“He Shouldn’t Be In Here — PART 2”
FYI- The first part of this blog is the last section of the previous PART 1 post for refresher and reference:
“I can’t even begin to comprehend the rejection, traumas and horrors he endured in life and in Residential School. And as we know, experiences such as those commonly manifest as symptoms which include alcohol use and other things to numb the pain and to lessen the grips of shame, abuse and loss of identity.
So let us all read again and consider the following:
June is National Indigenous History Month.
The Government of Canada website states; “In June, we celebrate National Indigenous History Month to honour the history, heritage and diversity of Indigenous peoples in Canada.”
“Adherence to what is right or to a conventional standard of conduct.”
“High respect; great esteem.”
- Oxford Dictionary”
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I have chewed, mulled, thought, pondered, reflected, considered and every other variation of common verb out there regarding talking about personal and close experiences in that pertain to the recent events of the murder of George Floyd and now, being in the month of June, National Indigenous History Month.
Though I don’t always know myself best, my goal and want is to always speak from a place of love. My words may not all come across as intended and like all attempts of writing, I may offend some still.
I do hope, however, that they are received with compassionate and thought-provoking undertones to encourage action, hearing, listening, engagment in asking questions and to start conversations, speaking up, standing up and standing firm. I hope to encourage others to take action in whatever way resonates with you and them and not to be or remain violent, hurtful, silent, idle, or complacent.
It’s far beyond reasonable time to break these awful cycles.
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We know some of the ‘whys’ of this topic.
We know and have seen for far too long the symptoms of deep-rooted hate including and not limited to; systemic racism, assumptions, misunderstandings and unfortunately and simply- the fear of anything different.
The following are just some of the ‘what’ things that are observed and dished out; wrongful convictions, name-calling, murder, assault, alienation, exclusion, joking (but not really), employment barriers and lack of access to proper care or basic living standards like clean water…in our very own first-world country.
Again, it’s simple enough to acknowledge and know the ‘whys’ and the ‘whats’ and there are indeed efforts to try to do the ‘hows’ to address the ‘whys’ to help remedy the ‘whats’. But, the ‘hows’, which are currently noted as actionable steps to a positive future, still need to be addressed and adjusted…in my opinion.
I’ll start by making this point clear: I appreciate the RCMP and the police departments throughout my Canada. I have family members and close friends (some of whom are people of colour) who serve in those capacities and I have been grateful to have had their protection and support on many occasions. A few years ago I even applied to the RCMP program in Edmonton and made it to the PARE (which I completed successfully) and was called for the next few rounds yet because of life events and circumstance at the time, that career path did not pan out.
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There are safe, unsafe and harmful apples who reside in all areas of our life.
Churches, schools, the workplace, sports teams, the government, and sometimes the people closest to us…
And sometimes we are they.
One thing, however, that I think is the hard-to-change difference with the RCMP as we know it, is that the organization was originally created to “control Indigenous people.” -Globalnews.ca
Here are some statements from the Government of Canada RCMP website:
“Did you know that the RCMP is almost 150 years old? We are looking forward to our 150th anniversary in 2023. Join Canada’s national police service as we commemorate the many milestones of our history and celebrate our future as a modern, effective, healthy and inclusive police organization.”
“The RCMP has a long, sometimes difficult history with Indigenous communities in Canada that dates back some 145 years. As we move towards our 150th anniversary in 2023, we’re committed to positive change — which includes renewing our vital relationships with Indigenous peoples. To promote better understanding and respect, we’ve taken several important steps to:
*Strengthen collaboration with Indigenous peoples
*Improve community policing and Indigenous recruitment
*Move towards healing and Reconciliation
“[We were] Born out of a need for a national police force to implement the law in Canada’s newly acquired western territories”
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While the “several important steps” sounds nice, I’m not quite convinced they will thrive and hold.
A couple of questions:
When someone or something wants or needs to change or when trust needs to be built back up in a relationship, how do we as human beings go about rectifying all of that?
Have you ever made a choice that hurt someone else and you really wanted to make it right?
I know for myself, that when I have wanted to right a big wrong, the only way to making things better was to prove real change by employing consistent behaviour, doing what I said I would do and above all else — start that fragile new beginning by being 150% honest and transparent with myself and the party I hurt.
Without that humility, honesty and trust, genuine and lasting change is just not possible.
So, how does one, or a society, rebrand something that is, by nature rooted in the culture of abuse of power, the ‘us vs. them’ attitude, separation tactics (reservations) and violence?
How? How do we really do that? How do we address the root of the issue or instead of bandaging it when a wound opens up? How do we do a complete overhaul at the core of why it exists, the core of it’s being…not just painting another layer over it…but completely sand it out, refresh it and make it anew?
We are called to love others not destroy them.
To be a functioning, healthy and balanced society, we do need rules, we do need protection, we do need order and we need people who want to serve another.
A good place to continue the directive of change that the RCMP is committed to is to adjust things at the source.
Sometimes the biggest change starts with the simplest things.
To help them succeed with their goals, I challenge the organization to start by simple changing the wording on the website. I will help them if I am invited to. Words are things, strong things.
Trust is build on truth and transparency.
I have faith that people of our nation will have compassion, will understand, forgive and be able to move forward together in harmony at some point but it needs to start at the roots.
This became longer than expected so I will finish with a
PART 3 tomorrow,