Sir John A. Macdonald Parkway? Yes / No

The finger of blame, for the Indian Residential Schools, for the starvation tactics used against our First Nations relatives on the prairies, and for the inhumane Indian Act, point directly to one man, John A. Macdonald. Canada’s first prime minister has blood on his hands. The full number of children who died because of John A. Macdonald being born and then coming to our shores as an immigrant will never be truly revealed. We only know that there were many thousands of innocent children who died in the misery created by Macdonald only so the wealth of Indigenous lands could be raped and pillaged by governments and by businesses without them fearing protest from the First Nations People.

He was a hero to the British monarchy and knighted for his extermination policies against the Indigenous Peoples of this land. I can without any doubt declare that Macdonald is NOT celebrated where his soul lives today. He had to account for the deaths of children. No one, absolutely no one, escapes justice, not kings or queens, not presidents nor prime ministers, not priests nor popes. Creator keeps a close record!

I ask you to promote the petition (https://renametheparkway.ca/) to all your networks. We need your signatures!

Also, check out the interview I did (https://www.iheartradio.ca/580-cfra/audio-podcasts/cfra-live-i-don-t-know-how-anybody-can-see-him-as-a-hero-albert-dumont-kick-starts-petition-to-rename-the-sir-john-a-macdonald-parkway-1.15365004?mode=Article) with CFRA on Sunday morning. It really is worth the time to listen.

I am attaching below my poem ‘Sir John A. Macdonald’.

Sir John A. Macdonald
by Albert Dumont ©

We, the Anishinabe, search the lifeless eyes
Of the many portraits proudly painted for Canada
To honour a man Canadians believe
Was an emblem for ‘decency, righteousness and vision’
“A hero” they say, “a Nation Builder”
But the First Peoples look upon the face
Of Sir John A. Macdonald
And see the curse, responsible
For the deaths of thousands of our children

We see in Macdonald, a man, who saw
In the whiteness of his skin, a human being equal to God
Who believed his soul
Would never be in need of cleansing
And that the goodness offered daily on Turtle Island
By the ever-present Good Spirit, who teaches us
That no human being is greater than any other
Were teachings Macdonald accepted as only created for people
Lesser than men such as himself

We look at the evil Macdonald placed into ‘The Indian Act’
And other oppressive actions perpetrated by him, against us
And ask ourselves when in meditation, if the wailing spirits
Of the thousands of Indigenous children
Who died in Macdonald’s Residential Schools
Held sacred council with him in the eternal sky
Where true justice sears the soul of the guilty
After the scalding breath of death stopped forevermore
The beating of Macdonald’s spiritually hollow heart

With ceremonial tobacco by our side, we ask
Did Macdonald’s tears flow like the spring waters of the ‘Ottawa’
When the children who died in his Residential Schools
Recounted to him the last torturous hours of their lives
Away from culture, family and the unconditional love
Of a caring human being who could hold their hand
At the moment their last breath silently took them
Back to the peaceful waters of their ancestral lands

For thousands of years
Since our creation story was first told
We called ourselves ‘The First People’
‘The People’ and ‘The Human Beings’
But to Macdonald’s parliament we were only savages
Not worthy of receiving their respect and honour

Sir John A. Macdonald, a hero to the royals of Britain
Sir John A. Macdonald, who sacrificed his soul
So that the people of Canada
Would see him always as the greatest of all men
Where does he find himself today
What words of contrition does he relay
In that empty place, where for him
The darkness of a stormy night
Will never yield to a calm and re-assuring dawn

Oh but what if it had been you
The peoples of European ancestry
Who were the first human beings of Turtle Island
And here, you lived and thrived for thousands of years
Until one day, bronze-skinned people
Arrived on your welcoming and generous shores

Oh but what if the newcomers brought with them
To your tranquil and sacred lands
Ancient wars from their former homeland
And laid before you, countless pandemics of vile disease
And through the power of generations of your oppression
Could control even your very thoughts making you believe
That the light of God was for them, always present
Even guiding their cruel deeds against you

Imagine now that today, a dark-skinned man
Was being praised for destroying all that Creator gave to you
With bronze-skinned people believing he was a noble leader
Who built a great and fair nation where yours once stood
Would you join in singing an honour song in his memory
Or would you fight with all the strength of the sun
To pull his portraits and statues down

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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215 Dead Children; Kamloops

I have oftentimes imagined that the Centre Block on Parliament Hill is representative of the heart of the Canadian Nation. Like the human heart, from which comes our ability to be kind, brave, wise, generous, sharing and all of those other honourable traits that define us as human beings, so too, are the workings taking place in the Centre Block also capable of producing those very same things for our country, Canada. What is truly sad is that the human heart can also produce hatred and cruelty even to the point that innocent children will suffer because of it. The human heart and the Centre Block (the heart of the Nation) are really entities onto themselves. We, as human beings, will have to account for the wrongs we are guilty of, those hateful things we did that were against the teachings of the human heart will one day confront each and all of us. The Centre Block, the Nation’s heart, will never experience the spiritual reckoning as the evil among us certainly will. The Nation’s heart will never be truly accountable for the wrongs it has done. Governments will come and go. The heart of the Nation will keep a-pounding regardless of the sins of the past. The Canadian heart (the Centre Block) knows no shame. It feels no guilt. If it did, it would do what is right. Doing what is right, is condemning Canada’s former prime minister for the monster that he was. If Macdonald had a heart, it is difficult to believe that it was a human one.

The dreadful brutality of the Nation’s heart lays yet in the grave alongside the bodies of the 215 children discovered at the Kamloops Indian Residential School. Its presence among the decaying bodies of innocent children stains the purity of their short lives. The spirits of the dead children call out to Canadians to finally see what the heart of their Nation is guilty of.

I find myself in wonder about the children in the grave at Kamloops. Without them, what became of the waters of their family lineage? To what degree would the sunrises and sunsets of their days have shaped and molded them? They were born as beautiful and innocent human beings. They died, only because the purity of their hearts conflicted with that of the heart of the Nation.

I wrote the following poem years ago:

Ninidjànis (My Child)
Dedicated to the children who suffered humiliation and death at the Residential Schools
by Albert Dumont ©

Your heritage, oh, noble child
Carried violently into the swirling winds
Of cultural genocide

All your innocence sacrificed
For the ransom of the civilized

Your song denied
Your spirit ravaged
Your mind crucified

Yet the surrogate did not weep
When your heart gave in, to conjured sleep
No tears, for the ward of the “savage” wild
Even though, thousands died

But God blessed you as special ones
In the Spirit Place beyond the sun

Where even the shadows of men who hate
Will never challenge to leave their weight
Where you complete the ancient plan
Of the Sacred treaty, made between God and man

If a mass grave containing 215 children as young as 3 years old was found in the grounds near Auschwitz or somewhere in Rwanda, I know that world leaders would be reacting differently than they are now. It is so because world leaders have never cared to have a relationship of respect and honour with their Indigenous populations. Indigenous children are not worth as much to the world as others are.

May all of our children who died in Canada’s Residential Schools rest in eternal peace and love.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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In Gratitude of Congratulatory Comments

Kwey to all of you who took time away from your COVID concerns to write congratulatory notes to me (regarding Poet Laureate) via FB, website and emails.

All your good words were graciously received. May Creator bless all of you for your love of poetry.

If you are interested, check out a new video link produced by Monique Manatch of ICMI regarding my becoming Ottawa’s Poet Laureate: 

Also, today is my 30 year anniversary of the accident which resulted in me living now with chronic pain. What I have to say about it is this: Let us all enjoy life to the fullest. Look to the sacredness we can enjoy together, today and tomorrow. The past is the past! If it has no blessings to offer, then let it decay.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind

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Albert Dumont – Ottawa Poet Laureate (Algonquin Territory)

new Poet Laureate 2021-2023

Big news! I have been selected (by unanimous decision) to be the City of Ottawa’s next Poet Laureate. What a proud moment this is in my life!

The outgoing Poet Laureate (Deanna Young) said in our recent talk, that I will now become the ‘ambassador for poetry’ for the City of Ottawa. I take a quick glance at my life and think, I can do this! Poetry has always been a rich and tremendously healing medicine for me. It is an antidote for a broken heart, often coming in as a healer after heartache has shrunken normally big shoulders to a size where lifting the emotional pain weighing them down no longer seems possible. Poems can do what a doctor often cannot do! Poetry is joy! Poetry is that smile appearing on your face when you realize at the end of a tiring and stressful month that you still have an abundance of energy left in you to celebrate the fact you came out on top. Poetry will make you believe that deep, deep at the bottom of a coal mine, a sunrise awaits, to heal and nourish.

I will promote poetry. I will do it in Ottawa and at Kitigan Zibi (my home community where I was born). I will do all I can to turn young people on to it. I will tell young poets that poetry is fire, it is water, it is the rich earth under our bare feet, it is the playful wind under the shade of weeping willow trees, it is part of the culture of the People of Indigenous bloodline and all others who embrace poetry as one of the main arteries, bringing humanity to all our actions and deeds.

I intend to journal my time as Poet Laureate for Ottawa through the writing of poems. What I produce will be from the lens of a man in the winter of his time. Who I became after my recovery from severe alcohol addiction will be present in my writings. More often than not, the terrible chronic pain I live with too, will insist on having a say in what this Poet Laureate shares in his poems. The activism I’ve done, the racism I’ve been confronted with in my life will roll like a speeding 210 lbs. (my weight) copper-coloured bowling ball towards any ugliness I see in the ‘Town That Fun Forgot’. I have little doubt that no other city in Canada ever had a Poet Laureate quite like me. I survived a 43 ft. fall from a gristmill roof. What other poet can say that! I might become known as the ‘warrior poet’ (some of my poems wear steel-toed moccasins), or the ‘tall poet’ (although I’ve shrunk almost 2” in recent years) or who knows, some folks might call me the ‘crazy poet’. Whatever, I will promote poetry in this city with all the vigour and energy I can muster. If ever there’s a run on pity pots, my advice, stay out of that line-up. Read a poem instead. Life is too short to spend it waiting for someone else to join you in an Ottawa drainage ditch wallowing in self-pity. I’m not the pity pot type and I think my poems prove it.

I want my friends in Quyon, Pontiac County, to know that I have always enjoyed the supportive words you sent my way in recent yers. The oldtimers of the ‘Onion’ (Quyon) I knew back in the day truly inspired my storytelling style and I’m so grateful. I’ll do my best to make you proud.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind

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In Honour of the Duke of Edinburgh

It was at the time of the Flower Moon, the last moon of spring season, as feasted by the Algonquin Anishinabe that the Duke of Edinburgh took his first breath as a human being. Spring, a fitting season for a man to be born who would work, for many years, to preserve the health of lands, such as those found where wildflowers grow.

In the centre of the Fasting Circle a human being grows greater in wisdom after days without sustenance. A spirit comes forward to direct the ceremony’s participant to honour all people of this world who take a bold stand to rid sacred Mother Earth of the pollutants slowly killing our waters along with poisoning the winds we bring into our lungs. The spirits of the hawk and buffalo, the sturgeon and the pine tree also send forth their blessings to the side of any person who, like the Duke of Edinburgh, act in defence of all things the Good Spirit placed before us so we, as human beings could live well.

The wisdom of the mature human heart speaks to the older people each day of the duty they have to their next generations. It instructs them to point the youngsters towards many challenges and opportunities allowing the youth to grow stronger in mind, body and spirit. To be kind and generous, to be courageous and above all else, to be honourable – these are the teachings the Duke of Edinburgh hoped the young people of the Commonwealth would embrace and bring fully into their identities as contributing members of their nation.

The Duke of Edinburgh was to his Queen what an island rich in healing energy is to a weary traveller on the Great River of Life. By her side he was for her that place she could rest and regroup, a place for her to rediscover a lost trust offered only by the rarest of sanctuaries. To the Queen he was as the tall pine tree we see on the horizon who graciously allows the rising moon to rest awhile on its branches.

Now that the Duke has been received into the eternal embrace of his ancestors and after the honour song they sang to welcome him among them has brought immense joy to his spirit, he will step forward to enter into sacred council with them. The Duke of Edinburgh will speak in the circle about his years on the ocean where as a young man he put his life in harm’s way in defence of the honour of his nation. He will tell of his visits to Turtle Island (Canada) and the friendships he made with the First Peoples. The memories the Duke of Edinburgh has of our Chiefs and of our lands will bring greater peace and joy into his eternal home. May Creator bless the Duke of Edinburgh for the good work he did in the name of mankind.

South Wind

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April 9 – 33 Years of Sobriety

Good morning my Daughters and Grandchildren,

Today, April 9, 2021, I celebrate 33 years of sobriety. It seems to me that the many suns, the many moons which have passed since then, have brought forth joyful experiences we would not have had if sobriety was absent from my life. So I wonder on this magnificent spring day what would have become of me if I had not vowed in the spring of 1988 to never allow alcohol to ever pass my lips again. I often think also, especially when I find myself in the centre of the grace, the tranquility and the peacefulness of the forest, what would have become of you too, if I had not put alcohol, the great destroyer, down for good. I tried to the best of my abilities to be a good father but I’m aware that recovery from severe alcohol addiction takes time. Eventually, you understood that my support for you, my precious girls and grandchildren, was unconditional. I guess what I’m saying is that I know you would have still turned out to become the proud Algonquin women you are today, no matter what the past did to you. When I look at you today with such amazement and pride, I can’t help but hope I had a role in helping you map out your life in a good way through my love for you and with any inspiration I sent your way.

With each passing season after my sobriety began I realized evermore how important it is for me to leave something behind for my family to remember me by. An estate, a pride in the Dumont family bloodline and the precious memories of family love and solidarity are things which are of utmost importance for you to have from me to you. I give you these things with a sober and loving heart. How spiritually broken I would be if I failed to do so. When I cross over to the land of our peaceful ancestors, I hope to hear an honour song being sung for me. But here too, after I have gone home, I would be very happy indeed if you, my loved ones, feasted me every now and then. Remember at those times how your dad and grandfather made something of his life after alcohol disappeared from his life.

I confess that I am guilty of bringing a great deal of pain and heartache to loved ones while I lived my life as a no-account drunkard. To all those that I wounded somehow, I ask now for your forgiveness. For all those times that I should have been there for you but was not, I express here and now the great regret I feel today for having failed you. Alcohol was a cancer slowly devouring my spirit. It blinded me and made a big hole in my heart. I believed I didn’t have a fighting chance against it. If not for the spiritual beliefs of our Anishinabe ancestors, I would never have been able to conquer alcohol. With the sword of family love I was able to stab it in the heart and watch it with glee as it convulsed in its final death throes.

If I have, through my life, given you the dearest of memories a child could ever have with their dad and grandfather since my sobriety began, then I am truly at peace on this day marking my 33rd year of sobriety. It seems to me that there isn’t a ‘Father’s Day’ in the past where you haven’t given me a card saying ‘To the Best Dad Ever’ and upon reading it (each and every Father’s Day) my heart always filled with pride. Sobriety made it all possible. My love for you is everlasting. Never doubt it for even a minute.

Never but never lose sight of the fact that love and support is always present in this world and in the next one. All you need to is reach out for it.

Your Dad, your Grandfather
Albert Dumont

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Rest in Peace, Matt Brown, you were a Good Activist

An Ottawa Citizen newspaper obit let me know on Saturday, March 27 that Matthew Morgan-Brown passed away of unknown causes on March 16, 2021. Matt was only 43 years of age. Far too young to die!

Matt’s hope for our world was one where poisons capable of killing water would be outlawed, a world where birds and animals would never go extinct at the cost of money being made, a world where there would be no such thing as corrupt politicians and a world where the so-called Almighty Dollar would be stomped, tarred, feathered and run out of town on a rail. The world Matt would have loved to live in while in this physical realm can only be imagined. Such a world truly is a pipe dream with no chance of ever coming to pass. Only where Matt Morgan-Brown is now in that spiritual plain of his new existence, does he enjoy the world he fought so desperately for on God’s green earth. The waters he finds around him now can never be poisoned, let there be no doubt about it.

Matt had a big heart for the spiritual ways of the Indigenous Peoples. He stood loyally with the Algonquins when the activists among our Nation made a stand in defence of trees (Barriere Lake) or when we made demands of health for the territory’s waters (Akikodjiwan). He got my respect because of it! The truth and all it stands for was something of the greatest importance to Matt. He enjoyed deep, meaningful conversations with fellow activists he knew would be truthful in the opinions and views they shared. He just didn’t have the time of day for BS.

Matt was a poor man so far as bank accounts go but the spiritual wealth he acquired over the short time of his ‘earth walk’, placed him in the upper class so far as I’m concerned. Matt celebrated his birthday every year. He’d choose a restaurant, make a few phone calls and at a time appointed by him, his friends would meet to dine and have a few laughs as one. I was always proud to pick up the tab for the meal Matt had selected for himself.

Matthew Morgan-Brown. If you didn’t know him, I ask that you mourn him just the same. And I’ll tell you why you should! If you care about the health of this precious planet of ours, mourn Matt. If human rights mean anything at all to you, mourn Matt. If you have ever been victimized by politicians, the police or by the ruthlessness of the super rich, then mourn Matthew Morgan-Brown. Mourn him with all the power of your heart because Matt fought with all his might to bring righteousness to all of those things. He did so on his own nickel. Never forget that he lived in poverty (often eating in soup kitchens) and that he would have given up his life to save yours in a heartbeat. I know with all certainty that he would have done so.

Enjoy the life you have now, Matthew Morgan-Brown. I’ll be seeing you again at some point in the future.

With eternal respect,

South Wind

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Fraudsters Attempting to Destroy Algonquin Nation (Part 2)

I address the following to the People of the Algonquin Anishinabeg:

Are you, as a status member of the Algonquin Nation, aware that the Algonquin Land Claim is being partially settled (Ontario) without your input being requested nor wanted? An ‘Agreement in Principle’ has already been signed between the Crown (Canada) and an ‘organization’ calling themselves the ‘Algonquins of Ontario’ (AOO). Excuse my language but all of this is pretty weird shit, given the fact that there is no such thing as the Algonquins of Ontario. There is only the Algonquin Nation, period. As such, it is members of the Algonquin Nation (all of us) who should be the beneficiaries of any compensation forthcoming when our land claim is finally settled.

The AOO say they reached out to all Algonquin Bands years ago but according to them, our leadership responded “we aren’t ready for it”. The AOO then proceeded without our Chiefs, as if no other option existed in their negotiations with the Crown. Out of respect for the Nation as a whole, no negotiations on the land claim should have ever occurred until All Algonquin Bands were ‘ready’ to commence with negotiations in the land claim process. The Agreement In Principle worked out by the AOO calls on the Crown to pay $300million (chump change) to the AOO for our Algonquin lands on the Ontario side of the river. You, the Status Algonquins of Kitigan Zibi, Barriere Lake, Kitcisakik, Lac Simon, Abitibiwinni, Long Point, Timiskaming, Kebaowek, and Wolf Lake never had a say in this agreement. It’s like you owning a house and having a bunch of pirates suddenly come in and sell the main floor of your home and then expecting you to be happy with it. It’s like an inheritance has been left to you by your grandparents and then have unscrupulous fraudsters charging in, pushing you aside, to stake claim on what is rightfully yours. I say fraudsters to describe these people because even the ‘Indian Act’ states that any land claim settlements being negotiated must be done between a First Nation and the Crown. Nowhere does it say in the Act that negotiations can take place between the Crown and an ‘organization’ to settle a land claim. Especially with an organization like the AOO who have among their members people with point one of one percent Indigenous blood in their veins. You’ve got to wonder, at what time are these people going to ID as Métis? (Check my past blogs to read opinions I have expressed on this topic.) Always keep in mind that our ancestors never gave away nor sold Algonquin lands to an organization (AOO). Algonquin land is Algonquin land is Algonquin land! These lands are our inheritance! Take a look at yourself in the nearest mirror. Ask yourself, “Am I or am I not a member of a Nation? The Algonquin Nation!” If you answer to the affirmative, then by George, do something about it! It’s time for the youth of our grassroots communities to rise up and take the lead!

The AOO evicted 2,500 of their members a few years ago. Why? Apparently it was discovered that the 2,500 people thrown out of the AOO were not REAL Algonquins. The question we want answered is, how did the 2,500 people identifying as Algonquins get on the AOO membership list in the first place? How many more fraudsters are still on their membership rolls?

The Algonquin Land Claim cannot be settled in bits and pieces. Ancestral lands cannot be bargained away by any one organization. The Crown cannot negotiate the Algonquin Land Claim with people who are NOT recognized as Algonquins under the definition put forward in the Indian Act. There are billions of dollars at stake, not millions. Money Algonquins receive in a land claim settlement will build our economies. (The entire land claim must be settled in one package.) We will finally have better schools, healthcare, homes etc. etc. If we allow the AOO to settle our land claim, we get NOTHING!

We, as REAL Algonquins, need to do whatever is necessary to stop the Agreement In Principle the AOO and the Feds have put together. If we fail, then we fail not only ourselves but also our future generations. Algonquins not yet born will shake their heads in dismay. “How could our People be so stupid?” they will say. My descendants will be well aware that Mishòmis Oshki Nodin (Albert Dumont) tried to do what was right on the subject of the Algonquin Land Claim. I hope and pray that ‘your’ future generations will be able to declare the same about you.

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Fraudsters Attempting to Destroy Algonquin Nation (Part 1)

According to scientists who study animal evolution, dogs are descendants of wolves. Personally, I have my doubts about that. But for the sake of avoiding argument, let’s say that I agree that the old hound I saw today, tied by the neck to a bike railing at Loblaws had indeed an ancestor from long, long ago who was the alpha of a marauding wolf pack. Just between you and I, the old hound with his droopy, sad eyes, floppy ears and short legs does not have, in my opinion, any resemblance to the fierce wolves, science claims he possesses a blood connection to. The hound looks more to me like someone trained to track and take down wolves in the most cruelest of ways. I wonder what the wolf howling up at a summer moon would have to say if he were informed that the old hound, was claiming a close kinship to him. What would the wolf of the rugged and free forest say if the old hound one day, let it be known to all including the wolf that he (the hound) was renouncing his ‘houndness’ and wished forevermore to ‘identify’ as a wolf. I wonder if the moon, the birds and animals would believe Snoopy when he stepped forward and declared, “Behold, before you I stand today as a noble and proud wolf.” What would Creator think of it all?

To be clear, the view I share here is directed at people who, even though they lived a life of privilege (never experiencing the oppressive torment of the Indian Act) ID now as First Nations citizens. Too many of them do so to pillage grants being offered by Arts Councils put in place specifically for artists of Indigenous bloodlines. Other reasons why fraudsters declare themselves as Indigenous is their hope that they will become respected in the community as elders and spiritual leaders. Jobs created for Indigenous Peoples are being stolen by workers who self-ID as being First Nation. Who knows, some of them may even believe that their European bloodline alone, qualifies them to step forward as some kind of saviour of the poor, defenceless, ignorant ‘Indians’. It’s as if some self-ID people believe that if not for the Joseph Boydens and Michelle Latimers of this world, there would be no success to speak of in so-called ‘Indian Country’.

In this crazy world we live in we have people like Joseph Boyden and Michelle Latimer who claim a blood connection to the Indigenous Peoples. The ancestor they oh so lovingly embrace could be from several hundred years ago. The identity thieves exploit the unknown relative for all it’s worth. These shameless people, the ones who are outright liars, don their ribbon shirts and slip on moccasins before promoting themselves as artists, storytellers, elders etc. hailing from Algonquin, Cree, Huron or whatever other Nation they pull from the hat of many Nations. They go with pen on the ready to wherever money is being dished out supposedly for access to Indigenous People. They look for and then check off that small but powerful box in a grant application ‘are you First Nation?’. The pen comes out and they mark their X. Some of these people, who hardly have any more Indigenous blood in them than did the mosquito who sucked blood from my skin last spring, sadly, have a better than average chance of securing a grant simply because they were never weighted down in life by the oppression of the Indian Act. When you live a life of privilege the ‘con’ is much easier for the crooked-minded to pull off. The ‘self-ID’ gets the grant, his/her voice is heard while the voice of the First Nations artist whose family line was confronted by the ‘Indian Act’ for generation after generation falls silent. What a lot of the self-ID (the outright liars) produce is popcorn, hocus pocus, new age crap. Sickening as it is, the fraudsters want to tell ‘our story’.

Getting back to the wolf and the hound, if you want to hear the story of what life is for a wolf, do not expect to get an accurate account of it from a hound. Go to the wolf. What the wolf has to say will be authentic, what the hound tells will be make-believe. Make no mistake about it, a lot of the liars who self-ID as Algonquin are not in solidarity with the Algonquin Nation. What they really are is a nuisance, another obstacle, another tactic from an oppressive society to keep the Anishinabe down. If someone among them truly does have Indigenous blood in their veins/heart, then I, as a human rights activist, will stand in their defence. All I ask in return is that if your blood connection to the Anishinabe is from hundreds of years ago, please do not get in our way as an artist, nor steal jobs meant for Algonquins, nor as someone who expects to have a vote on the Algonquin land claim.

If Michelle Latimer is a talented artist, good for her. She did not however, have to ID as an Algonquin to be successful. Believe me, grant money that she got by checking off the box in an application is money an authentic Algonquin artist could have secured. Michelle’s voice was heard. The REAL voice was silenced. Let’s have some faith in our First Nations artists. They are talented. They are genuine. Give them a chance to prove it!

Keep the Circle Strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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Bob Nesbitt, Friend and Founder of Grassroots Festival

Bob Nesbitt
born April 26, 1939 
passed away February 27, 2021

Bob Nesbitt had an honourable heart. And he kept it well through the doing of good deeds and service to his community. He was a man who understood fully, what it is to be a human being never allowing the fact that his skin was white to interfere in how he lived his life. Bob Nesbitt’s eyes searched only for what was good in the hearts of all people he met. There was no mountain he couldn’t climb, such was his energy, such was his spirit. A friend called on Sunday afternoon to let me know that Bob had died. But people like Bob Nesbitt do not die. They live on and on, led into eternity by the hand of all the world’s tomorrows to become a legend and as the old saying goes, “A legend never dies.”

I met with Bob several times at North River Road Park for egg salad sandwiches and homemade cookies, in the months before cancer gained on him to the point where he said to me, “I’m in a lot of pain. The thought of not being in pain anymore brings a smile to my face. Do you know what I mean, Albert?” I replied that yes, I did know what he meant. Bob didn’t fear death. A good man with an unburdened conscience never does!

As an Algonquin man and as a human being I can say that the day I crossed paths with Bob was a blessed one in my life. He was the type of man who truly wanted to leave this world better, not just for his family and friends but for everyone. In Bob’s eyes the citizens of Ontario and all of Canada were deserving of being treated with respect and dignity.

Bob was a former carpenter and forester. His love of trees, their beauty and grandeur, their wisdom, were things always by his side. Bob understood the forest. To him, there was no better place to be. The waterways, the trails, the canoe, a campfire, time with his adoring wife Susan, wit, humour, conversation, a hearty laugh, these things meant so much to Bob. I see him now, in my mind’s eye. He is there again in a forest, far, far away from cancer. He is pain free, he is smiling.

Bob Nesbitt founded the ‘Ottawa Grassroots Festival’. It was important to Bob that an Algonquin open the Fest with welcoming words and a prayer. A friendship began. The Festival will carry on. Bob will always be there in spirit. He was an earth shaker, a rare one indeed. Ottawa has lost a community builder. Who will fill Bob Nesbitt’s boots? It won’t be easy. Whoever takes up the challenge, my advice, call Bob by your side and you’ll be fine. Bob Nesbitt won’t let you down.

Keep the Circle strong,

South Wind (Albert Dumont)

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