Today, Métis artist Christi Belcourt launched an amazing online action to reclaim our voices, following last week’s controversial announcement on the First Nations Control of First Nations Education Act (FNEA). Here is her statement on the project:
In Alberta, security for the Harper/Atleo FNEA “announcement” marked people with yellow dots (for invitees and elders and those on an ‘approved list’) and they made people who were not on an approved list wear blue dots. There were about 30 who were escorted out before the feast and offered no food. My question is why would community members, from that territory who are coming to hear an announcement on education be required to wear the blue dots? And I started thinking that the blue dots represent the people who the government would arrest first, or would harass first, or doesn’t care about, or throughout history has considered the “rebels” for protecting land speaking out. Or even further, the blue dots are our people, the masses of people who are not able to influence decisions, our opinions and are on the margins of society, or we have been ignored or despised because of the harms that come to our lands and bodies.
What Do the Blue Dots Mean?
The blue dot signifies all of us who care, and speak out and risk arrest. It signifies the “uninvited” among us who are treated as “less than” by child care systems, justice systems, or health care systems. It signifies all of us who don’t get a voice at the table with Atleo or the PM or anyone else who has the power to mark their “X” and sign away our rights. Those blue dots they made people wear were not necessary. They could have kept the yellow ones for “invited guests” and all others without, so why did they insist people wore blue dots? Why? Twila Singer was told to wear a blue dot, then she was kicked out for “tweeting” when she didn’t even have a phone with her. She had previously protested in INM. Therefore CSIS or the RCMP or whoever the security was that followed the “blue dot” people around already had face recognition and a plan to target so called “trouble makers.” I’m so upset that they can go onto First Nation’s land and mark out people who are from that community, and not let them in to hear an announcement that has to do with their own children and the future of our kids generally.
That is why I started this blue dot series. For all of us who disagree, who want change, who stand up for change. I’m claiming the blue dot for us as a mark of pride.
With Christi’s permission, we invite you to create your own #bluedots images—add them to historical photos, to your social media avatars and profile pictures, or make and wear blue dot buttons and take photos.
Post them to Twitter, Tumblr, and Facebook—tag them #bluedots—and mention @INMvmt and @christibelcourt and we’ll share them.
SEE THE FULL GALLERY OF #BLUEDOTS IMAGES: HERE