Three First Nations people stood in the doorway of the business I had been in. The street ran a flood. Water dumped out of the sky in sheets. ‘Scuse me, I said as I came out. Oh, oh, sorry, was the response. Man, what’s happenin’ out here?, I asked. Crazy, came the response. We stood there and made small talk. The rain did not let up. We stood together.
It’s one of my two favourite towns. Both are trading posts. In this area of the world it’s a 150 year old dance. Historically a chance to socialize. It still is. Find out what’s new. People move from group to group. What’s up? Who’s where? When you going? Where’s the meet-up?
The rez runs right up against the town. Two of them actually.
It’s a fine trading post.
One of my daughters has been shellacked time and again over the decades as a woman on a construction site, especially early on. Which was when one day she arrived on site in northern Alberta. It was an aboriginal crew. They sent you?, one asked. Yup, I’m it, she stared back. What’d you know?, another asked. More than you think, she shot back. You run that rig over there?, another said. Sure can, she repled. Then do it, the supervisor came back. She got in. She did. Grins all around. Where you from?, they wanted to know. She told them…and a farm. Man, we’re from the rez…we’re neighbours! You’re alright!!! Typical story. For her. For me. Not so different from her old man I think at least in this respect..
A meeting a month ago. Aboriginals came up. One older lady blurts out with no provocation whatsoever. Well, they just have to get jobs like the rest of us!
It’s a script.
A fed line.
Something’s grating in her.
And I get it.
She’s a pay-as-you-go-er.
Taught that from the start.
How diabolical to convince a whole race of lemmings that that’s life. When it’s just the opposite.
Brainwashed by decades of sitting in school…something that looks like a factory…that poison seeps into your marrow. Gets you ready to just follow along. Work by eight; off at five. How to be a good girl.
So there you have it. This town of mostly resentful colonizers locked up against the colonized. Business owners angry that natives would dare to clutter up the doorways to their businesses when it floods. Hmm. Imagine that.
Judgmentalism is the long shadow of the desire to punish is the long shadow of sadism and what’s-up-with-that?
There are other much more mentally healthy options.
And then to seek to punish a whole other people when they see through the lie.
I don’t want a job. Why would you impose that on anyone else?