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Idle No More, As If You Ever Were

Wednesday January 16, 2013

When grass is cut, how come it grows back? With most plants you remove the tips and the rest withers and dies.

Idle No More (INM) is said to be a grassroots growth. What it is and may become, fertilized to life by cybernation – a twittered, e-mailed, Facebooked manifestation.

There are aspects of the ghost dance to it also – a longing for a better world we once knew, desperate to make it again all come true, despite crushing circumstance.

Leaderless, scattered, remarkable, its vision yet unformed – transmitted from indigenous soul to indigenous soul, outwardly by cyberness, inwardly via a Creator/Creation planted power.

Grasses can regenerate themselves from their built in sheath. New cells, to replace any lopped or chewed off parts, originate from there. This gives them an almost unrivalled capacity for survival.

Collectively and individually each INM participant has been trampled, uprooted and taken for granted in their journey they’ve labeled as an idleness.

A U.S. senator has said of a plant common enough to just be ignored or stepped on anytime – “grass is the forgiveness of nature, her constant benediction. Should its harvest fail for even a single year, famine would depopulate the world.”

How could such a power ever be idle?

According to Merriam Webster, idleness means “not occupied or employed; lazy/shiftless; having no evident lawful means of support and lacking basis or worth.”

To me this INM-styled idle is more like an engine, paused mechanically between forward and reverse.

Perhaps we are idling in neutral because the choices we have so far been offered are not enough of a cultural match to engage the true gears of ourselves?

To me then while we grass rooters might have been wasting our time at times in the past we’ve never been idle.

Us roots of grass have been the subject and object of enough royal commissions, apologies, claims and compensations that truth and reconciliation should have happened already.

We’ve created a $10 billion a year – save the Indians – industry that still finds us making our own case flash mobbing streets.

Merriam W. also describes grassrooted-ness as a state of being “ the very foundation or source” and “the basic level of society as viewed from higher or more centralized positions of power.”

Every First Nation organizational chart puts the ordinary people on top. We are never shown how the particular process/activity is funded which always causes ordinary us to be listed last. Relative fortunes are made whether or not progress on our behalf is achieved or lost.
Are there aspects of Occupy Wall Street here? Have enough fundamental doubts about where we are going lasted long enough to wear thin our patience and trust with the direction we have been given?

Or are these spontaneous circles of hand drums, round dances and prayers only a passing sensation? Will that spectacular energy instead flatline, collapsing into Harp-ness and Alteo-isms?

Are the questions being raised by INM deep enough, the sense of needing to act and continue to act inspired enough to become seeds of grass.

Is INM by stepping up to protect waters and waterways that the majority of Canadians have apparently abandoned for the sake of debt reduction, instinctively doing what their Creator given instructions ask of us?

By continuing to defend those waterways after Bill C-45 is already passed; in defying the ominous omnibus bill tactics the Conservatives have unleashed, aren’t we protecting Canadians from themselves, their slipping grip on democracy?

Is refusing to silently approve the sale of indigenous resources to overseas interests a tipping point to anger, a level of resistance we have never before experienced ? The land we lost to others under suspicious circumstances, now sold by them to other overseas people not even living here, is heaping insult to misery?

So what is the practical intention, what outcomes are those grassroots, computer inspired relatives circling towards?

To me, unless INM actively considers what people like Winona La Duke and Honour the Earth are doing and saying in documents like “Sustainable Tribal Economies, A Guide to Restoring Energy and Food Sovereignty in Native America.” I won’t personally be involved with INM doings.

The corporate, capitalist system we impose on ourselves daily, internally, willingly is no different than the forces you are now so bravely opposing.

Just as true however is this breathtaking, beautiful and danger-filled actions INM is accomplishing. To me to see the so-called grassroots responding is uplifting and compelling.
You are all the benediction, the forgiveness mentioned in that quotation.

In 1516, Sir Thomas More wrote about the initial encounter between the indigenous and the king of everything culture his people lived. He described how we indigenous found freedom in a system of societal sharing in balance with a Creation Europeans had to that point never even imagined.

These grassroots circles on digital screens are actual images of who we remain even after all these centuries.

Still offering all that to Canada and Canadians…

Idle no more, as if you ever were….

- Charles Wagamese

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