This blog below is co-written by Carole Brazeau, grandmother, & Jennifer, her daughter, Anishinabe / Algonquin, members of the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg in Quebec and grassroots Grandmothers.
As humanity is in the grips of a global Pandemic, we continue head on towards a climate catastrophe. To put things into perspective, Mother Earth is billions of years old and her story precedes human his/tory. Turtle Island, our continent, is 200 million year in the history of Mother Earth.
We must evolve as a species to survive. Western scientists have also confirmed Indigenous peoples’ prophecies; too many species, our relatives are now lost forever due to human beings. Indigenous peoples’ environmental knowledge developed over millennia, transmitted from generation to generation is observing drastic environmental changes. Indigenous peoples and our knowledge are indispensable in mitigating climate change and its unprecedented detrimental impacts to human beings and all of our relations. It would be beneficial for humanity to promote and protect Indigenous peoples’ values, worldviews and environmental knowledge. The world needs Indigenous peoples’ knowledge in respect to Mother Earth now more than ever.
As we are aware (or should be by now), climate catastrophe contributes to the growing global social inequalities in humanity, which in turn disproportionally affects all oppressed peoples including Indigenous peoples.
Climate catastrophe is the direct result of capitalism and colonialism. These two C’s have enshrined a system that has systematically oppressed Indigenous peoples.
Land grabbing and forced displacements of Indigenous peoples from our traditional lands have also contributed to suppressing sustainable development and climate actions. As the government oppresses through its modes of domination; its racist colonial policies and systemic racism continues to undermine our rights to life. To various degrees, all life on earth is being affected by climate catastrophe.
In Canada, as we face continued greed by governments and industries like investing into a billion-dollar pipeline, a vast global anti-authoritarian revolt is needed. We have proposed solutions. Indigenous peoples’ ancient knowledge of Mother Earth is the pathway towards healing of our Mother Earth. It is critical that the economic system be transformed now to be sustainable for the next seven generations. The destiny of Mother Earth is in all of our hands. The worldwide pandemic is an opportune time for human beings to really begin to reprioritize our values. It is urgent that we unite against systemic racism by implementing the calls for a green and just recovery and by demanding that the Canadian government respect its Nation to Nation agreements and treaties with Indigenous peoples and its international agreements to avert climate catastrophe.
May this eye-opening pause clear our vision to veer us back on course to avoid climate catastrophe.
Migwetch / Thank you for dedicating yourselves to healing our Mother Earth.
For furthering reading
- Public Inquiry Commission on relations between Indigenous Peoples and certain public services in Québec: listening, reconciliation and progress: Final report https://www.cerp.gouv.qc.ca/fileadmin/Fichiers_clients/Rapport/Final_report.pdf
In Quebec, Systemic discrimination was defined, denounced and well documented in their provincial inquiry; The Public Inquiry Commission on Relations Between Indigenous Peoples and Certain Public Services in Quebec; Listening, Reconciliation and progress (CERP) see September 2019 Report which includes recommendations to address discrimination in this province.
- United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples https://www.un.org/development/desa/indigenouspeoples/wpcontent/uploads/sites/19/2018/11/UNDRIP_E_web.pdf
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action: http://trc.ca/assets/pdf/Calls_to_Action_English2.pdf
5 years ago, The Truth and Reconciliation Commission (TRC) provided Canada with 94 Calls to Action
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls : https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/
231 calls to justice National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls directed at government, institutions, social service providers, industries and all civil society.
- Quebec Native Women 2019 Climate Change Report: https://www.faq-qnw.org/wp-content/uploads/2019/06/CC_report2019.pdf