Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Alcohol request fuels commenters' fire

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Tips for Americans travelling to a northern Manitoba lodge included a request visitors not offer alcohol to the lodge's Cree guides. Here are some tips from our readers.

 

"Indian Time doesn't cut it."

"If your life sucks, it's because you suck."

"Quit your sniffling."

"Join the real world -- go to school or get a job."

"Get off of welfare. Get off your butt."

Our ancestors worked for a living," he says. "So should you."

Osoyoos First Nation Chief Louie is tough. He is as proud of the fact his band fires its own people as well as hires them. He has his mottos pasted throughout the Rez. He believes there is "no such thing as consensus," that there will always be those who disagree. He says, he is milquetoast compared to his own mother when it comes to how today's lazy aboriginal youth, almost exclusively male, should be dealt with.

Since these are direct quotes from Clarence Louie, who is chief and CEO of the Osoyoos Band in British Columbia's South Okanagan, should he apologize for "negative stereotypes, which only serve to promote or incite hatred against our people?"

-- 23734452

 

The owner of the Laurie River Lodge has acknowledged the tips provided to Americans concerning the Cree people were inappropriate.

This incident has received media attention across Canada and in other countries including Australia and the U.S.

It is important to find the silver lining in such an ugly situation.

1. The majority of Canadians believe the comments were racist.

2. The attention will help educate the public.

-- 23599042

 

It's going to be the responsibility of both sides of the issue. An understanding on the public's part as to what First Nations people have been through with residential schools, forced relocation to the reservations etc. And I believe First Nations leadership to show some responsible leadership and cease blaming everyone else for all the issues they face.

-- Gordo

 

Clumsily worded and racist, I'd agree. However, if you read through the rest of the document, it talks about the presence of dangerous wildlife and the need to be alert at all times on the trip.

I don't think it's too much to expect that these guides remain sober, as they are responsible for the safety of others on the tour.

-- X-Ray Cat

 

Why couldn't chief Arlen Dumas have picked up the phone and asked the lodge owner directly about the guide? Instead he uses a news conference to embarrass a neighbour and friend to many of his band members to score political points. It sounds like the lodge owner, Brent Fleck, was quite amenable to removing the offensive instruction.

-- larrys

 

Racism takes many forms and generally highlights the ignorance of those who promote it. The difference between yesterday and today is that today, we actually recognize it as wrong. We have a very long way to go, but at least this is progress. Society is slowly moving in the right direction.

-- TakeItEasy

 

The Oglala Sioux Nation filed suit against five big American beer makers for $500 million Thursday, to cover the health care and social costs of alcohol-related illness in the tribe. The lawsuit names Anheuser-Bush InBev Worldwide, Molson Coors Brewing Company, MillerCoors LLC, SAB Miller and Pabst Brewing Company. Four beer stores in Whiteclay, Neb. -- a town with only a dozen residents that still sold nearly five million cans of beer in 2010 -- are also targeted. Most of the stores' customers come from the nearby Pine Ridge reservation in South Dakota, where alcohol has been banned since 1832, and tribal leaders say the stores and manufacturers are responsible for the reservation's chronic alcohol abuse. Once again, it's a " not my fault" attitude. So maybe the Laurie River Lodge is being prudent as well as pre-emptive.

-- Waynefd

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition June 1, 2014 A10

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