Verna Polson, Grand Chief Extraordinaire

There are many reasons why a woman like Verna Polson was elected by Algonquin leaders to be the Grand Chief of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation. Verna possesses all the major characteristics which define the perfect Chief. She is strong willed, strong in spirit, dedicated, determined and yes, most of all, truly honourable. Whatever the reasons were that motivated Verna Polson to take the stand she did (living on a City of Ottawa sidewalk in a wigwam for 13 days, the last 40 hours of which she went without food and water) have increased now by 10%, no, 20%, no, 100%.

Verna Polson is a greater Chief today because of the hardships she experienced on a noisy sidewalk in Canada’s capital city. If Verna was regarded as a grassroots Chief before she sacrificed so much, then the Anishinabe say, she is more so now, even to a degree which cannot be measured on the scale the human heart places onto all of us. The People respect her and admire her. She is a hero!

The miseries which fell on her over the 13 days at her wigwam protest are now behind her. The little birchbark lodge she lived in is a grander and more eloquent symbol of kindness, peace, love and solidarity with all life than the Parliament Buildings across the street from it ever will be. The Algonquin Nation is no longer invisible. The passenger seat is no longer a place we will settle for. From now on we take the driver’s seat. Thank you, Verna Polson.

Many were present, grassroots and leaders of all stripes alike, proudly in a circle created to honour our Grand Chief. All spoke eloquently and compassionately, reassuring Verna Polson that they have her back. We are unsure of how successful the Grand Chief’s protest was, time will tell. We are very sure, however, that the light, spirit and energy of the fire Grand Chief Verna Polson ignited on the sidewalk at 100 Wellington Street will grow in size. It will in time, brightly illuminate the pathways the Algonquins of the future will walk on, taking them once again to that place of greatness we knew long ago, when our wigwams and long houses filled all the rich places of our grand territory.

Verna Polson has reminded us that our People do not back up. We will do what needs to be done for our future generations. May Creator bless her and keep her well.

Keep the Circle Strong,
South Wind (Albert Dumont).

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3 Responses to Verna Polson, Grand Chief Extraordinaire

  1. Marie Lloyd says:

    As a person who, like so many others, loved and trusted Ojigkwanong-Grandfather Commanda- with my whole heart, when I hear of Grand Chief Verna Polson and her support of the Algonquin Anishinabeg Nation, I know this Nation is in a secure place, a vast tree whose roots run broad and deep. I’m just a settler. But my meetings with Grandfather Commanda, Bob Lovelace, Douglas Cardinal and others make me view this Nation- which for so much of my life I didn’t even know existed- as the one I would want
    for myself.

  2. Benjamin Ramirez says:

    Well said Albert!
    Personally I have high hopes that another effect of Verna’s protest and hunger strike be the unification of the Algonquin. Today we are in great need of honest and passionate leadership. At all levels this land lacks both…

  3. Well said Elder Albert Dumont! And all who linked minds and hearts with the Algonquin peoples and visited or sat with and prayed for Grand Chief Verna Polson as her thirteen day vigil became a unifying moment for all Algonquins and for many Peace Activists who truly celebrate this huge break through.

    I owe deep thanks to Elder Annie St. Georges Smith for alerting me to what was happening while I was out of town. It is imperative that we all live from the strong values and spiritual qualities that you have articulated that this great leader has modeled to all of us in this break through moment!

    I urge all of us to continue this process of linking minds and hearts to create a Canada in which we can all become more awake, inspired and educated to live not ashamed of how we treat each other but more inspired to call our elected voices to hold them and we ourselves accountable.

    There is no exuse for ignorance anymore. May many new actions follow Grand Chief Verna Polson’ss example. We all have a role to play to strive to live our own lives respecting ourselves enough that we can then learn how to treat and respect all others rights to be treated fairly. Especially our Indigenous sisters/ and brothers with whom we in mutual quality, deep respect and faintness are growing in relationship to truly care for each other and this most sacred spiritual land we are all blessed to share.

    Shame on us as a Nation if we do not live up to this time of great opportunity to create Peace for all future generations by the way in 2019 and beyond we truly let go of old ways where I am ashamed to be a Canadian citizen.

    And rather take this event as a great opportunity to build unity amongst all of us as One Universal Family. Recognizing that when I see others are not treated with equality, fairness, and respect. I have an obligation to also speak up against what I see is not right.

    Owl at
    celebrates light is rising up in a Canada in which we can become a Nation and a beacon of light for a world needing to see hope in the darkness are Indigenous Spiritual leaders inspiring us all to rise up we are all called!

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