Saturday, December 27, 2014

Goodbye 2014

Well it has been another year come and gone, in the year of our Lord 2014. I always wanted to say that. Not sure of its meaning or where it came from, but it sounds cool, don't you think?

A friend of mine just lost his brother to cancer. I didn't know him well but in passing and he always had a great smile on his face. Life is weird like that.

My grand-daughter will be 2 years old in April and that is cool. She is now my side kick and my great dreams. My daugther is thinking of post secondary education, so that is a good thing. I think education is the best thing for anyone.

We start the new year hoping for all sorts of things. Some of you make resolutions to do this or do that. Lose weight, exerise, be better to our family and all manner of goodness.

I think why not? It can be a start, right?  I mean who knows? This could be the year that you quit smoking. The year you start caring about the Earth. The year that you start caring about Murdered and Missing Women. The year to start being a kind person. Or the year to start living.

Yesterday I spent the night at my wife's Mom's house. It is beautiful there. Quiet. In the country where you can actually see the stars. I didn't hear the coyotes this night. I stood out in the quiet of the night out at their road gate. I looked at the treeline out across the field.  The wind blowing a little bit. My mind lost in thoughts of the night. Missing my Mom, my Dad, my brother Poncho and of course my Boy.

I thought of my misdeeds. My goodness but mostly my mistakes. I was thinking about how good my boy was. Not just in my mind but the good he actually was. Not in the last while when the devil had him. It was when he was a young boy. All the goodness and potential in him. Like all of our kids.

He was sensitive and happy. I know it was me that took that away from him. I know that.

So it is heavy burden to carry all the pain of grief.  I know there are more people out there with fresh grief. And I know how that grief feels like it is the heaviest in the world. That the individual pain is just too much to bear.

Crazy after 9 years I still carry that pain. Maybe I don't cry as much as I did those first few years. But he is on my mind all the time. A little reminder here and there. A young couple I see, a song I hear, a road sign, a passing remark, all bring me to the time when he was here and when he left.

I will be marking his birthday this January 17, 2015. He would have been 30, what a milestone. 30 years old my Boy. Wonder what he would become. Would he have gone back to school? Would I have changed to become a better Dad? Would I still be the selfish asshole?   Would I know that I should be grateful for every minute I have with him?

I still have the anger. But mostly it is self hate or self loathing that I think I have. Sometimes its pity. Lots of pity. but lots of anger to who I am or was. Wonder did I really change? Can I really try and appreciate life? Life that has been lent to me with the kids I have and the grandkids I have? Do I know to cherish them?

Lot of useless thoughts in my head I know. Lot of regrets. Lot of mistakes. Lot of heartache. Can the new year be better in how to deal with those thoughts? Can we really start with one foot in front of the other.

So have you decided to start the new year with good thoughts? Maybe change abit? Maybe stop being mean to your spouse or your kids? Maybe be a little more patient with the server at a coffee shop or the driver ahead of you in the lane?

Maybe you don't believe in change? Maybe its a waste of time and you are just content with who you are and what you do?

I wonder about that. What is it anyway that makes us better than animals? We just keep going year after year the same way. What's the point? I mean if we are not trying to be the best we can be what is the point? Is it too much effort to try and live a good life? What ever the heck that means?

I am confused.  Well here's to 2015 and what lies ahead.

If I had a choice or is wishes were real -- not sure about global wishes, but my individual needs would be to have some kind of assurance that my son is good. Good and living in some other time or some other world. And he would make sure I knew. Now that is a faith that some people really truly have. I need to find that. Maybe i will find some kind of peace, who knows?  I need to know that my kids will be okay in this world. That there will be a decent world for them to live in. That lives matter. That living matters. That we are more than a speck. That we are part of something better than existing and just breathing air.


as for the world... Maybe Obama would do something real crazy and try and kill Keystone. Or maybe he would do something real wild and make the republicans really hate him by leaving the eastern countries to deal with their own.  Or maybe he would stop big oil from killing the planet by increasing environmental rules/laws. Maybe Canada's Stephen Harper would decide he did enough damage to Canada, find god and retire. Maybe Harper would find out his wife hates his politics and can't support a despot any longer. Maybe after Harper realizes that he is replusive to his wife, he decides to quit politics? Who knows stranger things have happened?   Maybe the Indians will find out that Christianity is a false promise and decide to abandon it.  Maybe Aliens will come here and say "hey you dumb stupid (redundant) ignorant rednecks and fucks, don't you know the Earth is mad at you and is going to shake like a dog and shed its fleas?" Guess what humans are the fleas.








Monday, December 22, 2014

Science Says: Red Indians Are Just Retarded Chinks

 "Science says: Red Indians Are Just Retarded Chinks"

Funny how people are. 
I was out with my Wife the other night. We went for a nice dinner with a very nice couple.  Ken and Denise are our friends. Denise is a close friend of my wife. They worked for the same employer.
Ken is a brilliant computer guy. You know one of those guys that fixes programs. Not computers but the language that machines talk with. We went to a nice little golf club restaurant called Tapastry.   Its one of those places that serve you tapas, those little meals, like a Dim Sum. A place where you will not find many Neechies (Indians).  Ha, just kidding and teasing, but really.

Denise is Chinese and Ken is White. Very nice people. I didn't even think about that and this note until just now. After the meal, my wife and I decided to stop at the Super Store for a quick look around. Get some snacks and chocolates so that we can take to the Reserve today. We were going to the Reserve on Sunday to visit with one of my sisters.

Anyway, you know how it goes after you eat at a restaurant (or anywhere actually) your body starts to do some work. You sometimes need to make room in the stomach. We were at the Super Store and I needed to do some construction. I didn't think I would be comfortable trying to wait until we got home. So I decided to use the public washroom (for you American folk that is rest room).

I was done my construction and I noticed this on the wall. I had to get kind of close as it is not that bright. My initial reaction was to laugh (We tend to do that alot) and then go on my way. For some reason this was picture worthy. I took a picture of the note. I went and decide to show my wife what I took a picture of while I was in the washroom. For some reason she didn't want to see the picture?  Don't know what she was thinking.

This note is picture worthy not because its a work of genius, but because I have not heard this one before. I mean you must have heard a lot of them; the racist comments, the stupid, the ugly, the mean and even the witty, the funny.

This one little note of racist babble brought a number of things to consider; the  use of the word retard, the use of a derogatory term for Chinese people and for Indigenous folk. This one person took a broad swipe and hit a few targets with their racist posting.

I thought maybe you could see all it has to say as well. How it is a comment on the little world we live in and how it affects us all.

Can you see it? 



Sunday, December 21, 2014

Where is that guy? Where is that George Dixon?

I was visiting with Doug at South East Tribal Council and he told me this story:

"The folks at Sandy Bay First Nation (could actually  be any Reserve) were having regular meetings with the federal and/or provincial representatives of health agencies. Health is a very important issue and concern for many Indian Reserves. The meetings are important so the Indians make sure to have an Elder present at the meetings for guidance and to offer Prayer."

"Anyway this Indians were having quite of few meetings with bureaucrats. With the bureaucrats its either the federal reponsibility when it comes to Indians but the province delivers health services. Each time it always comes down to who has jurisdiction. The feds will argue that health is a provincial responsibility. The province will argue that Indians are a federal responsibility. The Indians don't care who has jurisdiction they need the services of health programs like any other citizen. Damn bureaucrats always throwing out jurisdiction."

"At one of the meetings it was clear the Elder was getting upset. He was visiable shaking and getting angry. Finally he speaks out. "Where in the heck is these guy? Always talking about him and he never is here?  Where is this George Dixon? Get him to the meeting." "
 _________________________________________

 I laughed hard at this little story as I could just imagine that Elder outraged, cute.  In this story the Elder is a man but it could have been a Woman in the story.

I think about a the old people and how cool they are. We know they have knowledge and are willing to share. We need to visit with them more.





Walter Bonise is a good man, I am lucky enough to know him. He visited my Dad years ago.  Walter moved back to Edmonton.


Monday, December 15, 2014

Compassion Fatigue kills Homeless man, not homicide, says Judge

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/brian-sinclair-s-death-preventable-but-not-homicide-says-inquest-report-1.2871025
Brian Sinclair Sinclair died of a treatable bladder infection in September 2008 after sitting in his wheelchair for 34 hours in the Health Sciences Centre's waiting room
Brian Sinclair lost his legs when evicted in 2007. Forced to sleep outside, "He was found, literally frozen to the wall of the church."

"The inquest into the death of 45-year-old double amputee Brian Sinclair in a hospital waiting room in Winnipeg has found it was not homicide and doesn't require a public inquiry. However, Judge Tim Preston says in his final 200-page report that Sinclair "did not have to die." 


Robert Sinclair, a spokesman for the family and Sinclair's cousin, said they welcome the report's recommendations, but they're disappointed it does not address what they believe is the main underlying issue: negative stereotyping of aboriginal people.
"It was disappointing because the truth still doesn't exist there. Yeah, it made some good recommendations, but the burning question is why did he wait there 34 hours?" Sinclair told CBC News in an interview.

This is what the Judge said killed Mr. Sinclair.  "Poor communication, overcrowding, understaffing = compassion fatigue".  Can you fucking believe it?  I think everyone knows what took place. Compassion fatigue??? Compassion Fatigue???  Holy Fuck can you actually believe that??? I mean how many people walked by this man? Even when other Native people went to tell the nurses that he needed to be looked at? No one looked at him. He did what you were suppose to do when going into emergency. He went to the desk and told them why he was there. Then guess what happened?  Compassion Fatigue. That is what happened. Compassion Fatigue. How many white people died in an emergency room from compassion fatigue? 

The inquest heard Sinclair hadn't urinated in 24 hours and so was referred to the hospital by a clinic doctor in September 2008. He wheeled up to the triage desk and spoke with an aide before taking a position in the waiting room.
Sinclair vomited several times as he languished there. A housekeeper cleaned up around him, but no one asked him if he was waiting to see a doctor.
By the time Sinclair was discovered lifeless by other patients, rigor mortis had set in. The cause of death was a treatable bladder infection.
An internal review found 17 staff members saw the man, but no one assumed he was waiting for care.

"According to inquest report, Brian Sinclair was kind, humble, fiercely independent- and sober when he went to ER for a treatable infection."

 http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2014/06/08/brian-sinclair-inquest_n_5468839.html 

Can you get that? Compassion Fatigue killed this man?  Compassion Fatigue???

If you believe that, you must believe the police in the U.S. are not unfair to the Black Man.  If you believe that you have no problem when a police officer stops you in the U.S. or Canada. You must believe that racism does not exist?

The fact is there is a race war in North America. The White population (many) does not like, even hates the man/woman of colour. That dislike, or judgement of Colour (Black Brown) comes out in different ways: lack of jobs  - discrimination in hiring, education - discrimination in school admission, health - discrimination in services of health care, justice system - discrimination in judgement by all components of judicial system.
You know what people of Colour are warring about? All they want is equity. Never mind equality. That doesn't exist. But give them a fair chance at society's amenities. That is what they are trying to get.  Simple.

People (main stream, the conservative, the religious wingbat, the Klu Klux Klan, the Heritage Front and the person living in your neighbourhood) will say "they get everything for free", or "why don't get a job", "look after their kids" and other pearls of white (there are of course the misguided person of Colour that echoes this sentiment as well) wisdom. 

You know what it really comes down to?  People don't like people that are not like them.  They fill their heads with evidence of bad things that "these" people are known for. Blacks are hostile, angry. Indians are drunks and lazy. This is what people (society, whites) want to be true. They want to be able to stand tall on the tops of other people's heads. To be better than others. They want to live in privilege.

Its comfortable to live with privilege. You don't have to worry about getting shot by the police for getting your drivers license out of your car. You don't have to worry about your son or daughter being shot by the police for playing with a toy gun. You don't have to worry about your crippled grandmother being tackled to the ground for reaching for her walker. You don't have to worry about your eight year old daugther being tasered by the police. You don't have to worry about your brother dying in a hospital waiting room.  You don't have to worry about...

....Compassion Fatigue.

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

"You think your shit don't stink!"

That one person tells you - "You think your shit don't stink!?!" 
So you answer: "sure it does".

I mean what can you say?

There are some instances where you just can't answer.  People want to fight.  Whether its the politicians attacking each other or the general population attacking you and of course the Indian on Indian battle.

Its not an easy thing to be reasonable in an environment that is heated up. There are so many compelling reasons and urgent matters to tackle. There may be no time for being passive in some situations. Like the way the Earth is being treated.  No one has the time to be reasonable in the time of environmental disaster. The time has come to take up the challenge of protecting and slowing down the damage that has been caused. There are other things as well. Rights of Indigenous people all over the World are being ignored, taken away (in many ways brutality leads the way) and diminished.

In Canada and the U.S. there are battles going on regarding the carbon emissions being produced. You know its quite funny because people battle in the open but the real war is being lost ( I almost said won) in the boardrooms of the Money companies. You think we have a say?  I think we should but we are reasonable. We think the morals, ethics and kindness of our fellow human beings will win the day. But there are no morals or values when it comes to Money. You think Money is reasonable? Nope, never. Money knows only greed. How do you battle that? And money hides in plain sight. The gas you buy, the light blub you turn on. The pineapple you put on your pizza is money. What has this have to do with Indian on Indian or people wanting to fight?  Well everything. That Pineapple comes from plantations that have displaced whole communities. Stolen away their sustaining lifestyle to be put in a wage economy that doesn't sustain them. That gas you buy is killing people's lifestyles of using water ways and animal harvests.  That lightbulb is the end result of a hydro dam that displaced many or caused mercury poisoning. Even worst it comes from the coal buring electricty, one of the biggest polution machines.

Our battles for the Earth are on the outskirts of where decisions are made. We are busy fighting outside of the war. We think we are in the battle but nope. We are attacking ourselves or others that have no real power.  We are mad at the local Indigenous groups for what they do or don't do. If they try and engage in dialog with any Money entity, they are labeled the "Sell outs".  We are mad at some individual that has a job working at the perimeter of Money. We raise our voices and try to be unreasonable with things that in the end really don't matter all that much. It is Money that we need to battle. It is Money that we need to be unreasonable with.

You know what Money is doing right now?  It is killing the Amazon.  What the Hell does the Amazon have to do with Indians on the Reserve or living in the innercity?  Or the middle age, middle class Whiteman and Whitewoman that is selling insurance, working at the bank or pushing emails at the office?  It has eveything to do with them.  You see money is killing the Earth. It is doing it in a way that you don't think about or see everyday.  It is killing that living being that protects the Earth. And it is starting with the Heart and Lungs of the Earth. You see the Amazon is what cools the Earth from those pesky Carbon Emissions. It quiets the farts of the big machines that are clogging our airways, choking our breath, hurting our hearts. And you know what the crazy thing is about the Amazon?  Much of it is Indigenous Land. Its funny eh? Those damn Indigenous people that are fighting to keep a hold of their lands from the big Money (resources extraction companies like Oil) are actually fighting to save your stupid life all the way over here.

You may not know that Money is recieving more money by way of government subisidies to explore fossil fuel exploration (partly in the Amazon), about 26 billion dollars worth. Cool eh?  I mean Money gets Money to be fed even more. It is like a Windigo; a cannibal --  beast that eats and eats only to get more and more hungry. The smart thing to save more of the Earths' lungs would be to stop exploration and let the forest stay. Nope. Money needs more money. If Money had any sense it would use Money to pay for the Earths lungs to stay healthy. Each country should pay for the use of those lungs (Amazon forests).  The argument of economic growth would be a moot one.  

 AMY GOODMAN: And what do you say to someone like President Correa, who said, "I want to preserve the Yasuní National Park. I don’t want to take the oil from the soil. Please," to the industrialized world, "help us protect this space"? And he couldn’t raise the money, so he’s moved in, you know, with Chinese companies and has infuriated the indigenous population there.

 ATOSSA SOLTANI We will continue to stop—fight for saving Yasuní National Park. His arguments of why Yasuní should be protected in 2007 are still true today. And really, we want—it really is up to the international community and to China, who has given Ecuador $13 billion in financing in exchange for the oil that Ecuador has remaining in its Amazon, including Yasuní oil. So it’s also up to China to say, "Hey, maybe China should forgive Ecuador’s debt." And President Correa should assume leadership role and keep the oil in the ground and protect this area, which is not only the most biodiverse place on Earth, it was actually here around the ice age, and it’s expected to survive climate change. It really is the cradle of life.
 ATOSSA SOLTANI: I would say, "What is the U.S. doing to basically end all subsidies—all subsidies—for exploration?" You know, our government spent $26 billion subsidizing new reserves, or looking for new reserves. That has to stop. We have to basically tax carbon. We need to tax carbon and stop talking about climate mitigation of, you know, one pollution credit versus another, allowing someplace to pollute versus saving carbon elsewhere. We have to get beyond that and look at carbon tax. We have to look at cutting—not only cutting exploration, changing the laws that now allow fracking to proliferate throughout America, and looking at basically ending subsidies for fossil fuels.


An you know what, they are reasonable. Unfortunately, Money is not reasonable. Money is greedy, and it has no loss of appetite. So keep up with your fight and being unreasonable. But lets use that unreasonable attack where it makes the most sense. Not at the little bug, the small beings, the poogets (farts) and other people or entities that skirt the perimeter of Money. Focus that energy at Money. Money is there in the pockets of ruling Governments, Banks, Resource companies.

Sure it is fine to keep badgering and keeping tabs on the small change beings but focus on the Money.

Money is killing us and it doesn't care. It doesn't care for you, your kids, your Mom, Your Dad, your Granny, Granpa, your cousins, your community or your people. It cares not for next years or the next seven years, never mind the next one hundred years.

I know there is old adage that says "think globally but act locally".  I get that. So you don't know where the Koch brothers live or work. 
So you can't get to them and have them hear your voice. I get that.  And you use the vehicle that is in front of you. So you keep up with protesting the big Money (hard to get any bigger than Koch family) by the fighting at their toes/tentacles. That is a battle that you can see. I guess you won't get the chance to tell/ask David or Charles; "you think your shit don't stink!?" 

I guess my point is, fight them. that is great, but let's not do it at the expense of the inconsequential Indian.

Consider this: 

One of the better questions I heard is "are you being a good Ancestor?"

_________________________________________________

I started this post as part of a frustration. I see hyprocrital actions and feel like I am part of that. I see Activists fighting for change. Noble and admirable actions. Yet, I see a frenzy of anger hostility aimed blindly by our own. You see I think people are generally good. At least I hope they are. Still I feel bad when I see good people letting hostility and anger rule them. I am back and forth with the actions. I mean I support the actions that people are doing in fighting for the Earth. Who wouldn't? At the same time I too criticize our local lobby groups and community leaders. Many times I feel that they are out of their depth. I think many of them are just plain stupid. I still want them to do good. Its like that feeling you get from watching Tony Soprano of the televsion show the Sopranos.   You know that there is bad but you hope that there is going to be good (you want Tony to turn out to be good afterall).  That is how I see Indian leadership. I hope for change. I would rather encourage good and challenge than get on a real call down of them. You know what I mean?  I am not naive that I think everything is going to happen right away. I do feel that one person can really have an affect on how we do things. So I am optimistic. We are having a national leadership race right now. Lot of negative comments about the Assembly of First Nations, and Chiefs in general, but I am hoping for some change. Change for good. That is what I was trying to post about. But I got side tracked because bigger things are happening right now. The Lima Climate Sumit is taking place right now. So I figured I would tie that in with my little "you think your shit don't stink" post.

I feel that we battle in ways that is in our reach. Some fight inside, some with compromise. some with "burn this bitch down" and others in the front lines singing with a Drum, while some want to pick up the gun.
In any case the real real enemy is Money.  And money is in the hands of a few. Those few own the world.  The real fight is to take it back for the rest of the 7 billion people in the world.

I guess time will tell if we are good Ancestors.

Friday, November 28, 2014

The Man in the Mirror

I guess that is an interesting title, the man in the mirror. It is a song that was made popular by the late Mr. Michael Jackson.

I'm Gonna Make A Change, 
For Once In My Life
It's Gonna Feel Real Good,
Gonna Make A Difference
Gonna Make It Right . . .

 That's Why I Want You To Know
I'm Starting With The Man In
The Mirror
I'm Asking Him To Change
His Ways...


I did a post a few years ago about looking in the mirror. Never gave a thought about the Michael Jackson song, but my brother had it used in a power point about abuse/domestic abuse/wife abuse. The lyrics should resonate with me and others that have caused conflict or hurt in their lives. You know those sayings like "be the change you wish to see in the world" and other good words. Its not enough is it?  When do we say that we have really changed? 

Today I had such a rough day mentally. I struggle sometimes to maintain  or control the rage that is inside me. That rage is not to anyone but is meant for me. But who sees that rage or who feels it?  It is the family, the grandkids. It is the tone of voice, the short bursts of "enough" and the occassional "Jesus Christ or fuck sakes" that is poured out. Then it hits the feelings of ugliness about oneself. How I hate that person. That arse who can't even change. Didnt' he cause enough sorrow?

Then the other feelings rush in. The tired of life feeling. The thoughts of its over. No more!  The thoughts of living a legacy of hurt gets muddled. You think of leaving despite the hurt that it may bring to your family. You spiral into many thoughts of regret, alienation, sorrow, anger, repulsed by your own head. The deeper you go the more insane you feel. Your anger had always been the default position. Now it tries to take lead again. It goes from one extreme to the next, from not really feeling anything to feeling eveything.

You try and make an earnest attempt to change your ways. Every single day you think "I am changed" but you know that it is one slip away from being the same old shitty arse you. One quick outburst and you know you are still that fuck up who couldn't control his anger. His immature behaviour. Anger the mechanism to deal with fear. That fear turned to anger and anger gave some type of control.

People think you are doing well. They think that nothing is going on there. They think you are doing fine. "I am good"... "mino ayaa".  But in reality it is a constant never ending battle just to live. Sure it is not every single minute and you do really truly have good days. But you know that you shouldn't be having good days. You know that you should not say out loud, I am having fun. You know you don't deserve to ever be truly happy. You know you should have been the one to die and not your boy. You know its not just about the boy and the mistakes you made there. It is ALL the mistakes, the hurt, the lies, the trouble, that you are that compounds it. You wonder will I ever be able to function. To really be able to contribute anything meaningful?  It was never just about the boy. He was the breaking point. The ultimate mistake that you made. Not him but the way you were with him. Your love didn't matter because it was your actions that were at fault.

So you think you know depression eh?  Well I don't.  I just know that I am on a borrowed time here. Some days you think no more, I don't want to hurt anyone anymore. 

I see alot of fucking crazy ass people on the social media. Drama this and drama that. Being all benevolent and stuff but at the same time just feeding misery and spreading it around like manure in a farmers field. That stench sure travels, eh? All the time they want others to see them as the kind one, the good one, the hero, the activist, the defender of rights,  the victim of others' wrath or jealousy.  Shit anyway. They are just no better than me, and I am a piece of fucking shit. 

As my deceased Uncle used to say ... "fucker John your moneys gone" ...

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

25 greatest songs for a Funeral (actually at a Wake)

By no means am I a Christian person, but do I ever like the music played at Wakes. You know the services for the recently deceased. In our Reserve people come out and sing. Not everyone mind you but a few people and do they ever sound good. The songs are of the country and gosple type. You know the songs?  I saw the light by the great master Hank Williams Sr.  I'll have a new body, and so on.  There are the guitars playing and maybe a bass guitar as well. Usually it is acoustic guitars. Anyway, I have been to a number of Wakes in our Reserve and the music is something that I enjoy (as well as the food, treats and tea -- for some reason there are white mints there?) This got me thinking about what kind of music I would like to hear at my Wake (should there be one -- kind of leaning against one but you never know)

At first I thought I would list one hundred. One hundred? Who has time for that? So twenty five is not too overwhelming of a number.

I will start with what I think is the best Wake song out there. I would love for this to played at a Wake that I am part of (should there be one):

Boogie Wonderland by Earth Wind and Fire. If you watch this video, there is no way you can't say that is fun fun fun!  After this song, it doesn't go in order of what should be played next. The tone of the Wake has been set. 

Lust for Life by Iggy Pop, but if Iggy is not your thing, you can't go wrong with the Commodores when Lionel Richie was there. There 1977 Musical extravganza with Zoom. Their live Album was fantastic and just cool. The song just to be close to you is fun and groovy.

Zoom I did forget this one. From the Commadores live album. That album could be put on like it go for some time of the wake. Some funk and some ballads. Good mix. Lionel Richie sounds "Black" in the live version of Just to Be Close to you". Listen and you will see what I am talking about.  I had Rebel Yell by Billy Idol, but don't think he really should be on the list.

Whole Lotta Rosie  by ACDC or you can go with Let there be Rock. You can't beat Bon Scott. He was the man! 

Magnolia Wind with Emmy Lou Harris & John Prine, although Guy Clark version is awesome as well.   Originally had  Slow Ride by Foghat Now who can resist a Wake with this tune playing? But actually you can switch this one with Eurythmics, "would I like to you". Or one of Annie Lennox songs. Her Vocals are spectacular. Insanely good.  Why is a good song.

Wammer Jammer by the J. Geils Band "A little bit of chicken picken" Or Uncle Earl My Epitaph is a haunting and good song.

Got My Mojo Working by the Great Muddy Waters.  In this version you can see him signal his band to cool it down a bit as they started. Or you can switch this one with Mannish Boy.

 Dead Flowers by the Rolling Stones, of course the original by Towns Van Zandt version would be cool too. If you are not a fan then another Stones Song would be groovy.  I have always liked Emotional Rescue, but the best Stones ever is Gimme Shelter.

Nobody Knows Me by Lyle Lovett.  Of course anything by Lyle would make the list. So a nice ballad to let people rest after abit is cool. 

Come on Up to the House by Tom Waits. Shit if you're going to start with Lyle might as well get the master out there as well.  Tom and his Ballads kick arse. His lyrics are so damn cool.  "come down of the cross, we can use the wood"...

Bright Side of the Road.  No Wake is complete without Van the Man. Van Morrison.  Heck you could fill up the list with one album of Van.  Moondance is my all time favorite song. The Album is one of the best along with Pink Floyd's The Wall.

1999 by Prince.  Or one of his songs from Purple Rain.  If Prince doesn't do it for you and you want to cool it down for a bit and ponder life, put on Eva Cassidy. She's not well known but what an awesome voice. She's not Sarah Brightman but I like her still. Fields of Gold Eva Cassidy

YesterMe YesterYou by Stevie Wonder. I have been a long time Stevie Wonder fan. His song Superwoman is awesome. This song is a reflective song. You know you got to give them some ballads to soothe.


Illegal Smile by of course John Prine.  You could put any Prine song here.  He is a story teller and I like that.  "You may see me tonight with an illegal smile. Please tell the man I didn't kill anyone.  I'm just trying to have me some fun."  Funny how he can make a good story out of most anything.

Three Little Birds by Bob Marley.  Hell just put on his greatest hits cd and let it play.  You be Jammin'.  But didn't the U.S. force the Buffalo Soilders to kill Indians?  I don't know me.

Over the Rainbow by Israel IZ Kamakawiwo'ole.  I think this song is a classic and it is a real Wake song. One that could go in anyones home.  Just cool.  All I can say. It played at the Wake at my Boys.  Makes me sad and think of my Mom. So what is a Wake without a few tears. But mostly you want joy for the person.

Sunday Morning Coming Down by Johnny Cash. Although Kristoferson is good, John played Kris's song to perfection.  

I'll have a new body  by the greatest white country blues player Hank Williams Sr. My Dad was a big fan so I heard lot of Hank as a Kid. I think lot of Indian homes playe Hank in the days. If you don't have this one, the favorite is I Saw the light. A real Wake Staple.

Life During Wartime. by Talking Heads.  One of my favorites by Talking Heads. Makes you want to just kick open the casket and start dancing.   A very cool tune.

Night time is the Right time by the sensational Ray Charles.  This is one of my favorites of Ray. He is of course just great. This song would make you move your head as you sit and visit at the Wake of your loved one (me).  You know what is a great song? but wouldn't make my 25 greatest Wake songs? A change is gonna come by Sam Cooke. It might be a good song for someone else's Wake. " It's been too hard living but I'm afraid to die Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky..."

Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd. You can't have a Wake without Floyd. This song is special to me personally.  It reminds me of a son that I had. He's gone now. but I remember him in this song. Heck you could through on this live album and be cool with it as well.

In your Eyes by Peter Gabriel.I realized that I didn't have Peter Gabriel on this list so I took out David and David's Welcome to the Boomtown, an okay song but should not have been on here to begin with. Now that Peter Gabriel Secret World Tour album could be put on at my Wake and I would be happy. Paula Cole and Papa Wemba did an awesome tour with Gabriel. The song Don't give up is just heart breaking.

Never Ending Song of Love. Man how could I have forgotten this song. Its so fun and it has great memories of my Kookum for me. She lived across the road in a small little house and I used to go sit and visit with her. In the 1970s.  She died in 78.  She was a cool grandmother. This song has it all, lots of background vocals cheering and whooping. Had Omar and the Howlers here with their song Hard times in the Land of Plenty but its really not Wake material or wake worthy.

Copper Head Road.  By Steve Earle.  Of course we have to have this one on here. People love this song. Its a good one. I like his new style as well but you got to admit his old country rock was good.

Check it Out. by John Mellencamp.  Either this one or the Cherry Bomb. But I like this line "you can't tell your best buddy you love him".  Tells you a lot of society.  Reflective song, but not too sappy or I should say sad.  "Check it out, time to question my own behaviour".

Diamond Mine by Blue Rodeo could be on this list for sure. I think the guy makes it sound so cool.  The way he drags the song. Super Freak  This one should have been here for sure. I like this song. Its catchy and fun. That's what should be at all Wakes, fun and catchy.  I couldn't remember it before so I had this one on here   I'll Stand by You. by Chrissie Hynde. One of the sexiest women in the music industry (her and Mary Chapin Carpenter). 

If I should fall from Grace of God.  The Pouges. You just can't have a Wake without playing some Pouges. I am a fan and so was my boy.  I just love their Christmas song. best one out there.

There are many songs out there and singers but this list could be one to start of your Wake. So your arse won't get sore sitting around drinking coffee.

Miigwech

Steve











Monday, October 13, 2014

'Kia ora' - Maori are really loved by Indians.

'Kia ora tatou'

Maori are the tangata whenua.

We are fortunate to have met some Maori over the years.  When they come to Canada they are treated as Royality.
Actually they are treated better than royality they are treated like family - Cousins. That Which is better. I believe this to be true from the Indians I have seen interacting with the Maori.  Perry, Jigson, Ivy, and a host of other Reserve people. That is because they are our relatives. But we don't treat them like the cousins we see everyday. We treat them like the cousins that live a couple of Provinces over. Because when you see the same old cousins everywhere, you just give them the 'yeah yeah' treatment. (Smile and wave boys, smile and wave.) The cousins from aways away are treated a little better. You still tease the heck out of them and make fun of them, but you are more generous to them. Sure you will pull your everyday cousin out of the ditch in the middle of winter but you won't give him your last five bucks. If we treated our far away cousins  like royality they wouldn't be able to use the toilets. We would need to bring in a new toilet everytime they want to go take a dump.  I guess that is the gossip of what took place that time that Her Royal Highness came to Winnipeg.  The rumour was the Queen had to have a new toilet, one that was not used by anyone else. So the Maori can use the regular toilets in any Reserve home that they visit. They don't need to be treated like anything other than "cuz", our far away relatives. So that way we would give them our last five bucks. So we treat our far away relatives like our close relatives; with fun, kindness, happiness, generousity and openness. We don't treat them good to impress them. That is not the way. We treat them good because that is the way.

I like to think that Indigenous Folk like other Indigenous folk. Aroha
If you go to their home community, they will treat you with kindness and with an open home.

It was nice to meet new Indigenous people and it was also great to see an old friend, Carmine Heteraka. These Maori came to the city of Winnipeg, Manitoba as part of a get together (conference) on health.  I was not part of the conference at all.  I like to go to conferences to check out the trade shows. Lot of good information, lot of great craft and art. And to top it off you get to collect a lot of free pens. You can never have enough pens. There may even be a bag or two that you can score. I know, I know it is a Pa-chaak move. A Pa-chaak is (although I am not sure of the english translation) kind of a jerk. The jerk can be good or bad. You know the type, come into your home, doesn't take off their shoes, looks in your fridge, takes your last beer, jumps to the front of the line, mouches food for free at conferences. That's what I did. I am glad I did. I ran into our friend there from New Zealand - Aotearoa.   I also met a bunch of new relatives from New Zealand.  

I think there are many Natives out there that feel the same way. You may have met some great folk from other Reserves, different Tribes from different provinces or from different States or countries. That is what has generally been the experience I have seen. Other Indians will treat you pretty good when you go to their community.  I have gone to quite a few different Reserves in United States, Canada and in Manitoba (Cross Lake, Shoal Lake, Pukatawagan, Berens River, Bloodvein, Dog Creek, White Dog, Hazleton, Alderville, Fox Lake, Rocky Boy, etc) and the folk are good.  The close by Reserves are okay, but because they are close by they treat you like that, a close cousin (so no giving you their last five bucks, although some will).

For me I have some great feelings of comfort and happiness when I think of the  Maori and New Zealand. I was very fortunate to have gone there, thanks to a relative from Sagkeeng (Perry). At New Zealand we stayed at the home of Marlene and Mak Leuluai of Whangaruru.  They opened their home to a whole group of us. Fed us, shared their families and their culture with us. It was fantastic!  My Son was on the trip as well. He was about 12 or 14 at the time. I wish he were still here today. It is our hope, Suz, Chloe and I to go there one day. I have mixed feelings about that. The first time there was so wonderful, I am afraid that going there again may not be as I expect it to be. You know what I mean?  You don't want to be disappointed.  Weird I know. Its like that saying "you can't go home again".  "... took it to mean that things and you change, and that you can never recapture the feelings you had in the past. It will always seem different."  If and When I go to New Zealand I want to be treated like a God (not thee God but "a" god).  I want people to treat me as a long lost relative or a far away relative. Not like strangers. I guess that is what I am afraid of.



I was lucky this time around that I got to take a few people to visit my cousins. And I was happy because I knew my cousins would not disappoint, they would be good hosts. Because that is the way. They are open and kind.  Right away they looked for gifts for the visitors. My other friend in Sagkeeng I know him and he is the type to feed the people. So I am sure that when the Maori went to visit in Sagkeeng he would feed them.  I can guarantee that would happen.

That was one of the things I notice about Indigenous folk, they want to make sure you eat, you are fed. When I was at the conference, hanging around the people told me to eat. Make sure to eat.

That is a commonality amoung Indians, they want to make sure you are fed. It is important.

So if you ever get the chance to meet some Indians or Maori or other Indigenous folk, make sure to feed them. They know that is the way. 



Māori are the tangata whenua – the people of the land


Friday, September 26, 2014

Michele Titler: You are the sunshine of my life.

There is a woman living in British Columbia Canada that really really hates Native people. She hates them so much that she has started an internet page with the aim to get rid of them.  There is no doubt she has supporters and like minded individuals. People who don't like the fact that Indians were here and many of them negotiated agreements with Britain and Canada.  These people don't like the fact that there are obligations for the privilege of being allowed to stay in Canada.  I wonder how they feel about recent immigration, the increase population of Indo-Canadians, Chinese Canadians and others? I suspect once they catch their breath they will add other non-Whites to their target sights as well.  I think she doesn't like Quebec as well, but really who does?  Just kiddin'. 

That Michele Titler is really quite a character. She openly promotes hatred towards Indian people and is extremely focused and committed to ending any of the obligations that Native people are owed. If Native people were not the Original inhabitants of this Land she would be using the mantra of send them back to where they came from. Unfortunately that is not applicable in this situation. Michele Titler is certainly prolific with sending her message of anger, hate, and misinformation. Now that takes dedication and focus. I wish I could be like that; focused, intense, determined and crazy. Sadly I don't have the drive to take on a cause. Titler has named her cause "End Race Based Law".  She is not a fan of the Charter of Rights, Section 35 in the Canadian Constitution.

This is the place in Canada's Constitution where it says things like Canada recognizes and affirms Aboriginal Rights. You know, us Indians, being the Aboriginal people in this case. That upsets Titler where you can almost see her "foaming at the mouth, snarling and gnashing her teeth in righteous anger and furious anger".  ( I couldn't resist stealing a piece from one of the great thespians of our modern era - Samuel L. Jackson, when he said "And I will strike down upon thee with great vengeance and furious anger those who attempt to poison and destroy My brothers. And you will know I am the Lord when I lay My vengeance upon you.", He is so the epitome of cool, don't you think?) I wonder how a conversation would go with Samuel L. Jackson and Michele Titler?

Samuel - "Aint that always the way? Elevator music, a nigga with a kilt, and a chick with a nickle plated nine?"

Michele - "Nine? I have had nine before and that's not nine!".

Samuel - “Enough is enough! I’ve had it with these motherfuckin’ snakes on this motherfuckin plane!”

Michele - "Snakes? I have taken an anaconda. Now that is a snake!"

Samuel -  “Yeah, Zeus! As in, father of Apollo? Mount Olympus? Don’t fuck with me or I’ll shove a lightning bolt up your ass!”

Michele - "I am a fan of anal, mounting and Zesus."

Samuel - "Yes, they deserve to die, and I hope they burn in hell!”

Michele - "Zesus loves me yes I know, for the bible tells me so"

Samuel -  “You shut your face! If we want to hear you talk, I will shove my arm up your a** and work your mouth like a puppet.”

Michele - "you make me feel like dancing, dancing, I'm gonna dance the night away".

Samuel - "Mother Fucker".

Michele - "I'm a bad mother fucker..." "gemme a mothufuckin'hug"... "Yeah, I said it! Waste them mothufuckers!"

Yes, Samuel L. Jackson and Michele Titler would have a blast. Michele smiling or foaming at the mouth and Samuel L. Jackson saying his cool movie lines.  Groovy.


Michele is a taste of grapefruit for sure. We see her, large and sour tasting. But you know what? We like it that way.  She doesn't cloak herself in phoney rhetoric. She hates and lets you know that she hates you. She attacks like a trained pitbull with no other purpose.  At least in that way she is not hidden under the sheets of the likes of KKK crazies or linked into some right wing church that uses the bible to spew hate and intolerance, or part of the Stephen Harper's team of conservative hate promoting gang of rich folk and ignorant WT's  (for those who don't know, some of the white folk are WT's. meaning they are what is commonly referred to as White Trash, not judging or anything just clarifying what WT represents).  Nope, her intolerance, hate and bigotry is right out there in your big brown face. The bad thing or sad thing is that she is a magnet for those camouflaged crazy hate filled bigots. They can feed her and that's how she can gain strength. The only way to combat that kind of hate is to fight right back with more hate. Nah, just kiddin'.  I am not sure but hate on hate is probably not a good idea. I think the way to do it, is to shed light on the hate, show how crazy it is. How sadly funny it is. How ugly it is. How repugnant and foul an odour it is. Just maybe some people will smell how awful rancid that bigotry and hate is?  Michele Titler knows her campaign is a fraud!  She knows damn well Canada will freeze over before they tackle the constitution again. And it won't be for the Charter that's for sure. It is just an opportunity for her to spew hatred, pure and simple. It also gives her the chance to do interpretive dance to music on vemo.  Interpretive dance now that's an art. Michele takes it and really shows us how Crazy is to be interpreted. Yes, Crazy like in "puppy cooking crazy". Speaking of crazy; PETA should keep an eye on her.

I lied!  Michele is the not the sunshine of my life.  She stands for hatred intolerance bigotry and ugliness in society.  I can't say things like, "oh I will pray for her, or I feel sorry for her". Nope but  I do  feel kind of bad for her family. They have to live with the rot filt and the foulness of her being.


 You Are The Sunshine Of My Life
That's Why I'll Always Stay Around
You Are The Apple Of My Eye
Forever You'll Stay In My Heart

A little passage from the Aboriginal Justice Inquiry for Michele Titler and her minions to consider:

We believe that there is no longer an issue as to whether Aboriginal people have the right to govern themselves in accordance with their customs and traditions. It is clear, we believe, that they have that right. It also is clear that there is little agreement on how far that right extends into existing federal and provincial jurisdictions. It is regrettable that this vital concern has been addressed in terms of whether our first ministers are willing to "give" power and on what conditions. Instead, we believe that the way in which this should be addressed is to question how and to what extent Aboriginal people lost their original right to self-determination. Those who assert that the right is already limited are the ones who should bear the onus of proving this contention. Their inability to do so would mean that the right still continues in force.
In our view, Aboriginal people have not lost the right to govern their own affairs. This right to self-determination precedes colonization and has never been voluntarily surrendered. There is no evidence that Aboriginal people were ever conquered so as to be susceptible to the victor’s unilateral domination. None of the treaty negotiations in Manitoba indicates any intention by the Aboriginal leadership to surrender their governmental authority. Further, international law today clearly recognizes the right of peoples to determine their own future.
It is possible today to assert that Aboriginal people enjoy an ongoing right to self-determination which is not subject to federal or provincial interference. That position is confirmed by section 35 of the Constitution.
It is our assessment that Aboriginal rights to self-determination must be acknowledged openly and freely by all levels of government.
The law now starts from a presumption in favour of the continued existence of Aboriginal and treaty rights. This reflects a considerable change in Canadian law. Some limitations were accepted by Canada’s courts in previous years, but, in our opinion, such tendencies and those past decisions are no longer valid under the law as it now stands. The legal philosophies and the 19th century theories which gave rise to those decisions must now be discarded.

Thursday, September 18, 2014

Suffering From Face Book Rage?

Yes I have a Facebook page.  I use this one to try and network, exchange ideas, share news links, meet new people and sometimes to tease a bit. One of the things I notice on Facebook (and other forum sites) is that people like to complain, fight or air out their individual woes. In other words lot of drama on the site. Some of the sites and Facebook pages are just horrible. Seems like people put them up to cause pain and spread manure stink all over.  However there is the flip side of that where some people are just fun or funny.
That kind that make you laugh out loud as your sitting in your basement all alone, the lights dim, the musk smell of dampness,  with media player playing some smooth blues jazz pop (something like Van Morrison's Someone like you) and you read the post and you laugh out loud like a crazy person. The laugh echoing on the grey concrete bouncing throughout the darkness.  Is it still okay to say crazy person? I am not sure these days, maybe I should say a "touched" person?  Anyway that Facebook is a time waster for sure. It's like a car accident, you don't want to look because of what you might see, but you look anyway, because like most people you want to see the carnage, the damage, the blood and the gore.  

There are those of us that act like pious (my new word of the day) arseholes. We are good to correct the behaviour of all those whiners and complainers on Facebook. Only our view is the right one.  Kind of sickening but what the heck you going to do?  I like to fight sometimes. Not fight fair mind you. Try use that underhanded passive aggressive moves that people just can't stand.  At the same time there are people that just need to be slapped in the side of their big heads.  Their moral compass is pointing directly at you and it's not a good feeling. Or there are those that have the superior perch of being saintly or righteous. You know the type, acting like all their moo (shit) is smelling like tulips and jam.  They need to be hit with a shovel in the head. (Like that poor girl on youtube) Now that is where I sometimes jump in like a Batman or maybe a Wolverine (nah, I think like a Batman, the cape endlessly flowing in the wind making a swoosh sound).  I swoop in on a steel cable from the roof tops of a tall older crumbling building made in the early 1900's.  The Facebook posters are unsuspecting of this fearless anti-hero. Absent in the anti-hero literary posts are profane laced barbs but rather fuzzy flowery prose meant to disarm the wild beasts of the dark dreary allyways of Facebook. Before they suspect they are caught in an innumerable unslaught of witty comebacks, logical statements, back-handed compliments, and mis-direction caused by truth and sincerity. All this by their own volition. After all they invited the today's anti-hero into their home with their asinnity.  I mean come on? What do you expect when you put out a question or statement that is so dumb a rethread ( notice I use the word that is less offensive, you know the word retard?) could dissect.  Not that I am some brainy arse.  Just use some everyday experience and you will see the posts I am referring to here. It itches my arse when people deem themselves to be the rebel with a cause, the protector of the feminine, the leader of the activists. So enamoured with themself, they fail to see the ugliness in their positions.  That is why I do it. I don't really like the one liners or word of the praise that posts are littered with. The anti-hero will bombard them with a paragraph of logic, sacracism, wit, poetry, humour, double speak and cryptic messages. 

The reactions are all so predictable. At first their will be a volley of returns to the statements, all the while mostly avoiding logic or counter position. Then it will quickly erode into single word attempts of personal attacks, insults, vulgarity and the default position of profanity.  The end result is the poster's rage uncontrolled in a mix of anger, hurt, confusion and defeat.  It is the internet equivalent of road rage. Except they are not having a car to ram you with, or give the finger salute, the poster has only the computer to exact revenge. They can't reach through the monitor and hit you with a shovel. And they can't match your non-aggressive slams of literary genius (don't have to be able to spell to win debates unless you're grammar schooled, now that is another type of troll).  Maybe the beaten beast gets off their office chair and goes over to kick the cat, who knows?  That is the Facebook Rage. With Facebook rage, defenders of the broken will add some band aids to try and soothe the beast. They will say: "we are with you." "We support you." "You go". "You rock". "True words", etc.  The general public see it as the last feeble attempt (at what the Chinese adoringly refer) to "saving face".

Facebook rage is not limited by interaction with an anti-hero but could also be set off by the ever lurking troll. Thing is the troll does not have the applealing qualities or repertoire of the anti-hero musings and wisdom.  The troll, well the troll behaves in a mean spirited fashion, and does nothing to educate the witless dolts that occupy Facebook.  So a troll generally doesn't capture the Facebook rage as most people see them as you would a pest, a bug, an ant at a picnic. Not worth the real effort to get emotional involved with.

So dont' be party to Facebook rage. Keep your posts smart, clean, informed, funny and free of drama. Oh one last thing, don't be afraid to NOT have the last word. 

Oh one last last thing, the anti-hero is not to be adored or revered, at the end of the day she or he is really just an arse.  

Oh one last last thing, Don't worry about the defeated beast coming on to your page, they are enamored with their self, they don't visit other poster's pages. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

When the Moose Barks.

My Dad used to work on the winter road around the 1980's. The winter road is exactly that: it is a road only used in the winter. It is made through the swamp, river and swamps in the winter to get to isolated communities in Manitoba. Much of the northern east side of Manitoba is isolated. You can only get there by air, or winter road (some places have rail line or a boat ferry across the lake). There is a television show called Ice Road Truckers. This is where the winter road is. It has been getting harder to make the road and the road use is getting shorter because of early melting (you know the dreaded climate change, which by the way Canada's PM doesn't buy into).

He told us of the time a Moose barked at him on the road. This of course was a bad sign. He told us of the story of the Moose and what took place that day. Anyway I won't bother you with superstition. Ha, just kiddin', I love that kind of stuff and believe in the Teachings. There are warnings that the Spirits and the Animal world will give you. The Moose barking is one of those warnings. Just as the Owl is a messenger that death will occur. The Moose will bring a forewarning of doom or dire consequences.

The reason I was thinking about the Moose Barks, is I have tenatively choosen the title of a book, should I ever write one, and it will be When the Moose Barks. Alternatively I was thinking of changing this blog title or starting a new blog (and abandoning this one) to When the Moose Barks.  I kind of feel that the blog has not attracted an active following. Maybe time to rethink or renew or rehash or restart things?  What do you think?

In any case I was thinking that the only thing I do have some control over is what I do with time.  I can continue to flounder at attempting different things, like making walking sticks or rattles or even writing.

For those of you that read the blog I am grateful for your time. Time is something that is finite for us. So coming here and spending some time with me, well I like that and I am thanking you.

So if a Moose Barks at you, take heed, try to make amends if that is what is needed and treat those around you in a good and kind way. I think that is what it was telling my Dad. My Dad he was a good guy, not the best in the world, or the worst, but just a good guy who made mistakes and tried to fix them.

I never heard a Moose bark, but I did hear a Deer Bark and it scared the hell out of me.



Want to hear how a Moose sounds when it calls? click Moose

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Nine years since that Fucking Suicide assaulted our Lives.

August 25, 2005 is when my Boy was found hanging in his Mom's closet.  Nine fucking years since we got the call. Nine years since our world became face to face with the ugliness of Suicide.  It was a blur, the phone calls, the fast drive from one place to another to see our boy. Nine years, since we stood in the hallway of the apartment while the police officer told us to wait until the medical examiner was done. Nine years since the medical examiner came out of the apartment and told us, that we had to prepared. Nine years since she told us that it was not pretty, that his tongue was sticking out of his mouth and we can now go see him.  Nine years since we entered to see our Boy in a  body bag with his head exposed so we can see him. Nine Fucking years since the smell of death greeted us as we entered.  Nine years since we saw him dead. Nine years since I rubbed his head, felt his hair.  Nine years since I lost my Boy. Nine years since that Fucking Suicide Assaulted our Lives.

It may seem like a long time for people to understand that we should be over the grief by now. Suicide doesn't let you move. Maybe the grieving changes in how it is displayed but its there. It is lurking inside you. Just waiting to assault you. Waiting for a trigger. Waiting for your guard to be down. While you are out at a movie having fun and then it decides to hit you. Bam!  A young couple are sharing a moment and you think, that could be my Boy. He should be enjoying the everyday moments of life. He should not have had to kill himself. That is what happens. You don't chose to be sad hurt lonely.  It just comes out of the back of your mind, from your broken Spirit, your heart.  That is what happens. So please forgive me if I sound like a broken record, same old story, same of violin playing that sad song. The grief of Suicide has never left. It is now part of your being. It is who you are: the Dad who let his Son kill himself. The Dad who could not be there when his Son needed him most. That it has been nine fucking years and we can't forget and as long as we breathe we will never know the joy of a Boy living a Good Life. It hits you when you are watching the news. Some children dying in another foreign land. Some Boy, young man gets shot and killed. Some girl is murdered and dumped like trash. It seems that Suicide laughs at you. It says see how ugly it is out there? You sit here and pity yourself over one Fucking act?  You are such a pifyful fuck!  That is what suicide does. It lurks forever in your life. It surfaces just when you think you can laugh without guilt once again. It shows up at your kids birthdays. Your grandchildren fun days. Suicide just hangs around, waiting for its chance to slap you hard across the face. You see a photo of a good memory and suicide tries to sully that memory, tries hard to ruin it.

Tonight we will have our children over to hold a meal for our Boy. We won't talk about that day nine fucking years ago. We will enjoy the meal. We will converse with our Grandkids. We will act like suicide is not lurking and trolling around our home. We will keep a dish for our Boy. That is what we do. We tackle suicide by keeping our Boy alive in our home. We talk about how good our Boy is. We laugh at how beautiful of a Spirit he had when he was just a child. That is what we do.

Maybe tomorrow we will go visit the site where his body rests. We will take a few pictures to let us know we have not forgotten him and that we still and always will Love him. That he is in our Lives everyday. We don't forget him.

For us we don't see Donovan as the twenty year old young man, we see him as our Boy. That way he was when he was just a boy. When he was 7 years old blowing out the candles on his birthday cake. The way he was when he was riding his bike and running away from his older brother. The generousity he had to others and the kindness he showed. That is who our Boy is. Not just another young Native suicide.

We don't talk about him to solicite sorry or good wishes of condolences/sympathy  from anyone. It is quite embarssing really to get them. We know people mean well and that's nice. But We talk about him for us. To keep him alive. He lives with us. He lives around our home. In how we conduct ourselves. We talk about him because we can. There are people who are newly hurt that the grief is so fresh that they are numb. Those are the ones that need your comfort and your very good heart right now.

So keep your own children close to your hearts. It can't happen to us, is a cruel cliche. It can happen to anyone. That fucking suicide lurks around. Keep him away from your home. Once he enters, he is there forever and he is ugly.  Suicide attaches to the Living and its horrible.

So we battle Suicide everyday and we do that by always Loving our Boy. 


Wednesday, August 20, 2014

What will a national inquiry on Murdered & Missing fiind?

Tina Fontaine was pulled from the Winnipeg Red River the other day. She was found inside a bag. Tossed away like garbage.  A beautiful baby at age 15.  The irony of the find was that police and people were looking for another person that drowned in the River. That man was the homeless hero, Faron Hall. Faron saved two people on different occasions from drowning.  So he was involved in the finding of another person.

Last night there was a Walk to bring attention to the Murdered and Missing women and the homeless in Canada.  Many people from all walks of life joined in the Walk.  The Winnipeg police took part in the Walk.  Not just as a police force tasked with traffic control but with the Walk itself. Police members taking part in the Walk for awareness. I think many of them must take ownership of the loss of life as well. You know, finding the bodies of murdered Women or speaking to the families on the tragedies.  Can you imagine dealing with all that anguish?  So I do suspect it gets deeply personal for them as well. 

It should be deeply personal for everyone.  These are your Mom's, Sisters, Daughters, Aunties, and a member of the community.  Its not an "Aboriginal Issue".  It is a people issue. Women, Girls are being taken and killed.  This should not be happening. We condemn the injustices done to Women all over the World, as we should, but we allow our own to be taken?

Many Aboriginal Leaders and non-Aboriginal are calling for a National Inquiry to examine the phenomenon of Murdered and Missing Women. People are asking Why?  Are there more Picktons out there? With the Pickton murders, the Province relented and carried out an inquiry.  This inquiry was marred with problems.  It seemed to seek absolution of law enforcement rather than look at the causes of the problem, and the systemic flaws in justice.The government put limitations in place that did not do the inquiry commission any real value. The Families' of Women who went missing in this case did not feel part of the process and rightly so. If a National Inquiry is to take place, it must not make the same mistakes as the British Columbia government.

When calls were started to be heard of a National Inquiry for Murdered and Missing Women, I was one that did not really understand.  As the voices grew I became skeptical that an Inquiry would even accomplish anything.  We have seen so many Reports, inquires and Commissions that have not yielded tangible results. Federal and provincial governments will do what they can to pacify the masses without doing any real work or changes.  Time has changed my way of thinking.  The many voices have been passionate and persuasive.  My reluctance was not about caring for the Women but more about my lack of trust in the governments.  For me, much of the interests of government lies in the status quo and the increased scrutiny of the public while decreasing business accountability and oversight.  So that was my way of thinking.  But I do believe that the collective of community voice can do some good.  Collective voice might be able to sway the bullies and the ideological political parties that are cemented in place.  Perhaps the collective voice can sway the collective "NO" that is the stance of Canada Prime Minister Stephen Harper and his minions. 

I think Harper regime is afraid of what the inquiry will expose. 

Harper has turned Canada into an equivalent of a 1960's southern U.S. State.  Where there are no checks and balances for business. Where the everyday person is at the mercy of the justice system and big business. With no compassion for citizens, environment,  and the people; poor people and Indian people.  They may be afraid to find out that the collective and cumulative efforts of governments policies of exclusion and oppression are major contributors to the problems. That many of the policies are hurtful rather than positive for people. That major change in a mindset is required. A mindset that mainstream is stuck in.  That the vulnerable are subjected to negative basis and judgement at every point of contact; from the hospital at birth to the last days of their lives.

Our people may find that our men (and some women) are exploiting our Women and Girls. Gangs will be looked at. Their false claims of brotherhood and security when in fact it is more about being predators and exerting power over their own people; negative power. That the answer lies not in the roots of Christianity but in becoming more aware of our identity. That it starts as babies. That many of the ills start with the concept of "original sin". The original sin of a woman corrupting man. That it is not the women who are corrupt but the ills are in society. That Women have to be recognized as the True life givers and not the rib bone of man.

That is what people are afraid to find out. That Women are not looked at as how they should be. That we must know their role as our futures.  That without Women we are no where.

Maybe an inquiry will make us see what we are abusing.

Saturday, August 16, 2014

Wasted and Wounded:



Music touches the Spirit.

I remember when I was young that my Dad loved music. Not sure when but he stopped listening to music as he got older. I don't remember when he stopped but I know it was long ago. Long before he got old.

This August 25 is coming up fast. It will be nine years since my Boy took his life. He made that choice. But I am not sure if it really was a choice. My friend tells me there is a Suicide Spirit that is affecting our youth and our people. That Spirit is strong and looks all over. My friend does battle with that Spirit in the way he knows how; with prayer and ceremony.

For me that Spirit is alwasy lurking around me. I feel it everynight. I feel it when I see the youth.  I am in constant turmoil over the Suicide of my son.  I wonder how my children feel and deal with it. My baby is now 18. She was nine.   My wife is one of those people that keeps everything inside. But it leaks out of her every once in awhile where she can't keep the saddness from pouring out. There is nothing really that I can do to ease her pain. Everyone is different. My son named his Son, Jackson Donovan Albert, and my daughther named her Girl, Aviree-Don and my niece name her boy Donovan as well. So my Boy Don lives on in his name sakes.

Me I can't get over the loss and the waste. The guilt, the anger, the loneliness. It's weird how we never think it could happen to us. Or that it shouldn't have happened to us. I mean who are we that it can't happen to us?

When I see all the hate towards us, Indians, I guess I can see in some ways how we can decide to take our own lives. I guess no one wants to be hated. We all want to be loved. Isn't that not too much to ask? People don't think words hurt. After all its just words: "we're all PC in this damn world, no one can say anything anymore".  If your whole world has been constantly attacked maybe just maybe you might understand the weight of adding one more word on it. Constant "you're savage, you're lazy, you're nothing, you're pagan, you're filthy, you're drunk, you're ugly, you're dead". Then maybe you can understand how that ONE more word might just be the one that is so damn heavy that you can't hold it anymore. I don't know but you think?

I listen to music a lot. My grandkids say I listen to old people music. What do they know, they are five and seven years old. Got to love them. I guess I escape into a little world where my Son is still here in the flesh with me with the music I listen to .


I sure miss my Mom and Dad. I talk to them and Don late at night when I can barely breathe.

Suicide is a beast for sure. We never expect it to hit us, but what do we know? We're only people. 

"When I was a child
I caught a fleeting glimpse
Out of the corner of my eye
I turned to look but it was gone
I cannot put my finger on it now
The child is grown
The dream is gone
I have become comfortably numb."

For me, the child is gone, the dream is gone....

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Lorri, wife of Winnipeg Mayor Candidate Gord Steeves a Racist and you should be offended.



There is a race for Mayor in Winnipeg Manitoba Canada. One of the candidates is former city Councilor Gord Steeves. His wife has now made the news by her posts on Facebook. Guess she doesn't like being bugged for money by panhandlers. I guess it made her so upset that she went on to a public sharing site and said her piece. Her views are quite harsh. This of course happened four years ago. Now that is public she has decided to apologize. 

Late Friday afternoon, Lorrie Steeves issued the following statement:
“In 2010 while I was working downtown I was regularly harassed for money and often put in a position where I feared for my safety.  One day in particular 4 years ago was very bad and out of frustration I vented on my personal facebook page.  I feel terrible about these comments I am terribly sorry and apologize.  I do not clear my facebook posts or status updates with my husband.”
Earlier Friday afternoon, the mayoral candidate laid out his downtown safety strategy which would target inebriated homeless people. The plan includes beefing up cadets and police officers downtown in order to remove these drunk individuals from the sidewalks.

Gord Steeves made a statement that it was a "cheap shot" making his wife's post public.  I am not sure who he meant was taking the cheap shot?  I wonder how it can be a cheap shot. I guess you can understand his point of view afterall his wife is not running for office. I get that. However....   This is his wife we're talking about: The Mother of his children, his best friend (in most relationships), his confidante, his partner, his 'better-half', his moral compass, his second sober look, his good side, and his princess bride.  So you must consider how husband and wife influence and confide in each other. I think it would be rather in poor taste and very low if Steeves somehow tries to distance himself from his wife. Now that would be a man that I would never trust. I think your duty is to take care of your partner.  So we will see how Gord moves in the political arena on this one. But hey maybe he will gain a bigger following in the bigot's table?  That might work. Lot of closet (and open) racist bigots out there.

Part of Steeves strategy is get more police to get rid of the problem downtown. He didn't say it, but Gord (when referring to inebriated homeless people) must of meant the Indian problem. His choice of action would be to round them up and ship them out. That's what it is. Move those drunken Indians back to the Main Street. After all he must save his wife doesn't he?

I joked on Facebook that a conversation between this husband and wife would look something like this:

Gord and Lorri Steeves:

Lorri, "hey babe, I had an ugly day downtown today, damn drunken natives bumming off me, can you do something to make it stop? eh honey bunny?" 

Gord, "Sugar, I'm on that sum bitch"... "got your back, We will drive those bums out of downtown! Now give some of that white sugar, mmmmmmmm"

I am also wondering why Lorri Steeves statement is being called an apology?  I am not sure but isn't an apology where you say you are sorry for something and in so doing, promise not to do it again?  You know there is some type of remorse for the action. In this case I don't see that at all. What I see is a person that is sorry for getting caught, not for saying ugly repugnant racist things. She took the time to blame others for her action. She did not say I am sorry for the racist mean spirit words about those people. You got to ask yourself does this looks like one of those apologies that is not an apology.  Her comments were down right racist. No other way to describe them. Her blaming the remarks for being frustrated and out of fear is just more pure hate. She is not sorry. In fact I guarantee you that this will only fan the flames of hatred and bigotry that goes on in that home. It is those damn drunken Indians fault! She never once addressed the comments but rather her reason for the words.

As an Indian person this is really offensive to me. But it should be offensive to all people of good conscience. It is a reflection of the rot and maggot infestation of damaged morals and Spirit. There is no rationale for her public rants. When she did this she insulted my family: my siblings, my Mom, my Dad, my Granparents, my Aunties, my Uncles, my children, my wife, my friends, my ancestors, my Grandchildren,  my People. That is what she did.

I believe all Native people should take offense to her bigotry and hatred. Ignoring it is not the answer. Racism is a rodent, that lives in the filth of ugliness. It is a louse that feeds on the ignorant and the beasts of like minded vile monsters.

There have been some voices in the Indian community speaking out against the hatred displayed by Gord Steeve's wife Lorri.  Of course Lorri and Gord have a good number of supporters as well. The dung beatle loves its food.  I would like to see more public officials speak out against racism of this type. There is no shortage of people speaking out against racism when it is not directed at Natives.

Shelly Glover is the Minister of Canadian Heritage and Official Languages. She is also a Winnipeger and a self-identified "proud Metis". She should be appalled at the language of Gord's wife Lorri. After all, Lorri labeled her family as drunken Natives.

Kevin Chief, The MLA for Point Douglas, Minister responsible for relations with the City of Winnipeg,
Minister of Children and Youth Opportunities is an Aboriginal person, aka Native.   He is also the Minister responsible for relations with the City of Winnipeg. Now how is that going to be for this Native dealing with the husband of a racist bigot?  I sure would think he would be front and centre denouncing such hatred of his people?  

Eric Robinson, Deputy Premier, Minister of Aboriginal and Northern Affairs, Minister charged with administration of Community Economic Development Fund Act. Minister responsible for Sport, Aboriginal Educationi and East Side Road Authority is also a First Nations, aka Aboriginal aka Native aka Indian. Eric is very well known and connected in the Native community. It is important that he take a public stand against the type of bigotry that has been thrown at his family, his children, his wife, his parents, His grand child to be, his ancestors. 
I know its not fair to put all this pressure on them but they are public figures and when they speak the media listens. They all know that hatred exists against Indian people, after all they face it everyday in Winnipeg. So it is important that they let the racists know that is not okay to put down our people. It is not okay to label all of us as: damned drunks, welfare bums, pan handlers, harrasers of honest people, that we don't have jobs, that it is  alright to disrespect us. 

As for Gord's comments that it is a "Cheap Shot" airing out his wife's bigotry,  cheap shot this... your wife is


horrible.