A Voice From the Grave

This entry is an excerpt from an article that was previously published in issues one and two of Black Seed Magazine, which is available from Little Black Cart. The entire article can be found online with the rest of the content of issues one and two at the anarchist library.

(Trigger warning was attached to original article, I was not happy when I wrote this, I am not happy now!)

On occasion I have made the acquaintance of travellers who come from the lands that lay across the shqwun’u. It is customary on my territory to receive visitors with respect and courtesy, to make them feel welcome, but not too welcome, in light of the behaviour of their predecessors. What unfortunately occurs during some of these exchanges is the very awkward confession from the visitors that they are very much surprised that I am not dead because they have been encouraged to believe that I had died long before I was ever born. This myth—that the genocide of the indigenous people of North America is a historical event that, although sad and possibly wrong, is a reality that cannot be altered—is quite chilling when it is you and your family are the people who are still being annihilated.

My name is S-kw’etu’?, I am not dead, that is a myth, and I am not actually even an Indian, that too is a myth. I am a Salish Warrior. I have the great honour of being a descendent of my ancestors who have existed on our territories for well over ten thousand years, something that is very sacred to me. We are of the Mother, without her nothing would exist. It is my responsibility as a Warrior to protect my territory and the life that exists on her, including the settlers. I put myself at risk to protect people being assaulted as well as to prevent resource extraction that is doing harm to the Mother.

Many people would not understand why I would even include the settlers considering all the misery they have created and continue to create. However, if I excluded anyone that would be assimilating to colonial culture which would require that I discard my belief in equality for all and become a racist myself. This I cannot do. Not only is it not physically possible being I am not ‘pure anglo stock’ (nor is anyone else), but settler culture requires me to despise myself and my family, which is out of the question. I am very proud of my family and love them dearly, in fact I cherish them, and will long after I join the ancestors. No, I cannot even pretend to be a settler, not even to prolong my life and even if I did it would make no difference to the state who is occupying our territories, because with racial genocide nothing you do will alter the attitudes and beliefs of those who are the perpetrators or the state. Basically, assimilating to the dominant, oppressive, Aryan culture will not change your race; ergo assimilation will not save your life. It will, however, cost you your soul, which is too high a price to pay when it comes to your own racial extermination. Colonial Canada has established itself as very much active in the genocide of indigenous people, despite the cover-ups and denial that have caused most people, even some natives and the larger percentage of the settler population, to be unaware of this fact, or, due to the horrors of this reality, stay sane through its denial.

Admitting to or facing something as horrific as racial extermination is not easy for anyone, least of all me. Writing about my own experiences is in fact very difficult. However, allowing the truth to be continually swept under the rug will in no way alter that reality. Is it safe to assume, or even intelligent to believe, that what is being told to you is the truth, even though it contradicts what is occurring right before your eyes. Are the lies more cunningly told any more believable than the ones more commonly uttered? Are untruths and myths made any more factual based only on the quantity of voices repeating what they have been told of tale? Not at all. But from their point of view, putting a positive spin on genocide is not a very easy thing for even the greatest wordsmith to do, so best we just shh, keep that quiet, the economy may suffer if we don’t.

Secrets. I dislike secrets a great deal. The whole nefarious world has secrets, and relies on them to continue plaguing all life with destruction for economic reasons. And we keep these secrets, only because for the most part it is too dangerous to speak the truth or to cry out for help. Instead, we whisper in each others ears, which excludes many from ever knowing who preys upon the vulnerable in their communities. The children, the elderly, the disabled, women, men—it makes no difference when the mandate is ethnic cleansing.

The differences at times are subtle, indiscernible to the untrained or disinterested eye. The superior eye of course see things through their own narcissistic blinders, other times they see things that are vile, sensational and extreme but if ignored or discredited these things will eventually go away so things can get back to normal. Canada’s “normal” being getting our genocide back on track and progressing. I am a genocide survivor who is not Jewish, nor am I hundreds of years old. I am not even close to reaching one hundred years of age, and there is less chance of me living to that age than there is of my dying a violent death. These are the realities, not the myths.

So what then does genocide look like when not being perpetrated by Nazis and the SS? What does it look like when not on the television, edited and formatted for the viewers’ entertainment or pleasure, heroically portrayed by Hollywood’s finest actors, who are very willing, for money, to provide everyone with steady streams of indisputable evidence of all that is right and just in the world? This caters to its advertisers’ needs for money, nothing more. Genocide and racial cleansing are not known to generate much interest in car financing or electronics so don’t expect to see much footage on the subject, but do expect to see a great deal about money and its importance.

For those of you who are unaware, or kept in the dark due to systematic racial intolerance, I will tell you what genocide looks like. It looks like apathy. It looks like deliberate marginalization based on race. It looks just like Canada, the multicultural home to racial oppression, human rights violations and injustice in North America.

A Voice From The Grave, Black Seed Issue Two