I don’t like this. I don’t like it one bit. Danger is afoot. Someone’s up to something. It’s been too quiet in Cree country ever since Matthew Mukash kicked Ted Moses out of office. I hate to say it but I kind of miss old Moses. I miss the controversies he’d brew up. But I think I miss his charming scowl the most.
The word on the street is that he misses being our leader and promised a gathering of loyal followers in Eastmain that in 42 months he will have his old job back and that he is merely on a four-year vacation. Riiiiiight.
It’s really old news now but I attended and filmed the inauguration of Mukash and Iserhoff in Chisasibi months ago. There was a place reserved for the former chief at the head table near his successor but he failed to show. No explanation was given. But everyone else who was anyone, friend and foe alike, was there to witness the swearing in of the not yet dynamic duo of Mukash and Iserhoff. Billy Diamond was there. Diamond, ever the consummate politician and orator, heaped praise on the new chief and promised to “work” with him. Bill Namagoose and John Paul Murdoch were there, sitting by the Hydro Quebec table looking all sheepish-like.
I don’t know if he noticed but there was an uncomfortable moment during Matthew’s inaugural speech. For some inane reason someone had scheduled the Grand Chief to speak during the main course. Now anyone who knows Crees knows you just don’t do that. Crees would rather eat than listen to politicians speak so anyone interested in what he had to say had to struggle to hear above the din. Finally the master of ceremonies interrupted the speaker and told the crowd to behave and shut the hell up. Not a good start for the administration.
There are those who’ve expressed the fear that Mukash, as an outsider, is surrounded by Moses loyalists who are conspiring to make him appear inept and scheming to sabotage his plans. Think of it. More than a few people at the GCCQ worked and schemed and slung mud in order to prevent Mukash from being elected. It was unthinkable for them that someone who had opposed the agreement with Quebec should have access to the halls of power and possibly tear up the paper it was written on. And at least one person said that he would resign if Mukash ever became chief only to send an email within days saying he was staying on. Anyone else would have fired his ass. But Matthew was very Christian in his forgiveness and let it go. Which is ironic because one of the offenses he was accused of during the election was that he was a practicing sorcerer. Or if you prefer, in common Cree parlance, a feather priest.
It’s hard walking into an office knowing that many of the people working there would rather you weren’t there at all. I know that because I get that feeling every time I walk into the Nation office. So I can empathize. I feel his pain.
In fact, when M&M walked triumphantly into the Montreal office a few days after his victory, there was so much tension in the air that he felt it necessary to ease everyone’s fear with a pep talk. Maybe he shouldn’t have done that.
We can only imagine what Moses would have done had he been walking in Mukash’s moccasins. Perhaps some burly security guards would have raided the Grand Council offices within minutes after the results were announced. It’s not so far fetched. It happened in Ottawa after Matthew Coon Come’s election as National Chief of the AFN several years ago.
Maybe locks to doors and computer passwords would have been changed to prevent important files and information from being spirited away. Possibly interrogations of suspected personnel would have taken place in tiny, dimly lit rooms. “Have you, or anyone you know, ever been to a sweat lodge ceremony conducted by Mukash? Ve haff vays of making you talk.”
But that could never happen in our tiny, fledgling democracy. That kind of stuff only happens in Hollywood thrillers, old Nazi films and in the imaginations of people who feel things are too quiet in Creeland.