Why should you respect the role of Chief and Council of the Reserve? I really believe we should. As my friend and Teacher says, "if you support them they will be strong but if you keep cutting them up, they will be weak".
I think (generally) there is a total lack of respect for the ROLE of our Leaders. Both from the people and the leaders themselves.
In the Reserve, politics is a little different than in main stream. In mean stream you won't go over to the Mayor's house or to the Premiers' house and ask for some one to come clean your driveway, would you? Or would you stop the MLA (Member of Legislative Assembly) on the side of the highway and ask to borrow fifty bucks? Would you ring them up at their home, late at night and say you have no gas money, can you come over and get some?
It is a damn shame that we do that to our leaders. We don't have any respect for the role. We think of them as less than leaders. We treat them with such contempt that we only want them to satisfy our individual short term needs and wants. That is an utterly disgusting way to behave. You know what? That is happening in many many Reserves. We have lost the meaning of what leadership means. And you know what else? Our own leaders have become so used to the way the role has changed that they themselves perpetuate that role of welfare provider. They no longer look at what the role of leadership should be. Instead they become managers. Managers of poverty. They continue to sustain colonialism and the control and distribution of meager resources to the Reserve peoples.
People need to stop and respect the roles of the Chief and Council. Regardless if we like the person or not. This person is our Leader and is to work for us. If we support him/her, and we challenge them to take their role with pride and humility, just maybe they will be the Leaders we need and want.
If we continue to put them as managers of poverty and fall into that way of living, we are doomed to stay in that situation. The situation where everyone is just clawing for morsels at the expense of the larger community. I say challenge your Leader to behave as a Leader. Let the administrators handle the day to day management and get our Leaders to challenge the mainstream.
It likely won't happen. Many of our communities are turning away from community thinking and becoming an island of individuals. Individuals with individual wants, and fuck the rest of the community and fuck the rest of the Native population. We are becoming our own colonizers.
"As it was at first, and should be yet; for it was never divided, but belongs to all for the use of each."
"Post-colonialism also deals with conflicts of identity and cultural
belonging. Colonial powers came to foreign states and destroyed main
parts of native tradition and culture; furthermore, they continuously
replaced them with their own ones. This often lead to conflicts when
countries became independent and suddenly faced the challenge of
developing a new nationwide identity and self-confidence.
As generations had lived under the power of colonial rulers, they had
more or less adopted their Western tradition and culture. The challenge
for these countries was to find an individual way of proceeding to call
their own. They could not get rid of the Western way of life from one
day to the other; they could not manage to create a completely new one
Motive and Ways of Colonizing.