Rez politics means we as Indigenous peoples are always fighting over power and control that doesnt really exist. So if that power doesn’t exist than why are there so many people in our communities who are earning exhorbitant amounts of salaries for a world of power that has not been realized?
Shouldn’t that money be used to build power and independance and not just adhere to middle-management of the Indian Act? I would argue or yell or scream that those monies are being mispent and allocated to the misguided and misinformed groups within the community and are dubiously rewarding people within a system that reperpetuates systemic oppression rather then tries to fight or mitigate that oppression.
It produces good results on paper and in formalized reporting procedures to colonizers, which is all the layers of bureaucracy really needs to cleave to show the banking system that their brand of genocide works. What about the massive refuse that is left off the books? These phenomena come in the forms of intergenerational nepotism, trauma, poverty, power imbalances, infighting, and absolutely zero capital gains, or even social gains that could create sustainable wealth. British Economist Adam Smith and Prussian socialist theorist Karl Marx are probably scratching their heads from their tombs and saying “WTF?! What did we do to these people?! This makes no sense!”
Solutions? (Sips coffee and takes a deep breath, and stretches neck muscles)
Have any of you seriously considered what a decolonial system would look like? Imagine band employees who work in these circumstances and under this hyperbolic closed system become educated by our band councils and become critically aware of their place in the engine of oppression? Then they can create a critical framework to move away from these cyclical and potentially violent upheavels that surface every once in awhile in our communities. Remember that violence and trauma in these instances are also by design by the society that upholds the reserve system and is not a result of innately violent and fanatical people who just mull about in our indigenous communities, these people are just fed up and know we can do better. I am one of those people who thinks we can do better.
Ignoring, surpressing, and blocking these necessary changes in indigenous communities by leaders only weakens and ruins the chances of liberation for the current and next generations of leaders. In fact, doing nothing doesn’t create leaders at all, it only creates more traumatized and stunted growth of each person enveloped in rez policies. Which means everyone becomes victimized, and everyone just takes turns at being the saviours and perpetrators of hurt and bad feelings on towards one another.
Peace and in pieces,
-Brandon Gabriel – k̓ʷələxʷəlstən