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.