Friday, February 17, 2023

Our Reserves are Gardens

 Warning: Metaphors, Praise, Gratitude, Pride. 

So someone had the nerve to say our communities, our Reserves, our Homes are shit. The easiest position people can take, is a negative one. It takes no effort or thought, to take a dump on some place, some person. In almost every situation, there will be people who will take a negative view, a negative position on something. We look at a country and we see only the ugly going on with them. We don't see the good, the everyday Samaritan, the quiet heroes, the helpers, the care-givers, or the beauty. In Syria, it is a country filled with so much despair, injustice, crisis and heartbreak. Still there are flowers growing among the decay of the Earth. Turkey and Syria experienced a devastating earthquake, and people are showing their hearts. It is amazing to see the beauty of people especially in a place of horror. It is easy to look at a situation, a place and the people and take a pessimistic stance, "Oh the Lord is punishing them for being Brown people." Pat Robinson, a famous Preacher, once blamed Haiti, a country of Brown people,  for being hit with an earthquake: he said the "pact with the devil" is why they had to pay, for revolting against the French colonists., so the earthquake was punishment on them. In contrast you have real compassion with folks like the Rohingya refugees. These people were run out of their homes by Myanmar military. They have virtually nothing, but still they gathered what little they have and sent it to Turkey. Now there are some real values of goodness, kindness and generosity right there in those people. While a human maggot like Pat Robinson, is hoarding 100 million dollars of corrupt cash so he can take it with him to buy life back from Osiris, (God of the Dead) at least that is what I heard. Everyone wants something but not willing to do good to get it. 

There are things which make a place, a country, a community into a beautiful garden . It can be the beauty of the land and it can be the beauty of people. This is true of our Reserves. They are gardens. Gardens  which can grow amazing things. I am fortunate to be one of those flowers raised in a Reserve garden. No doubt there are/were weeds in the garden that made it rough at times. The overall beauty of the Reserve was/is not only the land, the river, but the people. Sure in our gardens there are some poisonous plants (Purple Pitcher, not poisonous but a carnivore and that is something cool and creepy) and nuisance flowers like the Purple Loosestrife (breeds unchecked, like rodents and chokes out other garden life). Growing up, I could be seen as a bad weed. Not ugly as "Boo-boo-shuck," the Bull Thistle. But it was the grace of people which I remember on the Reserve. This one time, I was busting light bulbs in the old Arena. An older guy, in his 20's, caught me, kicked my arse and told me not to do that. He said he wouldn't tell my Dad this time, as I would get it at home from my Dad (and rightly so). This guy was looking after the community in a way he knew how and was good to me as well. A good lesson for me, don't break stuff if you're going to get caught. 

I am very lucky that I can remember my Mishoom, my Kokum, Granny and Granpa. Lot of Aunties, Uncles and Cousins, friends help shaped my view of the Reserve. The Reserve I know, has great people,  good life and a feeling of pride. You just can't beat feeling part of a community. Growing up we enjoyed the river. We did loads of swimming at our Granny's sandbar, we went swimming and fishing at the Treaty Point and Baggo's Point. When there was a lot of rain, the road ditches with fill with water, and sometimes we could swim there, not really swimming but mucking around in the mud water. Walking in the bush and picking wild plums, chokecherry's, it was awesome. Visiting with cousin's at your Uncle and Aunties places is part of the community experience. Going into the neighboring town and being sworn at by the local town youth. The garden lines were clearly strung out, between Reserve and town. We lived in a beautiful garden while the town was only viewed as a store, a place to go shop. I am so grateful to have been part of our Reserve where we knew who we were/are. You can't buy that in any store, the pride, the love of our ancestry.  

The fact our Reserves are beautiful gardens are not lost on our people. We still have the connection to a larger community, a rich history of Tradition and to the Land. We may have some weeds, some poison which has touched our garden over the years, but we don't let it tarnish the view, our garden is full of beautiful flowers, beautiful plants. And the thing about gardens, a little manure even helps it grow. 

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