I was trying to think of something both concise and comprehensive enough to demonstrate how I’m feeling this morning. Then, I realized I had already written it:
“We in Cascadia have reached a crucial point in history for our society. Most of us haven’t realized just how crucial it really is or why it is, but we most certainly feel—at least subliminally—that we have reached a point of no return. Something monumental needs to change; our systems of governance, discourse, and decision making on a societal level, on both sides of the international border, cannot continue existing in their current manifestations with their current demeanor…This goes beyond problems with democratic process or bureaucracy. Our “national” identities as Americans and Canadians have become irreversibly flawed and incompatible with Cascadia. Our collective liberties as Cascadians are being suppressed, leaving our region out of balance. Our ability to bring ourselves back into balance is thwarted as a result of non-Cascadian influences dominating federal priorities. Our systems of government, as a consequence, are inadequate to meet our needs. Treating the symptoms of our flawed bodies of governance may temporarily and superficially take care of what we think is ailing our status quo. But no matter how many elections we have in the near future, they will not fix the fundamental issues plaguing Cascadia.” –Towards Cascadia (pages 122-123)
The quote above is taken from my book, Towards Cascadia. I wrote that paragraph more than 3 years ago. Both the United States and Canada had different leaders at the helm of their respective federal governments. Yet, that statement feels truer now than ever before. Perhaps you feel the same way this morning (particularly if you’re on the American side of the international border)?
President Trump has issued an executive order authorizing the federal government to ban and/or detain foreigners traveling to the United States if they originate from a select list of countries, all majority-Muslim. He is proving he’s more focused on pleasing the most hardcore of his supporters than working with Congress to actually solve the economic problems which motivated most of his voters to go to the polls last November.
President Trump has also issued an executive order approving both the Dakota Access and Keystone XL oil pipeline projects. Furthermore, Prime Minister Trudeau has applauded the President’s decision on approving the Keystone XL pipeline specifically, as it will transport more tar sands oil from Alberta to Texas. This only contributes further to the global climate crisis we desperately need to fight against.
Prime Minister Trudeau has also authorized the construction of the Trans Mountain pipeline from Edmonton, AB to Burnaby, BC, through hundreds of miles of Cascadian territory. This decision not only flew in the face of some First Nation organizations, it also increases the risk of permanent damage to the Salish Sea (impacting the Puget Sound). While I personally applaud him for other initiatives he’s led and yesterday’s statement supporting refugees rejected by the United States, some of the actions taken by his government do nothing to alleviate my feeling that we, as I put it above, “have reached a point of no return.”
There will be many more actions taken by both the United States and Canada which either negatively impact Cascadia or are at least opposed by a majority of Cascadians. This will be true this year, 4 years from now, 10 years from now, and so forth. In this regard, it matters little who is leading our respective federal governments or which political parties are in charge of making decisions. No matter how many federal elections come to pass, the divide between Cascadia and the rest of the United States and Canada will continue to steadily grow. Our respective federal priorities are dominated by more powerful and more populated regions outside of Cascadia; this status quo will never change.
If you feel the same uneasiness I do, regardless of how you voted in your country’s last election or what your personal political ideology is, I encourage you to stop looking east for answers to the most pressing civic issues which we face today. Start looking toward your neighbors and your bioregion. Only together, united as one and independent from the burdens pressed upon us directly from our existing federal institutions, will we be able to make progress and truly be free.
A united and independent Cascadia is a ways off (and yes, to the naysayers, it is realistically and legally possible). But, in the meantime, what can you do right now? You can:
- Share your thoughts about Cascadia with family and friends
- Travel Cascadia and experience places on both sides of the border you haven’t been to before
- Become a part of communities and organizations (online and/or in-person) that support Cascadia peacefully and lawfully
- Advocate for policy proposals which benefit our region and our society
- Voice your support or opposition to public officials concerning pressing matters
- Boycott organizations which actively work against our interests as Cascadians
In essence, take it upon yourself to learn more and get involved. Whether you’re already a Cascadia supporter or this is the first time you’re reading anything about it, I encourage you to keep exploring this notion for yourself. You don’t have to be the activist or community organizing type of person to make a difference. But, if you’re not willing to work for your (and Cascadia’s) future, no one else will either.
Interested in learning more about Cascadia? You can buy your copy of Towards Cascadia today: