Look to the trees. Look to the rock. Look to the river.
February 15, 2017 8:32 PM   Subscribe

Justin Trudeau is the latest person to create a video for the We Matter Campaign, a campaign started by two indigenous siblings, which hopes to communicate to indigenous youth their importance in the world. Suicide is the leading cause of death in indigenous youth.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy (12 comments total) 13 users marked this as a favorite
Why does that sound so familiar?

Indigenous people in the Kimberley region of Western Australia are seven times more likely to kill themselves and up to 20 times more likely to self-harm than other Australians.

Nationally, Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander adults are 15 times more likely to be imprisoned than non-Indigenous Australians.

One parallel I can think of is in mining. The Aboriginals here have fought for generations to protect their land from billion dollar mining companies, and they're often told, or at least allowed the impression, that they don't matter. So Justin, why don't you tell Trump where to put his pipeline, and show indigenous people that they do matter.
posted by adept256 at 10:43 PM on February 15 [1 favorite]

Oh, please. Where do I start?

Do you know why suicide is the leading cause of death in indigenous youth? Because as Human Beings the land is where we come from, and everything modern society is about is about destroying this connection.

I once asked a friend of mine who is a prominent environmental economist and political consultant what the fuck the problem was with polluting the environment. Want to know what his answer was?

"There are people who care about the environment, and there are people who think technology will solve everything."


What if it was a value not to pollute the environment for the benefit of profit or productivity? What if we put all of our smarts into ways to have exactly what we have now, but without some bizarre profit driven system that takes without care for consequences. Or at least the idea to minimize consequences. This is possible, there are multiple ways to create energy, to foster technology - it is not necessary to invest in methods that harm the land and human beings. We're sold a false view that the only way to have progress is to do things as we do now to keep our lifestyle vibrant. I'm just talking about implementing more humane ways of extracting energy as they become available, we could have switched to mostly solar energy years and years ago if Doing Things Better for All (tm) was a value important in our society, instead of the con that monetary profit is what matters.

These indigenous peoples with their knowledge and experience, that we owe for our current existence, they kept the land and the idea of civilization fertile for us so that we could be born and thrive here on earth. We are assholes for remaining ignorant of all the gave us. Fuck you, Jared Diamond and your Guns, Germs, and Steel - and anyone who supports your hypothesis and won't accept obvious truths about how our world really works. History is longer than we are told, our options are beyond corporate profit concerns. I hope we wise up. There is still a chance to wake up, but not through shills that undermine real understanding. It's nice Justin Trudeau is so pretty. His good looks won't change the way the underlying systems and concerns work, but we can change them if we want to. Let's do that.
posted by jbenben at 11:59 PM on February 15 [5 favorites]

My first grudging thought is the brilliant and sarcastic letter from Romeo Saganash after Trudeau's bizarre canoe comment last week
Then about collecting postcards for the Have A Heart campaign to support equitable education and service funding for kids living in reserve last week. We will be sending our batch of cards along to the prime minister tomorrow. I encourage you all to do the same, especially--but not only--if you are Canadian.

Regardless of the PM and my grouchiness, though, I support these kids and their important campaign. I think these kinds of initiatives are important, and good on them for speaking up and organising.
posted by chapps at 12:18 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]

Chapps, that letter is spectacular and made my day:

"It is time for the federal government to help First Nations maintain our very important spiritual connection with the water. This is a connection that your government further embraces through your approval of projects like Site-C, Kinder Morgan, and the Muskrat Falls Dam. Once the canoe and paddle storage system is in place, I will personally paddle across the country to tell First Nations concerned with the impacts of these projects, not to worry because with these urgently needed budget investment for canoe storage depots our connection to the lands and waters is maintained."
posted by Stilling Still Dreaming at 4:18 AM on February 16 [2 favorites]

I am so disappointed he is supporting the pipeline. I can't believe his sincerity until he listens and responds to direct requests from tribes. "I care about you, that's why I am supporting white people to exploit you more like we always do but for your own good. So stay positive, ok?" That's all I hear.
posted by xarnop at 5:40 AM on February 16 [1 favorite]

I assume he followed this up by tabling a bill in the house that would provide funding to solve the whole "most reserves have poison water" problem, right?
posted by jacquilynne at 5:41 AM on February 16 [6 favorites]

Kinda think Trudeau instead would be doing a different PR campaign this month, a PR campaign about how the Canadian government just lost a provincial-court case about the Sixties Scoop. I heard Carolyn Bennett on the Current talking about it, and it was a weird interview. Not a lot of reconciliation, exactly.
posted by My Dad at 7:34 AM on February 16 [3 favorites]

Capitalism lies at the foundation of so much human misery -- liberalism isn't going to cut it. It's time to stop buying things to show we care and instead to stop destroying the things that can never be replaced.
posted by aydeejones at 1:45 PM on February 16

But in the meantime, donating hard-earned money from a soul-sucking job or a job you love or anything in between to a cause like NoDAPL is a great way to contribute, and I'm finally working enough again to start putting my money where my mouth is.
posted by aydeejones at 1:46 PM on February 16

Just another shout out to the we matter campaign, here is some more videos:

Tribe Called Red

Jack Jr. From Attawapiskat is the source of the "look tothe trees..." In the title, and it's quite touching
posted by chapps at 9:33 PM on February 16 [1 favorite]

"I am so disappointed he is supporting the pipeline"

Or C-23.
posted by I-baLL at 5:42 AM on February 17

CUT-OFF, a Viceland documentary from last year by indigenous Canadian journalist Sarain Carson-Fox, whose father committed suicide when she was a teenager, about the indigenous suicide epidemic, the Shoal Lake 40 First Nation which provides drinking water to the city of Winnipeg but hasn't had safe water itself for several decades, and a visit to the community by Justin Trudeau.

The full video on the Viceland site is unfortunately region-locked but a five-minute trailer of the full 47-minute documentary is on Youtube.
posted by XMLicious at 3:24 AM on March 3

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