Monday, October 03, 2005
Today I started out feeling thoughtful. By the time the afternoon rolled around I was feeling pretty blue. Maybe I was listening to too many Ben Harper tunes. I like Ben. He really hits the nail on the emotional head, even if it's not your emotion at the time, but too much can wear a guy down.
One of the other things I did today (besides working), was watch a video clip from the 1975 Berger Inquiry. It's a clip of a Dene Chief, Frank T'Seleie of Fort Good Hope opposing the Mackenzie Valley Pipeline. He gives a barn burner speech that still inspires and ultimately leads to the successful defeat of the pipeline proposal at that time. He proclaims to one of the pipeline executives, "You are coming to destroy a people with a history of 30,000 years! Why? For 20 years of gas. Are you really that insane?"
I then watched this clip, a revisit of the issue 25 years later :I As you might already know, most of the Indigenous leaders (and perhaps people) including Frank T'Seleie are now proponents of the current pipeline proposal. Even the Deh Cho who have been resisting the pipeline so far, openly acknowledge their position as leverage for bargaining a better deal. Well, if you know anything about me, you will know I find this all quite depressing. I need to go find my copy of Our Word Is Our Weapon to be inspired again.
As a good friend of mine says, "What's it all for?"
I have heard that there are some Dene youth who are still against the deal. I will try and seek some of them out and get back to you. In these bleak times, when so many of our people have abandoned (albeit with enormous pressure) their Indigenous ways of life, have become so assimilated-consumer-mad, we need inspiration and truly meaningful action now more than ever.
I do get down from time to time, but at the end of the day, I am an optimist. What's an idealist, romantic, impractical, wannabe-revolutionary to do?