Through this blog, I have been sharing my experiences in sobriety, and I have been especially focused on my first year of sobriety that began twenty-five years ago. This week, events in the world are just so big and so important that I feel the need to reflect on the world around me rather than on my own story.
First, I want to recognize Chief Theresa Spence, who is on a hunger strike until the Prime Minister of Canada meets with her to talk about the terrible conditions on her Attawapiskat First Nation reserve in northern Ontario. Similar, awful conditions – including years-long boil water advisories, sub-sub-standard housing, high rates of suicide and low rates of employment – can be found in many Aboriginal communities around Canada. A new group, Idle No More, is calling on all people to “join in a revolution which honors and fulfills Indigenous sovereignty which protects the land and water.” Started by 4 women in Saskatchewan and building support across the country, Idle No More is fighting a new omnibus bill in the Canadian parliament that would unilaterally change many pieces of legislation that would greatly and negatively affect Aboriginal peoples both directly and indirectly.
At the same time, two horrific tragedies happened last Friday that draw attention to violence in the world. At a school in Newtown, Connecticut, 20 children and 6 teachers were killed by one gunman. In central China, a knife-wielding man slashed 22 children and 1 adult outside a school in Chenpeng village in Henan province.