Wild weeds of the field

It has been said on Six Nations that there is no such thing as a field of weeds, those are fields of medicines.

It’s all a matter of perspective. Learn what those plants are for, they say.

So when Canadians see indigenous people maybe they don’t really know what they are looking at. They don’t know who we are yet.

Instead their leaders such as John A. MacDonald and Duncan Campbell Scott keep mowing us down like weeds of the field — and not treating us like the medicine we are.

Thinking and rethinking about the after effects of colonization makes us examine instilled values such as keeping a finely manicured lawn. Everyone has a neighbour who sacrifices everything to have a perfectly landscaped area.

It has been written that the east coast Indians kept beautiful orchards and maintained the forests such that horses could gallop through the trees. We kept the forests by doing yearly micro-burns — busy year round keeping balance in nature.

These days everyone has a lawn mower and we just cut our grass as part of our routine, just like we cut our hair. We have a treasured and rare Carolinian forest, but we let it grow crazy and wild — some of the trees are dying and no one cares (actually there was a guy doing micro-burns and tending to a section of forest on Six Nations, but anyway).

Imagine if together as a nation we took a yearlong break from colonial grass maintenance and instead let all our yards grow out as a community. Then together we learn about the medicines we have been collectively killing for the last 100 years.

Lawns were originally for European aristocracy. So maybe our mowed lawns in Six Nations is a declaration of sovereignty in some way. Maybe yards are for practical reasons like keeping all the snakes and the wood ticks away.

We could look at maintaining our yards as an imported colonial custom, or a culturally adapted practice — it’s just a matter of perspective.

As a people we are tired of being cut down over and over again. It’s time for the Queen to fulfill her responsibilities and tell these Canadians that the Six Nations people are her equals not her subjects.

And she better do it fast too, because she’s getting pretty old.

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