When I first learnt about third world countries in school, I remember thinking that it didn't make sense to me. The solution seemed obvious.
When we have so much and some have so little, why aren't we sharing?
While 30 years later, on Canadian Thanksgiving weekend 2016, I am still wondering the same thing. Alma will be on day 20 of her spiritual fast/ hunger strike, sleeping in a tent with freezing temperatures and I will be hosting Thanksgiving dinner for my family in a nice warm house with more than I could possibly ever need.
My heart aches and not just for Alma, but for a world where this inequality continues to exist and where the gap between the rich and the poor continues to grow. It aches for all of the indigenous people of this land that have been mistreated and disrespected for decades. The reality is, that the living conditions on most of the reservations are deplorable, and the needs of the people are not being met. We are essentially surrounded by people whose ancestors are of this land and yet continue live in third world conditions.
Alma herself has not had running water for over 4 years and the trailer she was living in is filled with black mould. Unfortunately, her story is not unique. However, she is strong and wise and her warrior spirit has had enough. She is currently on a hunger strike drawing awareness to the inequality and poverty that lies in our own backyards.
I first met Alma about 4 years ago at the Womyn's Gathering of All Nations in the Whiteshell. She is a powerful leader and spiritual teacher. I received many teachings from her and bonded with her deeply. She also has an incredibly large heart and brings joy and laughter with her wherever she goes. She will do whatever it takes to usher in a new balanced world, which includes dying for the cause.
The clan mother camp that is developing around Alma is a loving camp, a nexus where people are drawn in that hold a vision of a brighter future. The camp is an incubator for the birth of a new way of life, creating change on a grass-roots level. People are coming from far and wide to join together in support of Alma and a new way of life. Sacred teachings are being shared and solutions are coming to light.
The camp itself needs funds in order to continue growing and to be able to withstand the dropping temperatures. Men are asked to come and help tend the fire and women are asked to come and share their songs. All nations are welcome as long as they come with love and peace in their hearts.
While you are celebrating this weekend please consider giving thanks by donating your time by visiting or resources by contributing to the gofundme campaign.
If you would like to stay up to date on the happenings of the camp and find out more information, join this facebook group.
Michelle Louise Marie