Beating the Drum on Past and Present


Beating the Drum

Obsessing Over the Past, Overlooking the Present

By Beverly Blanchard
True North Perspective
Beverly Blanchard is an Ojibway First Nation from Northern Ontario.  She holds a degree in Economics. During the last twenty-two years, she has worked as a consultant to First Nation and Inuit organizations in a variety of disciplines including: homelessness, suicide prevention, violence prevention, childcare, HIV/AIDS, women’s issues, business planning, and economic development. She has also designed and delivered Aboriginal awareness and stress management workshops to Federal government employees. Currently, Ms Blanchard is a life strategy coach, author and energy healer in Ottawa.

I am certainly glad the whole Titanic anniversary celebrations are over. Once again, the experts have been rolled out. It happened because of this or that. No one really knows for sure. There were a few movies about the people, and what might or might not have happened on those fateful days leading up to their demise. Why do we seem to be obsessed with this one ship? Or are we?

Perhaps the primary reason is the Hollywood money machine. I mean there was all this hoopla about the release of the movie Titanic in 3-D. A movie which is not even accurate in its storyline; however, romance sells.

Yet isn’t that what Hollywood does? It rewrites the versions of history and gives us a doctored view of what happened. Kevin Costner did it with Dancing with Wolves. Mel Gibson did it with Braveheart. We accept them as truth and yet in many cases they are just stories.

Meanwhile as we become engrossed in the Hollywood versions of history, the real headlines of what is happening in our world at this moment in time get buried.

No one seems to want to talk about the radioactive waste that is making its way to the west coast of North America. Might not want to eat seafood or sushi these days otherwise you might start glowing.

Mark Carney announced that Canadians are in over their heads in debt and housing prices are due to drop. Yes, that second mortgage or line of credit you took out is going to come back to bite you in the butt. But hey, it is not the bankster’s fault or the reality TV that promoted the need to renovate your home. Sounds like a repeat of what has happened in the United States. I think they call it a housing bubble.

In an article published in the Globe and Mail Toronto-Dominion bank economist Craig Alexander, (and I use the word economist loosely), said in a recent forecast that he believes the debt-to-income ratio among Canadians could climb to about 160 per cent, the level that caused such trouble for the US and Britain.

If memory serves me correctly, the TD Bank had a series of commercials on television promoting loans to first time homeowners. I think the promotion was along the lines of 5% down and you can own a home. The commercials also implied that owning a home means that you are a grown-up. I also think it was the TD bank that sponsored many of the renovation shows.

For those of you who live with your cell phone attached to your ear, there is new evidence that links cell-phone use to cancer. Speaking of cancer, there is a new study out in the journal, Nature, that suggests researchers are fabricating their findings in order to maintain their research funding. Nothing new there but you won’t find that information in the mainstream media. April is cancer awareness month.

Since I am on the subject of fabricating findings, I just have to touch on the pharmaceutical industry. OxyContin is still an issue on First Nations reserves even though it was taken off the market by Purdue Pharmaceuticals. As the black market supply of OxyContin dwindles, users are slowly moving onto other drugs like cocaine, morphine or alcohol.

I took a look at Purdue’s website and looked under the heading corporate responsibility. There was a list of organizations and groups that have received grants from the company. As I perused the list I realized that not one group was Aboriginal. In light of the Conservative government’s funding cuts to Aboriginal organizations, perhaps our Aboriginal leadership should start knocking on the pharmaceutical companies doors.

Well I am off to the afternoon matinee. I heard they are playing a movie called the Titanic.

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