I’m back at the research gig again. A topic that I had been considering as a research idea has finally gotten some traction as a result of some shenanigans taking place in my community. It feels like I finally have a reason to read the books, ask the questions, and maybe write the words. Just gotta organize my thoughts a little bit. Focus. Don’t get distracted. SQUIRREL!
My topic will be “Granting Standing to the Salish Sea”. Person-hood. Notice that isn’t a question. To my mind, there is no question about it. Whether standing as an entity in a court of law will actually hold, I’m not sure. But I still hold to the idea that this is the right course to take. I’m encouraged by the long battle the Whanganui iwi of Aotearoa fought to have the Whanganui river granted personhood.
What shifted? Well, besides being an Anishinabe-kwe, I recently came to learn that the local government and municipal agencies are practicing chicanery in trying to put some harmful projects in our region. Harmful, as in epicly harmful, in the sense that the projects could be the death knell for salmon and the Salish sea. Without meaningful notification of the key stakeholders in the process, a trifecta of three methanol plants are being proposed for northwest coast ports.
I’m trying to determine at the underlying, contributing factors that have led to this moment in time, where the love of money and power is more important than the love of our more-than-human-relatives. How, after 50 years of environmental legacy, have our environmental philosophies become bankrupt and our most trusted institutions co-opted? What pre-emptive pieces of legislation might have been crafted and led to this very undemocratic process.
A strategic, clear vision is key. Understanding that fear and anger can lead to weak arguments and hyperbole, I must manage the fear and anger so that the words are strong.
There are legal fictions to unravel and legal precedents to uncover, and make.
As gloomy as it seems, I still believe that we have more than enough hope. I still believe that we can change our minds, change our actions if we remember to fight FOR what we love rather than AGAINST what we might hate. If the vision and mission are held clear. And if they are guided by love.