Thursday, February 23, 2017

Why Am I Doing #Canada150, and what is one of my best ideas, ever?

Why Am I Doing #Canada150, and what is one of my best ideas, ever?

(Edited for focus, spelling, grammar, etc., Feb. 28. Evolving document.)

It’s yuuuuuggge.

Thank you for taking a moment to check out my big idea for 2017, Our country’s #Canada150 year. I call it “Sentinels of the NorthWest Passage”.

The working design for the first piece is a cast bronze #Thunderbird (approx. 8 foot x 10 foot) with a flashing red navigation beacon light in the #heart position, atop a reflective, polished stainless steel pillar (cylinder, rectangle, column... whatever we can afford or find).

The second piece to be done in collaboration with a local/regional Indigenous artist/community. My current plan for the second piece is to consult with representatives of that community and identify an artist to work with.

My initial thought for the second piece is a Snowy Owl. I always liked the Inuit imagery that were available to me, as a child. They are part of my awakening to #art. [Thank you Grandma Edith and Grandpa Charlie and the DEWLINE.] It is a great juxtaposition with my great #Bird from #TheSouth. :)

My process for choosing locations, considered as seen from Google Earth view:
a) Bare rock
b) isolation. Room for local growth (dock, hotel, gift shops...)
c) roughly located at navigationally significant “gate points” for major transit entrances/exits of the #NWP
d) available level ground at least 10 metres above current sea-level.
     Work towards saving the ice, plan for the worst; Should these pieces  be placed to stay above expected sea level rise?

 Please contact me if you are in the Far North. Do you like this idea? This is my decolonial gesture; my begging permission to impose upon the land. With my work. I offer it as a vision of our #Indigenous vow to protect and advocate for “the land” even if we are stuck in the inertia of “The Greater-Society”. In this case, I advocate for the Greater Society, as well as for the #Indigenous. We have mutual interests and long history.

The desire to travel the region, for pleasure and business is going to continue, grow. The infrastructure of Indigenous communities, often the only public infrastructure in these areas, are incapable of meeting the needs of the people there, now, never mind the impending trickle, then perhaps flood of tourists, oil explorers, diamond miners, etc. Rather than building new towns for tourists to visit and get their BrandX Coffee and fast foods, under the Aurorae, finally finish the infrastructure of reservations and Inuit villages to the expectations of Southern suburbs, so that they have the infrastructure to host you and your RV/Cruiseship, plus have eggs and espresso available.

That is my big idea for #Canada150. I have a nonstatic post, below, which is an evovolving description, budget, timeline documentationing the #SOTNWP project. Now, I would like to tell you about one of the best ideas I ever had. :)

A few years back, there was a certain piece of land that was being leased by a NorthWestern Ontario town, from the province, or country, or local #FirstNations. Doesn’t matter. Point is; the lease was up and it was supposed to revert back to the local First Nations communities. I do not know if the “ownership” of the property has been resolved, yet, but it was in a state of mutual inertias, when I left.

The property seemed to exist in an uncomfortable legal grey area. The public infrastructure dwindled or was removed, before stewardship was supposed to be repatriated. The garbage was still picked-up and the roads plowed; campground and beach on life support. Jobs, inertia.

This grey area, however, looked like a potential “new Hong Kong” that I had heard about in a TED talk, or something like that. “Experimental economic zones” outside of local national laws, like the new economic zones of China. The property is/was quite explicitly between Canada and the United States; outside of provincial(?) Township or Indigenous ownership. 

So. My best idea, ever, started out as the notion of having the federal government declare the property A “Legal-Weed Zone”, (Edit: There's probably a better term for that.) including recreational, lodging, R&D and medicinal facilities, whose stewardship and profits were to be shared by regional First Nations and local townships as their neighbours prosper.

My vision was tainted, under the omnipresent pall of #StephenHarper, also included the threat of circling law enforcement agencies funded by civil asset forfeiture, but that is not the point, here, either.

My best , evolved version of the idea was even simpler. In the face of a few trends/reasons:
a) Under growing economic demand, cultural demand, medical demand and legal reforms... Cannabis legalisations and decriminalisations are occurring all over the world, as well as in Canada (supposedly).
b) The belated, enduring need to fund First Nations and Inuit infrastructure is coinciding with...
c) Canada’s need to develop rural/Northern #Canada. First Nations and local townships are necessarily linked, economically.

Give control of the emerging economic resource, Cannabis, over to First Nations. Entirely.

In short: If you want to produce Cannabis for medicinal or recreational use, you have to rent facilities on Native land, hire locals, be a good corporate partner, etc., or license local commercial grow/distribution rights from the “Regional Indigenous Cannabis Council Of Elders”, or whatever.

Edit (March 9): See also, #Canada2167.

If you’re a “real conservative”, then you want to give less taxes to government and perhaps want government out of the “Weed business”, for tax and morality reasons, maybe. You are living off trees, gold, wheat, fish and oil. There is a new, impending resource sector that is willing to fund what you don’t want to, give it to the #Indigenous peoples; we will get our hands dirty and we will spread it around, better. (I go into greater speculative detail, in this

Anyways. Nobody responded back then, and time is getting short in #Canada. There are some major legislatory and corporate gears grinding away, in anticipation for some announcement on #CannabisCanada this year. Give us the Weed, Justin.

    Regardless, I would still like a few hundred thousand dollars for myself and an Inuit artist partner (to be discovered and named later) to design and create the first two monumental sculptures, so that we can fundraise and beg for icebreaker ships, solar power nav-beacon rigs and concrete to fall softly from the heavens or NGO-space, or the federal government, for two installations, 3 years out. I would consider the creation and installation of both pieces in that time period, reasonable.



:Eric C. Keast