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Grassy Narrows Trappers Track Equality of Justice

Thursday April 3, 2014

The non-native people symbolize justice as a woman.

There are statues of her gracing courthouses throughout the world.

The Supreme Court of Canada features one done in black stone. She is pretty ominous looking in that thick cloak, with that big sword handle sticking out.

The scales she is famous for carrying are not visible and this one in Ottawa, unlike most other versions, is not blindfolded.

Grassy Narrows trappers have been tracking her for over a decade. Perhaps they can help her find her way again as she appears to be lost. She has even desperately turned to creating clear cuts to find her way out.

What is she looking for, that caused her to be wandering our indigenous lands?

The Elders of Grassy once asked Canadians, “Where did you get your authority?”

They side stepped the question completely and said they have no mandate to talk treaty.
On what basis are they even here then?

The basis is those scales of justice the lady carries.

Those were fashioned from a doctrine Europeans made up called Discovery. When they landed here they right away told their kings, “Those aren’t even human beings over there. They therefore possess no inherent capacity to occupy land.”

They then said, “Well they aren’t even Christians.” Now they say, “Prove to us you use the land exactly as your grandfathers did.”

Our grandfathers whose life Canada flooded, polluted, clearcut and whose children they ripped away to further weaken his holistic hold on himself.…

A Doctrine of a Superiority is what those scales are all about…That is what causes Canadians to behave as they do…

The unexamined meaning of, ‘Indianess’ in St Catherine’s Milling, the “subject to existing interest’” in Section 109, the optimisms expressed in Section 35 might have tipped the scales in true reconciliation’s favour. Canadians however seem content with using their racialized economic, political, legal, and moral thumb to skew the balance in their unconscionable favour.

That sword Canadian law carries has already critically wounded Grassy lands. By the time that so called highest court decides anything the trappers entire land base will be naked ruin.

Beginning in April 2014, having foisted their flimflam of consultation; feller bunchers will roll again in Grassy’s home land, driven by that symbol of Canadian justice herself…

That sword has already been sharpened in the arrest of over 30 Grassy Narrows defenders of the land and their non-native allies… is never far from sight…

A plaque outside that bunker styled Supreme Court building tells how the judges themselves once asked to have their cloaks changed. Those judicial robes used to be made out of the felt that covers pool tables. When lighter material became available, when circumstances changed so people could see differently, it just made human sense to improve upon a previous condition.

Having had opportunity to work alongside a former Supreme Court judge, it hurt to see him twisting around an odious legal history to make it appear more palatable to more enlightened human relations standards.

To me, we indigenous need to take that Doctrine of Superiority to the international court. To see if it was ever valid and if it is valid today. We understand that that racialized superiority doctrine, as applied, is already embedded there, but has the doctrine itself ever been directly challenged…as a doctrine?

Trappers have a tradition of leaving cabin doors unlocked, with firewood chopped and some food in the cupboard –just in case someone needs those things some time to survive. Shoon and JB, the surviving plaintiffs of this now Supreme Court bound legal action, would probably invite a lost lady in for tea.

‘The personification of the divine righteousness of law,” might warm herself and tell us her story.

She was cast as the symbol of justice in the ancient human worlds across the ocean. She appeared as a Celtic goddess, then as Egyptian versions named Maat and Isis.

She got this Latin name Justicius, as we now know her as, by the Greeks and Romans. Even while she was being figuratively honoured, females themselves were legally excluded from owning property – within those very societies who laid the basis of Euro-Canadian law today.

Sound familiar?

Today woman doing the same work as men are still only paid 71 cents for every dollar a male makes and single moms are the poorest people in this country.

What started in misogyny has spilled over into racism… into this environmental injustice to all beings breathing.

Maybe that female justice woman needs to be reintroduced to Mother Earth – who wears natural law so beautifully the entire Creation is her statue. Perhaps together they can free us from these male made cloaks of fear of both the feminine and other cultures with their own pigmentation.

That statute in Ottawa needs to come back to life; she needs to walk into that court room with those trappers.

Until she does so, that Doctrine of Superiority and that earth destroying misogyny sentences us to a prison we need to find freedom from already.


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