Friday, March 8, 2019

Hope(less) Still

Image result for genocide pics of america


The Hope Mission is up to it's old tricks and still in conflict with TRC "call to action" #60. "We call upon leaders of the church parties to the Settlement Agreement and all other faiths, in collaboration with Indigenous spiritual leaders, Survivors, schools of theology, seminaries, and other religious training centres, to develop and teach curriculum for all student clergy, and all clergy and staff who work in Aboriginal communities, on the need to respect Indigenous spirituality in its own right, the history and legacy of residential schools and the roles of the church parties in that system, the history and legacy of religious conflict in Aboriginal families and communities, and the responsibility that churches have to mitigate such conflicts and prevent spiritual violence...."

After a small protest demonstration we did inside the building during dinner time.The Hope Mission staff had shortened their scripture readings down to two short verses. Which was acceptable to some degree and some guys told me they didn't mind the shorter version as long as they didn't carry on as they usually did. But now, a couple weeks later they're back on their high horse and the "alarm clock" scripture reading is getting longer. Not only that, but a staff member who was experiencing trouble with a client, hauled off and punch this Indigenous client in his back.

The client had jump out of his mat and squared off with staff when he saw the staff member grabbing people mats by the corner and pulling it high and straight up in the air, nearly rolling one sleepy client right onto the floor. I suppose this scrappy client wasn't having any of this colonist with a heavy foreign accent, rudely manhandling his temporary nesting spot. And even though I wholeheartedly agree that the client had no right squaring off and hitting the staff member (a left jab glancing off his cheek), it is at this point the staff member should have backed off and called for back up. But the staff member square off right back at him, bouncing around like they're in a boxing match. It was another client who jumped in and took the aggressive client to the ground in a hold. That is when the staff member, who was in no danger whatsoever, hauled off with all his might, punched the client in his back. It was reminiscent of the multitudes of videos we see of cops beating on "non-compliant" citizens. This is why I've been trying to get End Poverty Edmonton to implement city-wide policies for front-line services to take Trauma Informed Practice training, Indigenous/colonial history awareness or any kind of training for that matter, other than that which shows... "How to manhandle a Hobo".
Image result for genocide pics of america


I would even say that Indigenous People need our own shelters for own own people! No More "christians" forcing us into their self-centered cult for the domination & destruction of God's creations.

I can also see where this kind of mentality comes from though... the Hope Mission Pastor.

A friend and I attended an "Insights to Impact" event of "christian" faith leaders from around the city getting together in the hopes to be a part of the growing global movement to change the destructive course, we as a society find ourselves. Well, that and to try and stop the multitudes of youth who are leaving the church in today's age. Anyway, Pastor Ed from the Hope Mission was there and so I introduced my friend Jeremiah who is also a recently ordained pastor to Ed. So during the conversation I asked Pastor Ed what he thought of "reconciliation", to which he simply gave a kindly grimace and said, "it's a process". Now that may seem innocent enough to the regular ear, but when you've been at this as long as I have one recognizes the arrogance of those unwilling to practice a little "humility" in light off such a horrific history. So I replied with a "on whose terms?" comment to which we were sadly interrupted. But even my pastor buddy recognized the cold halfheartedness in Ed's response. Jeremiah's so cool, a good friend and a real Spirited Human being. Someone who truly knows Jesus.
Image result for american holocaust paintings
So what this "christian" pastor is actually saying from my take, is that he is ok with reconciliation as long as it's not too much reconciliation, or as long as it doesn't become uncomfortable for them, the "christians" and colonists. He and the Hope Mission staff who seemly have next to ZERO respect for Indigenous People's, let alone the homeless. And believe me you, I won't be making the same mistake i did before and bring this to End Poverty Edmonton because clearly they won't do anything for the homeless, even though they speak like they care, they won't do anything. Not the City, not all the NGO's who are apart of EPE and not even the Indigenous Circle, the co-chairs nor it's members. they've already proven this. Except for one Indigenous woman who works for the city and wanted to visit and talk with Hope Management about these matters but was told not to by her boss! he said it's not our dept. when, how did we put it? IT'S ALL OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO ENSURE THE PRINCIPALS OF RECONCILIATION IN OUR CITY.

I only have you folks to count on, will you write them and ask them to stop forcing scripture on the homeless and especially the Indigenous People's. They used to cut off our arms and smash our children against rocks if we didn't accept "Jesus" when they first arrived here on Turtle Island, now they get us in our sleep. If you wrote them already I thank you, we thank you. But we have to keep the pressure on them. A STAFF MEMBER JUST PUNCHED A DEFENSELESS MAN IN THE BACK. And if you haven't written a letter to them yet, please do at.... we.care@hopemission.com




 

{here is a past write up- on this issue.}

The Forced Indoctrination continues of Indigenous Peoples who are still suffering the effects of Colonization and the Indian Residential School era. The Hope Mission, a “Christian” organization refuses to stop reading Scriptures to the Homeless as they sleep! This is a form of mind control. When our brains are in a state of Theta (dream) state, we are very susceptible to suggestion. A clear violation of our basic human rights. Just imagine an Indian Residential School survivor, or someone like me who not only suffered the effects of such a tragic history. But also studied extensively the origins, policies, practices and tactics to the ongoing colonization, hence globalization, of Turtle Island. Only to be subject each morning to "christian" Scriptures being utilized as an "alarm clock" on us. And even though there are times of seemingly heartfelt respect among Front-line staff and clients, there remains the reoccurring psychological & emotional abuses taking place. For the most part, new staff introduction to the community consists of on the job training for mainly students and continental newcomers. And I am quite confident in my observations that nearly all bring with them some sort of an attitude of superiority to one degree or another. While any such attitude that may exhibit itself either ever so subtly, or utterly blatant and in your face, both forms can be just as detrimental to an already disenchanted Spirit. The religion of "Christianity", a source of excuse to the genocide of our People's and theft of ancestral lands, are bombarding clients as they climb out of a hazy dream state. This is a scientifically proven form of psychological manipulation, a forced indoctrination if you will. Not only do they yell out whole sections, but one Hope Mission staffer also carries on preaching after the bible is read while some are still asleep, brains deep in a delta or dream state. Clearly a violation of our basic Human Rights and our right to freedom of thought and religion. Quite often guys will shout or point out historical religious hypocrisies in order to get them to stop... but they never do. How can we exercise our Right to self-determine our culture of worship when we’re being abducted in our sleep by the same "Word" utilized in committing Cultural Genocide and Genocide out right, upon these so-called Americas? And personally, the same "Word" that cut my own tongue out with it's sharpened, double edge sword... and replaced it with another tongue not my own. To which many of you now find offensive. You folks can praise them all you want for a generous meal provided to those in need. Although you must remember that colonialism and "christianity" itself are the root causes to this violence of poverty in the first place. But me… I'll eat the food they steal from others with their heartwarming propaganda.... Because they compelled me to with their oppression and racism. And I'll sleep on their plastic vinyl mats. Being as I feel we’re left with little other choice other than to hide or submit to their Doctrine of Discovery to which I and my people are deemed... savages. I ask you to step back and look at the patterns... the Indian Reservation system, the Indian Residential School system, the Sixties Scoop, the judicial system, foster care, health care. Did you really think the homeless were immune from this intentional and debilitating form of herding? Did you actually believe our addictions & homelessness situations were somehow our own fault?! The corporate "christian" church as well has been let off the hook far too easily in all of this. They've reneged on their financial responsibilities of the Residential School settlement. And after all these years, reconciliation is still mainly a grassroots endeavor and has yet to take hold in the mainstream. As part of my work and research, I know there is still a majority of congregations who know very little of the real Indigenous/colonial history and absolutely nothing of the "Doctrine of Discovery". Many church leaders refuse to even bring up the subject of Truth and Reconciliation, let alone provide their "flock" with the proper tools in helping to heal the rift between both People's. During my time with RISE- Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton and beyond, I've taken it upon myself to do outreach for reconciliation in many churches and other church affiliated gatherings. I've discovered that although many congregation members were quite interested in learning more, they did not know how to go about learning, or were too afraid to go seeking it out. Yet when I approached the "Faith leaders" of these people, I usually faced the same response... "That’s not our mandate". Ya, we know all too well what their mandate is, and was. My own former home church pastor, who just so happens to serve the downtown homeless population, has even gone so far as to respond when asked if she would discuss the residential school era with the people: she "didn't want to upset the congregation". So, as she woos the wallets and children of the upper middle class in the pews above... in the basement many of the victims of that horrific church & state history are being clothed and fed so they, the congregation, could feel comforted that they are doing their 10% to help us poor souls. Seeing as they have been so "blessed" to be God's chosen. The beneficiaries to the rape, murder and pillaging of Indigenous Peoples and our lands. { Please… contact your local shelters and find out if they provide their staff with Trauma Informed Practice training. and everyone could use more Indigenous/colonial history awareness and discussions on how to rectify that history and perhaps improve our ability to live on this planet in the future. }

Thursday, March 7, 2019

They're not Newcomer's, they're Colonist's


   Image result for stoic indian pics


I have nothing against our global brothers, sisters and two spirited. But the discourse of anti-racism and rights for migrant guests falls short of our reality. It should NOT be an anti-racism and migrant rights discourse, but a anti-colonial, anti-war for profit discourse. The displacement of our neighbors are acts of terrorism via the destabilization of governments by the CIA bought & sold at the hands of american corporations. Immigration has been used throughout history to dispossess our People of our Lands as well as our Inherent Rights. Through my work, I've attended many anti- racism workshops and although conversations of the oppression to our guests do take place to some degree. Much of the conversations always lean towards migrants wishing to have the same privileges as our European colonial oppressors. Giving our guests on Turtle Island the right to oppress not only our Mother, the Lands and waters thereof, but ultimately our people as well. Nobody asks the Indigenous populations if we want more colonists on our territories! Nobody asks us if we want more skilled migrant workers coming here to take jobs we should be trained and encouraged for. Green energy manufacturing jobs and industry ought to be provided to First Nations on and off reserves so we can lift our people out of the poverty thrust upon us in order to wrangle resource extraction agreements from our colonial employed chief and counsels.

The Impotence of End Poverty Edmonton


                            Image result for dead indian cartoon

   I ask for help from the Indigenous Circle with the Hope Mission and the homeless situations and nobody does anything... I ask about promoting reconciliation and we can't do anything because the city and the Stewardship Round Table placed us under a colonial charity, the United Way, and some colonial lawyer says it's against the law for us to advertise the TRC's "calls to action".
   A co-chair on the Indigenous circle, Tracy Wilson says our work in ending poverty is not a matter of life and death when so many of our people are dying on the streets. Along with the fact that the Hope Mission refuses a man entry and he freezes to death on their front doorstep. But she doesn't get it. Just like we're supposed to be ending homelessness for our people, so I thought. But Homeward Trust house's a white male within a week, he who's only been in town for a week and I along with so many other homeless Indigenous have been waiting how long? And again this co-chair Tracy Wilson says something stupid like "oh, well that's just the way it's always been".
  Just like when I get assaulted by the Hope Mission staff and another Indigenous Circle member, Sharon Pasula says I should be thrown in jail for speaking out against it. Just like when I asked why Sharon P. would call someone, who wasn't at February's meeting, a racist when she, at an anti-racism workshop, says that some racism is a good thing because black people from Kenya (I believe it was) make good basketball players. Then she bold face lies to the committee that she said it, and the committee comes down on me about it for pointing out this fact (except Karen B.)
   And people wonder why my anxiety gets the best of me at times when EPE and the Indigenous Circle is so impotent and doesn't do anything about the homeless. Tracy Wilson also said to me at one of the meetings that I should keep what said at the circle in the circle. I can see why she would say something like that, just like our colonial politicians. I am getting so tired of the impotence of End Poverty Edmonton.

Sunday, February 3, 2019

Colonial Aftershock

Kent Monkman's: the deposition



Colonial Aftershock
  It just never ends! I am looking around for the Feigel Conference Centre @ Grant McEwan University for a workshop on the arts and culture. And as I turn about, I see this young girl with a look I've seen far too often, a look of disgust and fear as she turns suddenly and darts towards the staircase. Well having done a circle of the floor already, I head for the staircase as well. And after experiencing the psychological violence she's placed on me I mockingly say "yaa, loook at the iindian". She begins to hurry down that last few steps and so, in the words of our mayor Don Iverson, "make racism uncomfortable" I say "ruuuuun", in a quiet, mocking manner. Then continuing on my mission I ask a young fellow if he knew where this Cultural Non-Participation workshop was and he directed me to inquire at the security office. I do so, only to be greeted again to that same look of disgust. The security person asks if she could help me in a rude tone, and so I say defensively "ya, I was hoping so, I'm looking for the fiegel room" then I recognize that there was the young girl was standing there as well... and that's when the security office asks the girl, "is this the guy?". Well apparently the girl reports I was chasing her. Well, I was furious! You racist beeatch! I tell the officer what happened and all she says was "you probably spooked her". BY LOOKING INDIAN! I say how's it my fault my appearance spooks her, just tell me where the fiegel place is and I'll go. So the woman behind the plexi glass window says... go find it yourself! Then in the middle of the workshop head of security comes to me and asks if at the end of the workshop I would go down and be interrogated by them. He says there's always two sides to the story and it's usually somewhere in the middle. Folks, we’ve all been here a million times. FracK IF I'M GONNA JUSTIFY WHO I AM!
Email: info@macewan.ca
-----------------------------------------------------
Again this morning I was nearly "pushed" aside in the tim horton's line by a letter carrier who was standing at another till to which I thought he was being served so when I was called up to the next till. The guy literally jumped in front of me, like I said, nearly pushing me aside and exclaiming... "My Turn!" in exclamation. I am so sick of this shit. And nobody does any fracking thing about it but fight for black and immigrant/refugee rights. Perhaps us Red Skins should just do everyone a favor and kill ourselves… or is it just me? Perhaps I should just “OPT OUT!?
{UPDATE} then for lunch at tim horton's, again... two of us are standing there waiting for our orders. me, and a white guy... the timmies worker comes to the counter with an order and calls my name but without giving me a chance to answer or even looking at me she hands the meal to the white guy to which he states, "This ain't mine", to which she didn't even acknowledge but just walks away. leaving the both of us dumbfounded. [ I'm tired of fighting this battle alone while our city fights for black and migrant rights while the Indian problem is still a problem. the Mayor ignores the truth while at the same time romanticizes it. he comes up with a Make it Awkward movement for black people but blocks my messages when I try to bring it to him. I ask my colleagues in the Indigenous to step up only to be ignored... {contact the mayor @... https://coewebapps.edmonton.ca/contactmayor/default.aspx…}]

I am tired
so tired
may I die now
can it all end now
so tired am I
                                johnnyluv

Thursday, January 31, 2019

Forced Indoctrination


Image may contain: 1 person, standing, ocean, sky, outdoor and water
The Forced Indoctrination continues of Indigenous People's who are still suffering the effects of Colonization and the Indian Residential School era. The Hope(less) Mission refuses to stop reading Scriptures to the Homeless as they sleep! This is a form of mind control. When our brains are in a state of Theta (dream) state, we are very susceptible to suggestion. A clear violation of our basic human rights. We are constantly emotionally, psychologically, and as I have experienced recently, physically abused by untrained staff members And our Mayor, Don Iverson, still won't do anything to protect us either. You can contact him @...
Please contact the Hopeless Mission and give your opinions on this matter....
Edmonton (HQ)
(780) 422-2018
reception@hopemission.com


READ THE FULL STORY HERE:
 Decolonizing Edmonton
http://johnnyleeluvsjesus.blogspot.com/p/prayers-and-blessings-to-all-who-hear_68.html

Wednesday, January 23, 2019

DECOLONIZING EDMONTON

Image may contain: 2 people, text and outdoor
  
Prayers and Blessings to all who hear this call to step up, stand up and be loud & proud. For there is no longer time for half measures. Know now, that this is the era of the original, the Indigenous Peoples. And it is my hope the items in this agenda will give some solid direction not only for our people here in Edmonton, but that similar relevant initiatives be realized all across Canada and the United States, as we all share the same colonized history.
I will lay out four main points to which I am requesting End Poverty Edmonton’s Indigenous Circle to transition and/or work towards as soon as possible. Then I shall explain in further detail as to why this agenda is logical, moreover even crucial, to next steps in establishing & enacting Indigenous Rights & Sovereignty in an urban setting such as Edmonton. Naturally all in the interest of reconciliation between our people, colonial “Canada” & the Christian church in general.
We must succeed in this effort if we wish to tackle not only the poverty issue which was, and is, being intentionally thrust upon us in order to wrangle the signing of treaties and resource development agreements. We also need to provide the best environment to build interest and get the buy-in we need for such a vital project as the Indigenous Culture & Wellness Center (ICWC). But most importantly… for giving our people, the Original Peoples of Turtle Island, the best opportunity for Healing and Hope in that we once again take our place as the true caretakers of ourselves, our resources and most importantly, our mother’s Mother.
In so far as She has birthed & provided for us… God, our Creator forgive us, and grant us the wisdom & fortitude to do what needs to be done for Mother Earth. In order to ensure She continues to provide all our relative’s needs... Ay Hay.
1. The Indigenous Circle must immediately transition to an “Indigenous members only” format.
2. Create some form of “Reconciliation Judiciary” to investigate issues/violations concerning the TRC “Calls to Action” as well as criteria under UNDRIP.
3. Utilize the new Arena, or some other large venue, for a gathering of Edmonton’s Faith and/or business leaders for an ICWC & Reconciliation promotion event. Strong emphasis on citywide “Christian” church leaders to attend
(Moreover, and most importantly)
4. Work towards creating a “Duty to Consult” working group of Indigenous Leaders/Elders, largely Matriarchs, from within the city and surrounding First Nations Reservations. This group will negotiate with the Municipal/ Provincial Gov’t on major projects in and around the city of Edmonton for the purposes of responsible Stewardship practices and Resource Sharing for the Social Development of the Urban Indigenous Populations.
* These groups must work together, either as separate and/or overlapping entities with separate and/or overlapping memberships.
*********************************
Now let us get started, and so as far as I can see... the only and inevitable path forward with the Indigenous Culture & Wellness Center and “Reconciliation”, for which we are all responsible in playing a part, would be to have measures in place that will insure the Indigenous populous in and around the city of Edmonton, have an equal if not more weighted voice at our tables of discussion. Be it for ending poverty, social & economic development, land & resource sharing or anti-racism & DE-colonization.
It is an undeniable fact that if we don't get a robust buy-in from not only the Indigenous population, but the larger general public as well that all the hard work, negotiation, sacrifices and gains we are putting into and getting out of our work with End Poverty Edmonton will never yield the substantial results required to heal the wounds of Genocide, Trauma and mistrust accrued over centuries of colonization.
Yet to do this... to get that buy-in, we do need some level of trust to which clearly is lacking in light of many current social & political factors. Many of the public at large no longer trust the Canadian government. The Indigenous population largely do not trust the City of Edmonton. And in many cases, Indigenous people don't even trust their own Indigenous leaders to break away from colonized ways of leadership to be of any real consequence... I know I don't.
I do owe an apology though to my colleagues on the Indigenous circle and End Poverty Edmonton for the letter I sent not only to them, but posted on social media. I should not have said that they didn't care about the homeless because I know they do... I should not have said EPE cut back funding to the drop-in’s services so that we are forced to assimilate or die in the cold because it simply is not true... What I should have said, was that the corporate structure, policies and patterns of thought surrounding the city's governing bodies didn't care. Because that was exactly what I meant.
For End Poverty Edmonton in its entirety IS doing some great, groundbreaking stuff. And we have a great bunch of people working very hard to help everyone experiencing poverty, including the homeless population. Even more so, I am very proud of our Indigenous brothers & sisters who've stepped up and NOT given any ground to the adversary of the Humane ways of being. Those same old policies & practices which have done nothing for our people but perpetuate the assassination & assimilation process born out of that oppressive papal bull... the Doctrine of Discovery.
But we cannot do it alone. We are up against centuries of domineering, fear-based methods of policy making. For I am sure it must be hard, near impossible, even to imagine what's possible working outside the shackles of corporate procedures. Therefore we need a strong Indigenous presence behind the Indigenous Circle and on board such an important initiative as the ICWC.
So please sign up for the "COUNT ME IN" network for End Poverty Edmonton and share your story & or ideas.... https://www.endpovertyedmonton.ca/
Stay informed on the progress and be a part of the Indigenous Culture & Wellness Center @... https://icwcyeg.com/
We need our Sovereign Nations to come together to ensure this center and "reconciliation" as a whole, is realized in the manner essential for all generations... past, present and future. I believe it is imperative to have our colonial counterparts understand that we need a new social pre-condition. A social environment indicative of Indigenous ways of being and receptive to changing conditions... here, on Turtle Island. They need to understand that their outdated systems can no longer dictate the terms for true reconciliation between our People's. Especially since our Prime Minister just gave 1.6 billion dollars to the top 1%er's and richest Industry on the planet for pipeline propaganda yet will not provide the necessary funds to the victims of corporate over-consumption, the Indian Residential School & Sixties Scoop era. In so far that we may heal from such a history or for many, even to meet basic daily needs.
First off, the Indigenous circle must consist of Indigenous members only. Municipal liaisons shall be Indigenous. Sounds strange but yes there are colonial, municipal employees currently sitting on this committee. The People need to be assured decisions made in the interest of our People, are hashed out and delivered by OUR People. This is our way. We need to be unfettered by the accommodating Spirit of compromise in the name of good relations with a corporate machine which has had a mandate to "kill the Indian" from the very beginning. Yet clearly still does in light of recent happenings with the Wet'suwet'en People/Unist'ot'en Camp in B.C and Standing Rock, N.D.
Being Indigenous is not just about speaking our languages, telling our stories, practicing & placing our art on buildings or selling them at events. We are about protecting the Land, Waters & Life of our Mother for generations. We are about good stewardship. Something the colonizers still do not understand or lack the fortitude to forgo millennia of privilege in order to respect our Inherent Rights and step back from their opportunistic yet oppressive practices. This is but a one valid reason it ought to be.
Another would be some key contributions to the group were not being recorded in the minutes & notes. Such as three of the four major subjects in this correspondence. That practice didn't change until I complained about it in recent months. In addition, and more importantly... they are using our own, Indigenous knowledge to benefit their own colonial infrastructures and systems faster than they allocate funds to us that we may develop ours. This is an undeniable fact. i.e...
* Edmonton's police chief announces in the news that his officers were being "traumatized" by people video recording them in the performance of their duties. (They had a police liaison on our Trauma Informed Edmonton committee.)
* Most of the programs and funding which is meant for our people, is still going into their own colonial systems for colonizer & newcomer jobs in order to, "help us".
*The city has been doing public engagement & consultations with the public. Something I have mentioned at our meetings for which they should do with us.
* An entire green/net-zero community is being built on the old municipal airport location. And I wonder just how much will be invested in the ICWC & Indigenous partnerships by comparison.
Which brings up the inevitable and Fourth agenda item, the creation of a municipal Consultation & Consent Counsel of Indigenous People's for the city of Edmonton. This Group will be made up of chosen & elected members from surrounding reserves and Indigenous community members as well as leaders within the city. They shall work closely with the Indigenous Circle and may even overlap in membership and/or structure. These two groups will engage the city in negotiations for ending poverty as well as rebuilding true, Nation to Nations relations.
Only in a symbiotic relationship of reciprocal knowledge sharing can proper & beneficial infrastructure and resource distribution take place between Canada and the Indigenous People's. But we must have our own arenas of self-governance in place first and foremost. From there we can work to rebuild trust between our People. We need to also trust that the municipal government is willing to respect our inherent Sovereign Right to be properly consulted on all matters which affect Indigenous populations within and surrounding our city.
Now skipping back to the Second agenda item, there must be some form of "reconciliation police", so to speak. This may be a part or full-time supportive system in the duty of helping co-coordinate and overseeing deliverables from the first two groups. This group will also have the charge of promoting & implementing TRC "Calls to Action" and the principals under UNDRIP, as well as investigating infractions thereof.
I had brought this up at one of my very first, if not the first, group sessions with End Poverty Edmonton. It was said that it would be all of our jobs to ensure these "Calls to Action" are enforced. And that's simply what I intend to do. And I am simply calling on everyone else to do the same... enough talk. We can no longer afford to play "reconciliation" footsie as current eventualities with the Hope Mission and City employees have shown.
For five years I've been telling my story, our stories from the streets of Edmonton. Stories of numerous residential school, inter-generational as well as colonialists who don't make the cut in capitalism. Three & a half of those years I've been doing so even more seriously for multiple agencies, city officials, social workers, EPE's Indigenous Circle and even the media. EPE has naturally been working on ways of ending poverty, racism(colonialism) and moving in a good way, with traditional Indigenous customs towards reconciliation.
Therefore, here is my query... Just how hard is it to pay homage to the practice and spirit of relationship, and of productive dialogue with those very agencies in direct contact with the victims of elitist "canada's" oppressive history. Just exactly where does everyone think many of us survivors ended up? ON THE STREETS of course! It's been a few weeks since I've raised some serious issues with the Hope Mission, it's practices and new staff's negative inclinations towards those of us who feel the options are limited. And still the City of Edmonton, EPE, or even the Indigenous Circle has done nothing about it other than tell me, "we're working on it" or "we had to find the correct contact person" and We'll have an update for you next week".
To my colleagues on the Indigenous Circle: Practice what you preach about relationships... Make a damn phone call or visit the Hope Mission about this!
Because even though there are times of seemingly heartfelt respect among staff and clients. there remains the reoccurring psychological & emotional abuses taking place. For the most part, new staff introduction to the community consists of on the job training for mainly students and continental newcomers. And I am quite confident in my observations that nearly all bring with them some sort of an attitude of superiority to one degree or another. While any such attitude that may exhibit itself either ever so subtly, or utterly blatant and in your face, both forms can be just as detrimental to an already disenchanted Spirit.
Just imagine an Indian Residential School survivor, or someone like me who not only suffered the effects of such a tragic history. But also studied extensively the origins, policies, practices and tactics to the ongoing colonization, hence globalization, of Turtle Island. Only to be subject each morning to "christian" Scriptures being utilized as an "alarm clock" on us.
The religion of "Christianity", a source of excuse to the genocide of our People's and theft of ancestral lands, bombarding clients as they climb out of a hazy dream state. This is a scientifically proven form of psychological manipulation, a forced indoctrination if you will. Not only do they yell out whole sections, but one Hope Mission staffer also carries on preaching after the bible is read while some are still asleep, brains deep in a theta or dream state. Clearly a violation of our basic Human Rights and our right to freedom of thought and religion. Quite often guys will shout or point out historical religious hypocrisies in order to get them to stop... but they never do.
How can we exercise the basic Human Right to self-determine our culture of worship while being abducted in our sleep by the same "Word" utilized in committing Cultural Genocide and Genocide out right, upon these so-called Americas? And personally, the same "Word" that cut my own tongue out with it's sharpened, double edge sword... and replaced it with another tongue not my own. To which many of you now find offensive.
You folks can praise them all you want for a generous meal provided to those in need. Although you must remember that colonialism and "christianity" itself are the root causes to this violence of poverty in the first place. But me, I'll eat the food they steal from others with their heartwarming propaganda.... Because they compelled me to with their oppression and racism. And I'll sleep on their plastic vinyl mats. Being as I feel I'm left with little other choice other than to hide or submit to their Doctrine of Discovery to which I and my people are deemed... savages.
I was laughed at by a staff member when I complained how my hand-carved, Idle No More walking stick with an Eagle feather was mishandled. And I'm not the only one. Numerous others speak of similar arrogant abuses. I've been threatened with denied entry since speaking out against such happenings. Going so far as having another staffer running over my arm with a table cart while I slept. And make no mistake... this was INTENTIONAL. Then when I confronted him about it, he tried to humiliate me with remarks like, "won't you get a job" and "must be nice to lay on a mat all day", etc.
You may also give feedback on Hope Mission's oppressive tactics @... we.care@hopemission.com
(please do, we need your support)
I ask you to step back and look at the patterns... the Indian Reservation system, the Indian Residential School system, the Sixties Scoop, the judicial system, foster care, health care. Did you really think the homeless were immune from this intentional and debilitating form of herding? Did you actually believe our addictions & homelessness situations were somehow our own fault?!
The corporate "christian" church as well has been let off the hook too damn easily in all of this. They've reneged on their financial responsibilities of the Residential School settlement. And even after all these years, reconciliation is still mainly a grassroots endeavor and has yet to take hold in the mainstream. As part of my work and research, I know there is still a majority of congregations who know very little of the real Indigenous/colonial history and absolutely nothing of the "Doctrine of Discovery".
Many church leaders refuse to even bring up the subject of Truth and Reconciliation, let alone provide their "flock" with the proper tools in helping to heal the rift between both People's.
During my time with RISE- Reconciliation in Solidarity Edmonton and beyond, I've taken it upon myself to do outreach for reconciliation in many churches and other church affiliated gatherings. I've discovered that although many congregation members were quite interested in learning more, they did not know how to go about learning, or were too afraid to go seeking it out. Yet when I approached the "Faith leaders" of these people, I usually faced the same response... "that's not our mandate". Ya, we know all too well what their mandate is and was.
My own former home church pastor, who just so happens to serve the downtown homeless population, has even gone so far as to respond when asked if she would discuss the residential school era with the people: she "didn't want to upset the congregation". So, as she woos the wallets and children of the upper middle class in the pews above... in the basement many of the victims of that horrific church & state history are being clothed and fed so they, the congregation, could feel comforted that they are doing their 10% to help us poor souls. Seeing as they have been so "blessed" to be God's chosen. The beneficiaries to the rape, murder and pillaging of Indigenous Peoples and our lands.
Therefore, for the third item on the agenda, the city, in partnership with Indigenous & faith organizations already doing reconciliation work, will utilize Roger's Place or a venue similar, for an ICWC & Reconciliation Promotion Event. Faith leaders in particular, must STRONGLY be encouraged to attend and/or encourage their respective members to attend in the Spirit of mending these broken relationships.
This greater number of people can learn through song, dance, video clips and of course, live speakers. Indigenous Rights speakers, celebs and those faith leaders who "get it" may share and enlighten the "enlightened". Think big, this IS the right step forward... the only move forward at this point to not only heal relationships, but also to actively get that buy-in needed for the Indigenous Culture & Wellness Center.
The ICWC will hopefully be one of the most important and historical projects on the path for True Reconciliation. this is not something we can leave in the hands of a few colonial city officials operating from a policies handbook. So, it is my hope with these groups in place... all working towards the same goal within our collective spheres of influence in and around Amiskwaciy Waskahikan, ensuring our People reclaim control of our lives and eventually our Lands. But to do this we need equitable access to our own resources. Yet to do that, we clearly need these governing concepts in place.
This is no time to stand Idly by while the city dictates their colonial-favoring bureaucracy upon us while Indigenous populations continue to be left by the wayside. We need all our people to step-up, get well informed & well involved with this monumental project or ones similar. The generations require us to hold our Treaty partners, and guests, accountable to our ways of being as much as they have been holding us to theirs. I know we can find... a common ground, Ay Hay
Sincerely,
Johnny Lee
{contact your local shelters and find out if they provide their staff with Trauma Informed Practice training. and everyone could use more Indigenous/colonial history awareness and discussions on how to rectify that history and perhaps improve our ability to live on this planet in the future}
So please sign up for the "COUNT ME IN" network for End Poverty Edmonton and share your story & or ideas.... https://www.endpovertyedmonton.ca/
(If you agree with any of the point of views written here, please be sure to mention that in the areas provided when you join the network. There are no fees of course to be a part of... Ending Poverty. Just a desire for change.)
Stay informed on the progress and be a part of the Indigenous Culture & Wellness Center @... https://icwcyeg.com/
You may also give feedback on Hope Mission's oppressive tactics @... we.care@hopemission.com
(please do, we need your support)