Stephen Harper won’t meet with Theresa Spence

Posted 27 December 2012 by in Editorial

idlenomore-poster--Aaron-PaquetteTHUNDER BAY – Editorial – Stephen Harper won’t meet with Theresa Spence. There’s no political gain. If he meets with her he admits a weakness or a wrong.

If he doesn’t meet with her he hopes her failed effort will take the wind out of the sails of many of her supporters and dismay FN and Allies enough that they slowly fade away and the whole thing becomes a distant memory. He can mouth some offers of education money or help but in truth it will never materialize.

He also likely believes that more FN will become militant or violent, discrediting the cause. More road blocks will turn the public perception away from FNs. This is the long game, and those who are impatient knock down the good will that is building

If the Harper gov’t can bring out the anger, he wins. And he wins because its simply a numbers game and a PR battle.

Then he can use words like, restraint, fiscally responsible, moderate, prudent, and so on. Blandly pulling the wool over the public’s eye.

This is the same government that has coasted on Paul Martin’s economy and now things are falling apart under severe mismanagement. I have no political affiliation, so I just watch what governments do rather than cheer for a team or ideology.

As for opposition parties, this is a gift wrapped in gold. The longer it plays out the more grist they have for the mills of discontent, the more political capital they build. Some politicians are very good people, but what we’re talking about here first and foremost is political sway and survival.

Politically, there is no benefit to meeting with Theresa Spence, so politically it just won’t happen.

If conscience rears it’s head, or a wife firmly prods, then we might witness a miracle, and I do believe in miracles, so I keep my fingers crossed and hope.

And if the meeting doesn’t occur, I hope people keep their cool, remember their ancestors and their children, and continue to walk in peace.

That’s the best way to honour the sacrifice of Theresa Spence’s sacrifice, and of all the others who fast along with her.

Stay calm, stay peaceful and continue to teach and share. Welcome all allies who want clean water for their families and communities.

Love, gentleness, persistence and respect…against these, politicians have no ammunition. All they can do is make martyrs.

Lose sight of true Warrior values and the cause is lost before the first stone is thrown.

Joy as a template for change. I know it makes me believe.

Aaron Paquette

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About the Author

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Aaron Paquette is one of Canadaʼs premiere First Nations artists known for his bright colours, strong lines and for sharing new ways of looking at age-old experiences and beliefs. Based in Edmonton, Alberta, Aaron has been creating art for the past 20 years. He apprenticed and has become both a Cathedral Stained Glass artist and a Goldsmith, influences of which can be seen in the line and structure of his paintings – displayed in various galleries throughout the country. Aaron is also an experienced facilitator, trainer and engaging public speaker. He has worked with the Royal Conservatory’s adjunct program -Learning Through the Arts- as both a Mentor Artist and as the First Nations Representative and Consultant in Alberta. This experience focused on providing the skills and background knowledge for infusing differentiated learning within the general curriculum in Alberta and the Northwest Territories. Aaron has collaborated with Ministries, Teachers’ Associations, and various community members and teachers, providing region wide teacher workshops and in- school experiences related to the art curriculum that also provide an FNMI perspective. Through this collaboration, he also provides student workshops, professional development sessions and artist-in- residence programs. A skilled communicator, Aaron has worked with Alberta Education in reconciliation, specifically between communities and school administration. He has worked for years with the Edmonton Public School Board with both in-class sessions and special sessions for promising young artists. The Catholic School Boards in the Central and Northern Alberta region have also enlisted Aaron in many projects ranging from elementary school visits that tie art into curricular learning to mural painting with High School students.