Monday, October 25, 2010

Corey Bushie will be in Jail for 12 years.

Corey Bushie is a name from the past. He was a 11 year old kid that lived in the neighbourhood. I remember him as this little lively happy kid. He had that little rat tail hair style that kids had in the 90's. We used to live in the north-end of the city. A very poor community. My boys went to school in the area and they had a lot of friends. My older boy has always been good at making friends. He is that easy going type of guy. Anyway, we moved away from the area to a middle class area. When that happens things change, your kids meet new friends and old friends are not there anymore. It was my son that told me who the Corey was in the paper. I was saddened to hear this. As my son pointed out more than of few of his old friends have ended up in the paper for some type of criminal act. It makes me glad and sad at the same time that we moved from the area. I still go there quite a bit to look at our old house. I want to remember the good times that my kids had. The north-end is filled with Indians, poorer White people, Ukrainians, Polish, Filipinos and other new immigrants. One of the big things we noticed when we moved to another neighbourhood was the quiet. No kids playing, no street noise. I remember it being eerie when we first moved. Strange I know.  My boy and I wondered about the old north end neighbourhood. Did moving give them (our boys) a better chance than the other kids?

"A Winnipeg man who claims he's been wrongfully convicted of a deadly inner-city shooting will have to spend at least 12 years in prison before he can apply for parole.
Cory Bushie was found guilty of second-degree murder earlier this year, triggering an automatic life sentence. The only question left to decide was his parole eligibility.
The Crown asked earlier this week to have it raised as high as 16 years, while Bushie requested the mandatory minimum of 10 years. Queen's Bench Justice Doug Abra ruled Friday 12 years was sufficient given the circumstances of the case, which include Bushie's extensive prior criminal record.
Bushie, 30, has always denied being involved in the July 2007 killing of 20-year- old Aaron Nabess in a lane behind a known crack house at 575 Magnus Ave. Nabess was shot four times, staggering through the neighbourhood for several minutes before collapsing. Bushie claims the real killer was never caught -- but jurors clearly disagreed.
The case centred around two women who testified they saw Bushie pull the trigger. Defence lawyer Danny Gunn argued during the trial their evidence is flawed and may have been an attempt to cover up the truth.
Gunn said there were plenty of other people with opportunity and motive to kill Nabess, a known drug dealer. He also argued even if Bushie pulled the trigger, he was too impaired at the time to form the necessary intent for murder and should have only been convicted of manslaughter.
The Crown told jurors there should be no doubt about Bushie's guilt. They noted the testimony of Marilia Martins, who broke down in tears while describing how Nabess and Bushie got into a dispute that ended with gunfire while she and a friend stood nearby. The four had just left the North End home, where a party was going on inside.
Bushie repeated his claim of innocence during sentencing submissions this week and plans to appeal."

Sunday, October 24, 2010

The Banana seat Bicycle

The Blue Angel!  This is exactly, EXACTLY the same type of bike I bought for my girl (oldest girl) when she was little. The blue tires and the white banana seat.
I used to love riding a bike when I was a kid. There was big bike. I used to put my leg under the cross bar so I was able to reach the peddles. That is why a girl's bike was always better, the cross bar was always angled low so it didn't matter how small you were or how the big the bike was.  I see that many bikes of the old style have made a big comeback. People like to remember their youth. With all the new technology and fancy stuff, the old bikes just don't cut it for the younger kids. You were pretty lucky if you had a bike to share as kids. A great way to get around. I am glad to see that some of the old stuff still makes in today's world. If it works why not use it? But we like the new and up to date things, don't we?  It was a real different world growing up in the 60's and 70's. I guess really it's not that different for the poor. If you were poor than, being poor today is probably the same thing. Only the poor today have more to miss out on. If you call not having video games, flat screen, IPODs as the things to miss out on.

Oh well. Let's take a minute and remember the old bike. Aaaaahhhhhhhhhh that's the stuff.

Monday, October 18, 2010

The Act of Suicide and Wear Purple Day October 20,2010

I listened to a radio program on CBC Radio Ideas that was entitled "To be or not to be". A look at the act of suicide.
For people that are survivors of suicide loss it is an eye opening discussion.
Suicide is a topic that people REALLY do not want to talk about. It is seen in many different ways, and to talk about it, maybe it will set off a suicide.

I took a few things away from the radio show. I know that suicide is not an act of cowardice. Many call the suicide person a coward, a selfish individual. That is not the case. Nor was it really bravery. It is not bravery, but rather as Dr. Thomas Joiner says it is an act of "fearlessness". "Joiner proposes that there are three key motivational aspects which contribute to suicide. These are: 1) a sense of being a burden to others, 2) a profound sense of loneliness, alienation and isolation, and 3) a sense of fearlessness. All three of these motivations or preconditions must be in place before someone will attempt suicide."
Myths, suicide is impulsive, suicide is selfish, is done to hurt someone. Talking about suicide increases the risk.

I truly believe and I KNOW that my boy did not take his life to hurt his family. He did not take it to be a burden. He took his life to stop the pain. He felt (and it was wrong) that he could better help his family by not being here anymore.

One of the things people think that there are notes in suicides. In reality notes are not normally left. The note people want to see if there is a note is one that says it was not our fault. We would like to have seen a note that Virginia Woolf wrote:

"I feel certain that I am going mad again. I feel we can't go through another of those terrible times. And I shan't recover this time. I begin to hear voices, and I can't concentrate. So I am doing what seems the best thing to do. You have given me the greatest possible happiness. You have been in every way all that anyone could be. I don't think two people could have been happier 'til this terrible disease came. I can't fight any longer. I know that I am spoiling your life, that without me you could work. And you will I know. You see I can't even write this properly. I can't read. What I want to say is I owe all the happiness of my life to you. You have been entirely patient with me and incredibly good. I want to say that — everybody knows it. If anybody could have saved me it would have been you. Everything has gone from me but the certainty of your goodness. I can't go on spoiling your life any longer. I don't think two people could have been happier than we have been. V.[25]"

My son did not leave a note. He did not send me an email, he did not call me. That kills me. My son did not try and reach me before he left. But hey, what can you do?

I saw on Facebook there is going to be a wear purple day for those  that committed suicide. It is to remember those young boys that took their lives. Those boys were gay. I see that there are a lot of hate messages on that facebook site. Both about gays and about suicide. A lot of intolerance in the world of facebook. Spirit Day October 20, 2010.

Suicide can happen to anyone. No one knows why, and that is NO ONE knows WHY?

I will wear purple. There is enough hate in the world, why not share some support, some kindness.

3 Questions for personal or work assessment

Where do we want to be?
Where are we now?
What do we need to get there?

Friday, October 15, 2010

Indian factor hurts Indian business

The Indian factor about business in this instance is not the collective thing but rather the jealous factor. You know it is thought that Indians don't do well in business because of the individual factor, they are more for the collective than the individual. In any case today's program is brought to you by the letter B, for business, Indian business. There are many Indians doing pretty good out there in the capital world and some that are just getting by. Just like any business out there.

With business there is competition; usually other similar businesses out there. In the Aboriginal community there are some businesses that have to compete with political organizations. The news paper industry is one example. There are a number of Aboriginal newspapers in Canada and a few in Manitoba. The Aboriginal political community is hard on the independent Indian news. They impose sanctions against the news paper businesses, refuse to support them, and provide their own in-house papers designed to give a one-way message.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

ThunderBird House

Thunderbird House, Winnipeg, Manitoba Canada. A haven in the heart of the City's Main Street. An area that was dying. An area that has seen its share of hardship, hurt, loss, violence, hope, healing and renewal.

There are two people that are now synonymous with the Thunderbird House: Stephanie Eyolfson and Chrissy Gauthier. They are doing great work out of the Thunderbird House. The Thunderbird House has a Sweatlodge that is open to the public. People have access to a Sweatlodge within walking distance from the inner-city. A very high number of Indian people live in the inner-city (and all other regions) of Winnipeg. There are different Elders and Teachers that have access to use of the Sweat Lodge. You know how Indians are, they follow certain gurus(Teachers/Elders)and avoid others. That's the nature of people. You associate with who you are comfortable with. The Thunderbird House also has an Elder's room that people can come and use for Teachings or just visiting. The Thunderbird House is a community centre type operation. The room is large and can hold about three hundred fifty people for an event.

The Thunderbird House DOES NOT receive an Operation and Maintence grant and does not have a budget to cover all of its expenses. Rental of the Centre would ease some of their funding shortcomings. For some reason, the numerous Aboriginal organizations in Winnipeg, Manitoba rarely, if at all, use the services of the Thunderbird House. It is a common trait amoung Aboriginal organizations, they do not network with each other, never mind support each other. Many of the Aboriginal organizations host a number of meetings, seminars, conferences throughout the year, but much of their business goes to Winnipeg hotels.

That is one of the things that has to change, Indians supporting other Indians. There are times when you have no choice to use other venues, but if the service is there why not use it?

Assemble of Manitoba Chiefs is notorious for supporting itself at the expense of other Aboriginal initiatives. AMC will not use the Aboriginal press in its communique. They spend a lot of money putting out glossy magazines to highlight their achievements. The Aboriginal press is not considered for use. The press is shunned if an article spotlights shortcomings in our Aboriginal political elite. There are other Indian organizations that use this practice as well, the Manitoba Metis Federation, the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Southern Chiefs Organization and a host of smaller quasi-political and service delivery agencies.

Would like to see the Indian agencies supporting each other. That includes the few Aboriginal media papers, social agencies, consulting groups, marketing groups, political allies and other groups. Perhaps it could start with AMC, MKO, SCO, MMF, taking a look at Thunderbird House and see how the House can meet their meeting place needs.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Indians are Fat!

Indians are fat. That is a fact. Too much Bannock, not enough exercise. Lots of pop, chips and greasy foods. Yep we are fat.  It's not just us but it seems everyone in Canada is getting fat. Same with the United States. We are fat. Fat!
I recently joined a gym to start running. I have been to the gym three times already. Every other day since I joined. When I went to the gym I told the pretty young blonde manager that I was there because I am fat. She said I was not fat. I said sign me up!
I told my brother what she said. And I told him that I was an athlete. He said that I was an allaround athlete. All round is what he actually said. He said yeah, I was in shape as round is a shape.
I think I am going to like going there. It's a small clean gym. Mostly machines for cardio and some weight training machines. Not a gym for the mammoth gym rats you see in those free weight gyms.
I signed up my daughter with me. She is going to start running sometime soon. She used to swim laps a couple of years ago, but no longer. I am one of those nags that talks lots but doesn't walk the walk. Talk to her about what food to eat and to exercise. So I better try and be a better model.

Being fat is a wide problem. All sorts of people are fat. Fat can even be sexy. There are those people called chubby chasers. Good for them. More to hold, not like those skin and bones you see on a fashion cat walk.

So being fat you are part of the crowd. Everyone it seems is fat these days. So if that is the case why are governments spending big cash on trying to educate people on fitness? You have Bodybreak commercials on Canadian television. There were tv ads about the 65 year old Swed being healthier than the 30 year old Canadian. This was an attempt to embarrass the average person to get off their fat arse and get to jogging. The Canadian government sponsored a program called ParticipACTION. The 1980 ads were catchy. Not sure if it got people off their collective arse, but it had a nice tune. There was even a mascot; Harvey Lazybones.

It would be okay to be fat if there were not consequences with it. Not being able to buy ONE seat on an airplane. Even famous celebrities are not immune to fat. Kevin Smith was kicked of a plane for being fat. The real consequence is the health risk of being fat. As Indian people we seem to catching all the illness out there. Fat being one of them. But is it an illness? Or is our lifestyle contributing to the health crisis?

I am not fat! I am round in certain spots. I carry a front pack of food and sludge. I refuse to buy two seats on a plane! I want to be able to see my friend. :D

Monday, October 4, 2010

Vigil for Missing women: keeping them alive

Tonight a Gathering was held for the Aboriginal Missing and murdered Women in Canada. It was held at the Manitoba Legislative Grounds in Manitoba Canada. It is a demonstration of Hope, Caring and Support. We need to remember. Need to keep Women in the front of our Minds. Need to keep seeking for their safety. Need to try and get them Home. Need to keep them alive in the minds and Hearts of people, of family, of community.

Jennifer Catcheway's Mom. Jennifer is one of many missing Native women. Bernice, Lucille and all her family are looking for her.
Singing for the Missing women. Singing out their names and telling them that this is for them.
Lot of Women have gone missing. Keep them in your mind/memory. Think about the families, think of the Women.
Chickadee Richards spending some time remembering the Women. She is a Traditional Teacher. She has said she will participating in the next Gathering For Survivors of Suicide. As a person in the front lines she deals with Suicide and is going to make a difference.
Another beautiful strong Woman, Lori Mainville. She is an activist, a Mom and a Traditional person.

Handing out candles for the Missing Women.

Woman, Karen Courchene from Sagkeeng. My Reserve. She was in my school and class as a kid.

The RED DRESS Women. An Aboriginal Artist is collecting five hundred dresses and going to display them on the trees in the city. She wants the dresses to represent the Missing Women. And the display is to put in the minds of people. To make them aware of the Missing Women.

Television and Movie Star, former Member of Parliament of Canada, Ms Tina Keeper.

Another Woman from Sagkeeng Indian Reserve in Manitoba, Ann Bruyere. Not sure what her married name is. A very good person.
Lot of Missing Women represented at the Vigil.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

300000 kilometers on the car

My wife has a 2003 Toyota Corolla. An awesome little car. The odometer is stuck on 299999. So we have gone over the three hundred thousand kilometer mark.
Indian cars, well this is no Indian car. I remember as a young guy lot of people had Indian cars. Cars that should not have been on the road. :D

Saturday, October 2, 2010

Another Gathering for Suicide Survivors April 2011

It is the George Chuvalo documentary: Still Standing. The horror he went through with his family tragedy is unbelievable.  He is indeed still standing. As my friend always says "a lesser man would be in the fetal position".
I am thinking that George would be an excellent speaker to come and speak at a Survivors of Suicide Gathering.

I am thinking we could do it again for April 2011. It would be costly to bring Mr. Chuvalo in to speak but well worth the effort. I think I will ask around what people think and see if it is still an idea to hold another Gathering for next spring. If we seek input now it might be worth it.

We did alright this year. People were really generous.
So maybe I will ask the Elder what he thinks. I know at the end of the Gathering in April this spring he has said he wanted to do it again next year. So that will be the first thing is to ask what he thinks.

Friday, October 1, 2010

Winnipeg Manitoba Museum of Man & Nature

Ah, me, Amelia and JackJack (Boy) went out for the morning. I have been trying to think of things to do with a three and one year old. Television is said to be no good for kids, causes Attention deficit disorder. In other words makes kids stupid by the time they are nine. So I don't want that. I have been taking the kids to the city parks. St. Vital park is pretty big with a fair amount of woods for looking at venturing into, if you are into that. We go there and the kids play on the structures. It's nice to spend them there. Lots of Geese hanging around putting poop on the ground. We went to St. John's Park in the north end yesterday.
A very nice park in the midst of the north end. The north end of Winnipeg is one of the poorer areas of the city. It is also a very high crime area. I guess poverty and crime have a symbiotic relationship (if crime and poverty were living things). Another nice park is the one down town in the city central. Another high crime, and relatively poor area.  Lot of new immigrants in the centre. The park there is new, fixed up and fancy. Not too much green space, but enough to be an oasis in the middle of all that concrete.
So today it was museum time. Going to see Indians in glass boxes, all dressed up in their going to the Pow-wow best, or in their going to get married duds.
That place is Fantastic!!! Oh I've been there before, but you kind of forget how neat it is to be in a museum. Next I think I will go to the Winnipeg Art Gallery. Not sure how that will go with the young ones.
But I sure did like that museum.
This is an example of an older snowmobile. We called them skidoos when we were kids. I guess that is a trade name sort of like kleenex is for tissue paper. In any case when we were kids, my dad got one like this. He used it for trapping and we used it for fun.

Some great minature javascript:void(0)work, I think they call it a diorama? In any case the museum had your Indians, but it also had some old bones, some stuff from new settlers and few other interesting items. Amelia thought one of the big dinosaur skeletons was a dragon. She was pretty clingy through that section of the museum. We went through the museum at a good pace, so we also went down to the Planitarium. The show was on at two, so we just went to the hands on exhibit. Cool place for kids and adults.
Don't the canoe and the meat look real? This is a minature display from the typical northern Indian village I would guess.
Those damn Indians sure could make clothes look fine. The beading and the design. I have a vest that some old ladies did for me from Norway House. The beading is really good. I hope that I could get another one for my grandson and granddaughter some day. I wonder when the Chinese will start making beaded Indian outfits? I bought a few beaded purses when I was in Vancouver and they looked good. Cheap in price. Quality was not there yet as the threads got lose and beads fall off. But when the do they will have a pretty market from all the Indian dancers out there. I kind of hope it doesn't happen. But who knows, I say the art of beading is dying for Indians. Some will argue it's not. All you have to do is check vendors at pow-wows and other Indian events and you don't see beaded stuff. It is time consuming and people don't want to pay for the amount of time and effort you put into the beading, never mind how much of an art piece it is. So beadings becomes a select hobbie for the purists and the ones who can't afford to pay five grand for an outfit. Anyways rambling here.
The museum was cheap to go to, well worth the costs.

Cherokee Fiddle, cause Good Whiskey Never Let Him Lose His Place

 Urban Cowboy is a 1980 movie with a soundtrack steeped in western songs that had great Redneck lines like, "single bars and good time ...