Skip to content

IN MY VIEW: More on social justice

Following in line with last week’s issue in trying to find the true definition of Social Justice, all parties involved need to come to terms with this matter. This is not a stand-alone subject matter. Anything and everything we talk about, work in or think of is relative to something else. I mentioned this in our health and well-being where if you are anxious, you have headaches, if you are afraid you have stomach aches, if you are angry you have muscle spasms and the list is enormous. All our engagements require an action followed by a reaction for any movement forward positive or negative.

We forget so quickly that people who achieve a position of responsibility have the power and ability to create policies and regulations in the best interest of those they represent. We still cannot shake the strong hand of colonialism and continue to be suppressed into submission of remaining in status quo. I tire of the remark, “It is what it is” when in fact that can be changed to, “we can overcome through positive partnerships.”

I had an interesting conversation the other day in a social matter that affects us all and is not a stand-alone situation. Part of the social justice scheme deals with a segment of our basic needs and that is housing. I mentioned in this conversation that housing was not just a structure but was relative to everything else in our daily existence. Housing affects education, child rearing, building relationships, strengthening these relationships between spouse and children and grandchildren but not at the price of over-crowding and effectively choking the will to exist in harmony and comfort.

In addressing social justice many entities are involved and have to be worked out simultaneously. If a family is struggling with a lack of food, people pull together and bring over a box of basics, the HTO organizes their membership and have a harvesting drive in bringing in fish or caribou or musk-oxen and so on. This is a small section of meeting social justice head on. If a family has lost a loved one the community pitches in with visits, food, and words of comfort. If there is a negative situation with parents and children where the child or children are at risk, safe homes are identified and a brief time of separation with counselling takes place until resolution is found through programs and then reconciliation allows the return and re-uniting of the family unit in a more positive atmosphere.

I look back to when I worked underground and how my peripheral vision was really limited because of the way the drifts (roadways) are built and was referred to as tunnel vision and is still that way with our current mining sites and this has worked its way into our corporate world and the vision that once was in the best interest of our people in need, once held a heart-felt attitude has been reduced to tunnel vision because of time constraints, lack of funding, poor management tactics, lack of or no empathy and I could go on but I think you see where I’m going with this.

We can all exercise social justice even though it may not be noticed but I think in this manner it will be true social justice.