Lay Down Thine Apathy, Canada

Ok, I’m talking about politics again. This is important. This is urgent. There are two bills right now that will further drag us down the road to a totalitarian nightmare state. Bill C-51, being voted on by the Senate on Tuesday, will basically establish a secret police and make it dangerous for any Canadian to voice dissenting opinions online or anywhere else.

The second has already become law. Bill C-24 turns millions of Canadians into second-class citizens who can be stripped of their citizenship and exiled at any point.

These two bills are ostensibly “anti-terror” bills, but the truth is they’re only going to cause more terror for Canadian citizens.

An image of a moose standing in water. Text reads: Dear Senators, in Canada you are more likely to be killed by a moose than by a terror plot. Use your sober second thought. #RejectFear and Stop C-51. leadnow.ca/c51-senate

Both of these bills affect me directly. I’m political online and I often dissent from the Harperium. If C-51 goes into effect and they start cracking down, I’m in danger of being arrested for “terrorism”. (Because talking about the issues in my country instead of repeating platitudes about how the Cons have our best interests at heart “incites terror”.) C-24 affects me even more directly — I’m one of those millions of Canadians who no longer can be assured of their citizenship. I was born in Vancouver, but I’m a dual citizen — and even if I weren’t, I’d still be eligible to apply for US citizenship. I can be stripped of my citizenship and exiled from my homeland.

My mom is in danger, too. She immigrated here when she was 3. She’s a Canadian citizen, but under C-24 she’s a second class citizen.

So far the list of things that can get you exiled isn’t large, but it will be expanded — and with bill C-51, what do you think the odds are that “protesting the gov’t” will be included in the list of punishable offences? Mom and I protest the Harperium and our provincial gov’t on a regular basis.

We need to fight for our liberty, Canada. We need to shed the shroud of apathy and stand up and demand our rights and freedoms back. Too long we’ve stood idly by while Harper and his cronies run this country into the ground.

There’s still a chance to stop these bills. Sign the petition against C-24, and contact your MP. It may be law but if enough people cry out, maybe we can get it repealed.

C-51 gets voted on by the Senate on Tuesday. Contact your province’s Senators and urge them to vote against it. (You can contact them here as well.) Don’t let them vote in a bill that will destroy our country.

Canada might not be perfect, but in my lifetime it hasn’t been this terrible. I am watching my country go up in flames — instead of things getting better, they’re getting worse. We went from colonialist assholes to progressive, if slow-moving, thinkers, and now we’re going straight into an Orwell novel. How did we end up moving backwards instead of forwards? What happened?

I was gone for 10 years in the States. I came back, and found my country unrecognizable.

Please, take steps to make sure this doesn’t happen. If you’re Canadian, sign the petition and email your Senators. If you’re not Canadian but you know some, share this post. Urge them to take action.

Do it for Canada. Do it for the True North, strong and free.

-Katje

Thanksgiving

Ok, it was yesterday so my timing of this post is a little off. I have been seriously low on energy lately so writing posts has been difficult for me to do.

Anyway. A lot of people expect that I hate Thanksgiving, because I’m American Indian, have a degree in First Nations Studies, and am very vocal about how awful it is that the US has Columbus Day and we shouldn’t celebrate a dude who killed, enslaved, and raped a bunch of indigenous North Americans. I mean, you know, just saying.

While I loathe Columbus Day and think it should be renamed into Indigenous Peoples’ Day or Bartolom√© Day or something else, anything other than honoring the father of the transatlantic slave trade, I don’t actually hate Thanksgiving, for all the parallels drawn between the two.* That’s because my experience of it is pretty different from the way the Thanksgiving experience is portrayed in a lot of western media.

That school play thing where half the kids dress up as Pilgrims and the rest are Indians and there’s a giant turkey and it’s all very sappy and simple and glosses over the intricacies of the actual history, not to mention talking about “the Indians” as if we up and went away to the Undying Lands all Tolkein Elvish-style? Yeah, never had that. (The play specifically, I mean. I’ve experienced plenty of talk about Indians being “gone” or “lost to history” and will likely continue to experience that on a regular basis.)

The pat story about how the Pilgrims and the Indians survived the winter through the Power of Sharing? Was never really a Thing. I wasn’t even fully cognizant of that being part of the story until I was in my preteens. At which point, well, that seemed ridiculous.

Thanksgiving was always presented to me as more of a harvest celebration, where we’re grateful for the fact that we have food and shelter throughout the cold nights, and as a reminder that not everyone is as lucky. I don’t know if that’s just the way I was raised or if it’s more common in Canada to see Thanksgiving this way, but it’s how it was for me.

Also, once Mom and I moved to Hawai’i and began celebrating the US version of the holiday, it had the benefit of being a holiday that I was sure to have with her instead of on access with my father. (There was one Thanksgiving I spent with my father, when I got a week off school to come back to Canada in October, and brought my best friend. She’s forgiven me for that experience, thankfully.)

Finally, I fucking love turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, and pumpkin pie.

So while Thanksgiving might have dubious origins, and while it may contain enough threads of colonialism or just, well, being a family holiday to taint it for many people, for me it’s a celebration of thanks, harvest, togetherness, and PUMPKIN.

PUMPKIN SPICE FOR THE PUMPKIN GOD.

*cough* Right. Where was I?

Thanksgiving! Yes! So we spent Monday evening at Mr. Katje’s sister’s place. I made a pumpkin pie and it was a huge success. It was only my second pumpkin pie; the first one didn’t have enough pumpkin spice in it and the pumpkin god was displeased. Also it was bland. But I have pictures of the first one and not the second one, so here you go:

Making my first pumpkin pie!
MIXIN IN THE MIXER
Annd in the oven.
OVENIN’ IN THE OVEN
Smells delicious!
READY TO BE DEVOURED. PUMPKIN SPICE FOR THE PUMPKIN GOD.

Looks delicious, doesn’t it? Well, its brother was.

If you celebrate Thanksgiving, I hope you had a wonderful one, full of all your favourite holiday foods and people.

-Katje, who is thankful for pumpkin

*Probably important to note here: I adored seeing 1492: Conquest of Paradise in theatres and I listen to the soundtrack to this day (in fact I’m listening to it now; it’s VANGELIS HE’S AMAZING). I visited Dominican Republic for the quincentennial celebration of the “discovery” by Columbus and there were huge parties. While now I acknowledge that Columbus was an ass and isn’t someone we should celebrate, that doesn’t change the fact that I didn’t know it then (I was 5 or 6 after all) and I still had an amazing time. And while I haven’t seen it in ages, I’m pretty sure I’d still enjoy the movie 1492: Conquest of Paradise even if Columbus is the protagonist. And I wouldn’t feel guilty, nor would I try to make anyone else feel guilty for enjoying that film or the music.

Just, you know, it’s possible to hold opposing thoughts in your brain at the same time without being devoured whole by them.