Bonus Episode: Sacred is Sacred!
Everyone. Welcome to this bonus episode of all my relations antiquing I felt like with some of the stuff that was going on in the world this week around Notre Dom and all of the indigenous response to the burning of the cathedral that we would take opportunity to kind of drum in and have a quick conversation with one another about what was going on. If you like these short formats, we might be doing some more of it. But in till then we'll have a new episode next week. What? Hello friends and relatives today. We begin. Our episode sacred is sacred with love and condolences to our relatives. In paris. In fact, that is why we are here today we wanted to discuss Notre Dom and the outcry of public support. And then also the response from our indigenous community and other POC allies in the aftermath of the fire. Yeah. I mean, I've been shocked by some of the things that I've been reading on social media. And I also shocked that that that fire happened and it brought up a a whirlwind of of thoughts and images. Really? I think of like the images of of standing rock burning or the images of old man house burning and and sacred things in general burning and it, and it kind of has been a triggering moment for me how how about you Adrian. Well, I think that you and I have had slightly different responses to things like I've been I was sad. I guess at the burning of Notre Dame. I think that there's a lot of important artwork. And there is something to be said for the cultural space that the cathedral Holtz. But I was not I didn't find a lot of the responses super-problematic. I mean, I think I saw. I understood where they were coming from. And I understood why there was so much anger and outcry from indigenous communities and other communities of color around this particular moment, so maybe we can just take a moment to discuss some of those opinions, and I pulled up some different social media posts from some friends and some different opinions from different media outlets. Would you like to begin Adrian by sort of reading or echoing what some of those things say sure, so Doug Parker, who will is someone that we both know and respect very deeply said on Facebook. And it looks like it may be a quote from someone else said, quote, if two men in a world of more than seven billion people can provide three hundred million pounds to restore Notre Dom within six hours than there is enough money in. In the world to feed every mouth shelter every family and educate every child the failure to do. So as a matter of will and a matter of system, what do you think about that? I mean, I think it's true. I also think that the Catholic church is one of the wealthiest organizations on the planet and the Vatican holds vast vast amounts of wealth. And so the fact that folks are pledging money to them feels uncomfortable to me, I also think about how much atrocity has been inflicted on our communities by. Christianity. And by the Catholic church in particular. But I also do know that there are a lot of folks in our communities who are deeply Catholic or are deeply Christian, and that those systems of faith, really. Provide comfort and support and foundation in their lives. And I recognize that as well, he. Yeah. I I saw this post from Dallas. But it's from Arash sufi, and it says, yes, it is tragic that a church that took two hundred years to build on the backs of poor folk burnt down today in Paris. But eurocentrism is when you scroll past an ancient mosque in Palestine being demolished, but cried cheers. When something happens in Europe, just last week, Israel converted a historic mosque older than Notre Dame into a bar in the past few weeks. We have witnessed the burning of historic black churches, and we have seen sacred. Indigenous lands destroyed for pipelines. Not to mention the history of the Catholic church Nutro cities. It has been behind in Latin America Middle East, Asia and Africa have sympathy when it comes to European tragedies. But sometimes struggle with empathy part of my decolonisation. Processes removing the eurocentric lenses in which I once feud the world. Okay. I said a lot of people riposte this on social media. And I think that's where I I like had this moment where I I was just like, wait. Hold up. Hold up. Okay. First of all like, I've been to to this cathedral in Paris. And I remember the the the experience I remember walking in and being overwhelmed by its beauty. And by the these massive arches that I thought of being built in the sixteenth century. And wondering how they like man had the ability to do such majestic things at the time. And I remember feeling a little bit of like, ooh, you know, like, it was it was stolen resources that created created this in and knowing that that was a real thing. But at the same time, I think of my relatives. And the way that we behave on the res-, you know, when families that may be our arch nemesis, or politically we have very different opinions when they suffer loss or tragedy. How we will in that moment let that lie and go to the funeral and help start the fire and make fish and cook and be supportive and loving. And I think that we have this traditional knowledge structure that tells us we hold space for one another especially for prayerful people. And I think that this moment right now like, you know, twenty four hours after the flames have been put out is not really the right moment to begin politicizing in pointing fingers. I mean, can we just give them a moment to mourn, perhaps before we make it into something that fits within our agenda? I'm crinkly my face. I don't totally agree. I think so for me, I can totally understand -cause. What we talk about on this podcast our relationships in relation -ality. And to me there's a difference between I can support my friends and loved ones who like I have a lot of Pueblo friends and relatives who are are Catholic, and that this will be a major loss for them. And I can support them as individuals as human beings who are are experiencing a loss while also being heavily critical of the system that Notre dam represents. And so to me it's kind of like when we talk about after a mass shooting and people are like, oh don't politicize it we need to mourn the victims. But like one do we talk about gun control if not immediately after a tragedy? So to me, it feels like now is the time because a lot. Of non native, folks. Like, and this is what a lot of them memes are saying to me is that folks are like this happens to us every week. This happens to us all the time like are indigenous sites are just as sacred as Notre Dom, and you bulldoze them, and you burn them down. And you don't think about the implications of that for us. And so notice this feeling that you are feeling when you're seeing this thing burn in front of your eyes. And there's nothing you can do that hopeless that helpless feeling. That's what we feel. And so to me, it feels like this is a moment to capitalize on that to try and get some folks to understand what it feels like to be us when we see our sacred sites destroyed four whatever construction project or pipeline or shopping mall, or whatever it is. So I can have I can empathize with the folks who are feeling loss. But the Catholic. Churches so powerful. It's one of the most powerful institutions in the world. So us criticizing the Catholic church in this moment is not hurting anyone in my mind. Indigenous goddess gang put up a post saying the concern and dismays being felt by many around the world. Now, imagine that the damage to this historic and religious site was caused by pipeline running through it by fracking or due to development, the shock and dismay is the type of feeling digits people feel when our lands and sacred sites are damaged and are threatened, and that was a quote from Casey Duma, and you know, I can relate, you know, I've seen I think about old man house burning and our long houses burning in the northwest. And and I think about those Barrio sites like the canoe bone yards in the places where we fought really hard to protect to try to protect the gravesites in the sacred sites. In our many of our traditional spaces and. And I realize the importance of those traditional sacred spaces, and that's partly why I have empathy for these people that are morning because I know how the ways it hurts. And I think that if if we politicize the moment, I'm not saying that there isn't room for that conversation, and there should be. But I'm I do believe that that we have this human responsibility to to hold one another when when when suffering and in the same way that we want these same colonizers and oppressors to to be mindful of our sacred sites. We them. I just don't think that there's any difference. I mean, I I know that I know that there's power structures that play but. I just can't imagine somebody, you know, suffering right in front of me, some their house burning or or them being shot gun or some sort of crazy tragedy, and and not just taking a moment to to care for them. It just seems basic to me, and I think again, I'm not in disagreement that the humans that are suffering should be acknowledged. But I think to me too. Say that indigenous Meam accounts or indigenous accounts should not be posting these sort of gleeful things in this moment. Feels in some ways kind of like Thome policing which like were in such positions of marginalization as indigenous people that like no matter what our sponsor things. There's always going to be someone who says that it's not the right response that we should be going about it in like a nicer way or a calmer way or a less aggressive way. And we've seen that from the beginning in terms of our resistance to set loyalism as a whole is. It's always like well. We might listen to you. If you were just nicer about it is something that people tell me on the internet all the time. And I don't think that's the case. I think that people just aren't gonna listen, regardless. And so if we police the way that folks are going about their response to things I think that doesn't help the situation either like people should be allowed to voice their anger, and people should be allowed to voice their their feelings of upset that are sacred sites aren't taken in the same way that we don't get pledges of three hundred million dollars within hours that we don't get the same level of recognition or that. When the black churches burned in Saint Louis that people didn't see that as a similar level of tragedy or something worthy of notice. And so I think that this is a symbol. It's not necessarily about the actual act for some people. It may be but it's a symbol that is represented. Tive of the power systems at play and whose sites are considered sacred and who's loss is considered real loss. And that's the feeling that is coming out in all of these posts is it's been a long time coming and this is now a symbol that lets us talk about these feelings that we've had for a very long time. Yeah. You're talking about the seventh district Baptist church. Fires and Saint Landry. The. Yes. Yeah. The New York Times wrote about it. The headline is black churches destroyed by arson see spike and donations after Notre dome. Fire and the first paragraph says the fire at Notre Dame cathedral on Monday prompted immediate pledges of millions of euros to help rebuild it on Tuesday. Spur donations to do the same for much smaller places of worship thousands of miles away. That were recently destroyed by arson a crowd cunning campaign for three fire ravaged black churches in Louisiana receive more than one point two million after it was widely shared on social media on Tuesday. Many users noted that while hundreds of millions of euros had already been pledged to rebuild the famous cathedral, the small churches in Louisiana will still struggling. I I find it really at the crowdfunding campaign is now up to one point five million. And it's it's amazing. How this is like so quickly spiked. I think what is it like maybe standing rock raised like two million dollars total right for the whole for the whole situation. And part of the reason why the oil is flowing through the Dakota Access pipeline is because there wasn't enough resources up front in the beginning to really truly fight this big enormous oil company with in, you know, in in the channels that we have to which is in court systems, you know? Yeah. And even like, I just keep thinking, and I think a lot of people are thinking of the same thing in terms of standing rock where in September of the movement one of the former tribal historic preservation office. Offers on was granted access to private land. Which is adjacent to standing rock and was able to do an informal survey of that land that he had previously not had access to and that was in the path of the pipeline and identified something over twenty burial sites and potential burial sites. And a lot more of these archaeological features that he said were some of the most important archaeological findings in the state of North Dakota in hundreds of years, and he presented that information in court as a plea to get a temporary stoppage of the pipeline. And after he presented that information. Twenty four hours later, the Dakota Access pipeline construction workers went out to that exact area that he had identified on a Saturday of a holiday weekend and bulldozed it. And that. Was barely a blip in the media coverage of what was going on. And like the loss involved in that. Like, it makes me choked up to even think about it that like they skipped fifteen miles of their construction. They like were not even close to the site. They brought the bulldozers on the Saturday of the holiday weekend and just bulldoze that spot. So they wouldn't have to face the consequences in court of they're being burial in sacred sites. There. Unlike the loss involved in that, and I was there that day that was that was September third Labor Day weekend. When they also brought yeah, brought dogs and many brain bit by by the Dakota Access pipeline's, private militia who I think they're dogs bit like over fifteen different victims. I myself brought three boys to the hospital that day who all had broken ribs from getting beat up that day. And I I remember. Yeah. I was there. Yeah. And I think that that's what folks are thinking about when they're seen this public mourning for a secret institution that when we were mourning for a sacred space. We were met with dogs that were attacking people we were met with bulldozers like, I think it's stirring up a lot of those feelings that I think the conversation is also about visibility right? Like what you're talking about? Not just that we were married dogs and bulldozers and water cannons and massive arrests and felonies. But also that we were met with visibility right? Like that. I think that we can Amy Goodman was there and that aired on democracy now, and that going on democracy now actually really like conf made the the movement much larger was. Yeah. Major leaving cut because. It did it did it completely. I think the next week. You know, it was like there was a thousand people there. And then there was ten thousand people there. So the media attention really helped and all the media outlets came after that. But they there wasn't much run time. Right. Like, I remember watching the the live feeds, and and watching people being sprayed with water cannons and freezing temperatures and people getting hypothermia and looking up at national television, hoping that I would see some sort of coverage. I was looking for solidarity among strangers in. There was none of that. Just wasn't happening on national on national news, and it's still not happening right because what's happening with the Cariboo in the Arctic or with keystone or with lying three or what's happening on the bayou or with oak flats or with or bears ears or Monica or hickory ground or any on. We have we have Notre don's happening all over the place all the time. And so I do think that that's just that's the frustration. That's the voice that is coming out. And I think we both are on the same page in that we both think that there should be sympathy and empathy extended to folks who this is their place of worship, this is Representative of their their space of prayer their sacred space, and that we should be extending the the. The hand of understanding and healing to them. I'm in agreement with that. I don't know. I think it's an important time for us to also voice these other stories too because. Those are the feelings that are being raised for folks. And I think they should be able to have an outlet to to voice them. He I mean, we can't preach decolonization and say that the revolution will be indigenous. And then the very next day, you know, laugh at somebody suffering and just doesn't work that way. Not in my opinion. I do believe that sacred a sacred, and where people are praying they deserve respect and tolerance is the key. And you know, I understand people's response. But I also think of my grandma, you know, and and I think of many of our grandmas who. Became Catholics willingly or unwillingly. And I think if people like from my residues, there's a small Catholic church on res-, and there's this man father, Pat, oh, you've told me stories of father, Pat, and how father Pat has you know, will hold space for people like when we have funerals. We have the shaker church sing and Seattle and people will sing and sometimes Buddhists we'll get up and pray. And then like the fourth Adventists will also get up and pray and and their space made for everybody to pray. And when when people would like to in however, and whomever, and it's a really beautiful practice that I've never seen outside of my traditional. Territories. And and I am grateful that I was raised with that sort of tolerance. And and so I just like to extend my love and respect to the prayer for people that are suffering. And also tell you know, like the stronghold of the indigenous scholars and thinkers that I understand what you're saying. But I also I also hope that that we can also sort of lead the revolution in in showing our traditional teachings and and in our traditional teachings. I do believe that tolerances amongst them. So that's my two cents. I think that's fair. I got I got plenty of other thoughts. But I also think that we have kind of we just wanted to create this space to sort of think through some of the things that when we realized that we both had slightly differing opinions on what was going on. But I do extend my sympathies to folks in Paris in our Catholic relatives in our communities who this is a major loss. But I hope that we can also keep pushing forward the conversations around our own sacred sites as well. Wouldn't it be amazing, though, if this became a pivotal moment where we suddenly raise two hundred million dollars for keystone? Or three or the Arctic? Yeah. I mean in that sense. Like, this is when you kind of want to understand you wanna stand from the mountaintop and say like look protect bears ears an oak, flats and Monica and all of our other sacred sites that that have value in meaning to our people, and and one is in more sacred than the other. Word. Well, thank you all for tuning in and listening to Matik in. I have a conversation from across the country where grateful to to have you listening and tuning in, and please share with your friends like us on I tunes rate. It that really helps us out. We love you. And we'll see you next time. I'll relations.