Christmas was unwrapped. Pigs and chickens got soaked wheat with their usual rations and extra straw. Farmer got a really good massage and here on the farm everyone was blessed with more food than necessary.
The oldest children came and went with their boyfriends. Their visits left us just a little disappointed with flash-in-the pan brevity. Farmer worked mornings throughout the holidays then went back to working full days.
I keep thinking we live in interesting times. Mahatma Gandhi probably said the same thing. In January of 1948 he was assassinated. But to assess his life by its ending would be a big mistake.
He led his people to freedom from British rule, self reliance and above all, he became a symbol of human rights and non-violence that inspired generations afterward to realize their own dignity by upholding the dignity of others.
At various times Ghandi was jailed for things like leading thousands of his people in a 200-mile march to the ocean to make their own salt rather than buy British salt from those who ruled over them. That's a beautiful thing.
Way out here in the south Saskatchewan hills, there isn't a great understanding of what the current Idle No More movement is about. Because sources funding our media ensure much news is filtered out, we remain ignorant. But around the world other nations continue to show their support for Chief Theresa Spence.
I have worked as a teacher in First Nations schools and am aware of the conditions under which many first Nations live and learn. I am aware of the destruction caused by tar sands, clear cut logging and other "industry" and laws that continue to leave a devastated environment in their wake. Perhaps most importantly, the petro-economy that fuels all this industry is unsustainable, polluting and extractive. It takes but doesn't give back, breaking the circle of life that sustains us all.
How appropriate then that Theresa Spence has decided not to eat. I watched a video today showing elders honoring Spence and cried. Many leaders have taken and not given back. Back door deals are struck to hide radioactive waste in the Saskatchewan North and there is silence. Nothing in the news at all. Most of us remain ignorant.
How wonderful to sit in silence and pray like Ghandi and our Chief Theresa Spence. Her silence calls us all to speak.