Surrounded by silence, Indigenous People stand alone?
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Surrounded by silence, Indigenous People stand alone?

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John Ahni Schertow
April 17, 2009
 

When will decency, compassion and courage boil up within decent people, that they take action? That is, action within their own sphere of influence. Then, later, to reach beyond their own comfort zone?

Carey Conway, a former resident of the Attawapiskat First Nation, wrote these words early this morning on intercontinentalcry.org.

She was responding to an urgent situation that has emerged in the northern Ontario community of Attawapiskat, who recently declared a state of emergency out of fears that continued exposure to toxic fumes is threatening their children. The Canadian Government refuses to help them.

Looking around the world right now, I find myself asking something similar: Don’t we realize that our Silence is a form of consent?

I say this while thinking of the Naso in Panama, who’s village was recently destroyed by police. They can’t even seek shelter or gain access to food because the Police have them surrounded.

The Embera in Colombia, are in similar straights. They’ve abandoned more than 25 villages in recent weeks because a paramilitary group was terrorizing them, leaving them with no choice but to seek refuge among friends.

And then there’s the Samburu in Kenya. The government has been shooting them like chattel, dropping bombs on them, beating them with clubs, and committing other atrocities.

Why is no one else reporting on these situations? Why is nobody speaking up?

Are we really going to just sit around and wait for them to come for our children before we’ll say NO! ENOUGH!

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