I will preface this blog post with the caveat that this is mine and only my point of view. I am entitled to this point of view. You may agree or disagree with what I have to say and you are free to leave comments. Also be aware that there may be some images in this post that may be disturbing.
Should I be questioning this?
Am I wrong in asking what Idle No More is? I have read and heard more about Idle No More in the last two months than I have heard about most any other topic and that would not be a bad thing if Idle No More was a genuine cause with a clear common focus with clear goals. But and I say this with a capital B that the movement has not had any of this in the two months. Further more the media continues to give these people the attention that even a mother of a two year old screaming for candy in the store knows better than to do.... Give in and answer to there beckon call to shut them up.
Now I may seem harsh and possibly be called racist and other terms since I am speaking out mainly about one group of people here but I can honestly say I don't take myself as falling into that category because I am speaking about a movement and not a people but please read all of this before you make judgement on me.
Idle No More seemed to have popped up out of no where back in December, though it was in full swing much prior to this. You see in December was when one person decided to be the star in this slap stick comedy that we now know as Idle No More. This star was none other than the Chief of the Attawapiskat reserve Theresa Spence. Since Parliament was now convening for Christmas and there was going to be not much political news on the hill for a month Chief Spence decided to set up on an island a short canoe ride from Parliament Hill, perfect since the itchy typing fingers of the reporters would be near by. Chief Spence couldn't just sit there and wait for reporters because that's not news, she decided she was going on a hunger strike.
Now if you have ever heard of a hunger strike you will certainly know it can and is a dangerous thing you are essentially saying that you will die for this cause. Again problem one, what is the cause Idle No More is fighting for? We don't know, no one knows that has not be announced or relayed. Chief Spence is continuing to call her so called protest a hunger strike and the media continues to portray this term. I find this to be a slap in the face to all other people around the world who have taken on a hunger strike. A hunger strike is when you are on a water (H2O) only diet, with water only you will begin to wither away to nothing in about a week and death usually ensues within a few weeks. Chief Spence is not on a hunger strike she is on a liquid only diet, which I can assure you many other people are on now especially after Christmas and trying to loose a few lb's. With a liquid diet you are still receiving all of the essential nutrients that the body needs to survive and live. I may be 60 by the time Chief Spence would die for her cause on a liquid diet and it would not be from the diet but because of old age for her at that point. Below are few images some of Chief Spence over 4 weeks on her so called hunger strike and the other is of a young man after 7 days on a Tibetan hunger strike. As you can see these hunger strikes are not the same.
Now as you can see that is not much of a hunger strike that Chief Spence is on. But it is getting the attention of the media and some politicians. Chief Spence has demanded that she will not stop her hunger strike until she has a face to face with the Prime Minister and the Governor General. Prime Minister Stephen Harper has gone much further than I would have given this temper tantrum two year old, he has agreed to meet with the Chiefs of the First Nations including Chief Spence. This seemed to appease Chief Spence for a few days and she agreed to attend but not stop her "Hunger Strike" until after the meeting. Wow great we gave into the child, maybe we can continue our days without her name in the news for a day..... Wrong. She has since said she will not attend since the Governor General would not be there.
More Chiefs acting as two year old's
Up to this point I was getting ticked off to turn on one of the daily three to four newscasts that I watch, CBC, CTV, SUN national news and CTV and CBC for the local news and time-shifting for the CBC Newfoundland news. As you can tell I am a news junkie so seeing day in day out Chief Spence acting like a two year old for not getting her own way to getting a meeting with the Prime Minister and Governor General for a cause the is non existent is really annoying. Finally and not to my approval the PM agreed to meet with the First Nations Chiefs, they seemed happy and all was well. Not so fast, the Manitoba First Nations Chiefs have decided to back Chief Spence and not attend the meetings unless the Governor General attends. So we now have a class of two year old crying for attention for that sweet candy treat. What does this show to anybody? Adults and children? The more you have a temper tantrum and the louder you scream the quicker you will get results.
The Governor General had no plans on attending these meetings, he has now just recently agreed to meet with the chiefs Friday night for a meeting and essentially giving into their demands. Again setting a precedent on how to resolve issues in our society no matter how silly the demands.
Time for the people to speak out
Please take this with a grain of salt but this is a saying that I have heard many of times in many different situations, Too many Chiefs and not enough Indians. Now I know you are reading this and saying holy shit did he just write that, yes I certainly did and I do not mean it in a bad way. Right now many of the reserves are very closely knit with the same group (family) running the band council. This council much like any town council within this country is elected and different levels of government sends money which the council spends on the appropriate things. But here lays a major difference: The band council does not need to produce any financials or prove for an audit where and how the money is spent. This is a major problem, as where any normal city council across the country would be up on charges, locked up and booted off of council, within the bands the money is spent with no questions asked. And I am not speaking of small amounts of money here people. I am speaking of millions and millions to reserves that are as small as 300 people. Some of the chiefs are making 200 - 300 thousand dollars tax free for running a town of 300. Most small towns across the country get little to no money for being on the council or mayor, they do it for the love of their community.
Now where was I going with this heading? Ah yes, the people of these communities and I do not mean the band council, must and have to stand up to your council first and not the country. Your band council needs to answer for you how your money, the people's money, is getting spent with most of your residential peers suffering to survive. Because this country and all the people of this country cannot continue to send money to a black hole with no accounting has to where and how the money is spent, as that will not solve any issues even the non existent ones that the Idle No More cause is fighting for. All I ask is to please speak up to your leaders (Band Council) first, ask questions to where all of the money is going and has gone.
More to say, just no time
I do have much more to say but I don't have that much time to write more. Maybe I'll do a part two to this to outline some other items of concern but for now this will be all, you may like it or you may hate it, but like I said in the beginning, this is mine and only my point of view, feel free to express yours below.