It's day 2 of a 2-day Pow-wow between the Chiefs, Martin,
the Priemiers and a few hand-picked "apples" - red on the outside; white in the
middle. At least, I've heard rumours to that effect. We'll just have to wait to
see what becomes of it but whatever becomes of it, it could be the
"cookie-cutter" for legislation that extinguishes indiginous rights, around the
globe. Legislation that opens the gate to a tide of corporate plunder, around
the globe, is the chief (no pun intended) concern .Indeed it should concern
every global villager.
I started the event off with a pass down Water Street,
interupted by a Mountie on guard duty on my return pass, in front of the Grande.
He told me that horn-honking was illegal. I told him that when he started to
excercise the law with regard to the criminal allegations that I've been making
for years, now, I'd show him more respect to the petty laws that he's concerned
about. Then I tried to serve him a copy of the letters that I wrote to Victor Janicki
Albrecht but he wouldn't take them - "What - scared of a piece of
There were about 6 or 8 of the demonstrators from the
Kelowna Friendship Centre on the corner and the odd passer-by. "He's scared of a
piece of paper!" I shouted to them. Everyone thought it was funny but the
cop, who repeated his order for me to leave, barking his authority at me.
Off I went, honking my horn as I mosied past the court-house section of the
block, turning into the boat-launch to make another pass. I rolled my window
down and used my bicycle horn, picking up "a tail" after I passed
Cawston. It was their new van and it followed me, lights
flashing, down Water to Ellis, over Cawston, back onto Water and down
passed the courthouse to the boat-launch, where I turned in to pull over.
I guess they didn't want to be using their siren (that
would defeat their purpose ;-) and I did consider doing "a mainer" like that,
about 15-20 miles an hour, just for fun. I decided that it would be more prudent
for me to choose the location to pull over, rather than to wait till they
road-block me in and maybe tow the truck away. After all, I didn't want to miss
Paul, who, I heard, snuck out the back door of the Grande and was likely
spirited off to a back door of the Arts Centre, behind the tinted glass of a
shiny (they're not using black as much, anymore) Suburban.
The spirit of the event was very powerful and uplifting
and I felt truly welcome, there. I spent the entire afternoon, sharing and
learning and listening to the likes of Art Manuel and other leaders of the
Grassroots Movement. I even re-aquainted myself with a child-hood friend,
Tom the son of a former chief, Norman Lindley. Tom's a heart-felt
dissident, who appears to have moved into the intellectual years of his time,
here. He'll have plenty to contribute to our common cause; after all, "peel away
our skin - we're all red on the
I said that to Seargent Cam Forgues as we marched by him,
war drums pounding, me keeping rythym, pounding on my sign. Cam chuckled as he
nodded in agreement but I sensed that he was lingering on the
I thought of another way of putting it;
"We are a mix of multi-coloured candy coatings - it's
what's inside that counts. Take care, though; some of the peanuts are
There was one incedent that took place while we drummed and chanted at the
front entrance to the hotel, defiant in the face of a line of security forces of
several "stripes". Some of the young braves hurled insults, expressed in
derogatory and course language. Some of the elders expressed concern that the
language amplified the intensity, hightening awareness of the possibility of
agressive retaliation on the part of the "stripes". Indeed, I was acutely aware
of the possibility, too, given my earlier experiences and based on recent world
history at APEC, Seattle, Montreal, The Hyatt in Vancouver and most appalling,
I had the opportunity to discuss my concern with a young brave, later. He
explained that traditionally, indians believe that humiliation is
sufficient in defeating their foes. To get close enough to slap your enemy on
the face, knocking him off his pony, is considered to be a coup. Hurling insults
is, figuratively, slapping your adversary in the face and that is
what they were doing.
As I consider the explanation, I realise how much alike we all
are. Most assuredly, a stinging insult is "like a slap in the face.
It is, however, my heartfelt concern that what is being tabled for North
American indigenous people, does not and will not positively affect the lives of
the majority these people but does stand to enrich a select few.
I do agree with Chief Philip Louie, though...
Self-governance and the tools it brings, Louie
explained, are the only way fellow Aboriginals can reach their
"If those elements are not strong, money
alone won't solve our problems," he told Prime Minister
Paul Martin, the 13 provincial and territory leaders and five First Nations
I do hope that as well, these indiginous people are permitted to hold onto
those territories that were agreed to in good faith, as defined in those
Treaties they relied on, then. As it is, the ruling elite claimed all the best
land, leaving just a remaining fraction, thought by that ruling class, to
be insignificant, non-productive real-estate. If these negotiations trade
away so much as an acre, it will be no different than when they traded away
their land for a few trinkets and beads.
Keep on truckin' eh,
725 Franklyn Road
Kelowna, British Columbia