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 Post subject: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people...
 Post Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 10:53 am 
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Ranked Warrior
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Location: Okanagan Territory
Nation: Gitxsan
This is for all of you Aboriginal "citizens" out there (ie, not chiefs, or nobles, or especially not politicians)

Where I come from, we have been locked in an internal struggle over how to interact with the provincial and federal governments. We are a confederacy of house groups who are technically all equal. Our spokespeople for the Nation made a HUGE mistake by entering into an agreement with Enbridge to support the Northern Gateway pipeline. This sparked a huge uproar, and a great deal of the people (including hereditary chiefs) rose up to try and remove these representatives. They have continued to ignore the people, and have pressed their agenda, all the while pretending that the outcry for their removal from office never happened.

You can get details, including video footage etc, at http://www.gitxsanagainstenbridge.comI KNOW that the issue of "chiefs" and "spokespeople" ignoring their respective citizens is nothing new, but Im looking for fellow Natives who have had success in holding their spokespeople accountable. How did you do it? What would you have done differently? Any info at all would be most welcome!

This issue is parallel with another issue in Canada. Many of our leaders feel that because our Aboriginal sovereignty is technically still intact, the Canadian government has no right to regulate tribal spending. Although I see the merit in that, it leaves a gaping hole when it comes to holding chiefs and administrators accountable. Right now, the federal government is the only avenue we have, to ensure that our "chiefs" don't exploit their own people. It really is quite a conundrum, and if any of you out there have heard of successful, creative solutions, please pass them on!

I thank you all for listening!

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Sun Mar 31, 2013 8:03 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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just wanted to say i find your topic very interesting.

i'd be interested in knowing if you have further information to add.

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Mon Apr 01, 2013 10:20 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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perhaps a distant idea but

find a totem with some now power

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Wed Apr 03, 2013 10:44 am 
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Ranked Warrior
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Location: Okanagan Territory
Nation: Gitxsan
Up here in Canada, when the country confederated, the very first parliamentary bill they passed, in 1867, was the Indian Act. This act continues to govern how the Crown (Federal Government) interacts with Aboriginal people, and vice versa.
The complications arise when we consider that most of the First Nations west of the Rocky Mountains never acknowledged the British, OR Canadian governments. Even by British Common Law (the foundation of Canadian law) it has been recognized that First Nations still retain title to the land.
With this recognition, comes all kinds of political ramifications. Even though we have been subjected to all the clauses in the Indian Act, the Supreme Court of Canada has recognized that Aboriginal people have truckloads of inherent rights, and that the Indian Act is antiquated and obsolete.
Although this is quite a positive result, it has created a new form of monster. Thanks to relentless colonization efforts, our people, especially those who survived residential school, have lost touch with our core values of equality and generosity. These people are now making decisions on our behalf that seem to benefit only themselves. We are collectively working to free ourselves from the Indian Act, however in doing so, we are leaving a great vacume. Despite the Indian act being paternalistic and oppressive, we currently have NO OTHER MECHANISM in place, with which to hold our leaders accountable.
When our representatives run amok, some of us turn to the federal government to help keep these leaders accountable. Those who turn to the Crown for help, are seen as "sellouts" because they appear to be endorsing the Indian Act. I've heard of some Nations that fall into chaos, because citizens choose to take it upon themselves to hold leadership accountable; and the result is often fear and violence throughout the whole territory. I certainly don't wish that on my people.
Another option is the one being tried, although it doesnt seem to be working back home. As the video footage will attest, on http://www.gitxsanagainstenbridge.com the hereditary chiefs are excercising their authority in a peaceful, yet very public way, and are being completely ignored. Recently, I've been thinking about publicly "shaming" the individuals responsible for the Kapuffle back home, but have yet to figure out HOW.
It's bad enough that the Dominion of Canada has failed to listen to Aboriginal people for 250 years, now we're being ignored by our own people as well.... :roll:

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Thu Apr 04, 2013 9:43 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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have you read the history of hindustan and their subjugation by the british ?

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 12:54 pm 
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Ranked Warrior
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Location: Okanagan Territory
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I watched the movie Ghandi.... does that count? :D

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Fri Apr 05, 2013 9:37 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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only if you watched it three hundred times. i am kidding

i was thinking more along the lines of perhaps a

parallel experience with the british.

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:01 pm 
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Location: Okanagan Territory
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I think our challenge, is that each side of the argument has about a dozen bonafide hereditary Chiefs who support them wholeheartedly. It's next to impossible to consolodate ALL 65 houses. Apathy and miscommunication abound!

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Mon May 13, 2013 10:12 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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i have heard elected officials lose their ears.......

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Wed May 15, 2013 1:56 pm 
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Ranked Warrior
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Location: Okanagan Territory
Nation: Gitxsan
We have had the Indian Act ruling us for so long now, that people tend to pick and choose aspects from both traditional governance, and the Indian Act, whenever it suits them best. I highly respect my Nation's form of government, however due to the damage it has sustained thru colonialism, it has lost many of its accountability mechanisms. This is largely because in order to truly practice Gitxsan government, we have to break a lot of Canadian laws. Our collective experience in Residential school, and later in the prison system, has made us wary of praciticing traditional ways any more.
And since the Government loves to divide us, only those who comply with the Indian Act are rewarded, while those who advocate traditional governance are stifled. :(

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Wed May 22, 2013 8:07 pm 
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Warrior
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LaxXsinDjihl wrote:
I think our challenge, is that each side of the argument has about a dozen bonafide hereditary Chiefs who support them wholeheartedly. It's next to impossible to consolodate ALL 65 houses. Apathy and miscommunication abound!


Hey, i would suggest you reading G.Taiaiake Alfred, and others from the Indigenous Governance Program at the university of victoria.

What i thought of is that these leaders are "wined and dined" like so many other people who became isolated in their leadership (or would soon become so, via the nature of the form); take union leadership and Saul Alinsky's analysis.

So if your people were to do your own version of "wining and dining" (but authentic, not full of polytricks), and bring them from how leaders are played by the professional leadership busters, you'd get closer to what you are seeking. That is, escape the tendency to demonize or hype up against leadership.

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my path has included quite a few daring physical and psychological challenges....From this, i have learned other ways beyond WAR; ask me about being an ORrioR, a confrontationally nonviolent tactic.


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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 11:58 am 
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Location: Okanagan Territory
Nation: Gitxsan
I remember reading Alfred's Indigenous Manifesto. Although he's stationed at Victoria, I believe he is Iroquois. In the manifesto, he attacks the Delgamuukw case, along with other approaches that Nations in the west have taken. We are all entitled to our opinions, however his lack of experience (how can he have ANY, being from the east) in the coastal culture is glaring. We are just too different, to be taking advice from a peoples so far away.

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Fri May 24, 2013 6:24 pm 
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Joined: Tue May 26, 2009 9:15 pm
Posts: 1211
Location: Studio City, CA
Hi LaxXsinDijihl,

As being 1/16th Seneca and Oneida, I wonder what Iroquois Nation Alfred is from.

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Deer


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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 12:48 pm 
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Great Eldar Shaman
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Nation: xolatl
for many years i thought of their eastern door as a vanguard of european expansionism in the americas.

around twenty years ago i came to the realization it was wishful thinking on
my part.

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 Post subject: Re: When Aboriginal Leaders don't listen to their own people
 Post Posted: Mon May 27, 2013 1:58 pm 
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Ranked Warrior
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Joined: Fri Apr 18, 2008 3:25 pm
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Location: Okanagan Territory
Nation: Gitxsan
I think Alfred comes from Kahnawake. Very skilled bridge-blockers that bunch! :)

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