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- The Garden ( + news article version)
- CBC radio link & pics of "the garden"
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- Post Christmas Post
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- I See That you're Native
- Way Back from Hell
- Steppin' For Change
Tuesday, August 23, 2016
I Hurt, We All Hurt
My story behind the Fort McMurray fires is not one of pleasantry or goodness. My story was one of pain, mistrust and disappointment. I am Indigenous to these lands and at the time, the Ft. McMurray story led me down a path of darkness in the form of jealousy and anger. I was tired of seeing that story in the news and people asking donations for them.
In my heart I knew I should not be feeling this way. I knew I should have compassion for those people. A friend of mine even asked because of the work I do, that I should volunteer at Northlands where many of the McMurray refugees were housed for a time... I refused.
The problems that overshadowed my mind was that of my own people. So often we've heard the blurbs and news snippets of "state of emergencies" on reserves. It was only with Attawapiskat that news crews stuck around long enough for the people in that tragic situation. Until they requested that the crews leave. Yet all that they asked was for a youth recreation center, to which they received.
But that was only a band-aid solution to a much larger, intrinsic and systematic problem. I could go on about this but let's get back to my main point.
The point is the Ft. McMurray propaganda machine was in full force. One of the richest cities in our county was begging for money! In my mind... What happened to all of their money? These majority of wealthy people (in my mind remember). Are now continuously in the news. People all over the world especially Alberta are flocking to their aid yet my people continue to suffer.
My heart turned cold, my heart turned to stone. And "THAT" was the hardest part to endure through all of this. I began to despise myself for such feelings. Oh, not at first mind you. At first I reveled in my self-righteous indignation. I hated Ft. Mac., I hated the news and I hated the white-man.
I know there were many who didn't have the savings or the insurance and resources to start over. But I didn't see them... I only saw the suffering of my people. I saw their moldy, dilapidated homes. I saw their resources being systematically stripped away from them without ANYONE batting an eye.
Yet beyond that, I saw my own pain. My own suffering and desire for retribution in every feed on social media, the news and every sympathetic conversation in my city. And it was from those misguided feelings I found, myself. I found my true ugliness to which I needed to repent of.
Forgiveness is a powerful tool to combat the evil that quietly lies deep within us all, as well as in this reality or realm outside heavens gate.
So now I pray for them, I wish only blessings upon all who were adversely affected by the fires.
I use the phrase "adversely affected" for one reason. And that is the fact that fire, although destructive, even to the point of utterly devastating. Can and does bring life. Fire cleanses, fire renews... and fires weeds out much of what is undesired much faster than any other method throughout nature.
Unfortunately, some people were recorded commenting to the fact that Ft. Mac. only reaped what they've sown. that Fort McMurray deserved what they got because of the destructiveness of the Tar Sands upon the environment and even upon the Indigenous peoples. But I don't buy that. That fire revealed something within myself, and within all of us that needed to be cleansed as well.
So in the aftermath of all the hype, generosities and kindness... as well as resentments and pain. I hope we all got something out of it. Besides the stories and materiel replacements. I hope we all gained... a little more hope.