Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Changing Campaigns

Election Day in British Columbia is on Saturday and the Official Count in Alberta is completed. The Conservatives have called for a Federal Election and the campaign trails are changing.

Blogging has become a new campaign era – people are wanting to share their political views with others and find other like thinking people who may take the time to convince those of us that are not sure. Democracy is about the right to choose who reflects the current issues that are important to us – the electorate. So in idealistic terms – this is great and all should be available to assist us to be critical thinkers and make an informed choice.

The disturbing part is how – what begins as sharing – becomes deceit, name calling, condemning and derogatory personal character assassinations of individuals – many of whom are not even seeking election. There have been many in Alberta, including elders who have been a victim of such unethical types of persecution. The cowards that have hid behind a political campaign to do this have tried to hide their deception of their maliciousness by then deleting the public posts within a couple of weeks or in some instances days.

Many of the contributors to these attacks stood behind pseudonyms but as in all good technology things are traceable and the deleting of posts is only completed once hard copies of things are made. There is talk of the pursuit of lawsuits that will follow shortly. As for RCMP investigations – the only investigation is the economic crimes of some of the political leaders in relationship to their questionable activities around the infamous health dollars and the aggressive assaults that were allegedly perpetrated at one of the polls by Mr. Trevor Gladue supporters. I will post updates to these issues if they are pursued and as things come to light in relationship to the issues that are factual.

I do want to add at this point that in Alberta – we have weathered the storm and as a result – we have a very strong elected Provincial Council who will begin working together to address issues that are around moving the Métis Agenda forward. The majority of the dissidents have been taken out and the interference of President Chartrand will have to be abandoned so that the importance of our priorities will be what we move forward on.

In the meantime, for those in British Columbia your responsibility is to get involved and vote on Saturday. Be involved and assert your right to vote and choose who best represents your values and priorities.

For the others – learn who is running in the Federal Election and make a choice that will have a government elected that is willing to work with the Métis people. The various parties all have policies that identify their position on Aboriginal people and what their philosophies are in regard to the future of the aboriginal community. Based on your beliefs or what you feel is important – make an informed choice. As for our elected National leaders – do not support any one political partisan agenda – your job is to support the Métis agenda. Each of you are in ownership of bylaws or constitutions that clearly identify that we should never have any affiliation with any partisan politics.

Just a few thoughts for the day.

Saturday, September 6, 2008


Many words have been shared over many forms over Métis Mama’s silence. Some have been entertaining and some have been enlightening but some have been disheartening. There are a few things that I feel like sharing now:

Everyone has a vision – everyone has an opinion – even those that may sit in silence – have a view. My view is no more important then anyone else’s but it is sharing that view which brings us to a place of wonder. Some of the political views that have been shared over our political process have been closer to bullying and violence. I realize that the Métis Nation was a nation of passion and the belief of what is right and the protection of those very rights – but did our forefathers envision a nation of people that would become violent and bullying the weakest parts of our community?

Some of what I did discern during our election in Alberta was that people somehow felt that they are not involved in a decisive way in the direction of their nation. They talked about the obscure communication and that they were not aware. Let’s start there. I realize that communication is a two prong action – telling and listening. If you tell and no one is listening – communication breaks down. My point will easily be made in what I witnessed last month. There was a very large report presented, along with the Métis Otipemisiwak Magazine, Audited Financial Statements and supporting materials at the Alberta Métis Assembly in Red Deer.

The report itself was 147 pages big and contained Ministerial Reports on 15 Ministries and the progress and priorities of each of them; affiliate reports on Apeetogosan, Métis Nation Wilderness Camp, Métis Urban Housing, Métis Crossing, Métis Child and Family Services, Métis Holdings, Métis Historical Society and Cree Production, Each Region had their newly developed Business Plans – including objectives and measures for the future priorities of the Region.

The Ministerial Reports included the areas of Métis Rights and Citizenship, Labour Market, Education, Housing, Justice and Culture, Renewable Resources and Energy, Agriculture, Women and Youth, Veterans and Seniors, Métis Land Issues, Family and Wellness and Economic Development. The Otipemisiwak Magazine provided updates on the Harvesting issues and the Duty to Consult. At the Assembly there was information on project based activities like the Land Use Framework, FASD initiatives, Michif Language Initiatives, Diabetes and Health projects, etc. The President’s report contained information and highlights of achievements over the past year. The list is endless and goes on – but yet we know nothing; see nothing and provide a response that we are not aware.

Does anyone actually read these reports? Would we even know if there was an issue that we need to get involved in or maybe that we missed - some important issue where we need to develop a new portfolio? How would we know – because we quit listening! I am not saying this just for others – I have too.

Now back to communication being a two pronged approach – why are we not telling, verbally, what we are doing? Why doesn’t everyone know? For those communicating – that is what we should be hearing at the Assembly. Yes the President gives a comprehensive report but where are these Ministers? The only real Ministerial reports presented – were Citizenship and Finance. Every Minister should have a report, a comprehensive understanding of their portfolio and response as to their involvement within those reports. They should have a presentation that would identify the priorities of the portfolio and the achievements. The written reports should be available, along with the Business Plan of each Portfolio on a website – so that every Métis person can access them.

Each Region should also have their reports, achievements and priorities laid out and presented even if it is by having a display table with written information at the Assembly and once again available on line.

As for the Métis people – we have a responsibility to listen. Read the damn reports, be a critical thinker – but at least read the reports. Provide input into priorities and direction – send a letter, send an email, stop by an office – go to consultations and meetings – get involved and be a listener – not just an arm chair critic.

Everyone is busy – but I did notice that we were not too busy to listen to the gossip of what was wrong with someone else. The internet during this past election was not used as a tool to set priorities but rather it was used to defame, malign and destroy people. Amazingly – not even people who were running for election. If our children were to watch our behaviours as of late – we would be in the corner on a time out for a very long time. The future of the Métis in Alberta is bright – we have come far and we are forging ahead. Become a responsible electorate and get involved.

For those who were successful – congratulations – but for the newly elected that congratulations is obviously a double edged sword. There are always far more criticisms then solutions and your new position does not come with a magic wand of miracles – just hard work and a long road to move us forward. Maybe start with a new portfolio called the Communication and Proclamation Portfolio.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Good Day Message

Good Day Fellow Métis:

It is time to come back into the fold and bring some good news to the Métis people across the homeland.

Alberta Métis are celebrating the re-election of their leader, Audrey Poitras. There has been two years of turmoil, lies, deceit, personality assignations and an attempt to undo the wonderful work of a leader who brought our organization from being a small debt ridden society to being a proud nation with respect and integrity amongst the various governments and the Métis people.

There are many things that we need to do now but at this point my advise to each of the elected or re-elected Provincial Council is become a collective. We have some issues that will be reviewed and addressed. Those issues will come to light soon enough and the wrong doings of the past will be laid at the feet of those who own the disgrace of their actions. As for the rest, work together for the good of the Métis people in Alberta – be accountable to the Métis people. We are a strong nation of people, with a proud history – move the nation forward so we can continue to want to be a part of the future and leave the same proud legacy for the future generations.

For those that were offered employment and opportunity if Trevor would have been the leader I tell you now – we are a province and nation that is rich with resource – get involved there is opportunity for many people. The Métis Nation, as well as the rest of the Aboriginal community often open employment opportunities for our community take advantage of those opportunities and work with pride to serve your nation. The issues that were brought forward related to areas where people feel more services are needed and priority should be given – develop those ideals and work to establish those programs.

For the candidates who were unsuccessful, don’t be embittered. The nation will move forward and become involved at a community level. For some of you – learn that the mud slinging, undignified campaign tactics were demeaning to us all take the time to develop, heal and contribute to the nation in the actions that you do so you can present yourselves as strong leaders with a vision for the Métis Nation. We all need to learn from our experiences and pasts so that we can move forward into a better future.

For the unofficial results of the election: http://www.metis.org/getdoc/1beefb76-5aef-4de8-8aac-78b69dbd6477/2008-General-Election-Results.aspx