MNN. Jan. 2, 2013. Kane of Native Pride told MNN that he is urging Chief Spence to halt her fast out of concern for her life.
Kane says, “the ‘nation to nation’ relationship is a white man’s concept and urges Chief Spence to halt her ‘suicide mission’. Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence said,“First Nations leadership need to take charge and control of the situation on behalf of the grassroots movement. We need to re-ignite that nation-to-nation relationship based on our inherent and constitutionally protected rights as a sovereign nation. We are demanding our rightful place back, here in our homelands, that we all call Canada.”
“I could not disagree more. I have listened to this bullshit about “nation-to-nation” relationships all my life. Our sovereignty is not vested in someone’s idea of what a “nation” is. Our sovereignty is a birthright; it comes from Creation. It is our right and authority to carry ourselves. This notion of nationhood came from the white man. So did the idea of individuals vested with power over their people. Our sovereignty is not vested in some man-made institution, a band chief, first nation, federally recognized leader or anyone else. It is an individual right, power and responsibility. None of the words we use to describe ourselves translate to anything close to “nations”. We are simply the People.
Theresa Spence is no more a nation than the smallest child stomping out a round dance. Those that claim to be the “First Nations leadership” should settle in behind and among the people and stop trying to be what the white man created. This bogus leadership is the reason the people will be Idle No More.
My message to Ms. Spence is to grab a sandwich and stand with your people. A thirty day attempted suicide makes a sensational story and draws plenty of sympathy but it undermines what the people are rising up for. No one individual is the face of this movement and no individual act symbolizes the movement or passion. For any of these “leaders” to now claim to be “Idle No More” only begs the question as to why the hell they have been idle till now. The sovereignty and power is in the people.
Ms. Spence still seems to be missing the point. A request for Idle No More leadership to join with the chiefs reflects a lack of understanding. It is those who have sat separate and above their people that need to stand among them. … join the people. Glorification of such an act is the last thing our young people need.
John Kane, Mohawk, is radio host of Let’s Talk Native Pride