LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Pembroke must stop perpetuating the colonial settler story

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Pembroke and all of Renfrew County must stop perpetuating the colonial settler story of nature as property or resource.

Pembroke must actively and always share stories rooted in relationships that honour nature’s complexity rather than diminish it. Pembroke community builders must learn from Indigenous stories about seeing nature as close family, rather than object, and meaningfully include Indigenous Peoples in all land and water use decision-making processes throughout the area.

It is astounding how most settler communities cling to a destructive 2oth century colonial/capitalist ethic that directly contributes to accelerated climate breakdown, racism, and classism. How one can occupy a community leader position and dismiss one’s own moral imperative and sacred duty to seriously address our dire climate situation is a devastating mystery.

Change arrived in Pembroke with the great Ottawa River flood of 2019. This new decade will present hardship and challenges demanding a new way of seeing our natural world, social issues, economies, interpersonal relationships, and basic standard of living. As a pandemic ridden 2020 comes to a close and a new year begins, I’m urging all to act as they should have long ago by intensely taking care of their immediate environment, rejecting all fossil fuels, respecting the sentience and inherent rights of other animals, and thinking heavily on how decisions made today will impact the next seven generations of plant and animal species which includes Renfrew County citizens. This is the first step for securing a stable climate decade for everyone. Act now for a livable future.

Mike Mackey

Pembroke

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