Boozhoo niijiisaanik (Greetings my friends):

I know it’s been said here before, and it’s starting to sound quite cliché, however it’s been a very busy few weeks.  Beginning in late May, Indian country becomes filled with various political meetings, annual general assemblies and the usual flurry of activity that precedes the eventual summer holidays.
Most of you who know me, and even my regular readers know my affinity for research, statistics and assessment.  Here is one of the most interesting facts of the past month:

Number of Kilometres put on a single rental car:  May 26 – June 25, 8744 kms
Memorable Moment:  Dinner at the Signature Room, 95th floor of the John Hancock Building, Chicago, IL.

This week was a very interesting week.  I attended the All-Ontario Chiefs Conference in Kitchinmaygoosib Inniniwug, Big Trout Lake in the far north of Ontario.  Let the truth be known that I opposed having the assembly in such a remote location.  I went kicking and screaming.  No hotel, no cell phone, not internet, and not really much to do (so I thought).  However my experience in Big Trout Lake has changed my perception of our remote, isolated First Nations, and by the end of the week I was really enjoying myself and was sad to go home.  Thanks to Noah Chapman Jr. for the accommodations, the Lac Seul Singers for the chance to sing.

The highlight of the week for me was the opportunity to MC and sing at an impromtu drum social.  Apparently it was the first time the drum has ever been sounded in Big Trout Lake in that way.  After a slow start, we had the whole community dancing and abuzz for their culture as Anishinabe people.  Young children were coming up to the singers, asking us questions, displaying a genuine interest in what was taking place.