We are all im­mi­grants

The Daily Courier - - OPINION -

Dear ed­i­tor: There is a pat­tern here.

Who do fos­sil fu­els ben­e­fit? The peo­ple who make the ma­chines that dig it up and process it. Peo­ple who buy it to run their cars and heat their homes. Peo­ple who in­vest in it.

Not the peo­ple whose homes are dug up to put a pipe­line through. Surely not the peo­ple whose wa­ter and air are pol­luted. As we now know, where wa­ter is more abun­dant, ice­caps and glaciers are melt­ing and floods are more com­mon. In ar­eas where wa­ter is scarcer, droughts and fires are more com­mon.

From a health per­spec­tive, who ben­e­fits from smok­ing or al­co­hol? Peo­ple who work for and in­vest in the com­pa­nies that make and mar­ket these prod­ucts. Surely not the peo­ple whose lungs are tarred and vul­ner­a­ble to can­cer. Not the peo­ple with liver dis­ease and al­co­hol-re­lated brain da­m­age.

Who did res­i­den­tial schools ben­e­fit? Who did it ben­e­fit to dis­place indige­nous chil­dren and fam­i­lies from their homes when Euro­pean set­tlers first came to North Amer­ica? Who does it ben­e­fit to re­move peo­ple from their homes to put through a pipe­line?

Im­mi­grants. I be­lieve we are all im­mi­grants. We all come from some­where and have wound up some­where else ... but re­mov­ing peo­ple from the homes they own. What about the rule of law?

Are we liv­ing un­der the false as­sump­tion that we truly own the land we live on or can the gov­ern­ment or in­dus­try come along and sweep away our lives wher­ever and when­ever they fore­see a profit?

Our col­lec­tive ad­dic­tion to a his­tory of col­o­niza­tion of indige­nous peo­ples is the pat­tern I see be­ing per­pet­u­ated by gov­ern­ments world-wide work­ing together with in­dus­trial forces orig­i­nat­ing cen­turies ago in Europe.

Da­m­age to the en­vi­ron­ment in which we all live con­tin­ues, with­out due re­gard to the con­se­quences. And colo­nial­ism is so per­va­sive that many op­pressed peo­ples speak out in favour of it, be­cause they have bought into the ben­e­fits of jobs and money, as if those are the most im­por­tant things in life. Just like the ad­dict who says, “I know I should quit. I’ll quit to­mor­row,” and over­doses be­fore the turn of mid­night. Kim Daw­son Kelowna

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