I haven’t yet read the Macleans article on racism in Canadabeyond the headline and some commentary. I will, but I already know what it will show. I know because I have lived in more than one of these “hidden places”.

I lived in the midst of it, wondering more than once if this was what like living in a ghetto was like.

I’ve only seen ghettos in movies and on television, so I can only extrapolate and guess…

But the First Nations reserve? That experience I have had, despite being the wrong kind of Indian.

And it was terrifying at times and exquisitely beautiful at others…but mostly it was depressing. The futility and resignation on the people hung heavy in the air and the anger…so much anger!

It is good that the mainstream media is picking up this story and sharing the tale and the plight of these hidden communities. I hope it raises awareness and begins to build bridges of understanding.

I won’t hold my breath though.

Until a strong leader comes along from within the tribes who can align all the different cultures that exist, someone who can speak to their souls and dreams so that they believe in themselves enough to go through the excruciating process of change…who can lobby for real supports and who can stand all the pressure and threats…it’s really just a pipe dream.

It is going to take a movement within to change, and a strong, smart, compassionate leader to light the way.

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