Settlers must go home, initiate Back-to-Europe movement

Dearest Reader Humour
Photo by Skylar MacKinley

Dearest Reader,

Unless you happen to possess the situational awareness of the average 20-something stand-up comedian five seconds into his first set and 10 seconds from the proverbial shepherd’s crook, you have observed the ongoing conflict between provincial authorities and the Wet’suwet’en people. It seems that no morally-upright member of our community can be content to stay silent on the matter, whether because they have something to add to the discourse or because silence on the rationale of a lack of specific education on the matter has gone rather out of style. The latter lack often facilitates the aforesaid discourse, I find. Be that as it may, there are a number of urgent social issues for which ‘qui tacet consentire videtur,’ as the saying goes. As silence would be damning, and despite my admitted poor education vis à vis the colonial conflicts of our fair (or illegitimate, as the case may be) province, my hand is forced to join in the conversation and to offer some solution. I can only comment from the perspective of my own tragically European invader background, naturally. And yet the general consensus of my peers is firmly in favour of total Wet’suwet’en and general Indigenous sovereignty over traditional territories. Thus, seeking to combine my own knowledge of my peoples’ traits and histories and the decision of the many, I present for the reader’s consideration my plan for the ‘Back-To-Europe’ movement. 

My fellow settlers, I must here be frank between ourselves. We have tried our mettle in the New World, and though we have wrought great successes for ourselves, we have been found unwanted and not little disliked by the already-present inhabitants. Thus, I would see us evacuate this continent forthwith and return our sad and weary race to the European shores whence we came. Naturally, this migration of people will require not only some adjusting on our own part, but on the part of Europe’s soon-to-be-overburdened economy. Before departing colonial soils, we must therefore have prepared certain means of subsistence to make up the difference. Firstly, as urban areas will be made overcrowded by our arrival, no less than a half of us will need to take up habitation in the  countryside. There, we will abide by farming potatoes (that crop being one boon of the Americas we must not sacrifice so easily), and some of us may resuscitate old and quaint trades of our people, such as artisanal blacksmithing, which will allow the rural denizens material to send into the cities for sale.

Naturally, the presence of the remaining half of our European ex-settler folk who will dwell in the cities will strain the power grids something fierce. To combat this, new power stations will need to be constructed. I propose a return to our traditional material of coal, a most wholesome product which occurs as part of the Earth’s natural bounty, much like kale, fresh fish, or uranium. One gentleman of my acquaintance has even provided me with a specification drawn by a knowing ‘Mr. Watt,’ for a most efficient steam-powered motor which was typically used for the feeding of urban industries by our venerated ancestors. This device, I trust, will provide justification for our newly-reborn coal-extraction industry. Where heat and power are required in the rural settlements above described, I may suggest the burning of peat. Many will also observe that the European masses returning to our own Zion will require more employment than the continent presently has to offer. Considering that many factory warehouses already lie abandoned in the eastern half of the continent, I suggest the conversion of these to weaving sheds, in which those downtrodden men and women less able to find work may produce linen garments with industrial looms on sixteen-hour shifts, as our people did for generations. Lastly, because the continent will be likewise overborne with children as well as their families, a solution for their lack of productivity will come in the equal-opportunity employment of those able to work in mining and industrial capacities. Otherwise, there will be no short demand of chimney-sweeps. 

I have made the case for a feasible transplanting of today’s colonial invaders to our ancestral soils, where we will surely be welcomed adoringly by our culturally-identical European cousins, from whom we have fortunately not become estranged. To the Indigenous peoples of the Americas I say, let each go as he was in peace and return to the respective homelands of his forefathers. Alternately, as I have also above made a case for the richness of traditional European cultures, it may be that some Indigenous Americans will even watch our folk depart their shores with a half-made tear in the corner of their eyes. Alas, alas. Though our differing nations have been found poor bedfellows, I imagine we shall still see each other now and again. For my own part, I will continue to send unsolicited newsprint columns home by carrier pigeon, lest anyone grow bored or complacent in their newfound cultural solitude.