Posted in Canada remembers, Reconciliation

Celestial signs – it’s time

I’ve been silent for a while; pondering, listening and learning. Perhaps I can pull it all together cohesively into a post. I am willing to give it a shot because it’s about acknowledgement and  reconciliation.

I drove into the city this week on some errands and for an appointment. I passed the greenhouses, where the flags were at half mast. My city route  took me past the Catholic Church, where the flags were not at half mast. These are both huge non verbal clues to the consciousness of Canadians right now. There is a social movement under way right now for Catholics to boycott mass so voices will be heard.It caused me to ponder.

I’ve spent a lot of time with a paint brush in my hand this week. It is, fortunately, too wet for the never ending job of weeding. Painting gives me plenty of thinking time. I used technology, each and every day, to listen to a podcast. Each one focusing on National Indigenous History Month. Once I followed that up with some Indigenous music from Spotify. And I continued to ponder.

June is absolutely my favourite month with the long days where twighht lingers on and on as it did last night just before midnight.  The Northern lights put on a short show in the north east sky during the late night hot tub. And together we pondered the sky and our place in the world (I will get back to that in a moment).

Which got me to thinking about how I’ve always loved the northern lights. As a youngster I would go sit outside late at night. I walked north of our perimeter trees and sat on a big hill. I’d never heard of a dark sky but it was right in front of me; the northern lights dancing away and the milky way above me. {{With permission here is a link to an amazing milky way photo that was taken by a photography friend of ours). I hope this works at https://www.instagram.com/p/CP593ynh9eW/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link as I can’t seem to find any other way to use it. Perhaps when he sends me an email copy I can change to a regular media file}}

I remember, back when one used the encyclopedia and not the internet, going to the library and doing a report on Aurora Borealis. I loved the “real name” but learning that they were some kind of solar flare coming through the atmosphere was disappointing. I was much more enthralled by the legend that the Eskimo (as the Inuit were called in the 60’s) believed that they were their ancestors watching over them. Which incidentally is actually what the Cree believe. The Inuit one is a little more complex depending on where you read about it. And I ponder creation and the land and my place in it.

Indeed one can’t help but think about the impact of the British and European settlement and policies on the First Nations who called their Canada Turtle Island. How as a child growing up did I learn so little of the real history of this land and the how it became Canada and what that did to the Indigenous Peoples.

There is so much to atone for. AND it seems like government moves at a snails pace – this current PM paid great tribute to the First Nations during his election but little has been done about the challenges facing them.

Here, on the other hand, is a story and local to boot, of a civil government listening to a request and stepping forward in a timely fashion. Perhaps it won’t be quite as quick as Chief Arcand would like, as there are many steps to the process to change a street name, but it’s on the agenda for June 21st. The story can be found here at https://www.ckom.com/2021/06/10/its-time-tribal-chief-arcand-calls-for-renaming-of-saskatoon-road/.

Reconciliation is about action and what we MUST, as individuals and as governments step forward and do. We need to listen and learn. And acknowledge and make changes.

I now know that our home quarter that we love and live on is in the Cree Territory. We are still sorting out if it is unceded or part of Treaty 6. For certain the Indigenous walked these hills, harvested the saskatoons and hunted the deer on the land we call home.  The proximity to Wanuskewin and the river would have made this area a good summer camp area. So while we see no overt signs of their past steps we know they were here. And I must make peace with the fact that the land we purchased was stolen to begin with.

I CAN’T change the previous 150 years of Canadian history. I CAN help shape the focus of how Canada moves forward for the next 150 years. So in the end it’s the same celestial sky watching over us always.

Bernie

While this does indeed qualify as a celestial prompt post for Terri’s #SundayStills prompt over at https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/55643820 it took on a life of it’s own as I pondered my way through the last few days. The exciting lunar event this week was shrouded with cloud and that’s rather how I have felt Canada is at this moment.

Author:

I have had a love of the written word for my entire life. It's no surprise that eventually I found a platform where I could write. It's random; sometimes funny, occasionally sad, maybe even at times from anger and I lean towards creative photography and hands on crafts. I have a few blogs that high light these interests.

7 thoughts on “Celestial signs – it’s time

  1. I want to see the Northern lights. At times here in the PNW sometimes I’ve heard you can see them, but I’m not in the right area and it would be hours and hours of driving to hopefully see them. Maybe someday I’ll get to a place where they are seen regularly. These are beautiful. I enjoyed your post and need to check out the links you shared.

    Like

  2. I’m going through a lot of the same thoughts and feelings as you are, Bernie. Trying to come to terms with everything I am making myself learn about the origins of this nation, and how Indigenous peoples continue to be treated, today. And also trying to learn more about Indigenous culture and beliefs. I took a free course on Indigenous history last summer (promoted by Dan Levy), have been reading Indigenous literature for years, and recently attended a Zoom lecture by Louise Mandell, who was been working with Indigenous bands on legal issues for decades. There is so much more for me to learn. I will be looking for ways to help as well, going forward.
    Thank you for this post.

    Deb

    Like

  3. Relations could have developed in such a more co operative way, but the encroaching white chose might over negotiation. Control and oppression over diplomatic dialogue.
    I agree with re naming the street, I see these acts as healing and re-ordering the story. In Nanaimo, Newcastle Island Provincial Park is now called its original name, Saysutshun, and Mount Benson’s original name is Wake-siah. Here on Vancouver Island, before the commencement of a formal meeting, or before any opening speech or ceremony, the speaker first publicly acknowledges that “this meeting, (or event) is taking place on the traditional and unneeded territory of the Coast Salish, the traditional territory of the Sunueymuxw First Nation.”
    There is much to rectify.
    Stunning Milky Way image!

    Like

  4. First of all, your northern lights are spectacular and definitely a celestial experience for me to see them if only virtually, BernieLynne. Now that we live so much further north, there is a good chance I shall see them myself when the conditions are right. Secondly, your link to your friend’s post on IG worked..wowee! I love it when a prompt elicits a discussion such as yours. Our indigenous peoples have suffered for hundreds of years and it is time to recognize the impact immigration has made in North America.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s