We all know that there is an upcoming election for the Grand Council’s top positions, and many, from what I see, will be running. What their motives are for running, I’m not to sure of yet, for it is in their actions that we will see the truth.

Motives for running for top position should not be played with. It should be taken very, very seriously, for the one who gets in could “make or break” the future of our people.

Me, I take my voting very seriously because this person I vote for will be working for me and 16,000 other Crees, and I expect him/her to live up to why I voted for him/her in the first place. I especially expect him/her to do so because my children and my grandchildren’s future depend on it. Do I vote for a relative just because they are my relative, or because he/she is from my community? No, it is far too important to do so.

Here is a least of my expectations:

1.    A leader must be honest with him/her self first so to be honest to the people.

2.    A leader must be able to be humble and admit to their wrongs so as to not let false pride and ego get in the way of decision-making.

3.    A leader must be able to accept the fact that their ideas may not always be the best idea. They must accept the fact that a citizen’s idea may the right idea that can help to make things better for our people.

4.    A leader must understand that, when he/she uses their power wrongfully over a community member, it is he/she that is “biting that hand that feeds them.” It is our money that pays all their salaries.

5.    A leader should not have any private businesses that are related to any decisions that are made by them, or the people. It is against the law to do so. It is called a “conflict of interest.” This law is in place to protect the people so that decisions are not made for personal gain only.

6.    A leader must recognize that they are to encourage economic development, not control it. Otherwise, they can base their decisions on saving their politically run entities (such as Air Creebec, Cree Construction, Newco or Servinor) rather than saving what’s in the interest of our people.

7.    A leader should know that there is a direct connection to them and the social issues that are taking place within our society. They are not to put the blame only on the parents. The children follow the parents, then the parents follow the community, then the community follows the leaders, then the leaders follow the leader.

8.    A leader must fully understand that there is a direct link to what’s happening to our schools to the way our society is being driven (laissez-faire). Education loses its purpose when a society is driven by a dependency.

9.    A leader must fully understand the factual effects of Anomie and dependency. Anomie + Dependency = Despair. This leader must fix this.

10.    A leader must have extensive knowledge in sociology and psychology so as to know, before hand, the reaction of a people when a decision is made, or to the style of leadership that’s conducted. The current in a river will change forever by moving only one rock.

11.    A leader must live up to what they say when they say that “Our Children are Our Future” and start recognizing and hiring our youth and people who are educated.

12.    A leader must understand that it is important to evolve a style of leadership as time evolves. Gone are the days of oppression and of the worshipping of a “Weh-jeh-mow.” The people are free today.

13.    A good leader must see that the behaviour of a person is not the person, so as not to react personally when a person is upset or complaining. Decisions may be based on wounded emotions rather than on truth. This is dangerous.

14.    A good leader must know that being a leader is not a popularity contest so as to not base a decision that will make him/her popular, but rather for what is best for the future of our people. The truth.

15.    A leader must be able to understand and convince the people that, in order for us to become really strong, we must first have to take a nosedive, sacrifice, suffer a bit, and work hard in order for us to really thrive. This seems to be the part we avoid only to remain in a dependent state.

16.    A good leader needs to learn to say no when it’s appropriate. We can’t always take the candy, nor give the candy.

17.    A good leader needs to see that we have been ignoring, for too long, the most valuable resource of all, and that’s the human resource. Time to build up our people.

18.    A good leader needs to know that it is time for us to carry the money, and not let the money carry us.

19.    A good leader needs to know that it is through nurturing the entrepreneur and small local businesses will we get out of the low unemployment rate. About 70% of all employment in Canada comes from the entrepreneur. Leaders need to stop focusing all their energy exteriorly, and start focusing locally. This is where we live.

20.    A good leader needs to know that being far too lenient in the workplace and on housing arrears is having a detrimental impact on our need to be responsible in all areas.

I can go on with the list of my expectations and I wish I could because our future depends on it. We need not deny the truth today that our young generations are now taking their own lives and the lives of others. I really suggest that we, as the generations who lead, take a very serious look at this. We are doing something wrong; otherwise this would not be the end result. It is because of us, our youth suffer.

Here is a quote from a Cree youth written on a side of a building. “If we are the future leaders, then why are you teaching us your mistakes. We are the youth, give us a chance.”

For the voters, please vote responsibly. It is our children’s future.

Roger Orr