In most of Canada, Mother Earth is wearing a blanket of snow. Accordingly, winter is seen as a time of reflection and rest for many Aboriginal nations, as human beings think about the events that have occurred since last year’s winter count (winter counts are historical documents that record events in pictures, with one picture for each year. They are used primarily by Plains cultures such as the Cree, Blackfoot, and Lakota).
Although Dragonfly often engages in critical inquiry around issues of “tradition” and practice, we aren’t about to mess with this one. On this New Year’s Eve, we encourage you to grab a mobile device, snuggle up under your favourite comfy blanket, and enjoy a hot cup of tea (preferably made from burdock, ginger, or dandelion, all of which support kidney function during the cold months). While you’re resting, click here to read Joyce Green and Michael Burton’s recent article for Canadian Dimension (reprinted in Rabble.ca), in which they make 12 recommendations on how Canada might create a post-colonial future based on the recognition of indigenous sovereignties and a reinvigoration of settler systems and institutions.
Your homework: What picture would you draw on the winter count to illustrate the current relationship between Canada and Aboriginal peoples? What picture would you like to see on next year’s winter count? This winter, let’s reflect on a world where social justice is not merely an abstract concept, but something we actually enact in our everyday lives.