Letter: The Indigenous souls in our own community keep our land livable

The true pandemic infecting the world is imperialist and corporate greed

To the Expositor:

Occasionally, I might take for granted what a great newspaper The Manitoulin Expositor is. However, as a Métis person originally from Sault Ste. Marie and having spent many years living in Toronto and assorted grand cities, I’m used to media bias in favour of the white supremacist and elitist pro-corporate paradigm. Maybe this week the stars were in alignment, but in the September 9 issue there just seemed to be a preponderance of inspiring articles from elders, Indigenous artists, or those spiritually motivated by their Indigenous soul. This rarely discussed term infers a psychic connection with nature that we all share, regardless of our delusional distraction with race, religion, nationality or sex.

The brief article about the comments of Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Glen Hare set the tone, with his gracious comment: “the best way to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the shooting death of Anthony ‘Dudley’ George at Ipperwash by an Ontario Provincial Police sniper is through continued public education.” Yes, it is “Time to start decorating for Harvest Glory Days.” Then, wham!, a knock out editorial: “Thorny questions arise in dealing with Canada’s past” reminds me of the thoughtful history of Canada’s colonial roots in ‘A Fair Country’ by John Ralston Saul. In this startlingly original vision of Canada, renowned thinker John Ralston Saul argues that Canada is a Métis nation, heavily influenced and shaped by aboriginal ideas: Egalitarianism, a proper balance between individual and group, and a penchant for negotiation over violence are all aboriginal values that Canada absorbed. An obstacle to our progress, Mr. Saul argues, is that Canada has an increasingly ineffective elite, a colonial non-intellectual business cabal, that doesn’t believe in Canada. It’s critical we recognize these aspects of the country in order to rethink its future.

The excellent open letter by Algoma-Manitoulin MPP Mike Mantha, the Part II of a series, ‘Defunded from day one: Indigenous-focused policing has 50-year history in Canada,’ ‘Toronto International Film Festival featuring Autumn Peltier documentary,’ ‘Little Current fish and gamers build salmon, rainbow trout spawning pool at Bass Creek,’ ‘Tehkummah assumes cost on Bowerman Trails in South Baymouth,’ ‘Hiawatha’s runs food truck full-time during pandemic,’ ‘Results shared from second annual Island-wide monarch butterfly count,’ ‘Keith Hopkin creates S.S. Caribou model to cure COVID blues’ and ‘Smart Green Communities launch regional energy and emissions plan for Manitoulin Island’ are all articles that collectively remind one not to hold our breath that either provincial or federal governments are ever likely to help us cope with the current global insanity. The true pandemic infecting the world is imperialist and corporate greed. It has always been the Indigenous souls in our own community who keep our land livable.

Keep up the great work.

Derek Stephen McPhail