Vacation Time – It’s been a relaxing time for me for the past couple of weeks.  I’ve been enjoying some well-earned time off.  Spending time with my family.  It’s nice to spend a little time at home.  My brother Junior and his partner Kat cooked an excellent turkey on Easter Sunday.  I purchased a Stuffed-Frozen Butterball turkey that cooks from frozen and it was the juiciest, tastiest bird we’ve had in a while.  I highly recommend it.  We had an awesome time swimming with my boyz Griffin and Miigwans on Saturday followed by a couple of games of bowling.

Penny Sale Champion – Miigwans was the Penny Sale champion at school on Thursday, winning a yellow Wal-Mart Smiley Face basketball and a case of Fruitopia.  In all my years of going to Our Lady of Sorrows and participating in the Penny Sale – I don’t recall every winning anything.

Movies – It was nice to see back-to-back Cheetah Girls and Cheetah Girls 2 on TV yesterday.  I am absolutely in Love with Raven Symoné.  I’m kidding wouldn’t sit through those movies.  Movies I have seen lately:  Cloverfield, Untraceable, The Eye, The Spiderwick Chronicles, 10,000 BC, Semi-Pro.

Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug – We’ve been doing some work on supporting Kitchenuhmaykoosib Inninuwug (Big Trout Lake).  The Chief Donnie Morris and a number of his Councillors were found guilty of contempt of court and jailed for standing up for the rights of their First Nations in Northwestern Ontario.  The community is involved in a dispute with a mining company.  In sentencing the accused, the presiding judge cited the “rule of law” and that there is “one law for all”.  However, what many Canadians don’t understand is the “rule of law” and “one law for all” is a purely colonial concept.  Such a perspective does not take into account that Anishinabek people have their own laws prescribed by our Nation and the Creator.  That includes indigenous law that protects the land, Mother Earth, her water and all those things that sustain everything around us.  It also includes the law that prescribes the necessity to protect our rights, our families and our territories from harm.

By all means, I’m not advocating against the Canadian rule of law.  However, much work has to be done to respect laws on both sides.  The Government of Ontario and the Courts must also take into account that they may be in breach of our rights and our laws.  The Supreme Court of Canada has done well to envisage these concepts recognizing, among others the duty to consult, aboriginal title, aboriginal rights and treaty rights.  Many of these decision cite indigenous knowledge and understanding according to our sacred laws and understanding.  However, little has been done to have this implemented in a practical setting.

As a result, there is no recognized legal jurisdiction or precedent to invoke the Anishinabek rule of law.  Therefore, the assertion of the rights must be considered civil disobedience.  Unfortunately, Chief Morris and his Councillors are victims of this unbalanced system.  However, the Courts, the Government and all Canadians must keep in mind that there will be many more who recognize this oversight in justice.  Many more will be next to stand in place of Chief Morris, both on the front-lines and in necessary, in jail.

We’ll be meeting with our Anishinabek Nation Leadership Council on Monday to find consensus on a course of action to support this embattled community.  Finally, myself, Grand Council Chief Beaucage and Deputy Grand Chief Hare will be traveling to Thunder Bay to put our plan into motion.

Taabik Singers – I’ve been singing every weekend for the past little while.  Two weeks ago, we sang at the Georgian College Pow-Wow in Barrie, then last weekend at the North Bay Indian Friendship Centre Pow-Wow.  This weekend, Taabik Singers will be traveling to Hamilton to sing at Mohawk College, followed by the Northern Ontario Aboriginal Festival on April 5-6, and Northern College in Timmins on April 12-13.

And how was your day?