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Monday, November 23, 2020
   
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Chief Crowfoot trashes the Department of Indian Affairs
Back in 1877, Crowfoot was the leader of the Blackfoot --- the most feared native tribe in western North America.

08-Jun-07 - ""Back in 1877, I X'd (I couldn't read or write) Treaty Number Seven at Blackfoot Crossing on the Bow River. My people, the Southern Blackfoot, have, ever since, been governed by the Canadian Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development ("Old Colossus" I call this conglomeration of rejects, dullards and uncle toms). Had I led the Southern Blackfoot for these last 140 years, things would be a lot different. Immediately I discovered the perfidy of the Great White Mother, Queen Victoria, and her loyal subjects and commissioners, the Blackfoot Nation would have become a republic. A republic that revered intuition and laughed at analism for:

What is life?
It is the flash of a firefly in the night. It is the breath of a buffalo in the wintertime.
It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.

A republic that would educate our children as we always had - by example. Would revel in our own history, revere our own language - would, most of us, worship the world about us - but not force any religion or superstition down anyone's throat. To belong to the Blackfoot Nation would be a proud privilege carrying proud responsibilities - any man who condemned his child to poverty or abuse would be severely punished so would any woman who condemned her child to fetal alcohol syndrome. A republic in which there would be no victims.

No mention can be found of Old Colossus in Treaty Number Seven. I would not have X'd my mark (mind you I couldn't read the Treaty anyway and the whites lied to me about it's contents) had I known that Queen Victoria, the Great White Mother, would abandon the people I thought I was protecting to people I despise - the rejects, dullards and uncle toms of a sick bureaucracy. What is the official raison d'etre of the $6.3 billion per year Old Colossus - do not look to it's multi-million-dollar- multi-media web site - nothing's there? And with what results? Last week, to answer these questions I used my railway pass, travelled down to Ottawa and crossed over into the City of Gatineau in the Nation of Quebec and scouted out the Old Colossus's head office. A great wooden horse - or what was once a wooden horse before the weather rotted it half away - stood before the grubby building - scrawled across the horse, in graffiti writ large, was the official poem of the Old Colossus written by a multi-cultured bi-sexual/lingual poetess/poet and part-time fisher, an Officer of the Order of Canada from Rosedale with a double-barreled name:

Give us your tired, your poor,
Your befuddled "peoples" yearning to breathe free
The wretched refuse of your former nations
Send these, the homeless, beaten down, to us
To give up all hope all ye who enter here ...

paid for out of Old Colossus's budget. A $5,000,000 French translation is, I am told, in the works. There will be no translation to any native tongue - the inmates of Old Colossus speak no native tongue - though doing so is no longer illegal. Not that Old Colossus didn't consider it - at three separate week-long regional departmental conferences held last year at Banff, at Whistler and at Maui and in the presence of the Associate Deputy Minister - it was decided that, in the interests of economy and peace, order and good government, that such a translation, silly and irrelevant as it would be, should be dispensed with.

I'm waiting to enter Old Colossus - as I speak, I'm being strip-searched by Old Colossus' security flunkies - and, in an hour or two, I will enter Old Colossus. And, when I find out more, I'll give Eye Opener readers the scoop about Old Colossus' (and Old Colossus' puppet "aboriginal leadership's") government of the people I unknowingly X'd over to their tender mercies 140 years ago.

  • For a biography of Isapo-Muxika or Chapo-Mexico CLICK HERE.
  • I suspect the distinguished Order of Canada poet/poetess from Rosedale gained her/is inspiration by fishering around the works of Emma Lazurus and Dante Alighieri. To read the inscription writ on the New Colossus CLICK HERE and the on the gate to Dante's Inferno HERE.
  • The official web site of Old Colossus is located HERE.
  • Treaty Number Seven is HERE.
  • New native leadership is emerging. In a recent Saskatoon Star Phoenix column, Saskatchewan writer and filmmaker Doug Cuthand described how present-day native leaders are not leaders at all - they are merely flunky administrators (for Old Colossus). We can't give you the exact date of the article but you can get more information about Doug's weekly column by CLICKING HERE and to view Doug's website CLICK HERE. Lawyer, artist, author Calvin Helm describes the black hole of native government in Dances with Dependency -
    Indigenous Success through Self-Reliance
    - for information about the book CLICK HERE and for Globe and Mail columnist Roy MacGregor's review of Dances with Dependency HERE
  • George Erasmus described the enduring void of native government in his 1977 introduction to Mel Watkins's Dene Nation:
    Traditionally, we acted; today, we are acted upon. Our history since conntact is the record of our struggle to act on our own ters. It is the record of our struggle to decide for ourselves as a people in the face of all the forces which have attempted to decide for us, define us, and act for us.
    For information about Dene Nation CLICK HERE
  • For the notes of Alexander Morris, the political hack who wrote up Treaty Number Seven, CLICK HERE
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