June 14th, 2024

Roger Prairie Chicken is the definition of a hero


By Letter to the Editor on July 3, 2021.

Editor:
The word “hero” today is bandied around as if it were popcorn at a movie theatre and frankly there’s few that catch my fancy.
An exception popped up on page A2 of the June 24th edition of this paper in the text under the headline “Elder looking to lead movement for social political change in Blood tribe”.
That headline should have been on the front page in my view; the subject is so important on the path to “saving lives”
The elder hoping to lead a Blood Tribe movement for change, and new hero on my short list of them, is “Roger Prairie Chicken (also known as White water buffalo and White buffalo Horn)”
This fine dedicated gentleman, spiritual leader of 25 years, former Blood tribe Police officer, reserve crisis councillor, married for 40 years, with 15 grandchildren, deserves the widest round of applause possible, as he digs internally for answers to Blood Tribe social problems.
That search starts, with Blood Tribe administration; questioning tribal council politics – the proper place to launch this journey in this writers view.
Mr. Prairie Chicken, during a long career in tribal policing and crisis counselling, has been witness to “over 500 deaths on reserve” countless addictions, and tsunamis of social despair & hopelessness. That’s a load to carry in one human life.
He’s asking for action be taken to address “leadership and administration more interested in keeping jobs than dealing with underlying social problems” What a wonderful endeavour!
Today I honour Roger Prairie Chicken and everyone at his side he’ll need onboard to change social ills lead by the curse of addiction destroying his reserve.
Alvin W. Shier
Lethbridge

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buckwheat

I agree Alvin, Roger must be, considering none of the usuals have chimed in with contradictions. I wish Roger all the success and hopefully many other individuals will help him.

Seth Anthony

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Last edited 2 years ago by Seth Anthony
buckwheat

That’s quite the beat down DC. Read my comment again. Don’t you become one of the “usuals”. You have lots to say on SCS issues, indigenous issues, etc. I support Roger’s efforts and you call me out. Nice.

Seth Anthony

My mistake buckwheat.

I glanced at the name and mistook it as uncleBUCK posting about contradictions.

Also, I do completely support exactly what Roger has said and done. Hats off to him 🙂

I can’t delete that post, so I’ll just edit it to leave it blank.

Last edited 2 years ago by Seth Anthony
UncleBuck

lol I really got under your skin didn’t I?

weak.

Seth Anthony

“Weak” says the person that is well known to run away when confronted.

Dennis Bremner

Well said Alvin. This is why people have to separate what they would like to interpret as racism from actual inefficiencies and neglect by leadership. Far to many people are more than prepared to offer the Blood a right of passage based on past abuses.
Yet, progression is to be created only through reconciliation. So as we attempt to reconcile, the leadership of these reserves seem to think that entitles them to blame their own present neglect on the lingering problems of the past. Dr TailFeathers has still not corrected the dismal record of looking after her own people and obviously feels comfortable blaming the closure of the Lethbridge SCS on 100 deaths. Or, as a minimum leaving that impression with the SACPA talk.
She has found a scapegoat for her failures and obviously does not want to set the record straight, which seems to be a lingering problem across the Leadership of the Reserves in Alberta.
TailFeathers neglects to point out that since the SCS closed there has been LESS Native deaths in Lethbridge, when describing the deaths of “Her People”! She continues to include the 81 deaths (out of 94) that occurred elsewhere in Alberta as if they occurred in Lethbridge for political purpose and perhaps to shift blame from Blood Leadership which includes herself?
There can only be one reason for doing this, she is incapable of reading her own report to the Alberta Health or wants to deceive the public into believing Lethbridge is responsible! So which is it?
“Roger Prairie Chicken (also known as White water buffalo and White buffalo Horn)” appears to also see this and other deceptions that are occurring on the reserve and wants to correct the record and will do something about it, good for him! He deserves our support!
I am still waiting for the Sage Clan to speak up on this issue. They seem more than willing to identify how Lethbridge must offer more help to the people they service. Yet they do not identify how and why they got here! Sage may be apolitical and not want to identify the elephant in the room but if the reason Lethbridge is flooded with Reserve Youth is because the Leadership is making it unbearable for them to stay! LETHBRIDGE should know this and stop pretending its racist to acknowledge the Blood Leaderships failures publicly and demand action!
Why is that important? Well it appears, this time, they are dumping their youth on whitey’s doorstep willingly, and, speak of reconciliation for taking their youth in the past ? How does one reconcile that?
Contrary to what some may think, there is no good time to talk about this. The Residential School System and the unmarked graves are a devastating time in the life of Canada’s Indigenous. Time marches on, we must quickly correct issues that can/could lead to a new crisis in the future. If you do not see the elephant that is in the room, you are doomed to never see any future elephants, and you should not be in a leadership position!

Last edited 2 years ago by Dennis Bremner
Seth Anthony

Yes, Roger is a breath of fresh air to see that scapegoats and excuses aren’t going to help, but rather just makes things worse.

Unfortunately, most of them dwell on the past and blame someone or something thing else for their actions. As such, they keep passing on negative and destructive emotions to their kids. Those negative and destructive emotions are a main catalyst to addiction. It’s an atrocity that these victims were created in the first place, but we can’t change the past. All we can do is acknowledge the atrocity and provide the support they need for healing (to which we have). The rest is in their hands. As cliché as it is, it’s apt in this regard to say, “You can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make it drink”.

BTW :Speaking of the Sage Clan Dennis, It was a rare admission when recently, a Sage Clan member said something very similar.

One more thing:

I’ve had countless discussions with Indigenous people on the topic of generational trauma and addiction, and many do agree that healing begins with oneself. More specifically, it means letting go of the pain and not dwelling on the past. “Letting go” doesn’t mean you forget about the past, it just means you no longer dwell on it and allow it to continuously hurt you (which inevitably leads to hurting your children). Thing is, in one of my most recent discussions, an Indigenous lady agreed to everything I’ve said here, but then made a point that I had never even thought of. She said, “Some are so traumatized, that they don’t even have the ability to seek help”. After I read that, I sat back in my chair and thought, “Oh boy, that problem might not even have a solution”. My suspicions were seemingly correct, because when I asked her what she thought could be done about that, she said she didn’t know. Now given that this was a very intelligent lady, the fact that she couldn’t think of a solution to that particular problem, makes it a major concern.

Last edited 2 years ago by Seth Anthony
bladeofgrass

I fully support Roger Prairie Chicken. Although he speaks of some very hard things, he is a breath of fresh air as he is actually addressing them! By actually talking about the problems, is when the healing begins. Please remember that there are many that walk with you. Keep going it’s the Only way that good change can be brought about.