Thursday, September 17, 2015

Moved to New Blog

I hope that you come visit the new blog.

You have a great day.

Miinaawaa G'waabaamin


Don't be shy come say hi.

Friday, September 11, 2015

From Ashes To Ashes: Sweet Justice for the Survivors of St Anne''s.

From Ashes to Ashes: Sweet Justice for the Survivors of St. Anne’s

September 10, 2015
By Susan G. Enberg
Fort Albany First Nation in northern Ontario is a small community that—fifty to sixty years later—still reels from the pain caused by brutal abuses inflicted upon children of the James Bay region due to the residential school system. From 1920 to the 1960s, a great number of First Nations children from this region suffered brutal physical and sexual abuses in Fort Albany. Children from the reserve areas of Attawapiskat, Weenusk, Fort Albany, and Peawanuck were forcibly interned at St. Anne’s ‘Indian’ residential school as a matter of Canadian government policy, a racist-colonialist policy known as the Indian Act.
Many small children were ripped out of the arms of tearful parents who were threatened with imprisonment, excommunication, or loss of government subsidies should they refuse to place their children at St. Anne’s, a total institution that aimed for social engineering through Christianization. A culture of fear and silence prevailed as both children and parents were intimidated, told by staff members of the Roman Catholic Church that they would go to hell if abuses by the clergy were ever brought to light. Only since the 1990s has it become known that many of the abuses wielded against the children were inflicted by their caregivers and their teachers: the Roman Catholic clergy of St. Anne’s and workers at the school, with the complicity of the Canadian government.
As an academic and a human rights advocate, I had done much research before travelling to the Fort Albany First Nation community. I was well informed and greatly disturbed when first learning about tortures endured by the children at the hands of their Catholic caregivers. These horrific acts included sexual molestation, rape, being forced to eat their own vomit, and being electrocuted in a homemade electric chair for the ‘amusement’ of bishops, priests, brothers, nuns, and visitors to the school. There were other students who became bullies at the school; bullies who learned from their teachers, the Catholic clergy, that brutal violence was not only socially acceptable but also encouraged. However, speaking with the Survivors in person has provided me an opportunity to truly humanize their stories.
Ed Sackaney asserts that boys at St. Anne’s were taught by a priest to dehumanize and objectify women and girls. The priest forced the boys to look at pornographic magazines, while missing no opportunity to highlight in very derogatory language the various private parts of a woman’s body. The priest taught that women were to be controlled by boys and men, and that girls and women were in no way equal to their male counterparts. This directly contrasts with traditional teachings of the Cree where women, as the life-givers, are to be highly respected. Thus, such an example helps us to understand that self-loathing and hatred of others became learned and ingrained through indoctrination and brutal violence. The violence inflicted upon the children of St. Anne’s led to a legacy of violence passed down through the generations. It is now being recognized, albeit slowly, that Survivors are not just those who attended residential schools, but also their children and grandchildren. It is a legacy that the Indigenous communities of James Bay are desperately trying to dismantle and to consciously uproot from their lives. One recent event in particular may help this along.
On September 4, 2015, I was informed through social media that the rectory, the last standing visual reminder of abuses by the Roman Catholic clergy at St. Anne’s, had burned to the ground. The rectory was a living hell for many of the children of St. Anne’s as they were often brought to that house of horrors through an underground tunnel. In both these places, the tunnel and the rectory, children suffered physical and sexual abuse, possibly including forced abortions. These brutal experiences turned the lives of the children into ashes. So, for many in the James Bay region, the rectory turning into ashes is perceived to be sweet justice.
Indeed, the implosion of this last visual reminder of St. Anne’s may be considered punishment for the crimes, indeed the ‘sins’, of the caretakers who destroyed the lives of the children. The burning of the rectory is also highly symbolic and timely as the Fort Albany First Nation community is taking many steps toward deeper forms of healing. A healing ceremony for Survivors is being planned. The Catholic diocese will be called upon to renounce and denounce its policy of protection for sexual predators among the Catholic clergy. And the OPP and United Nations will be called upon to search for the bones of the many children who were recorded as ‘missing’ from St. Anne’s.
For myself, I am grateful that my crew and I were able to capture the last known images of the rectory before it burned to the ground. Creating an archival database to be shared with the community and researchers will help to preserve the historical record for generations to come. For many who attended St. Anne’s, the smoke and fire emitted by the rectory may be considered a grand smudge, a catharsis that is long overdue. From ashes to ashes. From these ashes, may the Survivors of St. Anne’s begin anew.
Photo: Rectory burning (4 September 2015): Elizabeth Kataquapit, St. Anne’s Survivor
--Susan G. Enberg is currently directing and producing her second documentary film, Erasing Cultural Genocide, in collaboration with the Survivors of St. Anne’s ‘Indian’ residential school (Ft. Albany First Nation, Ontario). A published journalist, Susan continues to pursue a Master’s degree in Documentary Media  (filmmaking) at Ryerson University.

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Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Time To Moves Ons. Maybe Go Word Press? Yeah, Let's Blow This Google Popsicle Stand.

Been Blogging for a few years now. It has been pretty interesting, kind-a-fun, kind-a-sad, kind-a-maddening and entertaining for me. But the last little while its been not as fun. I want to joke around but just haven't been able to do that. I seem to dwell on being rotten and well that's not fun. I'm also a bit "J" because I see some blogs that get 10000 hits in one day?  Wow, I don't get that in a month.

So I think this might be a good time to try something else. I still like gossiping, being nosey and spreading my three cents all over the place, whether its right or wrong, good and bad or just plain crummy.

It will be 10 years since I first dealt with the loss of my son Donovan. You may know he took his life by hanging in the closet of his mother's apartment. So that's coming soon, this August. I still have his suitcase that he was living out of. Not sure if I will do something with his stuff this year. Not sure if we should have Ceremony for him or do a family Feast like we do every year.

For me suicide has become something that is on mind all the time. I wonder how there can be a cure or a way to really have an impact on the  lives of our children?  Or on the lives of the ones that are here to live with the aftermath?

My cousin lost her boy to suicide three weeks ago. We went out to the Reserve Muscowpetung to support in her boy's service. It was Traditional (Indian) service.  I was sorry for my Cousin and my Auntie. No one should out live their children.

This last week I was at another service for one of my oldest friend's daughter. She died by suicide. I don't know how the family is coping. My friend is struggling but what can one do?

So I struggle about the whole living with the aftermath thing. So does a lot of people. My children, especially my oldest daughter is not dealing at all with the aftermath and its going to be ten fucking years.  Ten years but the pain still drives a nail into your heart. For me I think the constant talking about it, might lesson the sting but not sure. Triggers are always within a side glance, a song, an incident or a word away from suffering the pain all over again.  I live in fear. Fear my kids. There is no way I can ease their pain. Steer them to a place that can ease that hurt.  So for me I just blab it all out there. I don't bottle it up and drink it down, or pill it away. Or do I?  I have been on anti-depressants for 9 and half years now. So I guess that's one way to cope. But the fear is there and its constant. Will my child live? Will the hurt take them too?  What a way to live, to be in fear all the time.

Anyways, that's enough of the fear thing.  I was thinking about trying to spend more energy on suicide prevention and the aftermath of suicide. One of the things for sure is that lot of people are injured when one person takes their life. Lot of people are affected and hurt badly. So maybe I can share some experience on how to cope? Not sure.

I do read a bit on the care of suicide loss and the prevention. There are some good groups out there so maybe my effort is not really necessary or might be redundant?  I like that little semi-colon thing that is happening to stir talk and to remember. One Semi-colon movement is the tattoo semi-colon for suicide awareness. That's nice. And lately Inuit superstar Susan Aglukark has started an Artic-rose-warrior suicide awareness dialog.

For Sure One Day is something I would give my life for. One day to spend with my boy, to talk to him, to stop him from hanging himself. One day so my children, my wife wouldn't suffer the pain. One day to tell him I LOVE YOU.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Coolest People on the Planet: Indigenous.

Indigenous - Coolest People on the Planet.

2-Step Dance - March 2015 - Video 32-Step Dance (Also known as the Rabbit Dance or Raven Dance or Mountain Dance). Video 3March 2015 - Behchoko, NWT, Canada.Camera Person: R,Laboline.
Posted by Our Tlicho Drummers on Sunday, May 31, 2015
Singing the Birds Festival 2015
Posted by Tyrone Harper on Saturday, January 31, 2015

So cool those Neechies, that having cookies and Tea is the most wonderful thing you can think of to do.

The Neechies don't just honour Veterans and Elders once a year. Every Powwow has the Veteran and Elder held in esteem. They sing songs of honour to them. Think about that.

And the Dancers will also honour the Drum.  A Whistle gets blown.

Women, they never forget the Women. Everyone loves a good Jingle, Shawl, Smoke, & Traditional Dance.

There are lots of reasons why Indians or should I say Indigenous  (we can't forget our Sisters and Brothers around the globe) are the coolest people on the Planet; its because the Creator liked them more.

Kia ora

Waea atu ki te Pirihimana! 

So all you non-Indigenous, tongues are sticking out at you.

Ha just kidding, don't get upset, I'm sure the Creator thinks you're cute too.

But not these guys...

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

Ugly Guys And Ugly Girls.

Been watching a few films on line. One of them was the documentary by Alanis Obomsawin called Rocks at Whiskey Trench.  This film is about the ugly men and ugly women of Quebec.

"During the Mohawk Oka Crisis of 1990, Canada and Quebec directed vigilantism against the Mohawks. On August 28, 1990 a convoy of 75 cars carrying Mohawk mothers, children and elders left the Kahnawake community on the south shore of the St. Lawrence River across from Montreal. Many were the sick and elderly. They were being removed ahead of a forewarned Canadian Army attack on Kahnawake.

Quebec Police, posing as part of the mob, forced the cars to remain on the bridge for 7 hours on one of the hottest days of the summer. On the other side of the Mercier Bridge a white crowd was being organized. Prejudice was spurred on by a local popular radio announcer, Gilles Proulx, urging people to kill “les sauvages”.

Ambulances were let through after patients were examined by the crowd. A young woman in labor had her cervix examined by the mob. When the cars started to move, the crowd pelted the vehicles with rocks while the out-of-uniform Quebec Police directed or looked on. One elderly man was killed. None were charged or went to trial."
Because they are Different is a film made in 1964 and it is quite telling. It shows the ugly guys and girls. Not the Indians, but the White people. Boy they sure have ugly hearts.  The film shows how people see the Indian and interpret their lives.  Me I see beauty in those lives. I also see how ugly views make you think you are ugly as well.  The narration is like that of one those old animal shows. That is exactly the tone of this film, its funny.  
It makes you feel ugly watching the people throwing rocks trying to kill the Indian and the voices of those talking about Indians, saying things like: "they live one to another, get more liquor..."
They described the Indian situation as a "anti-social behaviour".  Crazy eh? 
Well boys and girls, its ugly.  

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Wanted Do Nothing High Paying Job With Cool Title

My friend has been joking around with me for some time now about my employment status, you know no Job!  Anyways he says you need one of those high paying do nothing large title type jobs.  I says, yeah, but I don t think they post those kind of jobs.

Guess What, I know where one is coming up.  It is right here in Winnipeg and I think its open for Neechies. That is an Indian job. Cool I say.  I am wondering how do you put your name in for that job.  I am not sure. I do know that a few people have already put their names in for the job: Kevin Hart, Bill Traverse, Wendy Whitecloud, Ken Young, so far.

The good thing about this job is that it doesn t matter if you have a clue how to do the job, or even know what the job entails. I don t think even the people who are doing the hiring know what the job is.  That is a plus because the job is a good one. It is a perfect job for those old recycled political hacks, the brainless ambitious Leader wannabe, the clueless uneducated and unashamed job climber. That is a perfect do nothing high paying with a cool title job. Not saying any of the current candidates fit the bill as described, just saying that is who could be attracted to the job.  Like someone like me.

The job is at the Assembly of First Nations and it is the regional Vice Chief position. That position seat is currently being occupied by the one and only Bill Traverse. An old war horse that may be put out to pasture. There is a campaign going on called Kill Bill in the urban community. Its tongue and cheek of course and it is in reference to someone else taking the steel throne that Bill is sitting on.
AMC Grand Chief, Some Guy who wants to be famous, Vice Chief Traverse.

I don t think I have a chance at getting this job. First thing is I wouldnt know  how to apply. Second thing it means that you have to be used to sitting around not doing a damn thing.  That is something I am uncomfortable with. So I guess the do nothing aspect of the job is not very appealing. Its too bad because that position or dollars from the position could be used for something great. And that is not going to happen under the tutelage of the current AFN Grand Chief. Status quo seems to be on the agenda. And that is sad and stupid. After all the Indigenous folk have been in a nasty battle with a federal regime that is keen on killing the Indian. So if you are going to go into battle with a strategy that has not been successful in the past and currently, so why keep trying it.

So folks if the do nothing get good pay and have a cool title excites you, the AFN might be a place to put your name into. But oh yeah, thats right eh, the federal regime has stripped you of most of your hiring dollars.

Saturday, July 4, 2015

Time To Stop With Eagle Feathers

I know this is not popular for many of us Neechies to hear, but Man its time to stop using Eagle Feathers at Powwows.  This topic will never be raised by any Indigenous Leader anywhere.

Yeah, I know! Who the heck do I think I am and what business is it of mine? Since I am one of those people that have took part in and still will purchase the Feather or even a Bustle.  I mean the Feather is beautiful and the Bustles that people make are just works of art.  I wrote a piece called "Too Many Eagle Feathers Floating Around" sometime ago. I think it about it some and really think we should start to conduct ourselves with some restraint when it comes to handling the Sacred.
I mean really? We surely don't want the outside world (again) pointing at us (like they have stopped) and saying "Uurrgh, those Redskins are killing all the Wildlife".  It is the similar chant when we go Moose hunting, fishing, and other Indians type stuff. We are accused of being wasteful, over killing selfish hunters, fishers, and gatherers.  Oh yeah, a new one, we are also hoarders (we used to be Indian Givers) because we don't want to share the Water with Big Greedy Corporations. You know like Alberta Tars Sands, Nestle Water plants and other water destroying engines. I hope that people catch on to what the Natives have been Teaching: Water is Life.

Oh yeah, before I got all David Suzuki environmental on you, I wanted to discuss (or at least put in my opinion) the Eagle Feather thing. No doubt that having an Eagle Feather is a big deal. A huge deal, a mega deal in fact.  It is like getting the Order of Canada (like the medal Conrad Black got and I think Allan Eagleson got one as well) or some other big award that someone or some big wig might bestow onto you. I do think with the Eagle Feather and how it is now relatively easy to get and it might be less of a super mega deal these days. Not saying it is not Sacred anymore. But take a look at what happened to Tobacco. Its the context thing that I have used in the past. The historical significance of access to Eagle Feathers has somehow become distorted. I remember when the whole DDT thing made the Eagle a dead bird. Remember that?  Eagles where in short supply. I wonder did the Native folk also do their best to save the Eagle during that time?  Anyway, the Eagle has made a recovery but still is in need of protection. Today the harvesting of an Eagle is unknown to me as to how one gets the privilege? But that's for Traditional people to know and for Teachers to know.

The point I am making is this, we need to stop using Feathers in the way we are currently using them. I mean not the way they are used Healing but how they are used for competitions and as commodities, purchasing power. I know I don't have the right to say that. But I am. I think that some of the Elders Teachers and Traditional leaders should say "Hey Neechies, maybe we should slow down on those two and three layered bustels, what you think?"  Or maybe even say something like this "Hey! Those Eagles are our brothers, they take the messages of our prayers to the Creator, so why the heck are we killing so many of them?".  Or maybe they could say something like this, "Hey Endenawaamaganuk (relatives), what you say we start using imitation feathers in some of our dance bustels?"  "It won't diminish your talent or how cool you look, some of those pretend Eagle Feathers look pretty damn good".
Pretend Eagle Feather Looks Pretty Good.
I think if we really know that everything is Alive and everything is Sacred that we would start to consider this holding off on everything Eagle Feather thing. Kids, I mean our kids are great, wonderful, precious and our gift, but come on, having them wear full Eagle Feather Bustles and carrying Eagle wing fans?  Its beautiful and that is great. Let's think about where that Bird came from and how did it get there? What was earned, learned about the Ceremony behind harvesting that Eagle?  If we look at the Feathers we have do we know the story of where they came from?

I don't think this topic will go anywhere. It may get some Traditional folk angry at me, I can understand that for sure. The Traditions of our people are vital to our existence. I know that. At the same time we have to look at everything with the Spirit and Intent of the Teaching.  No saying get rid of the Feathers floating around out there, but consider for the new era of Feather use.  

If all of the Creators beings are Sacred why not use goose feathers, turkey feathers for bustles?  

Listen my friends, it is an idea. Only you have choice. 

Ask these questions: How did that Eagle Feather come into your possession? Do you know how where it was harvested? 

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Spectator View Of Sundance Ceremony

Just came from the Sundance Ceremony in Spruce Woods, Manitoba Canada. If you have never been, put that on your bucket list. It is not an event, it is a Spiritual journey. There is so much prayer and healing going on that you can't help but feel thankful for Life. Not going to go all preachy here, just saying it is a good place with plenty of good feelings.
Sundance Lodge complete with Flags. End of Ceremony

I was a spectator at the Sundance, so I watched, took pictures (no pictures of certain personal sacrifices) and visited somewhat. I got heck only twice this time around. Usually I am breaking all sorts of rules and protocols at Ceremony. People tell me I am a "paajhak". It kind of means I am a jerk. You know it could mean jerk in the good natured way, but also jerk in that arsehole way as well. So that's me, the paajhak. (Remember about being a "jerk" is all about context.)  I'm that guy that walks in and just goes to the front and says "what's going on? I  got here late".  I go be nosey at other people's personal space.  This Woman gave me heck for spotting a light into the Women's stalls at night. I was trying to get the attention of my daughter that was in the First Year Sundancer section of the Women's stall.  I shouldn't have been doing that, it was disrespectful and kind of creepy if I think about it-some old guy looking in on young women.  The other time I got heck, was when this older woman came up to me and said "you're the guy taking all those pictures?".  I said "yes".  She said she didn't like that, filming ceremony. I said I will stop if she wanted me to. She said "no, that's fine".  Guess she just wanted to tell me her feelings.

Tent for Ceremony meeting.
I watched as they put up a meeting tent for the first night of Ceremony. It is a big tipi style tent. Many people worked really hard to make sure the grounds were clean and that the tent was solid and up in time for meeting. That means coming out early for set up. All volunteer workers for the benefit of guys like me that just hang around visiting. That was something to see. Many of the men and women just came out there to work. To support the Sundance and all the people taking part. What selfless way to be. Someday I could try and give of myself.  I saw this guy cutting logs all day, and another person was chopping the wood into smaller pieces for fire wood. At five in the morning I went to watch the Dancers as they were greeting the Sun, this same guy was chopping wood. Some other people stayed up all night to keep the Sacred Fire going, they did this for the Four Days. Many people brought out food to feed the First Feast and the last Day Feast. Man I tell you it takes much people to make it happen. A few guys did Sweat Lodge Ceremony
2 Sweat Lodge were there for the many People.
for the people. People gathered rocks (Grandfathers) for the Sweats, made medicine, and put up the lodges. Others cut the Trees for the Sundance Lodge itself. Lot of people doing many different tasks and chores. There was this guy  who drove around everyday with his truck to pick up garbage. Campers would put the waste into bags and the truck would come by and collect the trash. Other people hauled trailer and truck loads of supplies for the Ceremony: tarps, poles, tools, camping gear, food, stoves, freezers, Ceremonial items. We don't really appreciate what it takes to have Ceremony for people. We just show up with maybe a tobacco pouch or some cloth and expect everything to be there for us. So I say as a spectator, I do appreciate what all of you Supporters, Volunteers, Dancers and Ceremonial Helpers, and the Sundance Chief do for the community and for the people. I say "mino pimatisin" - Good Life for you.

When it was all done, the Give-aways, the Dancing out and the Feast were done, it was time to get the camp packed and off we go.
Camping is easy for some of us. Just drive up.

Not for the Sundance Chief, the Ceremony Helpers, The Volunteers, the Supporters. They will stay and clean up, take down the tents, pick up the tarps, pick up loose trash, pick up cigarette butts that have been carelessly thrown around the grounds.  Many of thes helpers are the ones who back home work for the people in different capcities. Some are directors of organizations, Teachers, some are Sergeants in the Airforce, some are social workers, construction workers, polticial advisors,Cultural advisors, police officers, politicians, nurses, health directors, Chiefs of their community, Councilors in their communities, and so on. But they are the ones, who will stop as they are walking around and pick up someone else's trash that is laying around the grounds.The next week will see the Sundance Chief, his wife, his kids, and his friends, going back to the grounds and walking along the grounds making sure it is clean. They will also take the Prayer cloth & Flags  full of prayers out and do Ceremony to complete the Sundance while all of us are back home from a beautiful camp out.

Sudance Chief hugging Dancers as they leave stalls. Along with prayer flags.

Its funny because many of us see these guys and girls as "big shots". We say the usually bad stuff; "oh they think they're good". We see the young women helpers all "dolled up" and say "Hey they must be in a pageant". We silently wonder how come they get to stand up there in the front. How come they get to sing at the drum. How come they get Sundance ceremony? We don't see how hard they work. How committed they are to trying to make things good for the People. That what's it all about. It's not a calling for everyone that is for sure. Many times it's full of people giving you grief, hardship, complaints, anger, saddness, critic, and name calling. So why do they do it? The people that sacrifice for others?
A few of the many Helpers. Oshkaabewis
These are the people that make sure you are safe; that there is wood for the Ceremony; to make sure there are Healers present to help you; to make sure there is First Aid; to make sure that the Fire never goes out-rain or shine; that make sure there are rocks (Grandfathers for the Sweat); that make sure the garbage gets picked up; to make sure the Ceremony has what it needs. These are the volunteers, the Helpers who do it for the people.

I had some very good visits at the Sundance. While people were working, while others were fasting and sacrificing, I was visiting, having snacks, drinking tea, listening to music, going on the cell phone. Yeah, I was just a visitor, a tourist, a nosey bugger, a paajhak.

I had a chance to visit my cousin. We talked about some of the Non-Native folk at the Sundance. How they work so hard for the Ceremony. How some come from another world to be here with the People. How some of our own can't go down the road to be with the People. How some of them have been coming for years to the Ceremony, and not just being tourists, but working and working hard. He said "it's funny how we don't recognize our own, but outsiders see what we don't".
2 Indians and a Belgian.  Dancers

I was in awe at the amount of families that were there. The little ones, playing visiting, singing and dancing. The Sundance Chief even has a Ceremony for the Little children to take part in. It is a beautiful thing to remember and acknowledge the kids. We say it so many times, "what about the children?". Here the children are embraced.  I saw my grandson sitting with a can singing a song, banging on the can like a drum. Can you imagine how good that is? Just a little bit of exposure and they are enamored with the Life. My grandson; "see that Windigokan over there? He's gone now".   This was before the Windigokan even came to the Ceremony.  The had the little Ones line up and dress for the Sundance and they went in and had songs for them.
Kids enjoying "A Little Bit" before Horse Ceremony

 We can't forget about the Singers and the Drum Keepers. Boy those people give of themselves. There is also the others that do many of the jobs to keep the Ceremony going like the Pipe Keeper. Keeping all the Pipes filled and cleaned for the Dancers, the Healers, the Ceremony. There were lots of People there showing support for the Sundance, other Sundance Chiefs came to take part. Some were denied entry at the Canada border. I guess being an activist is not a good border thing?

I can't get you to realize or understand the Teachings, the Healings, that take place at Sundance. I was visiting with a friend there and she was telling me that Health Canada, does not recognize Sweat Lodge or Sundance as Healing, but rather it is an "event".  Unreal. Insult to injury. Where is all this goodwill,  understanding and education the Truth and Reconciliation Commission has been asking about? 

Speaking of good, the Sundance was open to all who came, Indians from all over, U.S. and Canada, but around the globe. The Two-Spirited held Ceremony in the Lodge. The Cheers for the LGBT community was loud and happy. Children had Ceremony, the Horse came, the Windigokan came. The songs were song, Dancers danced and people were good.

Women outnumbered the men in the Sundance. That just reminds us that they are the back-bone of our society. They are the important ones. They are the people that always seem to sacrifice the most.

You know what is great?  This is just One Sundance. There are Ceremonies like this going on all around the Turtle Island. Lot of good hearts going on with good Teachings. With that you are going to get more and more people understanding the strength, the goodness and the well being of our people. Lot of good life being lived.

Now that is worth looking forward to, and searching for.

***For more pictures go to photobucket  and also on this photobucket page.

Thursday, June 11, 2015


It is interesting how someone's loss gets you thinking of your own loss.

Today the community of Swan Lake First Nation lost a good person. Elder Joe Esquash had his funeral service today.


JOSEPH ESQUASH Beeshegogun (One Feather) Peacefully, at the Notre Dame Foyer, on Saturday, June 6, 2015, Joseph Esquash, of Swan Lake First Nation, passed away at the age of 91 years. Joseph leaves to mourn his children, James (Flo), Gerald (Linda), Charlotte, Yvonne and Dorothea (James); 20 grandchildren, 56 great-grandchildren and seven great-great-grandchildren; one sister Francis (Charlie Montagne), one sister-in-law Vina Swain; one brother-in-law John Swain (Theresa); two sons-in-law, Elvis and Lionel, and numerous nieces, nephews, friends and relatives in Canada and the USA. He was predeceased by his wife Rose-Marie (nee Swain) in 1967; his parents, Louis and Sophia (nee Walker); nine siblings, Elizabeth (Gilbert), Charlie (Mabel), Mary (Frank), George (Edna), Theresa (Tom), Lena (Gordon), Agnes, Alice and Alexandra (Tony); one son-in-law Ernest Daniels, Sr. A Traditional Wake will be held at the Swan Lake First Nation Hall on Tuesday, June 9, 2015 at 4:00 p.m with David Blacksmith officiating. A Traditional Feast will be held at the Swan Lake First Nation Hall on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 12:00 noon. Funeral Mass will be celebrated in the Mariapolis Roman Catholic Church on Wednesday, June 10, 2015 at 3:00 p.m. with Father Armand Le Gal officiating. Interment to follow in the Mariapolis Parish Cemetery. Grandpa Joe was a sundance teacher to Spruce Woods Sundance Family. As well as Matheson, Chisasibi, Whapmagoostui, Moose Factory, Merritt, East Main, God's Lake, Grand Rapids, Norway House, Roseau River and Henvey Inlet Sundances. Our grandfather received the Horse Ceremony when he was eight years old and he was a singer at many sundances in Canada and the USA. All his life he carried the songs of our ancestors and shared his teachings.

The Sundance Ceremony that the Old Man passed on to many is starting tomorrow in Spruce Woods, Spirit Sands Manitoba. This is where Joe taught it to his Grandchildren and his friend David Blacksmith.

This Lodge has traveled to many places and it is through that Lodge many people seek comfort, healing, guidance, prayer for their people.

My Girl will be dancing.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Truth & Reconcilation Commission Report C Priest Bought Me A New Truck.

The Truth and Reconcilation Commission on Indian Residential Schools held a report release event in Ottawa Canada. Lot of people went out and took part.

Beautiful Kookum  at TRC Report Event Ottawa June 2015 

 Just one of the many many people that were in the Boarding School system of Indian Affairs; Indian Residential Schools.

If you were there you might find your picture here:

A cousin of mine walked into the local restaurant in Sagkeeng. He says, "Look what Father Plamondon bought me!"   Outside the restaurant was a new truck.  He was teasing of course. Lot of people would say stuff like that about the Residential school compensation process. They would say to someone "what did you get for being "pooch-tay-gade" (did in the bum) by the Father?"

You see they joked about it but that is not really the way people feel. I think its a mask. A mask we put on to protect from the ugly and all that hurt. My Mom and Dad were not much for sharing what took place in the School run by the French Oblates Fathers and Nuns. I don't think many people were.

I mean who wants to admit you were beaten?  Or worse?

But I admire and I do like the way we can tease and laugh at the harshest things. It is what makes us part of who we are - Anishinaabe. Cool eh? Some people could stay mad all the time, but many deal with their anger and hurt by teasing.

This Granny you see in the picture, can you imagine what life was like in that school?

But you know what, people are strong, resilient, and they know how to laugh. Not just Neechies but all sorts of people from different walks of life. It is telling how hardship can bring out some of the most craziest kind of laughs.

Bill Erasmus, chief of the Dene Nation
Bill Erasmus, chief of the Dene Nation

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

Why Do We Find the Ugly Funny? Should We Even Chuckle?

I saw a video of U.S. Senator Rick Santorum call down President Obama. In the video Santorum is about to say the forbidden Nigger Word*.  In many of the media debates that followed all sorts of excuses and other words came to light. It was in 2012 but this video clip didn't catch my attention until now. When I saw it I laughed. I laughed because I know one hundred percent that Santorum just caught himself. You know it was not a mistake, the "government nig" was a phrase that he must coined many times before in front of his contemporaries. That is why it flowed so easily from his mouth, and it is not a common phrase to say the "government nig-ha". I laughed at the excuses that followed. Me, I said maybe he was trying to say "government Ninja". 

Another thing I heard was about a cousin of mine who sells hand made jewellry at the local market. This White Woman was asking for 'Dream Catchers'.  My cousin had some that were big. The White Woman wanted some that were smaller. She wanted to put it on her car mirror. "I heard that Natives won't steal from your car if you have a Dream Catcher?."  That is what she said to my relative; who happens to be fair skinned. I laughed when I heard this about the Dream Catcher. My Wife didn't think it was funny. I thought it was hilarious. 

There is a park in Central Winnipeg that many poor people use. It is quite a nice park (Central Park); it has a nice soccer pitch, a couple of playgrounds for children, some super big slides and a splash park. I have been taking my grandkids there for a few years now (even though I don't live in the area). There are many kids of many different ethnic backgrounds. Lot of Native kids, and some new immigrants, along with poor white people.  I was driving past the park the other day with an old friend of mine. He was saying "what do they call that place again?"  Before I could answer he said, "I think they call it Nigger park, no! They call it Monkey park, that's what its called.  I heard it called Monkey Park".  I was shocked but kind of chuckled and shook my head. "Man," I said. 

I am sure you can remember many many times when something so repugnant was spoken that you just had to laugh. In our Reserve there are many that are laughing about the Residential school experience.  For many that experience was a horror of events. So now even talking about them some of these people are laughing about it. There were some settlements for the sexual abuse some of the residents went through. They got some money. So a few of them are laughing and saying you got a "pooch-tay-gay truck (pooked in the arse)".  In our Reserve there we some bad Priests that took advantage of many a young boy. Growing up we heard lot of teasing about being "washed" by the old priest. Today I wonder with all the re-opening of wounds about being raped or sodomised by the priest, if it will stop the laughing? 

Hey did you see Madonna of television? I guess she was singing at some awards show and her cape was suppose to let loose as her dancers pulled it off her neck. It didn't come undone and she fell down the stairs. She got up of course and continued to sing. I didn't see it until just now. It must have been funny.  People laughed of course. You know because she's old and trys to be young?

Watching at home, my heart stopped. Is that all it takes to kill a queen? Milanese outerwear?
The hateful hashtags #shefellover, #Fallenmadonna, immediately began toxifying Twitter: “I get it, Madonna. My grandma is exactly the same.” “I hope grandma’s ok. A broken hip at her age could be a death sentence.”

That is something we do often, laugh at the expense of others. Me, I am no fan of Madonna. I think she is a media whore. Can I say Whore? In any case I think she will do almost anything to get media attention. I am saying Whore not because she is a woman, Michael Jackson was a whore as well, and so is Donald Trump.

*Just for your info*, I deplore the use of the dreaded "N-word". It pains me to write, and to listen to it. But I use it here as illustration. I don't like it even when Black people are re-clamining that word. You know guys like 50 Cents and those guys. Maybe I can accept it only when Samuel L Jackson is saying it. And maybe only Denzel Washington as well. But no one else. Will Smith? No way, no how. I don't even think the coolest White guy can use the "N-word". You know that guy? Quentin Tarantino. He may seem cool or want to be cool, but he doesn't sound cool when he says it.  Johnny Depp thinks he's cool and all groovy but even he couldn't get pull off the N-word.  Brad Pitt?  Nope.

Anyway - - What is my point on bringing up these ugly statements and how the heck can they be funny?
I think we laugh because there is some funny stuff happening. It is not that we are accepting the ugly but we are laughing because IT IS UGLY. I think we can only shake our heads and laugh. Not with the joke but at the joke. You know what I'm saying?

But we do it all the time. "she's so muttly, she's cute".  "He's so fat, he's cute".

I'm don't use racist jokes at least I don't think I do or sexist jokes. Still I make many a joke that is upsetting. It gets me in trouble all the time. I can't help it. Or can I? It might be the timing of the rotten jokes I do. People seem to get upset. Like when I was giving eulogy for an Elder in our Reserve. I looked out in the crowd and told them that some of them would have to pay people to go their funeral. It didn't go good. People asked me after the funeral if I was talking about "so and so".
Or at the timing of my brother's hospital emergency when the doctor came in and told his wife to let him go. We asked her why she was shoveling dirt on him before he's dead. Or when at my friends Wake I told his brother that his wife was hitting on me and his body is not cold yet. It seems my sense of humour is not a funny one.

What do you get if you cross The Queen and Prince Charles?

Killed in a tunnel.

And a very timely ugly funny.

Just heard about the death of Ben E King.

Anyone know what he'd been arrested for?.

Sunday, May 17, 2015

Insincerity At Its Worst: Canada and the Harper Watch

I give to people that are asking for money on the street. I don't give every single time, but enough to feel a little bit like I'm doing alright. I don't mind if I have a buck or two I will do it. I appreciate the "thank you" people give in return, makes me feel good. I'm not a fan of the over do it replies, but its my hang up and not their fault. You know the replies like "God Bless You".  I give because I want to hear thanks because it makes me feel good (I know selfish reasons).  I'm not really doing it to get favour from God, but if he will give it for a small gesture like that, well who am I to say no to it. My point really is that I don't know if God bless you is sincere?  Do you really mean it when you say, "I love you". This young man said that today to Suz and I. We went to a grocery store called No Frills that just open in the core of the City. Good prices on food, no frills. This young man was sitting outside when we were going to the care and he asked for spare change, so we gave him a toonie (Two dollars).  We were putting the granddaughter in the car and just about to put the food in the back of the vehicle. When he came over again and asked for ten dollars. He said it is for the shelter, that charges ten bucks for a bed? So we gave him ten dollars and the cart which you take back for a loonie (dollar).  He was happy and said "I love you".  So I said "Hey! Don't say that! Just say Miigwich?". So he smiled and said Miigwich. So I got into the car and started driving away he was by the store again and still smiling he waved a big wave one more time. My wife said "That's nice" and she smiled. Me I was almost kind of grumpy.  But I wised up right away. It was just a small gesture but it got me thinking about Prime Minister Harper.

PM Harper? Yeah, not because this young man was insincere but because he did seem grateful for the small amount we gave. You should have seen his smile.  I was thinking about insincerity and so started asking Suz about it as we drove to the North End of Winnipeg.  She said those politicians like Harper really don't care. I was talking about Haper because PM Harper did something no other PM did; he apologized to the First Nations in Canada. He apologized for the forced assimilation of Indian residential schools.  That was a good sign. The reaction was mixed of course. I think many wanted to believe, to believe that it was a true apology. That someone, the government actually said "We're sorry"- "We're sorry we tried to kill you".  I see some people cried when they heard that PM say, "We apologize".  Some said "who gives a rats ass?"  Me, I was happy to see Indians on television. I am always happy to see Indians on tv when they are not being arrested, shot, being charged or seen as doing bad things (whether its raising their voice for a cause the media paints them ugly). I had mixed feelings about the apology. I had no doubt it was a nothing speech but I also thought it was a slap in the face to the previous governments. Those previous governments like to portray themselves as a kinder government to the poor, to the immigrant, to the old, to the chilren and to the Indian. But they didn't say sorry to the Indian did they. Harper got up in front of the world and say "we apologize". No one else in government said that. Even our great Liberal party didn't.

Haper's apology has been proven to be a bad joke. It is insincerity in the puriest from, deceit, a bold lie is the most kind of insincerity you can imagine; it is a statement backed by hatred. We live in Interesting times. We are seeing evil in the disguise of a man.

I cringe when I see him speak at events. There have been the honouring of Canadian soldiers in the Netherlands. Harper speaking on the soldiers. Can you imagine how the Veterans feel to see him there? This Harper, the guy that is fighting every one of them at home? The Veterans are not the only ones that Harper is trying to kill. You name an issue, a cause, a living being and Harper and his team are hurting them: Lakes, the Air, civil service workers, the poor, the middle classe, the upper middle class, the new comer, the Indian, the science community, the public oversight people.

It is the sight of the insincerity that really bothers me. Harper can stand in front of millions and lie.  It is sad. Even his Ministers can stand up and say the same lies. It is disgusting. I wonder if people can really see how repugnant that is? I mean it is very embarrassing when he attempts to act like someone who cares.  It is down right pityful. And when he tries to be all tough?  That's a shame. He makes our country look very bad. Still Old White people with extreme views will vote for him.

I wonder if they feel bad?

Canada has become the ugliness in the world that it used to speak against. That is the sad and ugly legacy of Harper and his team. 

Investigative journalist Michael Harris, author of Party of One, the bestseller about Harper’s tenure, believes so. “There is something very Stalinesque about Harper,” remarks Harris. “My bottom line on this guy is, he hates democracy. He doesn’t care about truth and cares only about the perception of what benefits him. In that way he’s way worse [than his predecessors].

Friday, May 15, 2015

Putting Others First: Where Are Those Indians?

There are many people out there we admire. Those who speak up against tyranny (see Prime Minister Harper) and other bad stuff.  We applaud the public figure who is fighting the good fight (whatever the good fight is). The good words, the moment of media exposure. We "like" their status on Facebook and offer some good words like: you go girl, you are the one, keep it up, ______ for Prime Minister, and so forth. It's quite interesting how a few media sound bites and we are so enamoured with a new hero. We are so quick with our praise and then we go our separate ways.

I do hope our memories are longer than a media sound bite in the news. There are some out there that live that life; putting others first. Me I am not sure I can be that way honestly. I am a selfish person in many ways, and in many ways very generous. I think many of us are.

I am thinking about his lately as I look at the circle of people in Winnipeg and Manitoba. I have this friend that I normally think has been out there for the people. As I take a closer look I wonder if that is truly the case? I know these Traditional folk back home and I judge them. I see that they are the ones that never go outside of their little circle; only to help their immediate friends and family.  I guess that is good but really are they putting others first or just themselves? I mean they never have anything good to say about anyone but their own. They don't support anything or anyone in the community. You will never ever see them when others are struggling: Wakes, hard times, community events, protests.  If it doesn't have them in the circle well I guess its not on their agenda.  I see this one Teacher I know, who has seemly devoted a life to helping others. As I look closely I see that the life of helping others is confined to a very small circle which includes their place of employment and not much more.  Lot of folks out there like that. We only care if it has something to do with us.  So if we are living with the Teachings of the Bible, The Traditional Teachings, The Thirteen Moons, The Seven Teachings, The Four Direction on the Medicine Wheel, The Quran, Tanakh, Theravada and Mahayana, so why do we engage in such selfish behaviour? In each of these Spiritual tools they speak of others, putting others first. Are we truly putting others first?

When my Dad had his Wake and his Service I noticed. I noticed those Traditional folk, Teachers and Elders that did not come to see him off. I am not a fan or believe in that sentiment: "I want to remember as they were before, when they were alive".  That is such a bunch of fresh excrement, you know the kind. The service is not all about the deceased. It is also about the family and you're own conduct. Our community (speaking of the larger community as well as ours) is so filled with selfishness.  For example, the local gambling hall in our Reserve goes full tilt while just down the road people are grieving. Its funny how we cheerish our own wants, not needs, wants. I want to gamble so much that I won't let it be for an hour. I know this man that had worked with my Dad for years and another guy whos Dad worked with my Dad for years, did they bother to acknowledge?  Maybe they were busy. I don't know. I hope that's it and not that they thought so little of him that they couldn't be bothered to tell his family - condolences. My brother him, he doesn't give a "rats ass" of what others think.  He is like that, not there to please others or kiss ass. Just works for the best of what is best. There are many cliches out there that sound more elequant but mean the same thing as to what my brother saying of who gives a rats ass; "we can't change people only do what we can".

I try hard to be kind. Of course I fail. Its just the way it is. I will keep trying as long as I can, not sure I will ever reach that place but will work at it. It is a job to put others before ourselves.

So I was having a hard struggle with not being my cheeky self. My wife calls me by my Dad's name when I am being cheeky (not fun cheeky but rude cheeky). I have to really keep in check my behaviour and attitudes. I will mock people and give shots or backhanded compliments. My Dad was funny like that. I remember him saying something to this sanctimonious arse. The guy didn't even realize he was being taken down a few notches. So its you have to bite the inside of your cheek so as to not shoot at the high and mighty. 

I see people putting themselves on podiums and saying all the good stuff. I wonder if at night as they are being tucked into bed by their spouse and kissed on their cheek, do they say "fooled em' all again"?  I mean really? Who are we fooling with our talk of benevolence and caring?  Are we trying to fool ourselves? Do we mean it when we say to strangers "I love you"?  "I care for Mother Earth?"  "The Women are our Life givers?"  "The children, who will care for the children (one of my favorite quotes from the Simpsons)?" 

I was talking to this one girl (she grew up on farm) about farms the other day. She said you won't see plastic bags rolling through the fields on most family farms. You know why? They care for the Land. They don't want their live animals eating garbage and making them sick. They cheerish the land. How many of us can really say that? If you go to your community what is it like there, are we looking after our Mother?  Are our yards clear of floating garbage and stuff? If you are a smoker you are guilty of making the Earth sick. You throw your butts out of car windows, on the ground, and contiuously foul the air with your second hand smoke. Christ sake many of us smoke in the car or home with our babies? How is that putting others first? Don't get me started on drinking, smoking or taking pills/drugs while pregnant. That is not putting someone first. Go to a powwow, how many people stay after and help clean up? Or even bother to throw the trash in a bin? Or go to Ceremony grounds and see if people take care of their litter.  Do we?

Many of us like the good quote. The empty phrase. Because that is what it is, just a meaningless group of words. Really where are those Indians that are putting others first? "We are one with the land. It takes a village to raise a child. We are keepers of Mother Earth. I live by the Seven Teachings. Do on to others as you would want them to do to you. You are your brothers keeper. Be kind. Share food with people. Be honest."

Do you really listen to the Elders? Not just the Elders able to get to Ceremonies or to political rallies, but the ones that are up there in age?  The Old Ones?  How about Women? Do we treat them with respect? Or are we so selfish that we will fight our wives because we think they loved someone before we came along in their lives?  Do we listen to the needs or our children before we go and get our smokes or beer? Do we make sure they have everything for school - lunch -breakfast - clean clothes - enough sleep, before our own needs?

Do we really think ahead of the next seven generations?  Are we thinking of the Earth? Do we even like our people? Do we put others first before our own wants? 

Where are those Indians? 

 I don't know if we will find them on Twitter or Facebook. But who knows?

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Jo-Wolf Clan: I Hear You Babe.

and u get mad at us when we don't want this kinda of shit here....cuz we dont want raping to earth .... no to all pipelines...mining... fracking... logging .... and sell outs...and there lil puppet(apple) pacifists groupies that are every where now ......!!! love the lands waters and re connect to who we are ppls u r ur nations ....

 hell yeah.....! a Chilean brother speaks truth and no one can handle his words .... bunch fake ppl who are all pacified get all offended ...and you all hate ur own ppl who stand up here at home ...whats wrong with u apples and sell outs and pacifist im sick of all ur bs fear !!! and you even ignore the truth that oil spill kills u all want funding and believe in the lie resource sharing crap that these sell out chiefs are filling u with there lies !!! nothing but greed ...cant u see it . ....glad this man has balls to speak truth it goes for kkkanada .....harper is a freak ....trans kkkanda is his legacy ....shame on you harper and all industry ...and to the pacifist..... shame on you too ...

I have this friend that is a self-described warrior. Only thing is, She is more than that, she is an Ogichidaa.  Jo-Wolf is a woman that has taken up the fight for the Earth and for the Indigenous people.  She does it in ways that many of us do not. She is willing to stand up in the middle of the street and shout to the heavens, "Stop raping the Earth!"   It is a scary thing to do. To put yourself up for condemnation by both the corporate world and our own.  There are many Jo-Wolf Clans out there. All speaking up, standing up for causes. Some we agree with and some we don't. Some we agree with how they do it and some we don't agree with how they do it.

I saw this video of these people, sleeping on ropes on the side of an oil tanker. They are shouting to the heavens about how big corporations are going to damage the Earth with digging big holes into the ocean floor up in the North. Can you imagine the conviction? The courage these people have? That is what we have in the Jo's of the world. We have people that will live up to their convictions. We may not agree with methods or even their words, but you can't kill their convictions. That is something we all need to have, conviction. With conviction we can make things happen.

I may not agree with Jo calling others fake people or sell outs. I think her anger at other Indians is misplaced. After all people work in different ways for the same thing. I think she calls for the stopping of lateral violence but is guilty of that her self. I think it is out of frustration and anger. If I was to let the name calling of others get to me, I would be crying and angry all the time. But I know her frustration. I think we all do. I think we all want our voices heard.

I want the U.S. Canada and China to stop oil exploration in the Artic and in the Amazon. I also want Indians to get to understand the meaning of communal, to work and support each other, to shout to the heavens on the actions that Canada has taken. I want lot of things. The question is what am "I" going to do about it?

That is the thing isn't it? Do we have conviction? Just like PETA. I am not a fan of PETA. I support Fur as my Dad was a trapper and many Indigenous people still do Traditional harvesting.  I do think PETA are committed to their cause. I don't agree with their actions, but I can't deny their conviction. Green Peace, I admire their people but may not agree with every single thing they do.

So what do you think? Are you one of the Jo's out there? Willing to shout to the heavens? To earn some enmity, even some ridicule for your actions/words? For your commitment? 

So I feel for Jo and her frustration, her hurt when people don't listen. I share it and understand it. When people don't hear the sounds of the Earth dying. Being wounded. If we truly, if we truly believe that the Earth and all things are living then why in the Hell are we letting Her get beaten up, tortured every single day?  We look at the world and people are trying to develop ways to live on Mars. Mars for heavens sake? Why are we not looking at ways to live here, on Earth?  We know the affects of Global warming, the rate of forests being slaughtered, but yet we go on. And if you question it, you are told it is to create jobs?  What the fuck? Jobs? Its not about jobs! Its about corporate greed! Plain and simple. I mean how much profit does one need?  If it was truly about jobs and economy, they would come up with an equitable distribution of resources, wealth. Instead we have a few individuals having it all. Not caring about the consequences. That is why we need more Jo's in the world.

So I hear you babe.

 (oh by the way, I am being facetious when I say babe, it is a cheeky way to show how we try and undermine our women, our Life Givers and our Warriors with just one simple word).

Monday, May 11, 2015

When You Lose Respect For Your Hero

The Liberal Leader Justin Trudeau has gotten his party of Ministers to vote for Bill c-51. The bill is going to be an attack on everyone that stands against the government and big money. "when implemented, Bill C-51 would mean broad and significant changes to national security measures." It is quite clear that Mr. Trudeau has fallen as the hero to moderate and liberal voters.  I don't blame them at all. The Bill is an attack on everyone who does not want to become herd sheep. But I think the gate on the pen has been closed for a long time. We think we are free because we can stick our hands and legs through the fence wire. The funny thing is we are already herded into a pen by the government and the Money. They are the ones who build the fence and we just walk in with our eyes open. Its funny because we actually think our votes matter. What joke on us. The Canadian (and U.S.) democracy is a flawed system that is in the control of Money. We all know it but hey if it makes us feel better to think we have say, well good on us. Trudeau was being shown off as the next "cool" guy leader. Turns out he is just part of a system that is all smoke and mirrors. Trudeau is a person that you could lose respect for even before he has any power. And get this, he is not even the offical opposition to the government. Yet the media treats him like he is next in power. Weird eh?

I don't believe that any one politician has earned my respect.  So there is no hero worship that I can recall. Although Obama is pretty high up there in terms of getting close to hero as can be, in this system geared for the rich. For me it is the close to home loss of a hero I feel bad for. I mean there are some people that we know are good folk but some how or for some reason they fall from grace. I think lot of people fall from grace. If we want examples all we have to do is look at the famous people that have come crashing down; they must have been someone's hero, you would think?

Look at Bill Cosby, man that guy was THE hero to many many people.  I liked his sitcoms and his stand up, but I was not a fan of his arrogance interviewing style. But look at him now. He is a pariah.  A hero no more. Mad Max, Michael Wallace hero Mel Gibson is a bully a drunk and a anti-semite.  Guess he fell as a hero to many people. If he wasn't your hero many people lost respect for him. Now Oscar Psitorius was a hero for sure. Overcoming no feet to become a National hero or international hero, only to fall from grace for killing his girlfriend. Take Canadian radio host Jian Ghomeshi. Go figure how we could lose respect for him?  Well the list goes on and on. Lot of people out there doing bad stuff. Falling from hero status to a lowly schmo.

How does that affect us personally, emotionally? Not sure if hero worshipping a celebrity, sports figure, poltician, scientist, ect., can damage us? But maybe it can; if we are emotionally invested in those heroes.

For me its the lose of respect for our local or our personal heroes; this is what hurts the most.  The ones we feel are our guidance, our Teachers, our friends, that can cause the most pain. Why do we feel pain when we lose respect for someone?

Me, I think its because we think of them as all that we imagine a hero to be. Be good kind strong, of having integrity. So when they do something that is normal, like behaving petty or jealous or vindictive, then we are hurt. I just lost respect for someone I hold in high regard. That person was my friend, my Teacher and a trusted confidant.  Its weird how that goes, losing respect. You become angry. But the anger is not based  on what they did but what they lost in our eyes. I guess its not fair to put them on a higher plane than yourself and other people. We do that with people, with heroes. We put them as being better. So when they fail. They break our image of what they stood for. And that is the shame. It is not that they are any lower than us, but it is because they are the same. They make the same mistakes. They can be hateful, stupid and petty as us. That is their crime. And it is our as well because it is not their fault we made them our heroes.

So that is going to happen. We will indeed lose respect now and then for our heroes.

The great news is - we can always find new heroes.

Russell Means ~ An American Hero Remembered

"The one thing I've always maintained is that I'm an American Indian. I'm not politically correct. Everyone who's born in the Western Hemisphere is a Native American. We are all Native Americans."

P.S. I never really liked Pierre Trudeau. (Justin's Dad and former Prime Minister of Canada) He was a true bastard.

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 ...