Thursday, December 30, 2010

TooToo Train...Who's to Blame?

(Hockey Addictions)
Jordin TooToo’s big step

So read the headline in the Comment section on the December 29, 2010 issue of the GLOBE AND MAIL.

As some of you may know, Jordin TooToo is from Rankin Inlet in Nunavut. Jordin was the first Inuk (Inuit) to be drafted by the National Hockey League (NHL) and now plays for the Nashville Predators. The 27 year old checked himself into a Rehab Centre under the NHL substance abuse program. Good for him.

As some of you may also know, the Aboriginal Healing Foundation (AHF) was established in 1998 to address the legacy of physical and sexual abuses in the former residential schools. Since then, the AHF has allocated hundreds of millions of dollars to Aboriginal communities across Canada to address the legacy. The AHF has defined the legacy as, amongst other things, substance abuse by Survivors of residential school.

Interesting how Jordin TooToo who never attended residential school has suffered the same effect of substance abuse of those who did attend residential school. So what gives?

While, as a board member on the AHF, I argued with the other board members that physical and sexual abuse in the former residential schools were merely the acts that affected the “person.” Those inflicted abuses affected the sense of security experienced by each person. Insecure people will display behavior that is largely negative and detrimental in him/herself.

While Jordin has his sense of significance intact; i.e. he feels noteworthy and feels value within an organization who pays him 1.3 million a year, his actions of substance abuse, for some reason, are a sign of insecurity.

The article goes on to say that Jordin is somewhat of a role model to the Inuit of Nunavut. Now, “Mr. TooToo is playing a game more important than hockey, and if he can succeed, others can too.”

Let's hope he regains his sense of security.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Trigger happy?...a native shot.

“Tape depicts elements of carver’s death.
Video shows Seattle police officer approaching Vancouver Island artist John T. Williams; audio captures warning, sound of gunshots.”

So read the headline in the GLOBE AND MAIL published December 20, 2010 and written by Ian Bailey and Brennan Clarke.

As an Aboriginal (Inuit), I have been on hunting excursions for the purpose of killing caribou, ptarmigan, geese, muskrats, seals, polar bears, wolves, and foxes. This practice, of course, consistent with culture as a means for subsistence and a way of life.

Police officers in any city, of course, carry firearms for another purpose. An Inuit Elder once said to me, “ I can’t believe people carry guns to shoot other people.”

The GLOBE goes on to say, “It was Aug. 30…Just after 4pm., John Williams was shot four times on the street by Seattle police officer Ian Birk.”

John Williams was a native wood carver from the west coast of British Columbia who had regularly carried a knife as a tool to create his intricate carvings. That August day, while his video and audio camera running, officer Birk had seen John carrying a knife and stopped his car and ran over and confronted the native artist. While the actual shooting of four shots can be heard, the video did not capture the confrontation.

“The Seattle Police department’s firearms review board as well as the city’s police chief, John Diaz, concluded in October that the shooting was not justified. The Seattle Times has reported. However, a decision on the point is on hold pending the outcome of the inquest.”

Perhaps the young officer Birk, trained to use his handgun, had that “trigger-happy” attitude and found a human target. Who knows? Hopefully, the inquest will address the unanswered questions most people in Seattle are talking about.

Friday, December 10, 2010


How many different languages you now hear when you are in a major urban center? The last time I was in downtown Calgary, I heard Spanish, Hungarian, Russian, Romanian, French, Arabic, Congolese, Estonian, Norwegian, Icelandic, Japanese, Chinese, South Korean, Figian, Hawaiian, German, etc. I guess these immigrants were not enforced not to speak their language when entering Canada: unlike us, the Aboriginal people through the government funded residential school system, were not allowed to speak our own language. Where is the justice?

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Whistle-Blower...does it pay?

"WikiLeaks persists, founder locked up"

So read the headline in the GLOBE AND MAIL published December 8, 2010  and written by Elizabeth Renzetti and Doug Saunders.

It is written, "A whistle-blower is taken to be someone doing good, unleashing information that is publicly important, at some danger to themselves."

I remember a couple of years ago, I was involved in an oil and gas project. During that time, I felt it important to disclose information to upper management about questionable expenditures and activities that went on. Apparently, telling the truth is not always beneficial. I was perceived as a trouble-maker and immediately "let go" of that project.

Now, on a world-wide scale, the founder of WikiLeaks is now paying the price too. Julian Assange has been charged with sexual assault, totally unrelated to WikiLeaks. Apparently too, authorities/management don't like the truth and will make whistle-blowers know that it is clear and present danger.