A Facade of Hopelessness: Liberation, Truth and Bullshit

I spoke to some young people today. “Lot’s of people know what’s going on Colby – many are afraid to speak up because they might not get the help they need from the band office”.

That’s the problem. So many people know what’s going on in their communities yet many allow the patterns and cycles to continue. At the end of the day, what is ultimately important to people is how they feed themselves. As my friend and relative I grew up with, Preston Baptiste aka “Taco” put it; “We’ve been oppressed for so long that we’ve gotten used to it, but we’re talking to the young people trying to change that”. And we are, young people are noticing and watching what is unfolding.

The reality is people support each other in a group of immorality because the need of love and belonging is met – hence why it can familial based -“blood is thicker then water” (but a Peoples can not survive without water). This type of support, if you’d call it support, is an illusion of comfort fed by the pretending of shamelessness. For some reason those who want integrity, morality, communal love by speaking the truth, calling out injustice, are the ones that should be ashamed according to this group. It’s just a lame game of pretending…

This is what often feeds divisions within communities. Big love is required to embrace these ‘groups’… because they are reflections of us, and we are reflections of them. And the reality is, there is no us and them. It’s always been all of us… caught in the illusions of our own egos. However this awareness should never be an excuse to allow the continued abuse of women, children, and the land…

The rage of the Oppressed ascending into the Passion of the Liberated.

But this is just a blog… almost pointless until it’s experienced on the ground… It’s near impossibly, near hopeless to defeat immorality with the system that harvests it in the first place…

“If people get disrespectful in the band meeting thats it we’re shutting it down… they have to learn some how”. Said a councillor in the chambers today. It is true any form of meeting needs norms, guidelines, rules to follow in order for it to be productive, especially if it is a space for constructive feedback and debate. The thing is I often wonder if our people can have a healthy debate in the midst of such emotional turmoil stemming from the legacies of trauma. We can’t blame the trauma, nor should it be an excuse for lack of accountability – yet it does have a definite factor in the outcomes of communal dialogue and decision making.

“You can’t talk down to the people, shutting the meeting down won’t teach them anything, the people need to be heard, shutting the meeting down will only oppress the people and they’ve been oppressed for a long time”, I responded.

“I don’t care about oppression, we need rules…”, he said.

“yeah there needs to be rules, but the rules can’t be imposed on them, ask them and include them in the guidelines that need to be followed for the meeting… “, was my reply…

“The thing is we can’t ask the people Colby, the people just ask the same questions and we don’t get anywhere”, the chief included.

“The people ask the same questions because their questions never get answered, it’s always a lame political answer, or a beat around the bush answer…”

*silence… my phone rings I answer it and excuse myself to take the call* the conversation was bullshit.

The whole time the FSO from indian affairs was sitting there smirking at the discussion. Indian Affairs get’s their jollies off when communities they administer are divided. Fuck Indian Affairs…. <– quote that.

The only vision I have within the Nation I am from, is that the collective
works together, comes together in a space where everyone contribute to the outcomes of the Nation.

Opportunists are usually the ones who run for elected positions, there are usually personal interests and persona investments included in all that they do. I may have decided to agree to this position, and I'm glad I didn't pursue it.

Future leaders, regardless of what titles they agree to definitely need to be clear within themselves. I'm talking about being healthy, have an understanding of who they are and where they come. It's the basics of being grounded within their Self-Worth. Where do they get their self worth from? If they get it outside themselves, they will definitely love the titles and recognition of Indian Affairs agent jobs, whether if its working for Indian Affairs or pursuing becoming elected for Chief and Council. The materialism, the external acknowledgment of who they are as "elected officials"… will devour them. They themselves will become emotionally dependant on the system they desire to change, or help their people with. They will start to think they are smarter then the people, that they know what is best for the people. They destroy their very own prayers with their hunger for personal successes through earthly riches and ego stroked acknowledgements.

We see this pattern in many First Nations governments and administrations. I'm not writing this and highlighting this to single people out or to bash people. I just think it's important for people to recognize these things, because in all honesty, I don't think people notice these things. That's not a bad thing, it just means there needs to be more awareness. Our Lands are at Risk, our women, our children… are all at risk. Now isn't the time for Indian Affairs complying Chiefs and Councils… Now isn't the time to accommodate the feelings of the oppressor, the colonizer, the settler, the career chief, the career councillor.

It's a time for "Conscious Misbehaviour", "Intelligent Misbehaviour"…

It's time to break the rules….

So for those of you utilizing your precious time to read this… thank you…

And break some rules…


*image was cropped from a workshop poster called "The 7 Rules you were born to break*

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What does the Resurgence of Indigenous Health look like?

Feeling frustrated with the lack of services, and the quality of services our youth receive in terms of health and well-being. Meagre methods of addressing social pathologies, blocks within education systems, social manipulation around identity from media and funding agencies, insufficient funding. The system is whack and i don’t understand why anyone would want to reform it… it needs to be dismantled… completely — which career based chiefs, councils and administrators won’t like it.

The people should not have to suffer further because those administrating the system have bills to pay.

The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations hosted a Non Insured Health Benefits Conference. They had people who work within the NIHB process, aboriginal reps from the Saskatchewan Ministry of Health, Reps from the Assembly of First Nations to speak on a panel. Administrators, Chiefs and Councils, and Health Directors were in the audience. It has become quite clear that there is an agenda to extinguish our Treaty Right to Health through the facilitation of compliance for provincial control over an federal obligation – while domesticating Indigenous Nationhood which is of international stature, in the context of Treaty Six.

The problem is that there are Provincialized corporate organizations speaking on behalf of, and representing Nations. The reality is Nations should be representing and speaking on behalf of themselves. Yet the perceptions are so differentiated amongst the Nations that people become confused in roles and responsibilities of First Nations Organizations, First Nations governments, Aboriginal Affairs and in the meantime our Traditional Government Systems are swept to the back burner… like a garden unkept, being over run with weeds.

I spoke at this Conference on a panel as well within the day. It’s roughly 16minutes and if you feel it necessary you can listen to it HERE.

The challenges are basically working directly with the people within our communities in terms of inviting their cooperation, contribution, and involvement in decision making and tackling social issues and pathologies. Most leaders don’t have the skill, insight or even knowledge on facilitating healthy moderated dialogue within community forums and meetings. So much political turmoil has maintained unhealthy dynamics amongst families and individuals. Regardless coming together to occupy our side of sovereignty within the context of Nationhood in the sense of defending the Treaty Six position – which includes reaffirming Indigenous governance and establishing a presence of an alternative to the current social systems.

Another problem can often be the confusion between the indian act policy frameworks and the original Spirit and Intent of Treaty Six. Peoples expectations of NIHB, which is a colonial definition of who we are as Indigenous people and what we are entitled to based on their interpretation of Treaty Six, to deliver specifIc Treaty Rights when the system has been based on “benefits” based under the indian acts “status” provisions and terminologies.

As conversations between participants and a NIHB pharmacist unfolded, i felt compelled to share some insight as peoples frustrations were being projected to the pharmacist. It’s about 8 minutes and you can check it out with your own ears HERE.

It troubles me when people speak in the discount of Treaty Six. Often calling it void, or historic. That’s not the case. The Spirit and Intent of Treaty Six is alive today as the day it was signed.

These are just my feelings and opinions on the matters that are unfolding. It’s interesting times, no doubt about it. I’m sure there are people who can add insight to this unfolding circumstance.


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Thriving In the midst of Oppression

It’s one thing to have to work within the restraints of a system that has imposed on you. That’s what the Indian Act is. A system that has been imposed on us as colonized people. We are colonized. We’re colonized because our role in the relationship dynamics with the colonizer is clear and obvious as many conform, comply to the terms and agreements of the colonizer. We are allowing the colonizer to define who we are and even teach us who we are.

It’s one thing to have to work within a system of Oppression. It’s another thing to have work with individuals who have established a career and a persona of success by administrating that very system.

Our people have been dehumanized as result of residential schools, land displacement, and disease. There is a legacy of poverty as a result of capitalism and systemic racial policies – segregation and violence in the form of social reforms against indigenous people across the lands. Children growing up in the displacement of land based practise, displaced from families and cultural teachings, beaten, abused in almost every form, witnessing their siblings and friends demoralized and even die in front of their very eyes.

On top of that take away the collective peoples ability to govern themselves, mock and trick them by means of agreements and psychological temptations with illusionary ideologies of equality based on colonial terms – deemed towards further assimilation, termination, domestication. Facilitated by our very own.

The rage of oppressed is fire deep in the bellows of our bloodlines since first contact with the colonizer and the early stages of genocide.

This rage within me becomes triggered as administrators of colonial demise take advantage of our indigenous realities, our struggle, our oppression, by administrating their own style of oppression. The oppressed oppressing the oppressed. The administration of oppression? The administration of poverty? The administration of dependancy?

I think we have allowed injustice within our communities to continue with weak actions resistance to injustice because our people have experienced such thick clusters of injustice to the point where it has become normalized and accepted. Especially if it’s administrated by our own people, families, and friends.

The Love of money has overshadowed communal Love. The dynamics of dependancy has been confused with Love and Belonging. People end up defending the system of dependancy thinking they’re defending the love for those who are the image of the system and administrating that very system.

It’s insane and yet the question remains. How does one thrive in the midst of this dynamic? Education is important for sure. Education towards the children and youth. Prayer.

I simply need to acknowledge that I can not control anything outside myself. I can not control my external environment. I can not control other people and their perceptions. They are who they are. I can only control myself, and who I decide to be in the midst of this circumstance. These challenging times are nutrients for my soul no doubt about it. Sometimes through out the day it feels hopeless, it feels tiresome. You can’t reason with a person who is obsessed with power and has no empathy for the land, and the people. Any sign of the charismatic persona is a manipulated illusion.

I can say that I feel imprisoned, surrounded by pacification. Not by the people but by the system. Yet I feel free because I understand. I feel free because I allow this rage to exist. I feel free because I am not ashamed of this reality and circumstance related to the past few generations. I am free because I am not ashamed of genocide. I am free because I don’t carry the mistakes of the generations before me. The “sins” of those in the past can stay with those in the past. To be free in the midst of oppression one must understand that the oppressor is the one that is imprisoned. Imprisoned by their fear of vulnerability and exposure. And so exposure and vulnerability is like kryptonite to the corrupt, to the oppressor. They will avoid it at all costs.

It has become clear to me that to understand why social pathologies within community exist, one needs to understand the basics of Shame, Fear, Grief, Unlovability, and how these tie into the automatic behaviours of the Ego. Behaviours governed by the rules of ego, the ego of the oppressed and the ego of the colonized… these are what i’m learning. This experience will not be forgotten. I will thrive… The children will know and they will thrive… They will decide.

midnight thoughts… ended with a prayer.


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Rez Controversies, Histories and Realities.

I hate talking about myself… but in my current circumstances it’s required to get some points across… some things must be said for clarity. Maybe it’s my ego that’s attempting to have influence on how others perceive me since having a political role in my community. Either way I feel these points will do justice for some people out in the front lines who might be in similar situations. Or maybe there are some young people who want to get active in their community to make a difference, make a change. Hopefully my experience will give others a moral boost (like what I need through this blog) who are also struggling in the confines of systemic roles.

councillor: “I think this needs to go to the people, this needs to go to the people”
chief: “no i disagree with you colby, we are elected officials and we can
make this decision on our own”
councillor: “this needs to go to the people, i’ll take it to the people”
chief: “I’m the Chief, Your just a Councillor, I’m the Chief so I’m the Boss”
councillor: “We’ve had this discussion already, during my first year with this gig. You’re not the boss, the people are the boss, the land is the boss. You’re not my boss”
chief: “at the end of the day, you will see that i’m the boss… if i’m not your boss go upstairs then”

An often classic example of the ridiculous conversations within the walls of a Band Office – often times it can feel like a high school with some of the conversations. The Band Office is pretty much an office of Indian Affairs… essentially. I’m not saying all Band Offices are like this but is there a Band Office that is an actual Indigenous Governance Hub that affirms indigenous laws and strategically defends its existence from Canada’s assimilation/termination processes? And in regards to laws I’m not talking about Indian Act Bi-laws either. I mean a centre of respect and honour of the land and thats inclusive to the will of the people with support for conscious action.

In 2010, a group citizens of Poundmaker met to discuss issues within the community. They also invited the Chief and Council at the time to attend these meetings, mainly for the request from the people for full disclosure in details of finances. Not once did the Chief and Council show up at the peoples meetings. There were occasions where the Chief and Council hosted a meeting however did not disclose information at the peoples request. The people decided to announce a vote of non-confidence on the Chief and Council at the time. They had the paper trail to back up their reasoning and grounds for the non-confidence. The meeting for the vote occurred on the day of a community information meeting hosted by Chief and Council. (I don’t know why they called it information meetings, very little information was given out. I guess they didn’t want to call community meetings “band meetings” because they didn’t want the people to be involved in decision making) The Chief, Council, and majority of people knew of the meeting. I remember vividly how the discussion went down at the end of the meeting. “if you want to go to the meeting this evening you are all welcomed to go there. Regardless if there is a vote of non-confidence I will still be the Chief! I was elected here by the people”…..

The meeting that evening did happen. There was proper notice to the people, to the staff, and the Chief and Council. Everyone knew it was to be a meeting in regards to the Vote of Non-confidence. I came home from working in Fort Qu’appelle to be part of the meeting. To witness it. Neither did I know that vote would pass, and that I would be nominated and appointed that evening to be part of a coup d’├ętat as a ‘Headman’ under Band Custom. Poundmaker Band Custom isn’t the Indian Affairs definition of Band Custom either. Indian Affairs has no jurisdiction over Poundmaker, aside from the yearly contribution funding agreements, arrangements for leases and own source revenue policies. The governance aspect is essentially independent from INAC’s authority. This is how I understand it, and it is both liberating and troublesome. It’s troublesome mainly because of the dynamics amongst families and the ‘post-colonial’ belief systems within the community – mostly stemming from residential schools, displacement of lands, and continued systemic oppression. Regardless, I was appointed, and voted through oral protocols of Poundmaker Band Custom as explained from the old people. Though controversial the coup failed over the course of the remaining two years. The next election occurred with an election code that was never officially ratified by the people. What other choice did the people have? Some wanted to stop the election because the code was never ratified, plus the fact that there was charges laid and some individuals should not be running in the first place. Some wanted to use the code and attempt to get people in that would make a change for the good and betterment of the people. Controversially, old code was followed and again, I was nominated and elected…

I do not believe in the idea that “i am an elected official and I am here to make decisions on the behalf of the best interests of the people”. To me that very statement has been manufactured, created, and manipulated by the Indian Act system which many Indigenous Nations within Canada’s colonial borders have been agreeing to follow. The last thing I want to do is repeat the same thing that has been done in the last few decades. I feel and hope my role is to facilitate a means for our community’s collective reasoning to be strengthened so collective decision making can become what it once was. For that to even happen it’s been about learning the system, how it works, who it benefits, how it’s structured, and how it facilitates dependancy in the dynamics of the community. The direct experience thus far has definitely given me grounds to speak from references that are my own. Though challenging, it’s been beyond valuable to my personal evolution.

The system is insane. People in all levels of society believe that through electing or appointing new leadership creates change. When in reality electing new, fresh people is merely changing the face and image of the same system. That’s like giving a broken vehicle a new paint job expecting it to run as if it’s new. Sure new leadership can present reforms within that system, however reforms will never lead to a revolution that can facilitate social transformation. If anything reforms pacify the oppressed energies of a populace. It’s something I definitely need to reflect and meditate on in terms of my role with this ‘elected official’ title.

I may have it out with the current Chief of Poundmaker from time to time. We may have our disagreements every now and again. And without a doubt there will be disagreements in the future. One time an elder from the community got mad at me because I wasn’t agreeing to decisions that were being made in the council meetings. I responded that I refused to compromise my values and morals. My accountability isn’t to the Chief and Council, it’s to the people and to the land. I didn’t agree that the people of Poundmaker are often left in the dark, and details are vague and questionable. The people have the right to have their questions answered. I meant no disrespect to the elder and in the end we respectably shook hands.

The invitation that’s here is for people to resist the system in all it’s forms. Resist the image of the system, resist the temporary solutions of reforms, resist the broken policies and break the rules, break the norms, resist the system at it’s core. People confuse resisting the system as battling Chief and Council and when Chief and Council take it personally it promotes further confusion amongst the masses. When elected officials take the system personally they then identify themselves as the system. This especially occurs when they have a reliance of income and financial dependancy from that system. They will protect that system with all they’ve got because it becomes a livelihood and a symbol of their success.

I think the key thing in all of this turmoil is to remember that at the end of it all, when grief and love are experienced when our relatives depart to the next world – that connection, that positivity, that love and understanding is all that matters. It’s love that will save us. Not the romanticized hippy type of love. It’s the ruthless, fierce love that is in natural law. Love saving us doesn’t mean complying or compromise. That doesn’t mean exchanging ones passion for passivity. It’s ok to disagree because it’s constructive criticism, constructive feedback that are nutrients for communal evolution. Love, acceptance, and non-personal awareness prevents collective blocked mentalities that can lead to a downward spiralling of despair and division. We can not accommodate the feelings of politicians as a priority, while indigenous rights and our relationship to the land is at risk.


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The Insane Realities of Indigenous Politics – A Prayer for Social Transformation

I wanted to write about my experience. I need to let this out, I need to liberate myself from the repeated patterns of thoughts that have been dominating my psyche since becoming an elected official. I know that ‘elected officials’ need to be conscious of how they carry themselves and what they put out there into the social media world. There are rules, expectations, reputations that need to be respected and achieved in order to be successful in the political realm – Smiles, handshakes, hugs, basic rhetoric speeches and glamorized conversations with people. But I’m not a politician and nor have I ever thought myself to become one. There is changes that are occurring through out the planet and as of lately the system has been occupying and owning the indigenous presence for too long. If any revolution needs to occur is that of the indigenous – and political rules, boardrooms, and negotiation tables will do nothing to assist a revolution. I’m frustrated, no, i’m enraged. And i’m enraged at my own people, my own families, my own circumstance. And I know the worst thing I can do is direct this energy at my own people – I need to remind myself it’s the system that has it’s grip on the will of the people. It’s the system that has orchestrated the current outcomes we have been facing. Yet I need an avenue to rant, vent and speak my mind unedited, unconcealed, exposed and transparant. I also want to write this from the position that the children of Poundmaker who have no idea on what’s happening will be reading it in the future. I don’t want nor do I intend to disrespect families or people. I merely want to describe the affects and symptoms of colonization, oppression, systemic suppression, and historic trauma has had on our people, on our nation’s way of life. The young people are watching. The worse thing we can do is expect the young people to carry the legacies of the mistakes and labels of their grandparents, parents, aunties and uncles. The young people of all our communities and Nations deserve to start fresh with a clean slate. It is however important to understand that knowing what happened in the past is vital to prevent anything unhealthy from repeating in the future. It’s all part of the process. Forgiveness is also a part of it. Forgiveness towards our own people for what they have done, and the realities they manifested which we as younger generations, and our children, are inheriting. I will not use names in the blogs to come out of respect for the families of the children and young people. These blogs will be a prayer for social transformation.

I never pursued to be involved with politics and yet politics is something I can’t seem to avoid. Most of my 20’s was committed to serving the cause. I’m still serving the cause, i’m just more mature and “realistic” about it. To me serving the cause meant serving in prayer for the betterment of the people, the collective, perusing, inspiring, encouraging a way of a better life, a good life, a quality of life filled with happiness, joy, and all that good stuff. This objective included addressing social issues affecting young people. Specifically suicide, addictions, abuse in its various forms, and misconceptions around identity. It was a life in the front lines of crisis response. It was clear to me in my early 20’s that the solution to strengthening nationhood involved the pursuance of well-being and health for all people. The workshops and seminars we held have been based on addressing grief, social responsibility, self-responsibility, emotional intelligence, and healing from historic traumas. The basis of all this was strengthening indigenous nationhood. The health and well-being of the people will be reflected in the health and well-being in the governance of their nation. That’s basic.

I couldn’t say no. I was told when someone asks you to step into a leadership role your not supposed to refuse. Two young women fresh in their voting age walked up to me. They told me they are serious in asking me to run for council. One was crying as she desperately stated if things didn’t change she was planning on moving away with her kids. She didn’t want her children to be exposed to the environment of Poundmaker. I couldn’t say no. I agreed to run as they requested and assured that I will not compaign. Leaders never campaigned in the old days, nor did they ever request to lead the people. They were chosen, they didn’t pursue it. In respect to that I didn’t campaign and only agreed to a 2 minute “campaign” speech. I recorded it and it’s on youtube and it did not request any votes, or a sales pitch. Election time came and I got in and was voted as a representative of Indian Affairs. A headman of Poundmaker Cree Nation subduing himself to the system of that has been imposed on the Indigenous people of canada since 1876. I didn’t like the idea. I loved my life serving people at the level of emotional health and overall well being. Now i’m to politically serve the people and yet serve Indian Affairs at the same time? How does that even make sense? I didn’t agree to be on council to establish a career for myself. I wanted to learn the system from direct experience, I wanted to fight the oppression and corruption that the system so deceitfully orchestrated.

The system has a majority of people complacent, apathetic, and dependent. Our people have been victimized by almost every colonial system that has treaded its way amongst our lands. It’s to the point that our own people are facilitating these same systems on our own people. The classical, typical oppressed oppressing the oppressed. It’s agonizing to the soul. It creates communal environments where social pathologies develop and thrive. It becomes the insanity of repeated patterns and cycles that feed these pathologies. It can feel hopeless, frustrating, and depressing. To the point where productivity in a direction of social liberation as a collective can feel almost impossible. People become divided and personal interests and agendas drive and influence community decision-making.

The upsetting reality of my Nation is that there is very little community decision-making. Poundmaker has been ruled by a regime governed in a dictatorship style. It is undoubtedly suffering from the social pathology of corruption. Charges have been laid and guilty pleas have been heard in the provincial courts. If you google Poundmaker reserve you can read all about the political history that has transpired in the last 20 years or so. And now I am in the thick of it. How does one work amongst corruption without becoming corrupt yourself? The answer is easy. Stand in the morals, stand in the values, tell the truth, and when in doubt consult the mentors. Take your time in decisions. The pressure is just an illusion painted by the system and those who reap and benefit from its insidious design.

The regime. How does the regime have its hold on the community and it’s people? The chief plead guilty to theft and became re-elected. A councillor plead guilty to theft and got re-elected where he later resigned to become the principal of the school, as recommended by the school committee, and approved by the quorum of the council. The school guidance councillor who was hired after the sentencing and after the election also plead guilty to theft (the guidance councillor is on temporary leave without pay because of another temporary job opportunity at a local organization). Currently, a councillor is in jail for assault on a high school student. Children are now exposed to immorality. One can argue that the environment is hostile to the psycho development on the future of Poundmaker. How is this circumstance best for the children? It’s not. This of course does reflect on the people of Poundmaker Cree Nation. It’s also a reflection of how entrenched colonialism has impacted our collective way of life, our unity, harmony, and values. People are in survival mode, a survival mode that has been programmed in the belief systems of those who have lived in impoverishment and have experienced traumas from residential schools. Shame. People become ashamed based on what they have done to others and what they have done to themselves. No one likes to feel shame and they avoid it by shaming others. Making others feel ashamed so that way they don’t have to feel their own shame, because someone else is ashamed and the attention is on them. People don’t want to acknowledge the reality that shame exists within them. I’m not pointing the finger at the people of Poundmaker, i’m speaking in a broad context in regards to shame. Everyone feels shame. As a result of this people avoid transparency and accountability. Fear and shame chokeholds the development of a community.

It’s important to know that there is no freedom or healing in holding people to their mistakes or supergluing labels to them. There must always be room and availability for a person to mend their mistakes, to correct a ‘wrong’, and dissolve an injustice; to apologize. It is the responsibility of the people who have experienced the injustice to decide when and how they can come to terms with their own healing and acceptance. It can’t be imposed or forced on them by the offender. The exposure of injustice is vital for things of this nature to move in a direction of transformation at an individual level, as well as a communal level.

“What is done in the dark will be brought to the light” (Johnny Cash), and the light must shine on shame. And only then will liberation and freedom be realized. I’m not here sitting back pretending that I am shameless and pointing fingers at people. No, I’m merely stating the reality that must be tackled by radical means. It’s not within my values and morals to sit back and allow the conditioning of oppression to continue. I can’t sit back silently and watch the abuse of the people carry on in the dark. And so I write and begin this personal blog on my experience of political life in the process of pursuing collective well-being. Our people are brilliant, smart, and very kind. It’s the system that has its grips on our potential. And all people who are experiencing the ridiculous insane cycles of abuse of power need to rise up and compassionately address those who reap, and benefit from this system. We need to come together to work towards an alternative based on our indigenous nationhood and soveriegnty. The world has yet to know the true presence of the indigenous.

Some may view this as political suicide. But from my experience in working with young people and children who have actually been suicidal – a successful career in politics based on the ignorance of morals and values? Not for me… The children must know integrity.

Colby Tootoosis
Councillor/Head Man
Poundmaker Cree Nation

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