When are people going to learn that money cannot be eaten?

‘We warned that someday you would create that which you can’t control.

And that day is here.’

 – Chief Arvol Looking Horse, 2017

What will it take for humankind to understand that the destruction they are causing to our Mother Earth will kill us all?

When are humans going to realize they cannot eat money?

You can have all of the riches in the world, but if there is no world left, what will you do with all of that money?

And why, in the name of all that is holy, is the government rounding up all the people who actually care and are doing something about it and throwing them in jail?

If humankind doesn’t start listening to the Indigenous People of this world, who are desperately trying to save Mother Earth and her lifeblood (water), there isn’t going to be a world left to save.

There is no Planet B, despite what you may think.

Remember the great flood, your God’s way of eliminating the evil in this world?

Do people really believe that this won’t happen again? Does humankind think that this very real problem will just go away by burying their heads in the sand and ignoring what is as plain as day?

As generations of people have passed the buck to the next generation to deal with the mess man has created on this beautiful planet, things have gotten to the point of no return, and it baffles me beyond comprehension as to why man thinks they can just throw their money at the problem and it will change.

Don’t get me wrong, Mother Earth can and will heal herself. The question is, will we still be here to witness that?

You know that feeling you get when one of your loved ones is sick or dying?

The overwhelming feeling of helplessness and sorrow, the physical pain you feel in your heart?

This is how I feel watching the incredible devastation in British Columbia.

I am not alone in this feeling, but I struggle to understand how, and why, many people continue to remain blind to how this could have happened.

“I can’t imagine, or even fathom being able to relate to the pain you are going through right now.”

This is the response I received from a non-native friend after I tried to explain to him how incredibly impacted I am by the recent climate crisis happening in British Columbia right now, and it got me thinking.

In that one statement, a glimmer of understanding began in my soul.

Are Indigenous People alone in their connection to Mother Earth? Does the white man not understand that they are destroying the very thing that gives them life in their quest for power?

We (the First Peoples) have been given the gift of knowing, of being one with the earth. We feel that connection deeply, and with that gift, we were given instructions from Creator to protect Mother Earth, protect the waters and be the caretakers of Turtle Island.

The glimmer of understanding in my soul is telling me that they don’t feel this connection; therefore, they can’t comprehend that greed and the need for power over every living thing are not how things are supposed to be.

In the teaching lodge, I learned that the four colours of man each were given a set of instructions from Creator, ours is to be the caretakers of Turtle Island, to protect the earth and the water.

It is a commonly-held belief that the white race of man has forgotten their original instructions from the Creator.

The absolute devastation that happened in British Columbia is a direct result of the clear-cutting, the fracking, the pipelines, the greed for natural resources that overwhelms common sense.

As the government steps in to send aid to those affected by this disaster, they are also sending the RCMP into Wet’suwet’en territory to arrest the people standing up for Mother Earth, trying to stop the madness.

The justification being put to you by mainstream media and the government is that consultation was done. The Wet’suwet’en-elected council gave permission, and therefore they speak for all of the people, but this is only their justification of things.

We call them “token Indians.” Like every other race of man, we come with differing opinions, and we are not immune to greed.

Just because you ask for permission from one group of people who agree with what you are doing does not mean that they speak for all.

Elected band councils are merely an extension of the Canadian government, put in place by the Indian Act, to control the land and resources.

We have hereditary chiefs and clan mothers who are the authentic voice of the People, who do speak for us.

And they have spoken.

“The red nation shall rise again, and it shall be a blessing for a sick world; a world filled with broken promises, selfishness, and separations; a world longing for light again. I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the sacred tree of life, and the whole earth will become one circle again.”

– Tȟašúŋke Witkó (Crazy Horse), Oglala Lakota Leader (1840-1877)


Cory Bilyea is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter with Midwestern Newspapers.

Local Journalism Initiative Reporter