05-25-20 Jesse Wente: Broadcaster, film director and critic
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Starting their rights using their voice being heard Often the reaction to this is also an interesting thing to watch especially on assertions of sovereignty. Tell me a little bit about what you have witnessed when you seen. Indigenous people assert sovereignty. Well I mean I think the most common thing we tend to witnesses armed state of violence in response at least that's been the historic and current experience. And again I think that touches back to A lot of misunderstandings and lack of information certainly here in in Canada and I will admit that the situations are different North and south of the colonial border but You know the here You know I think a lot of Canadians don't realize that the vast majority if any actually First nations a meteor it communities and nations that were here ever gave away their sovereignty even in the treaties we would have signed with the case of my community with the British crown with the Royal Family or through to Canada. And so you know while the land may have been occasionally ceded. Sovereignty really was not and I think that is a challenge to nation states that in and of themselves are also still asserting their sovereignty on a daily basis. Because you know both America and Canada are quite young as nations go and so they still feel the need to constantly reassert their sovereignty which most nation states do But I think that that sort of denies or races the fact that he there were nations here before their nations. That are still here. That are these a lot of these. Nations are still sovereign in the way that they should be. They just don't aren't able to function that way. Because they are oppressed by the larger state. And so Yeah you get a lot of that discomfort but here in Canada where you can just go look at the founding documents of this country and you can sorta towel that you know what this country was set up for if you go actually read the treaties you can read that. Sovereignty wasn't seated in these agreements And so I think for a lot of Canadians. It's actually just confronting some buried truths that aren't taught in school here or at least not until very recently have been taught in school here and That does tend to shift the ground. But I think these are valuable conversations. Because I don't think places like Canada or the United States are somehow immutable things right there. There Nation States there constructs they can be moved and shifted. The way they operate can be moved and shifted just like they were when they were established. And I I think I think Certainly from my point of view in Canada recognition of indigenous sovereignty is actually the pathway for the Canadian state to realize its true purpose which is probably not as a settler colonial state. Even though that's how it was founded. I don't think most Canadians actually water live in that sort of place even if they do so sort of unknowingly and I think we need to actually have these discussions right. What sovereignty for our peoples would look like having control again Having some stewardship over the land again I think these are really important discussions if we want to advance these places to a more equitable hypocritical state and so I asked this question because oftentimes this is what people say is at the heart of the whatsoever. Tin Issue going on in. You have definitely weighed in about this. And of course sovereignty and assertion of it Tell us a little bit about where you currently stand seeing where things are right now. with blockades in in the Canadian government coming out and having words about this In anything even share in that Jesse. Yeah well I mean the I mean. The current situation is were sort of waiting. A lot of the blockades of come down Although there are still a few Because the hereditary chiefs out in What sort dinner have met with? Officials reached some preliminary agreements not really on the coastal Gatling gasoline pipeline but on some of the larger rights issues And so I think we're sort of waiting to see what that Comes of it. You know I think. The big piece is less the pipeline and more about sovereignty and rights And you know I think. The Canadian government has traditionally struggled to handle those issues particularly. Well I think they struggled year to do it Particularly well and you know. It's hard to imagine a settler colonial state like Canada sort of coming to grips with even its own rhetoric around nation to nation relationships when that would require to acknowledge that it is dealing with nations that have sovereign territories especially a place like with in. Which isn't even there isn't even a treaty And so You know I think they're gonNA struggle but I don't. I think governments are separate from people in the population and governments will move to meet the people because they're that's sort of how the function of this. This style of democracy works and so I take a lot of encouragement from the fact that if you look at the solidarity movements came around the blockades if you look at some of the opinion polls that were done which had know thirty nine forty percent of Canadians. A green with the fundamental issues. Around the the blockades that is the sort of support. We haven't seen here ever Quite frankly and I take a lot of hope from that and that I hope That that solidarity can actually bring about the change. We need maybe to not have to blockade to not be forced in the position of such an equity and and such violations of our sovereignty that requires this sort of direct action. So I think it's quite encouraging The solidarity we've seen despite you know you can get jaded by looking at twitter in the comments section on media websites. But I think this is more solidarity than indigenous peoples. I've ever seen in Canada. And that portends I think movement in the future on some of these court issues right. Thank you for that. And you know what we're gonNA take a call. We HAVE JANET WHO's joining us today In Benefit Berta Canada. My pleasure to have them a call in Janet. Thank you for giving us a ring. You're on the air. Hi Hi to Jesse Wendy and Hi Tara I'm calling from tree seven territory and Banff Alberta but I am from six nations and I just wanted to talk a little bit about The solidarity Actions and events that have taken place all across our territories and to mention that the celebrity events and actions are really our best defense against corporate development throughout our territories and The fact that you know The country the government In the corporations that run the country. Just do not like to hear the word no from Indigenous nations and that this is you know the the fight that we've been fighting for you know hundreds and hundreds of years And the best defense like I said is our solidarity and our generosity Between our nations and I just love to see that every time it comes up but I don't love to see it every time it comes up to you know what I mean and then the other point I wanted to make because you have been you know kind of bringing up the word. Reconciliation word That it's it's a bit of a I don't know it's it's been. It's been messy from the get-go ideas of what reconciliation really means. Who Does it mean And who is responding not responding to reconciliation and my point being that indigenous people needn't Feel responsible or feel. The need to participate in any kind of reconciliation. 'cause we have nothing to reconcile four and Jessie thank you for you know all of your words and all of the ways that you use all of your platforms to Promote the ideas Around you know indigenous people taking care of our own business. Thanks for that originate. Thank you for your call. Jesse turn it to you and.