Thursday, November 15, 2012

"A familiar cloud of inertia and distrust"

Atleo writes Harper, Duncan on First Nations 'frustration'
Assembly of First Nations chief says federal agenda has 'potential for harmful impacts' 

"The scaffold Prime Minister Stephen Harper erected in January to help boost the independence and prosperity of Canada's First Nations is being corroded by inaction, and risks collapsing in a familiar cloud of inertia and distrust, newly obtained correspondence suggests..."

Read the rest of the CBC news article here.

I do not know enough of the back-room details to say where exactly this particular political process is breaking down. But I do want to recommend reading this article, and I want to point out the recognizable pattern which, historically and sociologically, we should be keen to question. This is a still-unreconciled but oft-quieted part of our Canadian social fabric.
"We have been patient and reserved judgment. Neither that patience nor that demonstrated goodwill is infinite," says Atleo.
"They don't really know what they're looking for or asking for," [responded] the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity.
And with that, the cycle goes on. The historically oppressed/repressed minority seeking discourse must do all the work to be heard. If it is too patient, reasonable and open-ended it goes unheard. Or, if it is heard, it is filtered through majority lenses and easily misheard. But, if it is clear and assertive, exposes too much frustration and/or comes off as anything close to demanding it will most likely provide fodder for further mishearing and strife.

Not to pass judgment on this particular situation, but it is a pattern we need to watch for and change.