Aug 23, 2013 - Release from Colby Tootoosis on Upside Down Canadian Flag

By: Colby Tootoosis

The Indigenous reality found within media is often constructed by outlets which contain strong colonial discourse and lack the Indigenous presence which is needed when speaking our truths. Yet, we see a resurgence of Indigenous actuality beingconcentrated through social media and a partnership with independent Indigenous media sources beginning to transpire.

On August, 20th during Grand Entry at Manito-ahbee 2012, the Canadian flag was brought in upside-down in order to demonstrate overcoming the agenda of oppression which is often inflicted upon us as Indigenous peoples. I honour and respect our First Nations Veterans who have sacrificed their lives to defend our Treaties and Indigenous presence. Many of whom have engaged in war for Canada globally and have faced opposition in regards to receiving compensation for their efforts,have been denied benefits, and have been racially discriminated against. If it was not for their sacrifices, our future generationswould not have the opportunity to continue the process of decolonization and overcome oppression that is continuously placed upon our people. This action was aimed at dissolving the assimilative agenda and intended to promote nationhood and sovereignty of Indigenous people.

I have chosen to take the stance on refusing to comment on the event with many Canadian based media sources due to the reality that all comments have been defined on theLastRealIndians (LRI) article “Canadian Flag Hung Upside Down in a Powwow Ground Entry.” We need to ensure that allindependent Indigenous media outlets are seen just as important, and integral, to the structure of all media within Turtle Island.

This stance is specifically for this event which took place at Manito-ahbee 2013. Decolonization includes the total reconstruction of commonly accepted processes within our Indigenous realities, one being Canadian-based media developing and telling our stories, and also receiving the recognition for our truths. Decolonize by honoring Indigenous based media sources and develop a new reality of crediting those media sources that provides true Indigenous presence.

Last Real Indians