My Hands Are In The Dirt: On Living Resistance

My hands are in the dirt. 

On this ground. Stolen from Lummi and Nooksack nations. Exploited for profit.  My work for justice begins with knowing my lineage and I have benefited from theft and I am responsible for the work of repatriation.

My hands are in the dirt.

Caring for and working to replenish this soil, my pain reduced when it surrounds my hands and feet, when I eat the food I grow and am nourished by this loving, reciprocal relationship.

My hands are in the dirt. 

Overwhelmed by climate disaster and growing hate I ask myself each day what is one thing I can physically do that does not deny or collapse from this struggle, what is one thing this body can contribute to turning tides from where I am.

My hands are in the dirt. 

As it sustains my wife and I we open the home we make together. We foster, adopt, parent. My children whose bodies carry traumas that mirror my own, we dig deep and build this space together. The soil takes the weight of these histories and leaves us less burdened.

My hand are in the dirt. 

I teach Women’s Studies and commit each term to striving for new ground together, knowing that any justice a university course can achieve has to be rooted in our everyday lives and building better spaces together. On this ground. The actual dirt and the power of our hands in action.

My hands are in the dirt. 

Ravaged as this body is by trauma, Lyme, injury, illness, I return again to a practice of presence. I pull my yoga mat to the middle of the garden and find what space exists for healing. I find where breath can move and where release can dwell in these inflamed muscles. My belly on the grass, head lifted, and hands in this dirt.

My hands are in the dirt. 

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A Message of Climate Urgency: For the Canadian Trudeau Government

We voted for you.

We voted for you on the premise that you would be “different.”

You made promises of reconciliation with indigenous nations.

You stated that you are a feminist.

You claimed a belief in science, in climate change, and a responsibility because of it.

 

And here we are.

You claim to consult with indigenous leaders and then act without their consent.

You put in pipelines. You serve corporations.

“No consent, no access.”

It applies to more than just the bodies of people.

This is not reconciliatory. This is not feminist.

 

We stand at the brink of global climate catastrophe.

We have a responsibility if life on earth is to continue—

Your life, your children’s lives. You are a father.

You have the power to make change.

You are not using it.

 

You claim that no one has valuable oil and leaves it in the ground.

This is not true.

There are countries that put life before profit.

Other countries are declaring a climate emergency.

You claimed beliefs in climate change, in our responsibility.

We voted for you.

You are not upholding your promises.

 

This country is on fire every summer.

This summer the last of BC caribou burned.

People were in the hospital unable to breath.

Babies whose lungs couldn’t develop without clean air

Are still rushing in and out of emergency rooms.

And it will only get worse.

18,000 endangered species in BC alone.

And you do not act.

 

The lands are flooding.

Homes gone.

How much longer before people cannot grow food?

You claim that you believe in scientific evidence.

Look at what is predicted for the next 10 years.

 

There will be an election soon.

We cannot, in good conscience, vote for you if you do not turn this around.

Will you? Will you make good any of the promises you made?

You must declare a climate emergency.

You must divest from corporations.

You must respect the lines drawn by indigenous nations.

You must act.

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Dear Readers,

Please forward the text to Justin Trudeau’s Parliament.

You may wish to just send it to him or you may wish to CC or email other pertinent Cabinet members. The information is provided below.

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Love to you!

Contact Information

Prime Minister:

justin.trudeau@parl.gc.ca 613-992-4211

Minister of Environment and Climate Change:

Catherine.McKenna@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Safety and Emergency Preparedness:

ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Crown/Indigenous Relations:

ralph.goodale@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development:

navdeep.Bains@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Natural Resources:

Amarjeet.Sohi@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Women and Gender Equity:

Maryam.Monsef@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Justice:

David.Lametti@parl.gc.ca

Ministry of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard:

Jonathan.Wilkinson@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Democratic Institutions:

Jonathan.Wilkinson@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship:

Ahmed.Hussen@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Health:

Ginette.PetitpasTaylor@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Indigenous Services:

Seamus.ORegan@parl.gc.ca

Minister of Canadian Heritage and Multiculturalism:

Pablo.Rodriguez@parl.gc.ca