by Sarah Spence
I’ll be honest, I have never been a very political person and I have struggled with finding my identity as a member of the First Nations. I can confidently say that both of these have been because of the barrier that separates the ‘Indian’ world from the ‘White-Man’s’ world. It’s sad to say that this barrier still exists and continues to shackle my identity in a state of limbo, as I assume it has done to many before me and will do to many after me. However, this is a reality that many Indigenous people throughout the world are faced with when going through the integration process into the non-Indigenous society. There are stereotypes and ignorance regarding these separated societies that get picked up, and the fact that individuals do not follow these stereotypical concepts about being of Indigenous descent can often make them feel fraudulent, ambivalent and confused.
When I first started hearing about Chief Theresa Spence’s hunger strike and the Idle No More movement regarding Bill C-45, I was slightly hesitant and skeptical of what my involvement should be. Then I watched a Youtube video of Chief Theresa Spence explaining the cycles of pain of the people in her community who are living in third-world conditions. One thing she mentioned in the video struck a chord with me: that children can’t even take a shower without the possibility of getting a rash because the water isn’t clean. It wasn’t until I heard those words come out of her mouth that I realized the ignorance that I had been carrying around throughout most of my life.