity and selfrespect when dealing with aboriginal peoples’ issues related to their comfort, their well-being and the achievement of individual potential.
As fellow Canadians, we have a duty to help them keep their pride, their languages, their culture, their beliefs and their inspiration. I wish this for 2013 and decades to come.
GHISLAIN ST-JACQUES, Ottawa