Band politics issues still unsettled in Sheguiandah

To the Expositor:

January 2, 2013 marked 16 weeks since this foolish protest (the public action undertaken by some members of the Sheguiandah First Nation and directed at Chief Orville Aguonie) had ended, a far cry from what these individuals proclaimed. They stated that they were ready and prepared to stay out along the highway until the chief resigned. All that this protesting amounted to was a personal attack on Chief Orville Aguonie. We have written proof of letters that were sent out by this group to various organizations that gave these letters back to the administration. This leader has challenged the status quo in order to begin to motivate band members and to help them help themselves, instead of playing the role of the victim. It’s time for these members to begin accepting responsibility for their actions and themselves. Under the guidance of the two non-participating council members, they went out and tried to convince the world that they were the victims. How pathetic!

The irony of this whole situation is that, like a fool, the general public fell victim to the orchestrated plot to discredit the leadership. With members from other communities taking part in this protest, I have to wonder what was their vested interest in our community? It is quite obvious these people were not concerned with the truth because there has not been any individuals or groups that requested to meet with our chief. I guess we can all see the narrowmindedness of these people. We do understand that this is a part of mental illness. Noojmowin has professionals that can help these people.

As was stated, I don’t know why these people chose to come here to Sheguiandah. I guess it was a time to shine for all the token elders. These are the kind you where just add water—instant Elder—or is it the wanna be medicine people, or the ‘warrior?’ Even though it was none of their business, they gave useless bits of advice, and inaccurate criticism. Then there were those whose letters to the paper weren’t even worthy of a response, not even a negative one. For some letters, written in a tone of negative sarcasm, acknowledgement would have only fed the fires of hatred.

The non-participating council members requested donations to help with their legal fees. How does anyone know where these donations are going? Perhaps it is for a spending spree on such things as tattoos, and other useless paraphernalia. Who knows. I always thought it was illegal for anyone to operate under such false pretences.

This group was asking for the chief to resign his seat.

The media even played a role by not publishing the stories that were conveyed to the paper by those who were not protesting. I guess it just goes to show everyone that bad news is what sells papers.

The two non-participating council members claim the community has never been closer. That is an outright lie. There has never been so much hatred, dissention, and apathy. These individuals can’t even make an appearance at community functions. It’s sad to say there are two gangs in our community. One is the ‘gimme gang’—gimme this, gimme that. Then, there is the ‘poor-old-me gang’—someone please feel sorry for me. Gimme what I want, never mind with what I need. It would be a toss up as to which of the of the non-participating council members would lead which group.

Reality says the real problems are drug and alcohol abuse, sexual abuse, incest, physical abuse, emotional abuse and health and social problems e.g. diabetes, mental illness, STDs, FAS, FAE, multi-generational issues, etc. What are these non-participating councillors doing to address or even try to encourage these individuals to get help? Begin the healing process. Again nothing is being done.

They are sidestepping the real issues. Denial is not a healthy solution.

This is what sums up what is happening in our community. If you are being informed otherwise, it is an outright lie.

We tried to sit down with aboriginal affairs to sign off on some band business, but these two individuals were more concerned with the office of the chairperson and procedure. Needless to say, we didn’t even get as far as adopting the agenda. So much for guidance from their lawyer in Toronto. Perhaps they should request this individual to come live on this reserve, in order to understand what the people have to endure. I shared with people in the past that they must sure hate themselves in order to continue to suppress themselves. Time to wake up! This is 2013, the world didn’t end and we are all still here.

We will be heading into a by-election. These two non-participating council members have missed three consecutive council meetings and our bylaws state that the seats are vacant and a by-election must be held. In the past, a similar request was made appealing to the dignity of these non-participating council members. Maybe their so-called elders could actually have a purpose to teach them the responsibility and dignity their office holds. Then again, who am I kidding? They are supposed to know this. It quite obvious they don’t know this either.

Jake Ago neh, councillor
Sheguiandah First Nation