Much has happened since we began our campaign. Unfortunately, very little of it in our quest for the prize.

Or so I thought when I wrote the above days ago. Since then the team has more than doubled to four. I now have an unstoppable campaign manager with years of political experience, an indispensible, I am told, speech writer and the ever-important, in politics, a Damage Control Expert. My fearless manager is right now trying to get through the system’s bureaucratic labyrinth. Already we are being stonewalled. There is fear in their hearts and destiny calls.

Wild rumors flew in Waswanipi as to who will be running for Grand Chief. Some of the names: Billy Diamond (egads!), James Shecapio, Ted Moses, Kenny Blacksmith. The list goes on. “Roméo” “D” Saganash has jumped ship to another party so I believe that disqualifies him. The current G.C. of the G.C.C.Q., M.C.C., was asked point blank if he was running again. His furtive response was, “We’ll see at the nominations.” Just between you and me, I heard he’s thinking of a national position. That should give O.M., N.C.oftheA.F.N., something to think about. M.C.C. has the “visibility” card, which is why his name is abbreviated. He doesn’t need any more exposure. In other matters political, they have lowered the amount they pay for negotiators to an honorarium of $350 a day. Damn! I’m even thinking of calling the whole campaign off. Unfortunately it is now a well-oiled runaway locomotive (and I use the term locomotive loosely) and there is nothing we can do about it.

Fires raged in what is soon to be known the world over as Creetopia. I attended one inferno in Nemaska. The sun shone red and smoke crept through the village as life and graduation ceremonies went on. Someone reminisced about the time they were evacuated in the early 80’s. The women had been airlifted to Chisasibi and the men to Val d’Or. Did any fine young men from Chisasibi have something to do with that? My lips are sealed. Those were trying days for the women of Nemaska and a windfall for Telebec.

Did a certain hotel in Chibougamau raise its prices for refugees from the forest fire near Mistissini? A young Nemaska man found he got a discount on the second of his two-night stay. The first night was when the evacuees were staying there. He asked why and the person behind the desk admitted it was because of the evacuation. Hey, they have to make their money any way they can.

If you’re ever driving around in Waswanipi on the above-mentioned trip of yours you might notice that all streets are named after trees. There’s Pine, Alder, Cedar, Birch, Maple and others. We drove for hours looking for Sequoia and ended up in Desmaraisville. Damage Control advises, “Spare the details.”

George Oblin, a.k.a. G. Oblin of the Waswanipi-connected Oblins, has released a four-song CD on the By George label. Speaking of the Oblins, Rhonda Oblin, the daughter of G. Oblin, won, as I predicted, the Miss Waswanipi pagaent. We caught part of the competition the week we were there. Miss Waswanipi sang the old gospel standard “Amazing Grace” as part of the talent portion of the pagaent.

Update on The Nation’s stop smoking thingy: Mr and Mrs. Stinky missed the first deadline but will quit ceremoniously in a patch-applying ceremony at the Echoes Of A Proud Nation Pow Wow in Kahnawake. Flem is not doing too well but she has quit booze. And Tara?… Well…They don’t call her Tara for nothing. Nicotina has every intention of quitting. She is, no doubt, waiting till after the election.

That reminds me. Should our party be elected one of our first good deeds for our nation will be to eliminate the unceremonious use of tobacco by every Cree by the year 2000!!!… Okay, 2010. Give or take a few months.