Sunday, April 15, 2018

If We All Act Like Mosque Shooter Alexandre Bissonnette

"I had to do something": Mosque shooter said he acted to prevent terrorism.

Reading the various media reports on the shooter and murderer Alexandre Bissonnette, you see a story emerging of a "troubled" young man. Dealing with anxiety for a long period of time. This is what caused him to get an assault rifle, stalk out a place of worship, enter, shoot 48 times at people who were praying, walk over to those laying injured and shot them point blank in the head to ensure they were dead. That is something. No malice just worried and wanting to prevent a tragedy in the future. How can we blame this guy? He is a savior and prevented mass killing.

At least this seems to be the narrative being played out. Quite the contrast between this crime and the crime that occurred in Ottawa 2014. Muslim shooter Michael Zehalf-Bibeau went and killed a solider and tried to kill others in Parliament. The media was quick to label it terror and gave us details of a brutal and violent attack.  Of course no one can defend the actions which took place. Obviously it was ugly, and it was a murderous attack. The terrorist killed a solider in cold blood as reported by CNN.  It just seems strange the descriptions of the shooters in the two murders are so different?

I do think Bissonnette's "reasoning" is quite interesting. He stopped future terrorism from happening by taking action now (at least that is his claim). I saw a movie like that with Tom Cruise and the actions called "pre-crime". It is not that far a stretch to think this is happening. We know the pre-crime thoughts are out there in government intelligence. You hear about it all the time with "pre-emptive" strikes or first strike scenarios discussed by various military and political pundits. The weird thinking also made me think about the "go back in time" exercises people play all the time. Like would you go back in time and kill Hitler? Would you stop someone before they commit the crimes they did?

Just in our lifetime we have witnessed and are witnessing so much horror. We have leader in Russia who locks up his political opponents, bombs an apartment block to start military action, uses radiation to poison political foes and makes journalists disappear. We watched (only a little) the genocide taking place in Rwanda. In 100 days more than 800,000 Tutsi were killed by Hutu's. Serbia took part in "ethnic cleansing" (a nice sounding term which describes genocide) against the Bosnian's. Now in my grand-children's life time we witnessed the "Arab Spring" (western media term) of a complex series of events in the Middle East. As we watch on television and internet news feeds, we are seeing children being poisoned with different lethal gas attacks. Bashar al-Assad the President of Syria has denied the use of chemical weapons on Syrian citizens ( I don't say "his People"). These few examples make us think what could have been done if there was a pre-crime action? Could pre-crime action even really exist? With the benefit of history we see who the criminals are. We now know President George Bush and Vice-president Dick Cheney committed war crimes. I wonder how history will see the current President, Mr. Trump? Will someone think about pre-crime action today?

The absurdity of pre-crime action is exactly that, absurd. The actions of Bissonnette were criminal and an act of terrorism. The notion of him being nothing more than a "troubled, suicidal depressed man" is typical of a main stream media marketing and sales pitch. If the sales pitch continues you might actual have more pre-crime individuals out there trying the same excuse for their killing sprees.

The story the media tells seems to always give benefit of doubt to the main stream society (dominant) while many times portraying People of Color as bad, wrong or evil. As it plays out we have young white man who was depressed and worrisome. The underlying current is that he was not evil. His intent was to save his parents from evil. In some other world his actions could almost be justified.

The narrative is all too familiar. We see People of Color as haven't done something to cause their anguish despite the facts. In Detroit a retired Fire-fighter attempted to kill a 14-year old boy, an African American boy, a Black boy. His wife went into a frenzy as the boy rang their door-bell seeking directions. The Fire-fighter is getting bail and saying the "full-story" has not been told. Two Black men were sitting in a Philadelphia Starbucks waiting for a colleague when the staff called police on them. The staff apparently did not think two Black men could sit in a coffee house without causing some type of trouble. The police came and arrested the two for sitting in a coffee house. Police Chief said the arresting officers did not wrong. New York police shoot and kill a Black man for pointing a bathroom pipe. A man in the backyard of his Grandparents was shoot multiple times in the back. The list of wrongs doings seems endless.

Its like the attitude of Bissonnette is prevalent in society. Police are fearing for their lives. Fire-fighters are fearing for their lives. Baristas fear for their lives. In many cases the determining factor is the "victim" is White, while the so called aggressor is Black or a Brown person.

"It's not wrong, what I did. Like I told you, people have been saved, my family has been saved." Alexandre Bissonnette, killer of six people who were sitting and praying. 

Alexandre Bissonette regrets not killing more people. 
Bissonnette is a killer, a terrorist and a monster. Paint him as a tortured soul but there are many tortured souls out there and they are not carefully planning to go a killing spree. 

Saturday, April 14, 2018

I Just Stood There. Did Nothing

I am the kind of person who will talk to anyone. I will also be willing to address an issue if I see it. Sometimes though I just stand there and do nothing.

A friend of mine from Alderville First Nation is a blues musician. He spent a number of years in Winnipeg, Manitoba and gained a following at the local venues. He came back for a visit in Winnipeg and was booked at a local place, Times Changed Night Club. I missed him and wanted to go visit and listen to him play. I went and listen to his set. It was getting kind of late and I didn't get to talk with him. So I stood near the entrance of the club. Not right by the door but closer to the windows. I noticed a group of Neechies, about five of them at the door. The club owner went to the door and told them no. So they just went on their way. I was looking at I knew right there the owner refused them entrance because they were Indian. I was going to go and say something right there but hesitated. The moment had passed and I looked over at the my friend playing on stage. I decide to leave. I wonder to this day about my actions. Or rather my lack of actions. Its not like I haven't spoken up in other instances. This time I just stood there and did nothing. Was I thinking that I didn't want to upset the situation or what was it? No it wasn't be afraid to say something. I just stood there and didn't do nothing. I wonder if the owner knows he was seen being a racist? I mean does he even know my friend is a Neechie? I mean my friend and I don't look Neechie. Maybe  the owner doesn't know the Blues player, who has stood on his stage many many times is  Neechie? If he knew would he have treated the Neechies who came to his door differently? The Neechies who came to his door could be easily identified as Indian. Was that it? Those would be patrons looked like they were from the Reserve.

In any case it still bothers me to this day. There should be no time when I should just stand there and do nothing. At least I hope there shouldn't be.

I saw this video today and it was at a Starbucks in Philadelphia.  Two Black men were waiting for their friend and didn't order anything. I have done at many restaurants, just sat around waiting before ordering. The staff called the police, the police came and arrested the men. There was no being loud, no altercation of any kind, no threat to the public; just two men waiting for a meeting. The man they were waiting, a White man came just as the two were arrested. His arrival didn't change anything. The police had made up their minds to arrest. A Black officer was also there. It looks like he was a non-factor, he was insignificant in the situation. The arresting officers just arrested them, and the police Chief said they didn't do anything wrong. The Black officer was like me, he just stood there and did nothing.

There is a lot of that going, a lot of just standing there and doing nothing.

There is also many, many folks out there who are not just standing there and doing nothing. They are standing up, speaking up, making a difference. There are a lot of places, a lot of doors being closed on people, a lot of people being treated badly, a lot of bad things going on. We need more people like that, willing to stand there and do something.

Syria, - Palestine, - President Trump, - Amazon Forest, - Puerto Rico, -  Sexual Abuse, - World.

I am glad there are people who are standing up and doing something.

Thank you.  Kitchi Miigwetch. 

Thursday, April 12, 2018

Humboldt BroncoTragedy and Nora Loreto

Horror, tragedy, grief, loss and anger has griped the community of Humboldt Saskatchewan. A semi-trailer and a bus full of young men crashed. The result is hard to imagine. Your child is gone. He is dead. The way he died is awful. As of today 16 people have died as a result of a vehicle crash. No word on how it happened. The early speculation points to the truck going through a flashing stop sign.

The accident has got world wide media attention. The loss is being felt everywhere and people have taken action to show support for the community and the families. A Go Fund page set up for the families of the accident has surpassed $10 million. Katie Dangerfield, writer with Global News and believes people can relate to the tragedy. Donations have come from over 65 countries. There is no doubt the tragedy is being felt by many and all over the world. The families and the community should have the support.

While Canada and the US (by way of the National Hockey League) are collectively showing support to the hockey players of Humboldt, some are questioning the support. They are not questioning that the support is needed or begrudging it, but wondering why only in this situation?

There have been other rallying cries of support. We are all Charlie was one of them. The world light up their cities in the colors of France in support. We see other situations  that become symbols where people share and support. There are of course many other events where people didn't empathize. The world didn't wear colors or pins to show support or care for the 276 girls kidnapped in Nigeria. Last week Syria's government poisoned their own people, many were children. The outcry to those incidents in comparison to Humboldt was the squeak of a mouse.

So why does Humboldt resonate so loudly with the world, while other tragedies are whimpers of media sound bites?

As mentioned in media articles it is the recognition and how people can relate. The anguish of loss. The sorrow we can imagine and feel empathy for the families. People can personalize the incident, the pain and imagine it as them. That is key, identifying as it can be you.

Which explains why the situation with Colten Boushie, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, Leo Lechance, Marlene Bird, Neil Stonechild, Sammy Yatim, Shamattawa and Alan Kurdi are not part of the equation. Sure there are some who feel bad and can sympathize but that is where it stops. They are good-hearted people, like many people are, but they don't identify. Nora Loreto was trying to convey this to the Twitter world with her Tweet. Many people took offense to her comments.

The thing is the outrage expressed by the public didn't balance with the view expressed by Loreto. There were calls for her to be fired from her job. There were vile, poisonous, venomous hate sent to her by email, telephone and social media.  Many of the comments were meant to demean, insult and even to threaten. People want her to die from Cancer. Andrienne Batra Editor of the Toronto Sun, wrote an editorial criticizing the tweet of Nora Loreto. It was a timely piece. Timely in that Batra is cashing in on the anger aimed directly at Loreto. What you see playing out is the real grief and anger people feel for the families of Humboldt Bronco's hockey team. The deaths and injuries are awful. So the reaction of hurt and anger is understandable. The vile personal attacks are not understandable. Batra although she was tame in her editorial, was playing to the audience who have unreasonable temperament. She shameless cashed in on the ugly sentiment played out on social media.

There are those who see the views of others as an opportunity; an opportunity to spew hate. It is a hypocrisy. On one hand there is the empathy, sympathy and genuine understanding of the accident/tragedy and then there is the visceral contempt for others. The statement by Loreto may have been ill-timed but it was far from malice or intended to hurt or diminish the horror. She pointed out there are differences in responses to tragedies.

Maybe if we looked at the tragedies and humanized all those different faces, we could all care like Humboldt. Until then we are all Charlie but not anymore than that.

The families who lost their sons, daughter and fathers will find no comfort for a long time, if ever.
Everyone can master a grief,
But he that has it.
William Shakespeare      

Thursday, April 5, 2018

Now That I Think About It...

Now that I think about it I am not sure.

I remember when I went for my colonoscopy. I was filled with apprehension and excitement. It was my first time. I have never been much for hospitals. So that night I drank the liquid. It is PEG, polyethylene glycol. I drank a gallon of the liquid. It was pineapple flavor. I dislike pineapple. The liquid also tasted like oil. The effects are immediate. You empty your bowels. the liquid is hard to drink it makes you want to bring it up. I am one of those people who when they drink, I slurp rather than gulp. It means I take in a lot of air when I drink. So the result is I drink slowly. The liquid is not pleasant to drink at all. It was very difficult for me to drink the gallon of PEG. PEG does work quickly and I must say effectively.

The next morning my wife, my best friend, my moral compass drove me to the hospital. The plan was to drop me off and pick me up later on in the day. I think I was to be finished by one o'clock. So as my wife took me to the drop-off point I was pretty excited. I stood at the entrance and I waved enthusiastically at my wife as she was ready to drive away. It was one of those moments like when you were a kid at your first day at school, happy but nervous as you look back and wave for reassurance. My wife with her beautiful smile pulling away from the hospital.

Now that I think about it, she was laughing?

Now that I think about it some old Women have wicked sense of humor.

My friend was telling me about his Mom and the things she use to say to him. When he would come back to the Reserve and visit at her home, she would say to him "kittinaydopatic".  He always wondered what it meant. He knew it was Ojibwe word. He knew the first part of the word was "Kit-ti-nae" which is a word to describe the vagina but he couldn't firgure out the second word. She said the word kittinaydopatic as one word. It was a long while before he was finally told or found out the second word was not "do-pa-tic" but actually "dope - addict".  My friend was a dope addict. Another time he was telling me of her disgust with a girl friend of his that was being cruel to him. You have to remember his Mom was in her late 70's at this time. She was so upset with the girl for treating her boy badly that she told him "if she comes here, I'm going to kick her in the cunt and cripple her".
He laughed because he knew she was teasing him.

Now that I think about it, maybe she wasn't kidding?

Friday, March 30, 2018

The Strength of Indigenous Women and All Women

Cree cutting up Deer.

I was thinking of deceased Mom this morning; "holy heck she was working all the time". I should have appreciated all the strength she had and what she provided us. She was strong in many ways, not just her work ethic or her care for her children. She was a pretty good Mom. Mom was not famous but Women don't have to be for them to have strength.

Its funny how we don't appreciate Women. We take their sacrifice for granted.

My cousin raised her kids to be Traditional. They follow the Traditional Teachings of the Anishinaabe and Cree. They grew up in the city but they keep a constant link with the Land and Traditions. They have a genuine love for the land and the Teachings. It is the Women in this family who are the glue to the strength of their family.

I wish I could have been more aware of the strength of Women as a young man. I was like many, where we take them for granted.

There are strong good Women in our circles. There are also Strong Good Women in the public circle and we should appreciate them as well.

Tanya Tagaq: "We went to an elders’ camp near our community and my mother and I went to say hi to them, and one of the hunters there came back with the seal for everybody to eat and enjoy and use the skin, and everyone was really happy about it. My Mother took the picture, and I put my baby next to the seal, and everybody just thought it was the cutest thing in the world. Like it was a really sweet endearment because I honour my children immensely and I would never, ever, do anything to compromise that honour towards them. It was just showing how much I appreciated the seal for giving its life so we could be happy and eat."
Tanya Tagaq is one example of many.  She makes no apologies for her strength. Strength from women can be unsettling for men and women alike. Tanya will speak up and face the consequences her voice may bring. Like supporting the Inuit Seal Hunt.  Tanya Tagaq is an Inuit artist musician from Northern Canada.

There is a lot of anger or hostility towards Indigenous Women, Women of Color (and Women in general). We see it everywhere. In public life the Woman is attacked viciously for who they are and what they do and say. Even Women of privilege are not immune to being attacked.

Liberal Minister of Parliament Celina Caesar-Chavannes is being attacked for her voice against racism. "So tired of being attacked as a racist b/c I question racism or speak up against it. The label that does not belong to me. I will not sit & let others say what they wish, because they feel they can get away with it, or others are too cowardice to object. I will speak up  "  Celina is a Black Woman and not afraid to confront systemic racism in office. For her efforts she is being vilified as a racist. 

The strength of women goes beyond gender culture race and profession. Women stood up to the male dominated institution of the police force. They spoke up to the culture of harassment they face with their fellow male officers. Women have been speaking up against the harassment only to met with reprisals. Still they use their voice.

You have to understand when Women stand up, they do it and others benefit. Their strength carries many and not only for Women.

Appreciate the strength of Women. Appreciate their voice. Appreciate their sacrifice. Appreciate their love.



Thursday, March 29, 2018

Pope Francis Shove The Apology.

Pope Francis aka Jorge Mario Bergoglio has declined to apologize to Indigenous people in Canada for what the Roman Catholic Church did to the Indigenous youth in their care. As you may imagine many in the Indigenous community did not take it wellSenator and former judge Murray Sinclair, who co-chaired the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, said Wednesday on social media.
“Canadian Catholic leaders who persuaded the Pope to adopt this position should be ashamed of themselves,” Sinclair said. “The shame of those who abused children in their institutions in the past is now theirs to wear.  I can understand the principle of wanting the apology. It's acknowledgement of the wrong they took and what they did. 

You can't really blame those Indians for being upset. Its not like Pope's have not apologized before for some of their buggery, sodomy and debauchery.  The Pope (Benedict) has apologized to Ireland for supplying pedophiles with a smorgasbord of kids to rape. Even the conservative Pope (John Paul II) made 100 apologies for various wrong doings, including the Galileo and many other abuses. An excuse is worse and more terrible than a lie, for an excuse is a lie guarded.— Pope John Paul II 

One of the reasons for the Pope of the Catholic Church not apologizing is the idea the Church is not centralized. Each of the Churches which had Residential Schools is responsible for their own mess.
You got to admit the old "its not me" excuse works every time. Its tried and true method of dodging responsibility.

For me I couldn't care less or give a shit if the Pope apologizes. I think an apology is a good thing but many times its an empty exercise. I remember about 35 years ago I was at a bar. A guy named Al came in. He was swearing around at this guy named Waldo. Al says "You were fooling around with my wife".  Waldo of course denies it, "No boy".  Al kept on saying "Yes you did, you fooled around with my wife". After a number of accusations and denials back and forth, Waldo finally said "It was long time ago boy". There it was, an admission of fooling around with his wife. The admission was in public so now it came down to Al's reaction. Al got quiet for a second and he said "Well, I want an apology".  Waldo said "I'm sorry Boy". That was it. No other words were exchanged.

You see the whole thing reminds me of the Church debauchery; people are yelling around but when it comes down to it, the Church can say "Sorry boy" but really what does it mean?  It means nothing. If you have to force an apology from someone who doesn't really want to, is it worth it? Al and Waldo are perfect example of how sincere and how empty a forced apology can be. For Waldo it was just getting rid of an annoyance. For Al it was just to vent and trying to get  some satisfaction but in the end it didn't accomplish anything. Al didn't know what to do with the apology.

Pope Francis and his cohorts of pedophiles can shove the apology up their bleached anuses.

* Oh yeah, the use of the word "Boy" is a colloquial saying in our Reserve. Its not disrespectful but used in place of someone's name or title. Commonly used by males in the community.

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Wally Chartrand: Circle of Life Teachings.

Wally Chartrand
Circle of Life Teaching
The first 9 grandfathers represent that first nine months in our mothers womb... long ago there were teachings here for men and for women... that father to be would be taken aside by his father, his grandfather or maybe his uncle... and he was told all those things he needed to do, and how to talk to his partner so that the journey would be good for that little one growing inside her tummy... she too was taken aside... her mother, her grandmother or maybe an aunt would take her aside and she too was told all those things she should do during this time of her pregnancy.. she was told where she could still walk and where not to walk during this time... which ceremonies she could still attend and which ones she should avoid during this time... for example, back home where I come from women used to be told not to attend wakes or funerals during this time... the reason being that it was believed that the departed spirit was just leaving into that next level of life, and that it might try and take that little spirit that was just developing inside her belly...
she was told to drink a lot of whitefish broth soup as it would help the little ones brain develop... we knew long ago about the importance of child development ...
or again she would be told to drink raspberry tea as this would make her and the baby stronger when it was time to deliver... on and on there were many teachings during this period both for her and for him... all for the sake that the journey for that little one developing in her tummy would be a good journey.

Circle of Life Teaching (2)
The first 7 red grandfathers represent that first stage of life that we know as childhood... but the old people don’t call it this, instead they know it as the stage of great learning... because everything we learn during this time prepares us for the rest of the journey ahead... I read a book long ago called “Everything you Wanted To Know About Life You Learned In Kindergarten “... made a lot of sense this little book... because this is were we first learn to be in relationship, how to share or how to problem solve... everything we learn here prepares for the rest of the journey ahead... but again long ago... there were teachings here for the little boys and girls and even the two spirits... for example... after we are maybe 2 weeks old our bellybutton cord falls off... well they wouldn’t take that and just throw it away... because there was a ceremony for that... again back home... they would take that cord that had fallen off and they would go into the forest and find a tree that had fallen naturally.. and on that stump they would place that cord along with some tobacco and prayers... all for the sake that, that little one would always know where they are going in life... because the belief was that if we just threw it away that we would wonder this way and that way throughout our journey looking for our bellybutton... so I’ve done that ceremony for my children whereby when their bellybutton cords fell off, I took the cords into the bush along with my tobacco and said those prayers... in case should any of my children ever come to me and tell me that they are feeling lost... you know what I can do?... I can take them by the hand and I can lead them into the forest and show them where I placed their cord ... because as a father I want my children to always know where they are going in life... that’s one of the responsibilities I took when I became their father...
the cradle board (tekanagan)... was useful in that when baby was tied up and secure... it allowed for the mother to look after her other responsibilities of looking after the home and her family knowing that baby was safe... all she had to do was look over once in awhile to see baby safe and sound... the other advantage was with having baby warped and secure... we all know that babies have little or no motor skills... their hands and arms are all over the place... when wrapped and secure in the cradleboard... all baby has his his/her eyes and ears... so it was to help further develop the child’s brain... thus giving the baby a head start ...
Once we learn to walk, they wouldn’t allow for the child to step all over Mother Earth... there would be a ceremony for that ... we called it the walking out ceremony... but this was to begin teaching that child that we need to respect Mother Earth... imagine that!.. when our children were one year old, we already began to teach that child about the first sacred teaching of respect... something unfortunately we don’t do enough today ... we just have to open the paper in the morning to see that our children have not been taught that first sacred teaching of respect... we hear of too many times how someone has killed someone ... we are not teaching our children to respect life! ... again, long ago we had all the teachings that would prepare our children for the journey ahead... something we don’t do enough today

Circle of Life Teaching (3)
The 7 white grandfathers represent adolescents, the teenage years ... but our old people had another name for this stage... this one they called the fast life... because we get to be 12, 13 or 14 and we want to be in the next stage already ... “can’t tell me what to do!” ... because we know it all already ... “don’t worry about it!... I’ll pick my own friends”.... or ... “don’t worry about it, I’ll dress the way I want!”... or... “don’t worry I’ll go to bed when I want, don’t worry I’ll get up in the morning!”... I remember when I was 12-13 years old... the style back then is that we would go into town at Woolworths and buy a brand new pair of jeans... come home and go straight into the kitchen and bring out the scissors, and we’d cut them across the front legs... designer jeans!...we can buy them today for $100-150.00 ... we used to make our own... but then I’d be out walking around with my friends maybe in the middle of January, 12-1 o’clock in the morning in my cut-up jeans (no long-johns), my little white t-shirt and Jean jacket... shivering from the cold!!!! But at least I looked cool !... because no one could tell me, I knew it all already by then...
again, long ago there were teachings here for those boys ready to be men, and those girls ready to be women ... for example ... that boy when he was around 12-13 years old... they would take him away from his community, maybe to a special area... and they would leave him there maybe overnight, maybe 2-4 days without food or water... all for the sake that his spirit helper would come to him in a dream... that spirit helper who would guide him the rest of the way...
by the time that boy was 14-16 years old, he already belonged to one of the society’s within the community in which he lived... whether that was the hunting society, the medicine society or the warrior society... whatever societies that community had, he already belonged to one of them dependent on his skills and gifts... again, something we unfortunately don’t do today... what do we do with our youth? We push them to the side, we don’t create a place for them within our families or our communities... then we wonder why they are so messed up sometime... maybe that’s part of why... because we don’t give them a purpose or responsibilities... they don’t feel valued, but instead are pushed aside... like they are in the way for some reason!...
there were teachings here as well for those young girls ready to be women... but I can’t share those teachings because I’m not a woman ...
Circle of Life Teachings (4)
The yellow grandfathers represent that next stage of life after the fast life... we know it as the adult stage... but again the old people they don’t call it this, instead they call it the stage of great responsibility ... because it’s during this stage of life that we are supposed to come together with that other person.... but with that comes great responsibility...
I remember the very first time that I fell in love many many years ago... I remember not being able to sleep or eat for about a week or two... I just wanted to spend 24/7 with her... but than I noticed something after about a week or two... I started sleeping and eating again... I noticed that love wore off just slightly... and this is where responsibility kicks in... because now I have to nurture that love if I want to maintain it and have it grow... just like a flower, I have to nurture it with water, sunlight and care... love is very much the same... we have to nurture it, protect it and handle it with care... it takes great responsibility to do this... sometimes guys would pop in and say let’s go play hockey... well I can’t just jump up and put on gear and head out the door... I have to ask her first, because what if she has other plans for us tonight?... that’s a part of that responsibility we accept when we go into a relationship... again that’s what they call this stage of great responsibility...
After awhile things will be going really good between the two of us... so what do we do!!!... we now invite new life into the relationship... next thing we know we have this tinny little bundle totally dependent upon us... to feed it, to shelter it, to clothe it, to protect it, to nurture it, to love it... that takes a tremendous responsibility... but again that’s why they call this stage the stage of great responsibility... long ago by the time we arrived at this stage in our lives we knew what our roles and responsibilities were...
Again, unfortunately these teachings have not been taught to all parents... today we see our children growing up in foster care or in group homes, because our parents have forgotten their roles and responsibilities... today we have over 9,000 Anishinabe children in the child welfare system here in Manitoba alone... now we are being told that across Canada that there are more Anishinabe children in care then there were at any given time during the residential school era ... we ask ourselves what are the long term implications of our children growing up in such a system... they eventually forget who they are and where it is that they come from as Anishinabe children... so therefore it is imperative that we support families to try and prevent too many of our children coming into such a system... can we be doing more? ...
One last thought... today I see our Anishinabe men who will have children with this woman, children with that woman, and maybe even children with that other woman... but they don’t take any responsibility for any of those children... they just move onto another woman... where is the honour in that?... just an after thought.
Circle of Life Teachings (5)

the blue grandfathers represents that last stage of life we know as the Elder stage... but again the old people know this stage as the stage of great wisdom... 
because, when we think about it... we’ve traveled all the way from that very first Grandfather and we’ve experienced all those different things that life has to offer us along the way... by the time we get to this stage of life... we have this wealth of knowledge... so now we become the teachers... it’s our role to pass on to those others behind us the knowledge we’ve gained ... by the time we arrived at this stage of our lives, we knew exactly what our responsibilities were... we knew that we had a place within our families and our communities... we were seen as being valuable to the well-being of not only our family, but also to the community...
Today we neglect our Elders... we put them away in senior homes and only go to visit when it’s convenient for us... we don’t take time to go and listen to their stories and their teachings... and then finally one day... we attend their funeral and we state how great they were, how we will miss them... and how we missed the opportunity to learn from them before they were gone forever.. 
Today we neglect our Elders... we put them away in senior homes and only go to visit when it’s convenient for us... we don’t take time to go and listen to their stories and their teachings... and then finally one day... we attend their funeral and we state how great they were, how we will miss them... and how we missed the opportunity to learn from them before they were gone forever.. 

Circle of Life Teaching (6)

The white and black grandfathers in the middle represent those two roads that we all walk at one point in our journey... 
the white ones represent that road we call Mino-pimatizin (the good life)... this is that road they tell us we travel when we practice those seven sacred teachings of respect, love, honesty, courage, wisdom, truth and humility... again... what good are they unless we practice them and walk them in the best way that we can... also... the teachings need to begin from within... how can I love others if I don’t first love myself? How can I respect others if I don’t First respect myself?...
the Black grandfathers represent that other road we walk from time to time as well... that one we call Maji-mekana (the bad road)... this is the road we walk when we abuse alcohol, drugs... when we are abusive to others or ourselves... lying, cheating , stealing....... when we are walking in this way we are told that we are walking upon this road...
but again we are also reminded... just as there are teachings on the other road, there are also teachings on this road as well... for example ... that alcohol is a medicine... cocaine is a medicine... heroine is a medicine... anything and everything that comes from Mother Earth is a medicine... but what happens when we don’t respect that medicine ? ... it can come back to hurt us... and that’s exactly what we see today in our families and in our communities ... is that people have not respected these medicines... and now our families are paying for it... and most importantly... our children are paying for it!
the Black grandfathers represent that other road we walk from time to time as well... that one we call Maji-mekana (the bad road)... this is the road we walk when we abuse alcohol, drugs... when we are abusive to others or ourselves... lying, cheating , stealing....... when we are walking in this way we are told that we are walking upon this road... but again we are also reminded... just as there are teachings on the other road, there are also teachings on this road as well... for example ... that alcohol is a medicine... cocaine is a medicine... heroine is a medicine... anything and everything that comes from Mother Earth is a medicine... but what happens when we don’t respect that medicine ? ... it can come back to hurt us... and that’s exactly what we see today in our families and in our communities ... is that people have not respected these medicines... and now our families are paying for it... and most importantly... our children are paying for it!