Sheguiandah First Nation councillor rails against the actions of rebels

To the Expositor:

It’s that time again. Our election has been set for November 23, 2013. This should have been set for the end of October but, as predicted, the two renegade council members refused to meet. How our date was set was the chief and I met with these two individuals to sign off on another issue and this was brought to the table. It took the coaxing of the AOK chief, Patsy Corbiere, whom I thank at this time. She reminded us all of our moral obligation to act in the best interest of the community. With all the lies and hatred that is brought on by this event, the sickness shows its ugly face again. How come no one wants to try to resolve this? I guess for many it’s much easier to blame. Point fingers, and maintain the status quo.

Never in the history of Sheguiandah has there ever been a council that tried to stop the community from moving ahead and try to destroy the administration. These two council members give a whole new meaning to the word ‘useless.’ Again, my question to them is ‘have they brought any kind of healing to our community’ whether it be mental, emotional, physical or spiritual healing? What I see is that they have divided the community even further, reinforced all the hatred and anger that has been festering for the past 45 years.

Others that also have played a part are the UCCM Tribal Police, the media, token elders and all others who supported this foolish movement (protest). To me, all are fools who supported this foolishness. What I see is, half are fools and the other half are cowards. Not one person came forward to meet with the chief to get the truth and know the facts; they would rather believe gossip that is printed on Facebook (Gossipbook). I shared in the past that there are two gangs on our reserve: the ‘Gimme Gang’ and the ‘Poor Ole Me Gang.’ Most of the ‘Gimme Gang’ have been consumed by the ‘Poor Ole Me Gang.’ This is because the two council members refuse to meet. Their pitiful cries fell on deaf ears.

A lot of sickness runs in these two gangs. Even the outside world fell victim to this. There were the token elders, the media, the tribal police and the bored sick people from far and wide who also contributed to this nonsense. The so-called elders flocked from other First Nations to lend their support. In return, all respect has been lost. How pathetic! You’re not an elder by virtue of your age; that’s merely being a senior. Respect has to be given in order to be received. Elders should have an open mind, be non-judgmental and been able to see through the B.S. that took place among Highway 6. A true test they all failed.

The media is a different story. Our Manitoulin Expositor came to take stories from the other non-protesting part of the community but refused to publish them for fear of creating more dissention. An elder once told me, a person is only as good as their word. I wrote a letter awhile back and when it was dissected by the editor it lost its meaning/message. The reason being, the editor couldn’t get hold of me, even though my name and phone number is listed in the phone book. The very same editor that did a story and so graciously pointed out that Orville, the chief, was my brother and the band manager was his wife. Could you have not called one of them to get my phone number? There were two things the editor forgot to mention: I was elected by a majority of band members and the band manager was appointed by all three councillors at a duly convened meeting. The article made it sound like the chief had something to do with both. He didn’t, except for voting for me in the previous election. One story that was done by the editor made it sound so idyllic, ‘someone dropped a pot roast off, there were children playing in the background; I was invited to eat, we all sat down quietly and ate.’ Again, how ironic is this! Perhaps the truth in the matter was that everyone was biting their tongues. The media never pointed out that there were drunken people looking after the sacred fire. On welfare and child tax credit days, these protesters went home and partied—people were singing and drumming while they were intoxicated. This is not what Native culture and spirituality is all about.

The UCCM Tribal Police claimed that people would be charged after the protest. Not one single charge has been laid to my knowledge. I also question how bogus charges were leaked to the media regarding the chief.

Someone went on Facebook, to a site called ‘United We Stand,’ and questioned them. Six minutes later she was deleted from this site. Talk about hypocrisy and dysfunction. Was anything ever written about this? On September 5, 2013, Kevin Mishibinijima admitted under oath at a Canada Labour Board Hearing that the protestors have absolutely no proof to back up any of their accusations and allegations against the chief and administration. Yet our funding agreements and the audit remain unsigned by our absentee council members. It takes a big person to admit they’re wrong. I am guessing Kevin and Derek do not want to lose face or credibility. Too late, the majority of band members have already passed judgment and they have failed miserably.

I hope and pray that these people will come to their senses, take a careful look at what these two renegade council members have accomplished. It was nothing more than a power trip that went sour and a hidden agenda that was never fulfilled. What did this accomplish, other than set back the reserve by one year?

In closing, I must say the people really need to take a close look and see where we want to go as a community. I pray that you will choose carefully and honestly and learn from our mistakes. My philosophy is, life will give you anything you want as long as you ask and you are willing to always work toward your goals and heal yourself first if you have issue. If you ask for nothing, you will receive nothing. No effort is required to be a loser…

Miigwech!
Jake Ago neh, councillor
Sheguiandah First Nation

EDITOR’S RESPONSE: Effort was made to contact the letter writer concerning some aspects of the earlier letter to which he refers. This paper sought legal counsel on some statements made in it and changed the letter accordingly and made efforts to contact the writer (by email and by leaving a request for a return call at the band office) to explain this to him. No response was received.