On Monday night we had our first film screening, and I walked away feeling like my eyes were now exposed more to the struggles of native Americans and indigenous peoples all over the world. Last semester in a class, “Women and Citizenship”, we spent a couple weeks reading about and discussing the genocide that paved the way for the birth of our nation continues to this day as we are ruled by an unmuzzled economic system designed by Europeans hundreds of years ago. Discussions in our class were usually very lively– so many people always had insightful points to make. Before too long during our discussions on the constant injustice facing Native Americans, we all got somber and quiet. Like the video with the drill and the blood, what outsiders have done to Native Americans is jaw-droppingly disastrous.
Maybe I am thinking too hard, but similarly to the quiet conversations about continual severe injustices to Native American in “Women and Citizenship,” I hit a wall when trying to think of the best way to make sense of my perspective on this issue. As far as I know, I am mostly descended from settlers and immigrants from Europe. Part of me wonders how important your actual blood is compared to who you identify with and support. Still, I am totally buying into the American society that shoves the cultures and populations of Native Americans into the periphery. I really liked listening to the speeches from Idle No More, the drum flash mob, and the teenager speaking extremely eloquently on environmental issues. All of these videos were made with good intentions and hopefully impact people’s lives positively. My favorite clip we saw though was the golf course issue near Montreal from the national film board of Canada movie. That video exposed the politicians and other grumpy (white men) trying to defend the construction of the golf course and justify there being a debate over the issue at all. Almost like reading bush-isms a decade ago, being critical of the oppressive forces that lead to extreme injustice is important in its own way. I always think peaceful solutions are the best and that attack-politics is slimy and no fun, but I felt like it was valuable that Alanis Obomsawin found a cleverly non-attacking way to expose the antagonists in such a candid way.