Grand Chief Nepinak meets Jean Chretien

12184309_10153641873265891_5211550383848923950_oGrand Chief Derek Nepinak wrote the following on Facebook after attending the swearing in of Justin Trudeau as Prime Minister of Canada.  His message was posted with a photo of himself with Former Prime Minister, the Rt. Hon. Jean Chretien at the event: In 1969, men like our aged Honourable Prime Minister Jean Chretien put together a plan to erase the Indian Act with no consideration to anything but a backdrop of Eurocentric political, social and economic systems to absorb every indigenous man, woman, child and elder. It was an effort to create a political and social hegemony that would ease the conscience of many who knew that something was wrong with how we were being treated by the colonial state...But it didn't work.

This 'White Paper', (one of many 'white papers' the government creates for a multitude of policy plans), disturbed the slumber of the giant that is us. In the wake of the disturbance, the political infrastructure of the past 45 years was created. Great men and women rose up to organize our response from all over turtle island. The legacy of that great initiative is not lost on our generation as we grapple with the challenging times and the tough questions about notions of our own nationhood and what that will mean in the coming year.

I stood in Rideau Hall on November 4, 2015, adorned in the feathers of the eagle, wearing the colours given to me in Anishinabe ceremony, wearing my treaty medallion. I took his hand and I shook it, which I think may have shook him entirely. He's an aged man now, dressed well for important days in the transition of the times that we are in. His smile is uneasy and uncomfortable. Not sure if that comes out in the photo or not.. The agenda that he helped bring did not succeed in advancing the extinction of us. None of them have, and none of them will...

Thats the beauty of it...

Meegwetch Mr. Prime Minister,  it was an honour...