The National Chief walked away from the job to ride a motorcycle across America and no one noticed. That did not bode well for the Assembly of First Nations as a voice of the people and for Idle No More as an instrument of change. Foreshadow came to pass.
The Former National Chief no longer wanted the job when an internal revolt took advantage of a backlash against the AFN that was spreading as part of Idle No More.
In their commitment to the philosophy of a leaderless movement, Idle No More had refused to identify and thus create leaders. Part of the vision was speaking out and rejecting the institutionalized patriarchy that is the dominant form of government on First Nations and within representative organizations like the AFN and in particular the Federation of Saskatchewan Indians where Idle No More began.
The Old Boys Network would have the last laugh. When election time came there would be no fresh faces to vie for leadership. The challengers were all political lifers, Leon Jourdain, Ghislain Picard and eventual winner Perry Bellgarde. They all knew the secret handshake. The whole thing was smoke and mirrors with the right amount of overacting. Before leaving the spotlight in defeat Jourdain laid a curse on the whole shindig saying that the events of the day “would haunt us all.” Someone should have said, “You’re haunting us right now…get off the stage.” Newly Elected National Chief laid out some bafflegab about what’s the other. Does the Turducken still go quack?
Bellegarde had been elected despite being called out during the election by Idle No More co-founder Sylvia McAdam. The future National Chief shut her up with the classic "why you bring this up now, Women." He told APTN, "Look at the timing of it all and then you question the sincerity of dealing with the issue." He was running for National Chief and he was being asked what role he played when he was at the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Chiefs and the province began taxing First Nations. He told the co-founder of Idle No More to go Idle.
You have to admit it though. At least the AFN maintained some illusion of democracy, the President of the Manitoba Metis Federation was elected by acclimation. I think maybe the title should be Supreme Leader or something more befitting that kind of election.
Missing in Action on the Missing and Murdered
I believe that we must make sure our homes and communities are safe. It is our responsibility as Native Men to must do more to stand up to the violence. We must be ready to take our place in order to protect our women and children. Our young men have become IED within our communities. Our leadership fails.
The horrific attack on the 6 year old girl at the end of the year reminded us all the truth its not all the White Boogeyman. She should be our Eric Garner.
It is disappointing that the provinces continue to watch the carnage and do nothing but call on the federal government to have an inquiry. It is especially disappointing that Manitoba with such a high percentage of these cases continues to do nothing. The Minister of Aboriginal Affairs is First Nations, the government is NDP which acts as though it is some kind of friend to Native People, what is going on under the Golden Boy.
Stephen Harper is King
Stephen Harper can do whatever he wants and no one is going to stop him. The Liberals are trying to convince people that they have the second coming of Pierre Trudeau and we all know it is more like the second coming of Margaret Trudeau. Not the reflective Margaret of later years but closer to the "No panties waiting outside the Rolling Stones dressing room while my husband is the Prime Minister of Canada" Margaret.
Thomas Mulcair. Shave off your beard. I don’t what else to say about that guy but he scares the shit out of me and I think maybe it’s because of that fucked up beard. The NDP could have made a better choice.
The opposition sucks and the Conservatives will have all the money in the world to convince people that all looks no brains Liberal and bearded NDP are not to be trusted with the keys to the kingdom.
The devil you know. You know.
Obama's Lincoln Moment
South of the Border it looks like President Barack Obama had a good year on many fronts, the Affordable Health Care Act, Executive Action on Immigration and Naturalization and Normalizing relations with Cuba. The Health Care Act is commendable although my personal belief is that the people need less health care. I do wish I traveled to Cuba before they let the Americans back in.
It is the Immigration Act that will forever change North America. These are Indigenous Peoples. It was just before American thanksgiving and it seemed like President Obama was returning the favour to the Indigenous Peoples of North America in one bold and historic action. It will be his Lincoln moment. He has made them Human Beings in the U.S. and they are still children of Mother Earth and that means we have a chance.
War of 1812 Re Dux
Here at home, the First Nations made an aggressive expression of their ownership of the beach from Kettle Point all the way to Stony Point. I don’t know the details but one day the First Nations had road crews remove the barriers that blocked access by vehicle to the beach. The barriers were large poles about the size of telephone poles and a backhoe was used to pull them out of the sand.
You could now drive down the beach that had been easily accessible only to the private land owners. They were upset and were talking about boycotts and at one feisty meeting broadcast on the London TV News a resident was calling for “WAR”. The man dared use the “W” word.
It is shameful that the average Canadian is so woefully uneducated that few acknowledge that the reason this strip of land that extends far south of the 49th and boasts some of the most important agriculture and industrial lands in all of Canada are still Canada because of these First Nations and the sacrifices made by their ancestors in the War of 1812. Racism is the highest expression of ignorance.
Perhaps, I should not so quickly put the blame on the Canadian education system, it is possible that this upset owner had crossed the border from the US as many of the largest homes are owned by non-Canadians.
Enough about the past, that’s what they always say. What I do know is that the average folks around these parts are all intermarried and intermingled with the First Nations. It’s not just familial it is cultural and economic, they love our cheap smokes, cheap gas, tax free groceries, auto parts and hardware (yep tax free to all) and radio bingo.
We put millions of dollars into their businesses and the ones who know what’s what know what’s up. There are few towns in this region that would not benefit immensely from have a First Nations in their region. That is an economic fact.
The one percenters who own land along the beach front have the media jumping and the trolls working overtime online, but there's nothing on fire. Once again it's all smoke and mirrors.
Two Crazy White Men let the Crazy White Man in Charge Go to War
It became known as acts of terrorists that were somehow connected to the web of international terror and the rise of radical Islam; but it was Two crazy White Guys. The actions of these individuals struck to the heart of Canadian society but it was still just Two Crazy White Guys. Two Crazy White Guys seen crazy shit from Crazy people and they murdered. It had nothing to do with anyone else other that these were terrible men and their minds were driven by and with hateful insanity.
The Stephen Harper government used the actions of Two Crazy White Guys to commit our country to war against ISIS and enact who know what laws to limit our speech and our dissent. These are dangerous times.