Friday, September 11, 2015

Ancient Spirit ~ Modern Mind: To Vote or Not To Vote!

To Vote or Not To Vote?
     Let's look from at the posed question from the lens of an Aboriginal Canadian, Ancient Spirit Modern Mind is the "new adage" of the people of Huu-ay-aht  where I come from. I believe that its quite accurate. One difficulty I have always had residing in a country that is basically a Settled Colony, is figuring out when I am Aboriginal and when I am Canadian. I find that many customs, Including voting, are as foreign as the settlers that brought them.  I believe in what was taught to me by my very own knowledge keepers, the elderly advisors that that are simply called our grandparents. It was they whom taught our principles in life, our values that served us through ought the entirety of our lives. Values such as Respect for living things, Everything is one and connected, Taking care of the people and the Environment in which we reside in. It is our job to Care take for the future people of the world for the next Seven Generations.  

Settled Colony:
     A settled colony basically defined as the settled and the settlers are equally bound to one another. In short we are as stuck with them, as they are with us! In Aboriginal culture we the people are but a part of the world that we reside in.  We understand that all life is connected and we are watched over by our nations royalty, I believe in Aboriginal ideals. We are cared for by our families.  We tackle and solve our social issues communally. As a Canadian the lines are much more linear as opposed to being one and connected. As a Canadian my individual rights empower me, yet contrast with ancestral beliefs. As a Canadian my people were the last minority to get a right to vote on Canadian politics, that fact alone states how much Canada respects its Aboriginal Peoples. Imagine that new foreigners to our great land were able to vote before aboriginal Canadians! That is going to always be one hurdle for Aboriginal Canadians to overcome if and when they vote! 

The First Vote:
        In the late nineteen eighties as I approached upon voting age, I recall meeting an Democrat, whom at the time I thought he was a celebrity, and his name is Bob Skelly. Although he was nearing the end of a long and storied career as a BC MLA he served public office from 1972-1987, Longest running MLA in Alberni-Comox riding. I remembered this because he asked my age, he then stated that I was as old as he was in office. He asked me at the time what my political interests were. That moment opened the idea of voting, He was a teacher first, and knew full well how to engage in a conversation with a teenager. He said that voting was a right of individuals and each of us have rights to vote, and have somewhat of a say in the direction of our country. The one thing he did say that resonated; In the voting both, you are completely alone in what you decide. Others may try to influence your vote but when it comes down to it. The choice is yours and yours alone. That to me seems like an traditional value! 

The Power Of One:   
      In Aboriginal culture of beliefs the: "Power of One" is self control, and reminds us to make decisions cautiously and decisions are made from within. In life it is from with in our realm of teachings. values, and best interests that we have for our selves. In Voting this could be viewed in much the same manner,  discard the belief, that our leaders have to either be Conservative or Liberal. I am now more than ever, am pro choice,  when I think about that meeting I had with Mr. Skelly many, many years later. I recall the principle of voting and how that seems to align with traditional principles and values. So I do encourage voting amongst my peoples, simply because I understand that we are indeed in a settled colony, I cannot change that fact. As I understand things as they are.  We will always be in a settled colony, so I participate now with the purpose of electing the best person for the Job. I surly hope to Elect more Aboriginal Canadians! 

Present Challenges: 
     The most disturbing fact is the disconnect, to land, and natural resources that make our country grand. Canada used to be a leader among nations in environmental decisions. We have fallen far from grace, and can no longer ride those coat tails of a time long ago! We have heard from Aboriginal candidates, Doctorates, Elected Leadership, Everyday Citizens, and even Mrs. Universe 2015 stating if we should or should not vote (Video included in footer). There are many arguments for both yay and nay; Treaties are with the Crown (The British) and not Canada;  Some argue that it is against our traditional beliefs as many communities have traditional leadership as well as elected; Another argument is Demographic, Aboriginals are the fastest growing demographic in Canada. Their are many reasons "To Vote or Not To Vote".  What ever you decide, I say this, we are indeed in a Settled Colony our country is in a state of growth and change. Lets be the change, lets understand the differences that we each face! We are of Ancient Spirit and a Modern Mind.

Voting Forescast: 
     How do we best address our historic past, with modern nuances? How important is voting? Just like all decisions in life, we each make our own choice! I may have changed parties over the years and that uncertainty is what drives me the most. We aboriginals are all part of this country wether we like to admit it or not. We cannot change our past, our relationship with Canada has always been difficult to understand. Our country has reluctantly given us rights in our recent history. That history shows rights of equality, rights of gender, and rights of aboriginals was mentioned lastly. People imigrating to our country had voting rights before the Aboriginal Canadians. That is a sad fact, what do I think will change this great country of ours? When the whole country accepts that we are indeed a settled Colony, we are bound to one another. Let us get involved by getting more aboriginals, more gender equality, more minorities into office. 

In conclusion: To Vote or Not To Vote?, is as it always should be. An individual choice. I plea to you now consider taking time out of your day to Vote! Get involved "Be the Change" We are growing at an exponential rate, both as aboriginal communities and as Canadians. Change does not happen over night, it takes time and commitment. Lets get together all nationalities, and work together to better the world for future generations!! 

Mrs. Universe 2015: Speaks out on Elections 2015..

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