Public servants are among the most hard working people in the world. We’re up early – usually in the office before the sun peaks over the horizon. Sometimes we forgo our lunch just to catch up on things. Breaks… what’s that? Very often we work late into the evening without overtime pay or any other reward.
Our bosses – our Chiefs, Ministers or even leaders a little further up the telephone directory hierarchy, are equally hard working and dedicated.
Many of us are not in it for the reward, the power or the limelight. We do this work for the people at home, our children, our grandchildren, our families, our communities and our Nation. I Love what I do because I know it will lead to positive changes for First Nations and improve the lives of Anishinaabeg everywhere.
…And then we read social media.
We hear from people who describe themselves as warriors – as righteous defenders of our Nations – whose only weapon is negativity and not-so-coherent verbosity. Arm-chair critics, without any facts, spewing their vitriol at the world claiming it’s for the greater good. There are those that post the profane one-liners. There are others that see themselves as activists, who make use of blogs, skewed media sources, shoddy research and speculation to make their case to the world. Keep in mind that 90 per cent of the content on the internet is either someone’s opinion, it’s inaccurate, out-of-context or just plain fiction. (To make the point even further, I freely admit I made up that statistic. I bolded it, just to emphasize my point. Now you’re going back to re-read the sentence. Now you’re working it out in your head. This is not a Jedi mind trick.)
We need government. We need leadership. We need a public service, both First Nations and mainstream, to do the work of the people. We need people to provide sound public policy research, analysis and options and a second and third look at legislation, regulations and policies. We’re not simply spinning our wheels and collecting a paycheque.
Instead of clicking and clacking, join a committee, attend a seminar, read real research. Provide some informed public comment that just might contribute to constructive dialogue on important public policy matters. Ask questions, provide your feedback, ask for an update, provide a suggestion. Our work is not secret. In fact, we’re always seeking new ways to communicate our work to our constituency.
All I want for Christmas is goodwill toward men and women, including your public service.