Friday, December 20, 2019

When The World Stopped Turning

Where were you when the World stopped turning? American country singer Allan Jackson wrote the song in response to the Twin Towers being struck, September 11, 2001. I have to say I do not like this song. I know, how could I not like a song with such heartfelt sentiment; heartfelt sentiment for those who were killed on the 9/11 day? It deals with the shock, the tragedy, the heart break and clinging to God for comfort. There is no doubt the 9/11 was a tragic and horrible event, 3,500 people were killed and two masses buildings were obliterated.

For me this is a song, which is truly political, shares the narrow vision of the U.S. (and Western World). It is the arrogance of it all. The song Where were you when the World stopped turning, discounts every other Nation, every other incident of Horror out there. There is much to loath in the words of the song. The ignorance on full display; not knowing the difference between Iraq and Iran.

I'm just a singer of simple songs
I'm not a real political man
I watch CNN, but I'm not sure I can tell you
The diff'rence in Iraq and Iran

But I know Jesus and I talk to God 

There is a complete disregard for all the worldly beliefs by Nations other than Christians. This demonstrates that no one even sees or imagines other people existing outside of the U.S. and it is disturbing.  The Middle East (as it is lumped together by media) has a wide range of People, history, variety of beliefs and governance systems. Yet it is packaged as a single unit of Desert Dwellers (derogatory term for Muslims, Arabs). There is no value placed on the lives of others. What is a child worth? The US before 9/11 and after 9/11, killed hundreds and thousands of lives. Many of those lives were mother's and children. It is alright though, after all it is the Middle East, Desert Dwellers, Muslims, Arabs, isn't it?

The song with its seemingly heartfelt sentiment is a very divisive statement. It is a statement of intolerance and hate, disguised as comfort and memoriam. We totally ignore the plight faced by the people of the Iran, Iraq region and the various Peoples like the Kurds.  Lost in the Middle East narrative by the U.S. is the foreign interference for access by oil greedy countries. There is no song being sung about the numerous people killed by U.S. and their allies, post 9/11 ("at least 480,000 people have been directly killed by violence over the course of the these conflicts, more than 244,00 of them civilians"). The U.S. used the 9/11 tragedy for direct control over oil. They ignored the true culprits of the attacks.

It is indeed horrible about the 2,977 lives lost in the planes and the buildings when the attack occurred. There is a lot of horror in the world.

Since this song has been made we are currently witnessing the death of hundred of thousands of Children in the Middle East. 

Friday, December 13, 2019

Punishment By Naming The Faceless

I remember the Oka "Crisis" of 1990. Many of us Indian folk would not be in Quebec for the attacks by the Military on Mohawks over Land. The Town of Oka wanted to build a golf course on Mohawk land. The treatment of the Indians by the Military and by the public was and is shameful.  One of the things which is forever etched in my mind, my memory is the photos of white men, white women throwing rocks at Indian Women, Indian Elders and Indian kids as they drove across a bridge.
There was a whole town of folk throwing rocks at Indian people. The cops stood by and watched. I can still see this white guy, in pink shorts a 70's style mustache and mullet throwing rocks with a happy look on his face. Who the guy is I have no clue. I wonder if his family knows what he did? Where they proud, ashamed or didn't really think about it? I wonder if he carries any shame for his despicable crime?

There are so many incidents where anonymity emboldens hatred and ugliness. Large numbers can be used to hide in plain view. Standing in a crowd can be a cover for those who are ugly and willing to do harm. I wonder if they knew they would be identified if they would go ahead with their actions? Perhaps shining a spotlight on them, would stop them in their tracks? Just like when I am hunting Deer with a million candle watt power spotlight. The deer is just frozen and I take a kill shot right in the head. Of course I don't condone using a spotlight on Deer or anyone for that matter, I am just illustrating a point (analogy or allegory I don't know). The thing is exposing the ugly should or could be meaningful.

We are in an age of ugly; the world is in chaos with the rise of hate (Nazi's, White Supremacist, Saudi Arabia killings,  Rohingya being genocide by Myanmar,  Syria slaughter, Brazil burning its country, Russia expanding, China's jailing of Muslims, and the Burning of the Planet by greedy corporations). The question is what can we do about it?

There is not much we can do. There are so many people expressing the frustration at the chaos in the world. People will march, protest, engage in debate, make documentaries, donate money, write letters, vote in government elections, take their own lives and of course murder someone; all in an attempt to get change. With the action you would expect acknowledgement by the powers in control of the world to say your are heard. The opposite seems to be taking place. Jamal Khashoggi was a journalist who used his voice to point out the ugly. It got him killed; he was chopped up in an Embassy, an Embassy, can you imagine that? In other situations children are being slaughtered and the powers to be seem fine with it. Twenty 6-year old kids were shot and killed while sitting in school. The powers with the ability to change things, changed nothing. Children are still dying, voices are still being silenced and the Earth is still burning.

The thing is almost everyone is faceless. Even in their public lives they are anonymous. We can internet search for almost everyone but we need to know who we are searching for:  Darren Woods, Rex Tillerson, Michael Dolan, Mark Abers, Brad Corson, Rich Kruger, Borja Prado Eulate, Ulf Mark Schneider, Paul Bulcke, and many many more people. This tiny example of names are the public faceless killers of the Earth. We really don't know who they are. We don't really know the corporations they are championing. We don't really know how much damage they are doing.

So what if we name them? There is absolutely no consequence to seeing these names in a public forum. There could be or should be. The legacy left is one of destruction; all for the greedy pursuit of money and power. There should be a compiled list of all those Wiindigo, the corporations, the owners, the leaders and supporters which are greedily destroying the Earth. The legacy these Wiindigo leave should be carried on the shoulders of their families; the Sins of our Fathers. Shame is a hard emotion to carry. We are at the point in the world where the Planet killers have no care. Can they be shamed? Maybe erasing their public facelessness may be the way to get them to care?

Just the other day two men were on a plane saying all sorts of racist garbage to Inuit people on the same plane. The first news attention had these men's faces blurred out and not named. The story gained traction and the men faces were shown, they were banned from the airline, the company they worked for lost its contract with a major construction project, and the company they worked directly for fired them. There was a follow up article saying how sorry they were and about how their family was ashamed and they were worried about their futures (two old white men earning a living in Indigenous areas). The naming the faceless.

The families of these Wiindigo are not innocent. By way of association they should bear the cross (do you like how I linked the a couple of Biblical references so far) of their parents, after all they share in the spoils? They should carry the shame of the despicable crimes their parents have committed. Maybe have them do the Walk of Shame like in Game of Thrones. I might pay to see that.

I love my kids and my grandkids, so I hope I would think twice about the harm I cause them when I behave like a Wiindigo. We want the best for our kids. So why are the greedy corporations and their collective owners not caring for their kids?

Thursday, December 5, 2019

Hero to You, Monster to You

I believe we have all met the monster, the individual or individuals who torment us. Funny how our tormentor could be a friend, a family or just someone in the community. The monster does not hide from you. What is really strange is this monster might be a hero somewhere else. 

I met many monsters in my life. They always seem to be bullies. I know this one guy, man he was a bad person. A big guy of course, and mean. Never seemed to pick on his own size, he relied on his size, his meanness and his surprise to hurt someone. A rather despicable creature. Weird how this monster had lots of friends, seemed to be well liked and had numerous female companions. Guess people do like a "bad boy?" Like many monsters, he was very likeable, very good looking, charismatic, charming and affable. I have no doubt he was a hero to many. 

The monster isn't limited by gender. Wicked can be a word to describe some of the female monsters we meet. And like other monsters, a hero in other circles. I know some pretty wicked ugly women who command a great deal of respect in the community. Some are even bestowed the title of Elder? Elder for shit sakes. I wonder how the monsters and heroes are going to feel being outed? 

Being outed as a monster is a process Canada is engaged in: an Indian Day School settlement. The process involves the Indian stating what took place in school and who were the monsters. I wonder how the bullies feel? If they even recognize they were in fact monsters? The bigger boys who would, for no reason, just slap you in the testicles as you stood around oblivious to what was coming. To the Teacher who always engaged in showing off his scrotum and penis in gym class. He would get all the students sitting in front of him doing leg stretches, where he would open up his legs and show off his stick and balls to the kids. All the girls would laugh, do the collective loud "Errrrrrrrrrrr." The girls would be talking in the halls, "see his wrinkly old balls?"  The Teacher knew what he was doing. There were other Teachers who did not hide their monster mask and there were those who did. The open monster's had no issues with hitting you, beating you, locking you in lockers, and there were those who can be funny and nice. Next thing you know you get hit in the head with a chalk eraser, a book or what ever he could use to hit you with. Funny the other kids either got quiet or laughed, depending on how much you were hurt I guess. There was also very dark monsters and they can't hide. 

I think we have met lot of monsters and in some cases, demons. I had this one demon who constantly threatened to kill me. Fact was he was actually a coward, but his tormenting of me, did take a toll. Monsters have family and friends as this one did as well. So at home I imagine he could have been a good person, I don't know. All I know this person was evil to me. Evil where he swerved his truck toward me and my wife. My wife carried our one month old daughter and I walked on the road when the guy swerved so he could run us over. We were walking to our vehicle that was parked on the road next to the church; we were at funeral service of a loved one. It was a show by him as he swerved the truck back away from us, but it really bothered me. How evil can someone be? The monster should have limits you think? I guess there must be a level of monster-ness? 

There are famous monsters we know of like Joan Crawford, Leona Helmsley, Aung San Suu Kyi, Ellen DeGeneres, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez, Matt Laure, John Mayer, and Gandhi. So monsters are everywhere. Can we call Ellen a monster in the same category as Aung San Suu Kyi? Aung San is taking part in genocide of the Rohingya Muslims. Wild is the fact, Aung San received Nobel Peace Prize. While Ellen is not active in genocide (that we are pretty certain of), she is rumoured to be a terror at work. While she is a hero for many, she is a monster to others. 

Me, as a hero and self proclaimed god (not Thee God of course) I am sometimes torn by my actions of being a monster. So I rationalize my monster ways, weighing the wrongs I do with the good things I do. So basically I am trying to balance the ugly with the good I do. As I say, I'm trying to get into heaven by doing good while at the same time I have a foot at the stairway to hell.  So I keep a running tab on the good things. I also weigh how big the good thing is compared to the bad thing. Like the really horrible thing I have done in the past and not so past. So I realize picking up a hitch-hiker or buying a coffee, or holding open a door for someone is not extraordinarily good, but it's a good foundation to carry on. So I have to try and measure the amount of good I do against the bad I do. This way I can estimate if I am on the right side of being good. 

There are people in my circle who would absolutely kill for me and there are some in my group who wouldn't pee on me if I was on fire. Heroes and monsters should expect this type of reception. My friend says "And you! You're going straight to hell!" He will say to this to people he runs into at the Reserve. I laugh with him about telling people they are going to hell. I tell him I will see him there, and he says "No, not me I already have my ticket to heaven."  You got to admire people who are cool with who they are. 
I know a number of people who are heroes. I know them never to be anything but good people. I envy and appreciate them.  So I am glad there are heroes out there, who have no monster in them. 

Thursday, November 14, 2019

On My Honour

My Mom told us a few times "be like this", as she held up her index finger, "and not like this" as she then bent it. She said my Mishoom, my Dad's Dad had told Mom and Dad this. It is not about being the crooked finger, as meaning not to be crooked, but rather be straight with your word. My Mishoom said, "your word has to mean something. In his day if you told someone, I will meet you in town it was not as quick and easy to get there, like it is today. So don't waste their time and not be there, be your word." Mom wanted us kids to be honourable, to mean what we say. Your name is a big thing and you have to act in a way to honour your word, your name.

Today we use the honour word and I'm not sure if we truly understand honour. For some reason whenever a person does a stupid thing, like dress in an Indian Headdress or do the "Tomahawk Chop", these people will say they are honouring the Indian. The secret is everyone knows it is pure nonsense. No one is honouring anyone. It is all about having fun at the expense of others.

Being a Granpa with very young grandkids, I am familiar with this saying "On my honour."  It was the Prince in Frozen who said it to the  Princess. I think I may use the phrase from now on; On My Honour. We practice Honour in different ways. There are the widely public honour events like the  Memorial Powwows, the Speech at Weddings, the Eulogy at a funeral, the Nomination of someone for office, and the presentation of awards. Honouring someone is not always in view of big audience, sometimes it is just you and the person.

We honour someone almost every single day. It can be as simple as the "nod."  Indians do this when they see or meet another Indian in a public setting. We nod at other Neechies when we pass by them on the street or at the mall. Same thing with people of other Nations, they see a person in Military uniform and give them a nod or a handshake. Some people may see police officer eating and decide to pay for their meal. Honouring someone can be as simple as just being courteous; like holding open the door for the next person to come in. You honour their presence with your good gesture. Many folk will honour their family with using a Namesake. I have Italian friends, Ojibwe friends, Cree friends  who have named their children after the Grandfather and the Grandmother, Uncle, Aunty and other family members.  Honouring someone is part of life. The sorry thing about honour is we may not recognize it. We can dishonour someone and dishonour our selves as easily as to honour someone. Honouring someone is honouring yourself.

For us, Indigenous folk we do believe in honour. It may seem we have lost our honouring ways but no it's still in our ways and our parents ways. We may be rough in some areas for sure but we do try. One of the ways we are showing honour is in how we address older folk as Auntie and Uncle. We also might be over board when it comes to the Honour Ceremonies and Honour Songs, which is a good thing. We are honouring our Ancestors by naming our Children with Traditional names. There is also the Naming Ceremony where people will seek a Spiritual Name for their child or themselves. The honour of giving a Spirit Name is given to an Elder. It is a two way street when Honour is involved. You honour the Elder by selecting them to name you or your child. The Elder should realize they have been honoured by you to think of them with such a significant act. They have become part of your or your child's experience. The name carried has now linked to the Elder. They should be aware of the enormity of this honour.

Honour is never really isolated. You carry it with you. I have had a difficult time writing about honour. Many times I have been dishonourable: violent, abusive, jealous, thoughtless, rude and not keeping my word. It is a constant on my mind and a source of regret. It can be the big things and also the not so big things which I think about. This spring I promised to make a copy of a Powwow CD and send it to a childhood friend living in another Reserve. The CD I was making a copy of was scratched and did not load fully into the computer. I didn't send the CD. It has been on my mind and I want to make good on my word. The honour of word is something we should all strive to keep. I have to make good on my word, to be Bushido (I don't know the Anishinaabe word) to have honour.  I want to be able to have a straight finger.

What are you doing to be able to say "On My Honour."

Friday, November 1, 2019

He Hits You, Dump Him.

Jealousy is not cute. Hollywood movies and sitcoms may portray the jealous boyfriend/girlfriend as being cute. "Ahhh you were jealous for me?"  My Mom used to scold about the "green monster." She was the recipient of some not so cute moments of jealousy so she had some experience. She used to warn us about how my Uncle was to our Aunty. No jealousy is not an indication that he loves you. It is a sign about how insecure we are as men so run away Women.

There are many little signs for you Women to watch out for. It starts very early on, when you are first becoming to know each other. He will say things like "I wish I knew you long ago." Why does he wish that? The experiences from your life make you who you are, so why would he want to negate that? Simple, he wants to be first, the first love, the first friend, he doesn't want you to have experienced relationship before you. He wants you all to himself. It will only become more and more pervasive as time goes on. He will say things like, "who you thinking of?" and "you still love him?".  In time it will become more harsher with him no liking how you do your makeup or have your hair styled. "Who you losing weight for?" It is crazy because the things which made you attractive to him are now his sense of dread. He doesn't like your friendly open mannerisms. He starts to hate it that you have friends. He will start with making remarks about your friends, saying "they are using you." The insecure man will be come angry, angry at you because he is jealous and doesn't feel good about himself. He will get mean, first with his words, "you were fucked before I fucked you." He will attack your house, break cups, punch walls and then he turns on you. He pushes you. He hits you. He chokes you. He puts you in the hospital. Finally he kills you.

It is easy to say, "Leave him." The fear of being alone, or the thought he will change, has people thinking there is light at the end of the tunnel. The man will be the man you want him to be, so you excuse his beahviour; "he didn't mean it, he was drunk, he is so kind when sober." Change is not an easy thing. Can an abusive man change? Maybe, there have been some who have. But not before there was much suffering by a Woman. In some cases the only reason a man is not beating you is because he is either in jail or he is dead.

A 3 year old boy was stabbed as he slept. He was stabbed in the neck and numerous times by a man who was abusive to the Mom. The boy suffered brain damage and was taken off life support. The story of what happened is one of abuse. The man had a restraining order and was not suppose to be in contact with the mother of the boy. He met up her a local bar, beat her and then he walked over to her home to stab the boy. The boy was not his son.

What I can only think is just how? How can anyone be so cruel?

What do we as a public do with our anger? How can we help the family? How can we do something tangible?  I say donate blood, take part in a rally, voice against domestic violence, call out men who are being abusive.

Thursday, October 24, 2019

Anishinaabe Creation Story

The Anicinabe creation story is a long story. Elders and storytellers talk about the story, by talking about bits and pieces of the story. It takes a long time to hear the whole story because of the many teachings within it. This is a simplified story. It is a ceremonial story, the little boy teachings which are told in the sweat ceremony. This is being shared because it is sacred knowledge that belongs to the people. It is every community member’s right to hear this story. This is how the storyteller heard it. In the beginning, before creation, there was nothing. There was darkness: no universe, no planets. In the dark and emptiness, the Creator made space with the use of His she-she-gun (rattle). The Creator shook His rattle once very lightly and it barely made a sound because it was so faint. He paused, which was a great, great length of time. Then He shook it again, and this time it was a little bit louder. Again, He paused for a great amount of time. Then He shook His rattle again and this time it was a little bit louder. NA KA CHI-TOOK KE DO DA MANG 12 Again, an unimaginable amount of time passed before He shook it for the fourth time, which made a tremendous sound, an unimaginable sound. The sound was like millions and millions of multiplied rattles, it was so loud. From that time on, Creators’ rattle sparked lightening and issued forth the stars in the sky; filling the universe with the night sky, the moon, stars and planets. He sent forth the sacred fire, the sun. This was Creator’s way of setting the stage for existence. In order for life to exist in space, the Creator made thought, memory and knowledge to set the stage for existence. This is the Creator’s knowledge, kind loving being, giving, sharing, and a pure honest being. It is the Creator’s knowledge that gives us a way of existence. Creator’s knowledge is like the unfolding of a piece of paper. In the unfolding, there is duality of existence. The first opening created the positive and negative existence of life, which transcends to all fields of education. The paper was unfolded again and more and more of the Creator’s creations began. This went on for a tremendous amount of time. It is thought that the Creator’s knowledge is still unfolding to support and make life. He placed all His sacred rocks (planets) before Him. He looked upon His rocks and noticed Aki (Mother Earth). He took His tobacco and sent it to Mother Earth to ask her if He could place life upon her. Mother Earth was still very young and it took her time to accept the tobacco. Once she did, life started to grow upon her. Therefore, tobacco was the first plant to take root. It took a long time for the process of growth to become a full green garden upon Mother Earth. All the other plants descended from the stars and began to grow upon her and finally she was green and full of life. Then He began to place animal beings upon her, the great ancestors of the animals we know today. He went on to place penais-she-ok (birds) upon Mother Earth, and water to sustain all the plants, animals and birds. He finished creating all the animal beings and they prospered. Many nations of birds now lived upon Mother Earth. Again, this took a long time. One day, the Creator was sitting, admiring the beauty of Mother Earth and the life that she supports. He looked at the animals, plants and birds and how harmonious they were. He decided to make somebody to experience what he was looking at and to take care of His creation, Atum Anicinabe (first man). To set the stage and prepare the earth for the coming of Anicinabe, He sent down Nanaboozho (great teacher and messenger), to inform the beings and to ask them if they would help Anicinabe because he would be pitiful and much smaller than them. Nanaboozho, the bird and animal beings had a big meeting and sharing circle to find helpers for Anicinabe to survive, “Who among you will stand up for Anicinabe and help him live life? Who among you are willing to adjust your size so, Anicinabe can co-exist with you?” All the being presents spoke in the circle, with a willingness to adjust their enormous size for Anicinabe, they became smaller. Nanaboozho learned that most of the earth beings were willing to feed, give knowledge and support Anicinabe. He also learned that some of the beings had nothing to offer, by their enormous size and nature however, they agreed to leave so, Anicinabe could survive. All this took place close by here, where petro-forms are found. It took place to set the stage for the creation of Atum Anicinabe. Our Anicinabe Nation was created when the Creator took Aki (earth/mud) and divided it into four parts in the palm of His hand. He shaped a person, with a body, legs, arms and a head. In the center of the 13 being He placed a sacred ceremonial object, a megis (shell) and closed His hand. We were not called Anicinabe yet. He blew His breath into the palm of His hand. He blew it four times and He said, “A-ni-sha-nabe, I will lower Anicinabe to Aki, the garden”. The Anicinabe was lowered from the star world, where the Creator sits. On the way down, Anicinabe had to stop, because there were other creations above Aki. He had to get to know who the others were. On his way down, he stopped four times before he came upon Mother Earth. As he was being lowered, he could see a beautiful creation, Mother Earth. He stretched out his foot to try to reach the ground and finally he was able to touch it. He was set upon a plain of sweet-grass where Creator had placed him. He was Na-tum Anicinabe, the very first human. The Creator spoke to Anicinabe, “Go out and experience all the directions. Go out and touch, smell, feel and look at all of what I have created.” So Atum Anicinabe (first man), was given his first direction, to experience the world. Atum Anicinabe went great distances to the east, north, west and south observing, touching, smelling and experiencing the world. Atum Anicinabe was not empty but his knowledge of the world was very limited. As he travelled, he soaked up life and all the knowledge that had already been there for years. He travelled and he became more aware and bolder about life. Many of the beings that were on Mother Earth welcomed him and fed him knowledge and life. When Atum Anicinabe came back from his travels, he came to mountain ranges that were yellow, blue white and red in colour. He had finished this great journey. He had returned to where the Creator had placed him. The Creator asked him, “Do you like what I have created for you?” Atum Anicinabe said, “Yes, this is a truly beautiful place you have created for me. As I travelled, I noticed all the animals, plants, trees, and bird nations have partners and make more of their own kind. And, there is nobody like me, I’m the only one of my kind here.” The Creator made a partner for Anicinabe, and that partner was not yet male or female but still a spiritual being. The Creator told them, “Go out and experience.” So, they ventured out and learned great experiences on a sacred land where there was more of the Creator’s bundle. As they travelled, they learned that the Creator has an opposite being, a trickster. Trickster talked to the two while on the sacred land, “When you eat some of these berries and fruits on this sacred land, you will be like the Creator and you too will create wonderful beings.” Trickster continued to coax them to take from the sacred land. The Creator came to see Atum Anicinabek (more than one person) and told them not to take from the sacred land. Eventually, the trickster talked them into taking the berries and fruits from the sacred land. One of the sacred beings had a berry in the mouth and the other was holding a piece of fruit. The Creator came down and scolded the two for taking the berries and fruits. The Creator explained, “I asked you not to take these berries and fruits and for this, life is going to change for the both of you.” He said to one who swallowed the berry, “From this moment on, you will have the power to create.” That NA KA CHI-TOOK KE DO DA MANG 14 was the birth of woman. It is woman who is given the power to bring life, to create life. The other, became a scha-be (helper), a man to support life. From that moment on they became shy of one another. Anicinabek, began to cover themselves, to conceal their differences, for they were ashamed. They left the sacred land to live and discover one another upon Mother Earth. They settled and made camp. They had 10 children (five boys and five girls) and their roles changed. They had become the first parents. Anicinabek were sustained by the knowledge given to them by spirit, plants, trees, birds and animals; that knowledge carried them forward, supported them and their children. They brought up their children to live mino pamatiziwin (a good life). They were innocent and everything was innocent. The first parents groomed and clothed their children well, because of their shame. Time went by and the children grew up and became young adults and began to notice each other. The children were no longer playmates. Their parents observed that their children were looking at each other as possible partners. Atum Anicinabe (the first parents) became heavy-hearted by what they were noticing. There was nobody in the world for their children to partner with. They knew it would be wrong if their children became partners with each other, for this was not happening in the natural world. The Creator came down again and spoke to the first parents. “I see that something is troubling you, I will send your children a clan, a family. A bloodline for each of your children’s families. The bloodline will change and your children will be safe from this moment on.” It was then that the Creator placed the clans. The first four clans descended were pure white spiritual beings: bear, wolf, crane and turtle. Some of these beings were in the world and, some came from the stars. The beings made connections with the first children and had especially gifted and spiritual children, because they inherited a part of their spiritual parents. Examples of gifts and spirituality are noticeable in the crane’s incredible vision and ability to see far, not physical far but spiritually far. The wolf clan carries the gifts of humility and incredible honour within the family clan. The clan family’s gifts go on and on. Upon the descent of the clans, life for Anicinabe became tremendously spiritual and the people were gifted. Life was good and flourishing. The people were still spiritual beings, meaning they could communicate with the animal, bird, and plant beings. They grew into humans, nations and our clans. The clan law did more for the families - it formed our governments. The Creator called it a clan law. From the first Anicinabe, he said, “The passage of clan will follow the father. No clan can partner with the same clan because it makes us sisters and brothers. The clan will keep you safe as long as you stay within the law.” The clan system is a natural law and prevails for our people. “Always know your clan before you partner with someone. Do not partner within your clan family: your sister or your brother. You must know your clan teachings, your colours, how to honour, feast and make offerings to your clan; for you are feasting your ancestors, the first parents and the spirituality they gave to you.” 15 For Anicinabe-speaking Nations across Turtle Island, the Creator lowered 10 original clans for families to live. In our area, including Sagkeeng, Anicinabek were given 7 clans for life. The Creator stopped after he lowered 44 clans for the world. He looked upon the people and knew they would be safe from the original problem of interbreeding. He had stopped that from happening. The Creator’s law is not just for the past. It is still talked about today. It is valid and current.

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

No One Is Perfect

You make a really bad mistake so your friend says to you, "it's okay no one is perfect." You cheat on your spouse and when they confront you for your indiscretion, you say "no one is perfect." I guess it is true no one is perfect. Based on many beliefs throughout the world there is only one who is perfect, God, the Creator.  So if there can be no perfection in people, why don't we just accept it? Why try to be as good and perfect as we can be? We are destined or doomed to fail, right? Still we try and do the best we can in most cases. We try to be "our Brother's keeper, the good neighbour," despite our shortcomings.

Trouble is the "I'm not perfect" answer is more of an excuse rather than truth; the ultimate Get Out of Jail Free card. There is no doubt we make mistakes and will continue to make mistakes or perhaps it is not a mistake. There are some decisions and actions we do knowing full well the impact it has and will have. There are some mistakes we make with no thought of how it affects others or how it will affect us as well.

The Prime Minister of Canada has been found to be a fan of Black Face (and Brown Face). In his youth, he dressed up with full Black Face, and also as an ethnic character. The act is a very disrespectful act, no question. The discussion now focuses on the mistake; is it long time ago and didn't know better, or is still relevant to today? Many voices are saying it was long ago and we all make mistakes and now we know better. The Prime Minister gave an apology and many have accepted his apology. I think an apology is a good place for a start in any situation. Still there are those who feel hurt and even betrayed by the actions.

There are some "mistakes" that may not seem big but still the consequences are felt somewhere and by someone: The Priest who betrays the trust of the community, the Traditional Elder who falls short on living with The Teachings, the Teacher who hits the child, the Organizer who steals funds, the friend who no longer keeps your secret. The aftermath of a mistake can be an irritant or it can be agonizing.

There is the thing, when do we accept if it was mistake and enough time has past that we can move forward (what ever moving forward means)?  There are some actions which may seem unforgivable;  a 16 year old boy killed himself over the bullying actions of his school friends.  Some mistakes have horrible consequences while some mistakes may not be as tragic. In England there was a mistake so ugly and horrible it shocked the world. In 1993 two young boys murdered a small child in a horrific manner. It was the case of 10 year olds who took a 2 year old and tortured him to death.  The story is beyond tragic and the aftermath unimaginable.  The 10 year old boys were sentenced and served 8 years where they were released with new identities after serving the time.  There are many instances where the actions can not be labeled as mistakes.

Not being perfect is a truth we live with, but it is not an open door to being a jerk, an arsehole or a monster. Much of the mistakes we encounter are the small kind. Not the horrors we read about or see on the television. Nope, it's your friend who takes your kindness for granted. The person who says I'll meet up with you but stands you up. It's forgetting your spouse's birthday and not feeling bad over it. It is spanking your child in a fit of frustration but yet have no words of apology for the spanking. It the friend who doesn't have the courtesy to answer your texts to visit and has no care of how it makes you feel.  It is the daily little hurts we inflict on others.

So yes, we all make mistakes and no one is perfect. Still we can never use it as an excuse to abandon thoughtfulness.  There is a price to pay for what we do wrong. We may lose a friend for our lack of kindness and thoughtfulness. So what do we do to accept we are not perfect but not an arsehole? We can try and live the next day better than when we made the mistake. If we kill someone, (maybe by accident) we live a better life making sure to atone. If we still act the same way and live the same way after we have made a mistake or made a choice which done harm, then we truly are the Arsehole.  I like to think we are better than that, we are capable of being mindful and thoughtfulness.

There is a road, no simple highway
Between the dawn and the dark of night
And if you go no one may follow
That path is for your steps alone

Wednesday, September 25, 2019

I Drunk Your Wine

Not wanting to invite conflict but it seems we are destined for trouble.

Regret is a sore which never heals. At night I sit and listen to songs on the youtube channels. It is here regret, sorrow, loneliness, longing, hurt and guilt enter my heart and body. My eyes hurt and there is a pain over them. It is damaging to keep the hurt but how in the heck do you extinguish it?

We all know regret. We all know hurt. We all know loss.

Monday, September 16, 2019

Playing the 911 Card.

Every September 11 there are public events held in the United States aimed at remembering the killing of three thousand people by Airplanes smashing into the Twin Towers. It is a date destined to be remembered and an event not forgotten.

September 11, 2001 has become the Card for America. The image of the Jets crashing into the Twin Towers as fire and explosions ripped through the sky is awe inspiring. Not awe inspiring in any good way whatsoever. But rather a picture of horror no amount CGI could depict, as it was real. The villains could not be scripted any better; a barbaric, harsh sounding American hating peoples. What better rallying cry for revenge and war? 

So what do I mean when I say it is the "Card" for America? Am I implying the deaths caused by terrorism is going to be used in not so sincere ways? I am. With the 9/11 terrorism acts so fresh it can be viewed as callous to be played as a "guilt trump card".  The sad truth is, the "card" is played everywhere. 9/11 is a relatively new Card to played when wanting to influence emotions.

In Hollywood, you see the Card played out in stereotypical characters of sitcom's and movies. The race card is catch phrase for a quick laugh. Laugh at the expense of someone's history, someone's background, someone's ethnicity. The Simpson's cartoon sitcom is notorious for many of its cheap laughs at the expense of some group. In one episode Homer is being found guilty of a crime and as he is about to be lead away, Homer raises his fist at this lawyer and says in his angry funny way, "Play the race card.  Playyyyy it!" The race card is running gag, while the Jew Card has also found a home as well. The "Jew Card" being played in sitcoms, movies ironically, humorously, and tearfully. 

Larry I just figured out what your problem is. You hate Jews! Which is so odd, because your children are Jewish.
Debbie Don't play the Jew Card, Larry.
Larry I'm not playing any Jew Card.
Debbie Seriously? It's used up.
Larry You can't use up a Jew Card. That's the whole point of a Jew Card.
Barry That's right. You can't use it up. It goes forever.

The Holocaust Card is another form of the Jew Card, in that is relives a horror of a magnitude that many still live with. The Card for many is not a card but it's really part of who they are and the "hand they are dealt"; living with the agony of mass murder just for being who they are. There are those who want to remember but to stop being victim, to stop using the Holocaust card. 
For its owner, the Race Card has lost some of its power today. Society sees itself as colourblind and the race card no longer relevant. So as far as playing a Card it is ineffective. Of course the Racial inequities are still there and even more so, but society doesn't care. They say deal with it. Society sees colour more so than ever, regardless of the colour-blind statements. The Race card is not being played by People of Colour but rather by those who hate colour. So the race card is used to promote hate and violence against those who would have previously used the Race card to gather support and guilt. You see, Cards usually being played have a horrible hand to begin with: The Jew being slaughtered and attempted genocide by Nazi, the Black being Slaves of cruel owners-mainly white colonialists, Indigenous people facing genocide by colonialists, Women used as doormats and a killing field for men.  Some how the Cards are being used not for guilt of a wrong but for more calls of separation, hate and anger.  Even with the relatively new cards Cards in play: the gender card, the LGBTQ2 card there are those who are immune. No amount of "show and tell" will change the mindset of the closed minded. The increasing number of Women being killed does not matter. The high number of suicides by youth of LGBTQ2 community raises not a care. So why does the 9/11 card resonate with American and White countries? Never Forget is the rallying cry and it is a loud one.  The US is really capitalizing on their Card. It is used frequently and with heavy effect. 

Where is our rallying cry for our Card?
I say never forget the Slavery of Black people in America. I say never forget the Land Americans live on is not theirs. I say never forget the lives lost to expansion of Transport routes by Immigrants of Colour. I say never forget the Sand Creek and Wounded Knee murders of our relatives by soldiers of Army.  I say never forget the Women who give life but are not respected. 
The question remains, which is the heavy hand? Which Card trumps the others? 
I guess it really depends on who is playing the card, doesn't it? 

Friday, September 6, 2019

Cute Pukatawagan Kids Drumming & Singing

This is so cute; young Cree kids drumming on a recycling box.  Their little voices singing without anything more than just having fun.

Beautiful isn't it? This small act of playing and having fun is really significant. It shows us their parents are doing something right. In a world where our people are struggling, these kids show us how it is done. They are showing the Indigenous community and all of Turtle Island, "look at us, we are still here."

They maybe unaware of what they have done. They have essentially given the proverbial Middle Finger to colonialism. Their small voices are resonating loudly in Indian World, and they are saying "we love us."  I would like to think they are also saying a big Fuck You to all those genocidal efforts by Canada, the United States, England, Spain and all those colonial nations.

"Kill them all, Big and Small, Nits make Lice" is but one sentiment which has been part of the mindset and the actions colonial powers have towards Indigenous folk. The first attacks of genocide where brutal and many. Using force in genocide activities can be expensive and costly.  So there was the move towards a more "subtle" approach of genocide taken by the colonial overlords:

“I want to get rid of the Indian problem.....Our objective is to continue until there is not an Indian that has not been absorbed into the body politic, and there is no Indian question, and no Indian Department…”1920 Duncan Campbell Scott
"The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change.” 1887 John A McDonald 

Of course the damage to Indigenous communities was devastating. The damage is visible today.  The cuteness of the boys singing shows the world: We are still here, We are still living, We are strong, We are relevant, We love our people, We are the Good Life.

All of this coming from a group of young children just singing a song in a Reserve most of the world has never heard of.  These young innocent children renew our hope in the world. They make us feel good, feel the pride of our heritage. We know they are just playing; a chance encounter with an adult with a phone who takes a video and a post to social media. This makes me think about all those who are doing the Good Life Mino-Bimaadiziwin: the Boys with Braids, the Women and Girls Carrying Water, the Language Speakers, the Name Givers, and those who receive their names and more, much more.

And for some, it is just kids being cute...

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Let The Mystery Be

The whole afterlife topic is filled with questions, ideas, theories and even hope. I am one of those who makes up my own idea and wish for what happens in the afterlife, if in fact there is one. There are many who have bought the "going to Heaven" sales pitch. Many different versions of Heaven, life after death and the coming back re-born. Sometimes I subscribe to all things, even thinking about the "nothing" existence. The arguments or thoughts on death from atheists have merit, but still I want to have hope there is more, you know?

If you ask your spouse, on what they think happens whey die (if dying exists) most likely they may have a different image than you. This Traditional Teacher (now an Elder) once told me I didn't know what happens after death and what God looks like. He said he met with God and Its not how you expect It to be. I guess he must have inside information?  I laugh now, because of the sheer arrogance. If he believes his version is the one, well power to him. Me I have no real clue, I hope for certain things but at the end of the day, I just don't know.  It is a mystery for sure.

I have very vivid dreams. My dreams are important to me. Many of my dreams involve people who have died. They come visit me in my dreams. Some of the visitors are relatives, friends and some are just someone I may have known a little bit and some not at all. Many visitors are complete strangers to me. Last week I had a dream of my deceased Mom and Dad. In this dream we were at our old house. A two year old boy had died in his sleep and it was suppose to be a son of mine. My Mom had been watching him sleep on the couch. Strange the boy had a mask over his face. One of those masks that look like a black hood with zipper on the mouth. It seems he couldn't breathe and died because of it. My dad didn't know the boy had died and was waiting to take him fishing. Dad was waiting for his friend Bob to come take them fishing. Bob is also a dead fellow from our Reserve. Anyway, Mom was agitated at how long Bob and his friends were taking. Meanwhile outside of our home, there was water on the yard, with fish everywhere. The water was about two inches deep and it was running up the bank from the River. It was running upwards and not following the normal route of running down hill. I went to look at the shoreline and the water was very turbulent. As the dream went on, my deceased cousin Wallace showed up to take me somewhere. He had an older 1980's vehicle, like a Pontiac or Buick. He wanted to show me where the dead go. He drove me to the afterlife. We went through some marsh with very high reeds, high weeds, and some bog. We came to an old concrete building which was very big. Lot of metal junk throughout the building, along with people welding and sparks flying. We were walking around some metal junk on the floor, when this big rough looking worker told us to hold on because of the metal junk on the floor. I told him I know how to walk in junk. We ended up in a room with lot of people sitting around. It was dank, a bit dark with them sitting around a little fire. Something you might see in on of those movies where people are sitting around looking poor and tired. This Old Woman, was speaking to me. I could hear her, but had no clue what she was saying. She was explaining where people go after they die, or at least I thought that was what she was trying to explain. She was explaining but I didn't get it. It was like I could not comprehend "it" even when "it" was right in front of me. My cousin came and took me again. He put me in an old car and told me to drive. It was there, I knew I was in the afterlife. I wanted to be home. So I kept saying I want to go home as I drove. That was where I came out of the dream.

What the dream means, I don't know. Maybe nothing, maybe it was a glimpse, a distorted glimpse. I know one thing, I really want to meet with my Son after I die. I want to make amends for all the wrong I did. Will I get the chance? Who the heck knows? I don't want to let the mystery be. I want hope.

Wednesday, August 21, 2019

Littlest Birds Sing the Prettiest Songs

The walk to school was no more than two kilometres.  It was an easy walk with a paved highway and gravel shoulders.  For some reason the logic is to walk facing traffic, but I never did. If you wanted to get a ride you walked the way traffic was going.  This day was no different. I never sought out a ride because it was nice just to walk. You also always ran into someone walking as well. The Indian Reserve was neighbour to a bustling town. The Town was rich and filled with White people. There was this Old White man in a big car and he frequently drove through the Reserve. He stopped all the time and gave people, children a ride to the town. He was known for his willingness to give Indians a ride.

The car stopped for me. I wasn't trying to hitch a ride. I was no more than a kilometre from home. It was an odd sight, two Old White men in the car, with one sitting in the back seat as the other drove. The man in the back seat opened the door and said "You want a ride? Get in."  I was not sure if I needed a ride or not. You normally do not say no to a ride. Thing was, I was close to home and this was weird.  This was not the normal White man who gave us rides. I hesitated with the offer of a ride. I finally stammered out a quiet "no thanks."  The man didn't close the door, he just looked at me with his smile. I stood still. Finally he closed the door and away they went, towards the town.

It really never dawned on me, the little voice in my head might have saved me. Who knows what could have happened had I accepted the ride. After all you have to remember it was not normal to say no to the White man. What took place was the little voice in my head sang a song of warning.  I will tease about what may have happened: raped up the bum, made to do oral pleasure on those pissy old men and maybe even killed. In reality you never know. Maybe those were just two old men, who were generous and kind with no thought of malice.

I will never know, but you know what thank the Birds for singing their songs of warning. Everyone should listen to the songs of warning.

Friday, August 16, 2019

Don't Do It! It Is Sacred.

An old argument about recording Ceremonies is happening again, Indians are attacking other Indians over the recording of events, of Sacred Ceremonies. Me, I am in favour of sharing Ceremony even if it means recording some of the Ceremony. For many folk, recording a Ceremony is a sacrilege. Their point is to keep Ceremony Sacred it should not be abused and recording may lead to abuse. I understand as well. There is the probability a Ceremony could be bastardized. Someone could use it in demeaning ways or try to commodify the Ceremony.  The selling of Ceremony and the abusing of Ceremony has been occurring and will continue to happen. There are people out there who police that abuse as we all should. Still the benefits of sharing Ceremony outshines the ugliness which comes with sharing.  The Sacred will always be Sacred. Who determines if something is sacred or not? What is to be considered to be sacred?

I remember there was to be a "white event" over at the Oodena Circle in Winnipeg. The Oodena Circle is an amphitheatre built at a tourist section of called the Forks. Originally the Forks has a rich and significant history of Indigenous gathering place. The event was to have alcohol served and Natives objected. The reasoning for their objection was the Oodena Circle was a Sacred Place. I was not one of those who objected to the event serving alcohol.  For me the site was just a theatre, a commercial venue. There are many Indigenous events held at the Circle. So I can see how it can be viewed as Sacred.

Are there things which we should not be recording? Of course there are. For me I am not sure what they are. Some things must remain so personal that they should be left alone.

I think the Sacred is to be shared. Not in a way to disrupt the Sacred but for sharing in a good way. We see the Mauna Kea as Sacred for Hawaii. People don't want to share it with scientists. Because the scientists want to desecrate the Sacred. This is a clear example of abusing the Sacred. There are people all over that have no regard for the Sacred. Close to us in the Dakotas is Bear Butte, a Sacred place. People, mainly Non-Native folk have no care if the site is Sacred. They want to tear down, to build buildings on the Sacred.  Oak Flat is a Sacred site for the Apache but yet this fact is ignored by settlers, colonialists and individuals. The result a contamination of the water flows in the Oak Flat. There are many examples of Sacred sites being desecrated and threatened by the main stream population. The Mauna Kea is just one example of many. A common thread for this desecration and destruction is related to the Land. Indigenous folk are always connected to the land. A fact lost to the main stream population.

The thing is we need to protect the Sacred and that is a given. No argument about it. Still is recording the Sacred a desecration?  Not in some cases. Recording a prayer is not a desecration. It is not damaging the Sacred. The Creator will still hear, won't they? One of the most Sacred things to happen is the Birth of a Child. Will recording desecrate this Sacred event?  I do not believe so. If sharing the Sacred can bring awareness and a renewal of pride, then it is a good thing. Taking a picture of Women carrying a copper vessel with Water is not going to take away from the significance of the Ceremony.

With respect to recording Ceremony, the gate has been opened long ago and now we are trying to close a gate when it is far too late; the Beings have been let out.

“It is absolutely never acceptable to have that kind of hate expressed in communities,” ... “By doing these things, by defacing people’s property and religious sacred sites really to instill fear in communities, it’s reprehensible”.[i]
Why is it that Canadians will readily throw their arms up in the air in disgust when a Synagogue or a Mosque,[ii] such as the one in Peterborough, Ontario, is vandalized, yet when an Indigenous sacred place, such as the Chaudière Falls[iii] and the three Islands downstream, is further desecrated, rather than re-naturalized to its former holiness, Canadians don’t give a damn?
Is it because humans, pitiful as they are in understanding their location within the natural world, are of the thought that only human-made places of worship are sacred where as such the natural world offers nothing sacred? If this is true, humans are trapped in the humanistic tradition and have no concept that before humans came to the world everything was beautiful and everything was in its place. This was Creator’s gift: A beautiful place that predated our arrival so we could become the good human beings that Creator intended us to be.
An Anishinaabe teaching offers, with the coming of the Sacred Peace Pipe, “honor returned to be a guiding principle of life for many people. The sacredness of a person’s word became, once again, foremost in day-to-day transactions.”[iv]

Thursday, August 1, 2019

NACM Pritchard House - Performs Like a Sloth

Native Addictions Council of Manitoba (NACM) also known as Pritchard House is a residential and outreach treatment program in Winnipeg, Manitoba.  NACM has a long history and a strong legacy of determined people looking to help the Indigenous community. NACM celebrated 47 years of operation this winter. Pritchard House is located in the city's north end, an impoverished neighbourhood. The Centre was once a Catholic hospital and it is a very old building.

There is no doubt in the long history of NACM many people have been helped. The staff and management have good intentions when it comes to working at the Centre. The philosophy of the program is to utilize the Alcoholics Anonymous and some Anishinaabe Traditional Teachings. The effectiveness of AA and Treatment in general has always been subject to criticism. Regardless there are people who have managed to stay away from alcohol with help from Treatment.

So what is the problem with NACM? Is there even an issue there? The issue with NACM is that it has become an isolated island. There are a few island kingdoms: Manitoba Metis Federation, Manitoba Indigenous Cultural Education Centre, Aboriginal Centre Winnipeg, Manitoba First Nations Education Resource Centre. Each kingdom has advantages and disadvantages. With NACM the isolation has become one of the weaknesses.

NACM is not an entity that plays well with others. The Indigenous population in Manitoba and in Winnipeg is quite large. Many organizations have popped up to serve the Indigenous population.  These organizations talk to each other, network, refer to each other and support each other. NACM does not involve itself in the local Indigenous community or the larger Indigenous community. If NACM was a castle it would be surrounded by a moat. In a way it is good because NACM can be operated without interference and political drama. However, as a vital resource in the community, it is really lacking.

The City of Winnipeg and the Indigenous population is being crippled and crushed by the addiction to meth. The Indigenous community and the Main stream community is actively looking at ways to battle the Meth attack. NACM has been and is invisible with the current situation. It seems they have become comfortable, slow, and disinterested in the ailing community. Why is this? Why are they not reaching out to the Indigenous community, the health community, the first responders and political powers in an effort to help? Why is it no one in the health community, the political community, the wellness community, the addiction prevention community, will even reach out to NACM?

It is because NACM has become a sloth. No creativity, no emotional investment, no engagement, and no community ties. At one time there was a community interest, community investment but it is no longer the case. NACM has become an isolated castle (although old) and has lost touch with the community it serves. Now it literally revolves a small closed group of individuals.
Really a shame when it has the potential to be part of the network needed to take on the meth addiction, now killing our people.

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

Are You Generous or a Cheap Bastard?

There are some good people in the world. I really like that, don't you? The people who I think are awesome are the generous folk. Those are the ones who will have a place in our hearts. Generosity is an awesome trait to have. Many Societies have generosity practices in their cultures. Today we are seeing more individual wants overtaking the notion of giving. Still there are those who are generous in many different ways; whether it is donating their time on worthwhile causes, donating blood and the ultimate gift of donating their organs.

Volunteers are examples of generous people. They don't have to do it. The coaches of children sports, the volunteers at fund raising events for health care and other events give their time and effort so other's can benefit. There are also people who like to share things like stories, their time, food and their stuff. I like stuff.

We know those people who are generous and sometimes we don't really think about the act very much. I want us to take time to think about them. I also want us to remember and think about the cheap bastards. You know those individuals very well. Those who will benefit from the work and sharing of others.

I think about that quite a bit lately, especially with how the world is turning to shit. Turning to shit because of all those greedy selfish bastards. Many of the Greedy selfish bastards are out of our reach for condemnation. There are people like Jeff Bezos, Mark Zuckerberg, Rob Walten, and many more bastards. There is a hell for these bastards. A hell where they will suffer the fate or watching their world, the world of their family will be haunted forever. There are many who want to look generous but really are just Cheap bastards. Look at the Gates for example. The world says they are benevolent and generous because of their foundation.

There are also Cheap Bastards in regular society as well. My friend was talking about a Cousin who acts like he is going to take all his riches to the grave with him. This Cousin is semi-famous and has a large political footprint. A vengeful character and a selfish cheapskate. There are those in the political Indian world who continue to rape the community of the limited resources. There are also those cheap bastards who pretend to be generous but it's only motivated by selfish motives. You know the type, wanting to look good.

A nephew and niece went to visit the Land of the Maori last month. They planned and took gifts for the folks there. He said there were other Neechies there. I asked him if they brought gifts and he said no. Cheap Bastards. I see lot of political Neechies getting Blankets all the time and gifts from communities. I don't see them giving gifts to others, cheap bastards.

Cheap Bastards are exactly that, cheap bastards. They won't give you their goods, their time, their energy, their thoughts, their prayers, and their love. So what they are going to take it with them when they die.  Cheap Bastards are not bad people, nope, they are just cheap. For some it's a badge of honour. Can you get that?

Tuesday, July 23, 2019

It's Time!!! & Time To Rumble!

The Assembly of First Nations, the AFN  is having an assembly to discuss things, Indian things in Canada. Not sure what kind of things but important things.  Canada has a lot going with the Indians. The bad water is big thing in Indian country and kids are getting sick. The Canadian government wants to put an oil pipeline in the territory of Indian Lands. Women are getting killed like they are disposable and not worth a nickel. Indians, especially the young are killing themselves, out pacing everyone else. Hatred towards Indians and other Brown people is escalating.  Not sure of what things the AFN is tackling but they are important that is for sure.

AFN relies solely on the Canadian government for their life-line. No Canadian government and there is no AFN. The biggest thing the AFN does is ask for money. AFN is beholden to the Chiefs of Canada because it is the Chiefs who put them there.

There are many First Nation citizens who are not really happy with AFN. There is a huge group who feel the AFN is not defending or protecting the long term Rights of the Indian people. What can be done if the status quo does not have the support of the people?  Well, I know me. Time for the AFN to grow a pair of hairy ones. When every the Canadian government has an election AFN says "we work with anyone in power." A cowardly sentiment. AFN is too dependent on the good will of which ever government is in control. The Canadian government in this situation has all the power. AFN is nothing more than a beggar at the gates of the castle. Embarrassing to anyone who recognizes this fact, glorified beggars.  AFN needs to be radicalized. Radicalized is a term meant to demonize any movement to criticize the status quo and powers which control.  AFN needs to embrace a more determined and stronger approach to dealing with government.

Let's face it, the current situation is not good for the Indian. The Indian made deals which are all broken and it is getting worse. The country of Canada is very young but already in the short time, they have attempted to destroy and kill off the Indians. It didn't work so now they appease the situation with crumbs of their ill gotten spoils. AFN should not be saying we will work with anyone. They should be saying "we are going to shut down all the resource extraction activity in this country, until Canada shares 50% of the revenue. How is it anyway that private corporations and citizens have control of the resources which rightly belong to First Nations.

The act of defiance will be painful and could become brutal. It is time to take a stand. The world is changing and its changing for the worse. There will be a time when the king's and queen's are going to say No to the so called beggars. First Nations should not be beggars in their own land, their own home. Our people have become so out of touch we feast on our own. We prey on our own and we end up killing ourselves. Two weeks ago my nephew was brutalized by a few thugs. They took a hammer to his hand, threatened to kill him, hit him with an axe, and took his identification. Told him they would end him if he went to the cops. This is a not uncommon where we use brutal violence on our own. We can not continue with this self destruction of hurting ourselves and our leaders begging our their knees.

Time for AFN to change from begging and asking for handouts to demanding back the resources. AFN should spend its time organizing disruption, planning and even destruction of the status quo. Which means Canada should stop being comfortable in destroying the country. Time for Canada to change how it steals from the First Nations. Time for First Nations to put road blocks to all traffic, all commerce and to give up their lives for their great grandchildren.

"The role of the National Chief and the AFN is to advocate on behalf of First Nations as directed by Chiefs-in-Assembly.  This includes facilitation and coordination of national and regional discussions and dialogue, advocacy efforts and campaigns, legal and policy analysis, communicating with governments, including facilitating relationship building between First Nations and the Crown as well as public and private sectors and general public."

Friday, July 19, 2019

Registering Your Indian Baby

A friend of mine got pregnant from some Indian guy from Sandy Bay First Nation. She didn't register him as the father when it came to the birth registration. The Province of Manitoba controls the registration of children. This is significant as all other forms of Identification as you grow up are based on the provincial birth records; Health identification, drivers license, school registration, social insurance number, and for First Nations registration (Indian Status).  For my friend the registration decision impacts her grandchildren.  It impacts the passing on of Indian Status.

It is quite something where who you are and who you belong to is tied to Provincial birth records which has to be used so Federal recognition and conditions can be applied.

I wonder why Indian Women are not fighting this? This is not on the radar of the First Nation political groups.

Why is it, a lessor government is dictating who can and cannot be in your Nation? Not only does it take away from your Nation having say in your heritage, it takes away the power from the Mother of the child. In order for the Mom to have her child categorized as the "proper Indian" if they decide not register the Father. Complicating the future of decision making by the Mother. Some Mother's are the sole care givers of the child. Having a Father named only complicates their decision making ability: travel, schooling.

So it should be a big concern for Mom's out there. Ask your Leader why is this not an issue.

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 ...