Strength Together – Will Cole-Hamilton

“The people of the BC coast, we’re all we’ve got. If governments aren’t going to speak up for us the only way to make sure that our voices are heard is to gather together and speak loudly.”

Video: Ryan Weaver
Editing: Rayne Benu



6 Responses to “Strength Together – Will Cole-Hamilton”

  1. jackminard says:

    Good to see your rational approach gaining momentum. My biggest dilemna has always been: why do we not get involved, why do we not get angry, why do we let ” democratically” elected officials protect and stand up for the tiniest minority (rich individuals who hold the “jobs” equation firmly), why do we allow toxic materials into our lives, why to hold the largest polluters up as “pinnacles” of society as they reap their profits? How did we allow ourselves to become so complacent and duped?

  2. Jo-Anne says:

    An Elder from a Coast Salish First Nation was quoted as saying “We have a shadow government in Canada” our politicians no longer control what the people want, it is industry who tells the government what they should do. First Nation communities have been “fighting” for a say on the lands, especially the extraction that rapes and pillages the land for every bit of valuable resource no matter the cost to the water, land and air.
    While the rhetoric is a new relationship with our people, a respectful dialogue and bringing our communities into the dialogue to address what concerns our people. The problem with this, the only voices in our communities who are heard by the Government are those that agree with the status quo. Modern day treaties is the new government tool, what this basically translates for those who seem confused looking from the outside in: Our people live in severe poverty across the country, many communities resemble 3rd world living conditions, so “First Nation Leaders” are offered deals with industry so they control the flow of money (something that doesn’t happen under the INDIAN ACT), to use this money to address drinking water, sewers, a severe housing shortage and “older homes – falling apart”, provide education dollars for the youth, provide some support for our elders, without government oversight and systemic claw-backs. The Government uses OLD funding models; OLD policies, which support the hard work of “colonizing” our people and this is at the crux of “modern day treaties”, many communities see no way out and are fatigued at watching ANOTHER GENERATION lost to our “historic story”.
    We fight government in the courts, and taxpayers pays billions of dollars of their money to fight our protected rights under the Constitution, tax coffers are always full to keep these in the government judicial systems for decades and then our communities face massive legal bills, so even a system that is suppose to be a separation from Government to make an unbiased decision comes at great expense, monetary and human toll. So while it is easy to promise at a “podium” during an election; “action” once again falls in 18th and 19th century policy.
    Canadians don’t understand this because at some level they believe the “colonizer story” that are people are lazy drunks, yet Government statistics show that First Nation have the highest sobriety in the country. Lazy is a symptom created by government with the restraints in our community. All you need look at in most recent days is the tragic event in Quebec and the outcry from Government’s around the world; organizations rallying around the Muslim Community, the public pouring in to pressure government to address what we are learning was just one disturbed person who could have did this grievance crime on the others he had no tolerance for, women and people who did not share his skin colour. This was covered in the press on the day after by every news company in fact CBC spent 70% of the day just covering this story….playing a roll in the pandemonium around this event.
    We have a 200 year old problem and it is our people who are changing things in our communities, the cost to our people is the “land”, why, our youth are dying!! So while organizations, environmentalists have adopted what has always been important to the indigenous people’s message – we are losing the foothold on the land under the constitution.
    I can only suggest that these organizations bring our age old problems and messages and question why some First Nations are working with industry. We are being divided again at the expense of what should be important (and is to us) the land, water, and air, but we are tired, we are beaten up, we see the majority of young being swallowed up by the same monsters of residential school and dying an agonizing slow death with no reaction from Government’s around the world, barely making a blip on the news and little interest from the outside. This allows our younger Leader’s to tell our Elders…look around do you think anyone cares about us, are we going to sit idol for another generation, if the policy makers in this country won’t change things for their “own” do you think after 200 years they think about us, they are going to DO ANYTHING. All they do is talk promises and NOTHING changes and our children are dying!
    Here are the words of our people amongst ourselves, not our Leaders talking to Government and industry – our people talking to our Leaders.
    I’m certain the methodology that exists in Canada will take precedent and while we sign away thousands of square miles over to Government for unfettered access it will be another story of too little….too late.

  3. Ian MacKenzie says:

    I have the same questions as jackminard has, and, similarly, have no answers. But I theorize that evolution has bred into our DNA the self protective factor called Greed. Also called anti-empathyism in my jargon. We’re more interested in enjoying the comforts of our very short and fleeting lives than we are in enduring the slightest hardship to protect the lives of our offspring. There are so few Ghandis amongst our woebegone species. Sorry about the pessimism inherent in this statement, but that’s my theory.

  4. Bill Hadgkiss says:

    We have a chance to do something and it’s the best opportunity we have had for a long time.
    There are many wishing they had put the effort into the election that is now going into protests. The election process for change is the most efficient of our options.
    Ask, or be, the BC Green candidate in your area how you may help them help us and our children.
    Get out and help your BC Green candidate win this BC election in May.
    Together we CAN improve BC first, Canada next…

  5. Roberta Clair says:

    One at a time we will stop Kinder Morgan.

  6. Frances Dietz says:

    It just seems to be, historically as well all over the world, that the only way change REALLY happens is when the People physically come together to make a stand. Even when a revolt is passive, it incorporates huge violence. There is a saying about the “pen being stronger than the sword”. I don’t know if I believe that.

    As long as we remain comfortable enough just to write about something, just to talk about something, just to allow our so-called ‘democratically elected government officials’ take care of things, or depend on the courts to do the right thing, WE the PEOPLE do not REALLY mean business, as much as we might like to say we do …

    The human species, in biological terms, GENERALLY tries to ‘get-by’ the easiest, least aggressive, laziest way possible. As long as the person is satisfied to ‘get-by’ by sitting on their ass, bitching and complaining through ‘talk’ and ‘pen’, not exerting much energy in a ‘battle’ or not getting their feet wet nor their hands dirty, that person will remain so satisfed.

    I will be the first to admit that I fall into this category many times. Only if something becomes so unbearable to me personally, that I DO OR DIE, can I accertain that some kind of change WILL happen.

    I feel that WE as a PEOPLE are at that point when it comes to being pushed into accepting things we are not going to accept!!

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