Cultural spanking

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JOsh_iserhoffThank heavens for Mutshoo beesum. I believe that warm weather will (eventually) come according to Elders and CTV’s gorgeous meteorologist Lori Graham. Until then, keep warm. And I can’t help but wonder how a roasted groundhog would taste!

I am writing this column with a friend of mine. I introduce you to Darryl Diamond of Waskaganish (yes, from the dynasty Diamond clan). We have been working together since the Roundtable Capacity Building’s inception in 2013. Think of it as a dialogue between two colleagues bringing a message about nation building.

Darryl and I have been discussing the fate of our future, on and off.

Darryl: Finishing the community visits of Phase II was a big orientation of our Cree Nation. How about you, Youth Grand Chief?

Joshua: I really enjoyed seeing everyone come together, especially traveling to Moose Factory! I always thought I knew everyone, turns out I don’t.

Darryl: It was my first time in years and I was tremendously impressed. The people reminded me very much of hard work, having fun and there being things to take care of.

Joshua: As we move into building our Cree Empire, do you think we’re going to be okay? And what do we need to do to get there?

Darryl: I need coffee first from Tim’s in Mistissini (LOL).

Joshua: Chibougamau is closer to you buddy!

Darryl: Dabwe nah! Like the visits, knowing what we Cree have is a must, knowing what we need is second, like what we don’t have badimah (at the moment). And we gotta talk to each other about it, I believe.

Joshua: We all know that everything starts at home: discipline, chores, and work ethic. From your orientation what have you noticed?

Darryl: I saw that we have big, inspiring ideas, but I noticed the work has to be done by the person who has these ideas. I feel anyone who has the great idea can make it happen, even if it takes a long time. I think the person who puts in the effort to make them happen will learn a lot about themselves. What I believe about home discipline is showing I listened and learning from mistakes, setbacks and the big or small accomplishments. And yes – a good spanking from Dad set me straight…. ha ha (thanks Dad).

Joshua: Yep, I had my share of spankings and I have forgiven my dad lol!

Joshua: What ideas surprised you the most? And what inspiration did you take from those ideas?

Darryl: Always the Oprah-ee you! I was surprised when I heard one of my hometown Elders give a tongue-lashing about keeping our culture going. I felt like a teenager. I mean discipline is never fun but it’s needed and I felt like that when I heard him. Another surprise was a youngster wrote out the need to be connected to our language, our culture, our ways but she also asked: how do I do that? I was amazed when appreciation was stated about our Elders. I take inspiration that my people need good proper and healthy working Cree.

Joshua: I agree! We need cultural spanking!

There you have it folks! Reznotes special edition! Thank you Mr. Diamond!

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