On its 4,000-kilometre path across the country, TransCanada Corp.’s
Energy East’s pipeline would traverse the traditional territory of 180
different aboriginal communities, each of whom must be consulted and
have their concerns accommodated as part of the company’s effort at
winning project approval.
The Energy East plan is to bring 1.1 million barrels per day of
western crude to eastern Canadian refineries and export terminals; it
has been touted by politicians and its proponents as a nation-building
exercise, and by industry as providing access to new markets for
But native leaders want to ensure that they see some benefits from
the $12-billion project and they could present a challenging obstacle to
its completion if they feel excluded. On Tuesday, First Nations leaders
gathering in Gatineau, Que., will launch an effort to devise their own
national energy strategy.
“We are disappointed and disgusted that he would actually work for the enemy, TransCanada, in terms of protecting the land and the waters and the future of our unborn. We are Anishnabe people of this land. We need to voice for her, for mother Earth.” Jo Seenie
There is no doubt some people are angry. Some people are angry at the Women and men that held up banners, sang Traditional songs and interrupted Phil Fontaine's speaking engagement. Others are angry at Mr. Fontaine for his new job and responsibilities as an Aboriginal Spokesperson for TransCanada Pipeline.
There is a debate, actually it is more of a shouting match among Indian people about the University of Winnipeg speaking engagement. There are people angry that Phil did not get to speak and was shown disrespect. They say that the interrupters are protestors and they were there to create a disturbance.
The "protesters" say they are trying to protect the Earth from a monster, that monster being TransCanada pipeline. They are thinking of the long haul, the big picture, i.e. The survival of the Earth. So their fight takes precedence over the feelings of one person.
I think we need people to be loud. We need people on the outside with the goal of cease and desist. Stopping big companies from hurting Indian lands. We have many people on the inside as well. Asking questions and trying to persuade the Big companies and government from with in the ranks. We also need people to be on the inside, to quietly but strongly looking out for the people by offering advice to the decision makers. Two different approaches to working for the people.
Which is more effective? I don't know.
I do know who gets more negative media. I do know that outsiders are always on the outside and that will not change.
Many people are upset that it was Phil that was challenged. They are upset because it "was" Phil! Phil that made many strong stands against government and Big business when he was leader of the Indians across Canada. So how dare people challenge him? Disrespect him?
I can see that being a bad thing, disrupting a well respected Leader, which is Phil. Many Aboliginal People see him as a sell out.
I don't agree that he has changed colours overnight as some state. No your values never change. Phil loves his people. He has worked his entire career for the betterment for Indians. He worked on the outside of the government as a Leader of the Assembly of First Nations. His approach to how he worked is questioned and has been for years. "To cozy with government" was a slogan used by other Indians who wanted to be Grand Chief. So his style was different from others, more conciliatory than confrontational. However, I do think attitudes change. Maybe Phil feels that working with the "enemy" is the way to get concesations for the people? I don't know but maybe that is his logic. So that would mean his value of love for the people has not changed but rather the approach of who to fight for his people has changed. In other words his attitude of working on the outside to working on the inside has changed. So you can say that he is still for the betterment of Indian people even though he is working for the cannibal company, TransCanada Pipeline. Maybe he is trying to get TransCanada to not cannibalize the Indians? The way he sees how to do that is by being a voice inside?
I think that Jo Seenie is true to the cause of saving the Earth for the next generations of people. I know Jo loves her people. Her values are consistent with many Indians; love of the people and the Creator. Her attitude towards the companies are not shared by government. She would sacrifice the short term gain of jobs for the long term gain of life. A safe and good life for the people. Her attitude is that you must break the system because the system doesn't work for the people. Her way is to bring attention to the cannibal nature of Big business. The way to do that is to be seen and hear. How do you get seen and heard? You put yourself in a place that you can be seen and heard. In many cases it may cause some disruption. People will not like it. But for her the bigger picture is not for her to be liked but for her to be heard. And people are going to hear her.
Being heard may look like disrespect but if you look harder, than you will see it is not disrespect but it is commitment. Commitment to a set of values. That set of values is a deep profound love of the people. That means, lending a voice for the people.
So look hard when we see "protesters". They just have your best interest at heart.
Angry Protesters Force First Nations Leader Off... by tvnportal