Mr. Mercredi, you’re proposing that I vote against the Liberals. Who do you suggest I vote for? The Reform party? The Natural Law Party? Or how about the Tories? Wait, wait how about the Bloc? Pretty good choice, eh? Who are you voting for? It is like choosing, to use a residential school reference, whether one wants a strap across the hands, up the backside or across the face. Either way it’s going to hurt. None of these parties or their leaders represent my political beliefs or goals, in fact most of them are going against them. I think you also said you want us to slow down traffic on the Trans Canada Highway or something to that effect. I think we can do better than that. Our people have spent enough time on the street. Or in jail. It is time to move the battleground.


Our political evolution has yet to catch up to the spiritual evolution that has been going on. There is a so-called canvas ceiling blocking many bright young aboriginal people. The canvas ceiling takes on many forms. The one I’m adressing now is the one which leaves us politically impotent. The young people don’t see themselves as participants in the political process. There is a fortress of lawyers and consultants keeping the young people out and the powers that be in. That has to change. You say you have requested a meeting with Jean Chretien for the past three years to no avail. The royal commission which cost fifty odd million… is being shelved. Suprise, suprise. Let’s have another commission to look into it. Just kidding. You also say there is a potential for violence. The youth, the people don’t belong on the roads. They shouldn’t be called on to slow down traffic on the highway. That is both dangerous and politically ineffective. Blocking roads does have its place, but there is a law of diminishing returns. We have to invest more into education. That brings immeasurable returns. I want you to call the road action off. Our youth are in school, many have already finished. Are they taking law, political science, etc. and getting their degrees only to stand on the street or highway with a blowhorn. I don’t think so. There is a potential for violence only if we do nothing. I want you to issue another call. I want you to call on the people again, but with a different message. With this being your last term as Grand Chief, you can expand the arena where our political battles are fought. Announce your candidacy for Prime Minister and give us a real alternative to the Liberals. Give us a reason to vote. Field candidates for all the different ridings. Get the young and old alike involved. For those who say it is not our system to participate in, what are we to do in the mean time? Wash our bandanas for the next blocade? As the Mtv crowd says, rock the vote. We say, Drum up the vote. If we can get at least one seat, that is a beginning. It will also get your meeting with Jean Chretien just about every day. As the Bloc says it is one more way to achieve our goals. While you’re at it… One person one vote for the political process within the AFN. (But that is another editorial.)