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Let's avoid the driving ingredients for movements

Its undeniable, there is power in movements especially those that gain traction. The U.S. Core of Army Engineers' plan for the pipeline near Standing Rock changed with pressure from a movement. Many say that an anti-elite movement impacted the U.S. presidential election and even the Liberal win in our last Federal Election was impacted by some sense of a need for change.

Then there's Brexit, the recent Italian referendum defeat and growing fear for upcoming European elections later in the year.

Without a doubt movements have the power to bring incremental change or large fundamental change. They could be seen as good or not.

Movements and the changes they bring seem to be infinitely variable, as variable as the differing economies, societies and cultures we find across the world. They all seem different except for one central element. Recent movements and the changes they bring have almost always come as a surprise, leaving political pundits and pollsters scratching their heads.

We believe that public policy and changes in our society or changes in how we do work with each other should not be a matter of surprise. Surprises are not orderly, thoughtful or necessarily sustainable. Surprises are out of our control, and this surely cannot be the best way to make our relationships, governments and policies better.

When it comes to Indigenous peoples across the land there are a number of challenges we all face. In many ways Indigenous peoples are kept on the outside looking in, missing opportunities and are not being engaged as true partners across the land. As a result, it looks like frustration is growing and the pressure is building on the ground. It may be that a movement is in its infancy and one day, and it may be soon, we may be in for a surprise.

Together let us take control of how we build our relationships, how we develop together and how we address our challenges and how we solve problems together. If we want an impact on how this country moves forward and how to make ours a more inclusive society with opportunities for all, we need to do it now and begin real engagement with the Indigenous peoples of this land.

If indigenous peoples are not participants in building real working relationships and in developing public policy together, then we shouldn't be surprised if a movement appears and changes happen in unforeseen ways. There is power in a movement and no one can predict when or where it gets traction or what changes may come.

As we go forward into the New Year, let us recognize the power of movements, why they happen, and take this opportunity to recognize each of our challenges and work together to find resolution.

Have a safe and prosperous New Year.

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