Revealing the anti-Indigenous nature of its colonial past and present, self-absorbed Nelsonia and its WASPy civic staff dared to reject the request from the local stop of the Sinixt’s Canoe Journey celebrating the connection of these river lands with the salmon and its original peoples. In doing so, the recent contentious debate at Shitty Hall over a measly three grand after the city just doled out fifty thousand bucks to its misruled community theatres alone confirmed that the White Heritage City has no budget line items in its entire whitewashed hierarchy whatsoever that address how to engage in reconciliation with the sovereign equal nations in these parts whom they token-acknowledge at the beginning of each meeting as the stewards of the ground upon which they squat in their ivory towers.
How can anyone with a caring soul and a peaceful mind refuse such a beneficial request that supports “the journey, which will take place in June 2023, (as) an assertion of the inherent belief that Indigenous peoples of the region are stewards of the river and of salmon — considered to be one of their first foods — and that their language and culture is a vital part of this connection”, based on “the Salmon Ceremony (which) was a traditional and spiritual way of addressing the needs of the people and the natural environment”, at what “may be one of the most important moments in history to give voice to the Indigenous community so that we can hear and be a part of a voice that speaks to the relationship with and responsibility to the land, waters and natural environment that we must share”? Could you say no to an inspiring cause like that? Apparently, the corporate stooges in the municipal capstone can!
At a time when Indigenous leaders are demanding the cessation of the paramilitary Mounties’ Community-Industry Response Team which is inherently biased based on its title alone, while requesting a review of the discriminatory Cannabis Act that was dictated by Beastly Colonia without First Nations’ participation as mandated by internationally adopted law, the Executive Dictators of the Nelsonia Capitalist Theatre and the District Arts Council are advocating for the Nelsonia Stop of the Sinixt Canoe Journey; even though both power-mongers are willing to accept tens of thousands in compromised grants from the oligarchic Columbus Basin Distrust authority that imperiled the existence of the Sinixt and their life-giving salmon in the first place on this stolen headwaters landscape.
Indigenous groups have been highlighting how municipalities must budget for truth and reconciliation with our First Nations and their peoples throughout all aspects of civic bottom-lines in every department in order to ensure their compatibility with the justice-driven doctrines as laid out by many federal and Crown-negotiated laws. Instead of basing its WASP-kissing accounts on Indigenous rights and respect, the Queen Consort City’s manager of Regulatory Services who is paid by the public purse recommended council “deny the (Sinixt) request and suggest applying under the next CIP grant funding cycle for 2024 events”. The imperialistic nonsensical reason given for Shitty Hall’s flat-out refusal of an extremely important cause featured unintentional admissions of guilt about how flawed city policy is due to the farcical fact that “approving the request would result in the City incurring an unbudgeted expenditure, and that city council did not have a grant-in-aid policy and did not typically entertain one-off funding requests”. The telling word ‘unbudgeted’ betrays how all of the supposed progressive leftists on Shitty Council over the years have never bothered to put a single item involving reconciliation and improving relations with the persecuted Indigenous peoples around here into their money-grubbing pyramids of misogynistic bean-counting.
Rather than prioritize their rearrangement of civic affairs into a reconciliatory enterprise for the betterment of citizens and Indigenous tribes alike, the Manmorons at Shitty Hall would prefer to nitpick over three thousand bucks at the same time when they are obsessed yet again with the minutiae of patios versus parking in their fetishistic love affair with Wormtongue and the Chambermaids of Commercialism’s sanctified restaurants and complicit booze merchants. Oft-delayed composters given only to the entitled residents of Fairview and an over-budget delayed dock-canopy fiasco are the real focus of Shitty Hall’s deluded search for gaudy irrelevance over specific improvements for the targeted people most often arrested by the racist Nelsonia Police State.
At least newbie Councillor Payne had the proper wherewithal to point out at the shocking Shitty Council meeting that, “it is extremely important for us to emphasize the fact that this is not a one-off … but a foundational part of what we do,” while she “called for a line item to be added in the City’s operating budget for reconciliation, to adequately resource activities and events around those issues… (for) if there is not such a line item, it needed to become part of the coming strategic planning process and make it a budget line item… (which) is just a stronger commitment to this, as a municipality, that we need to be doing”. When you hear at least one civic representative of the voting taxpayers speak such obviously good sense (while still limited in scope!), it makes one wonder how pretty well everyone else involved can be so off-target for as long as they have been thus far on such a key issue in the regressive twenty-first century, wouldn’t you say? Or, do you like it that way?