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SAMSON CREE NATION Social Breakdown

Historical Background Samson First Nation - the most violent community in Canada, has finally figured out what to do about it's gang and violence problems: Dump Them on Someone Else Evict troublemakers; chase them of the reserve and dump them on your neighbors. Samson Nation's governance has conceeded that it is incapable of managing it's own Nation, and has turned to the usual tried and true method that First Nations use to deal with issues they can not handle: Let the White Man do it. To be fair, Samson is not the first of the First Nations to implement an evictions policy. Seems to me that this is a standard way that First Nations deal with issues. Also seems to be a bit hypocritical. They demand that they have the right to govern themselves, continually demand more money to "deal with issues", and when they can't handle the issue, demand that someone else take the responsibility. Samson - you claim to be an Independent, Sovreign, Self-Governing 'Nation', yet you can't even manage to effectively govern yourself in a way that even the smallest Town or Municipality manages to. But let's be clear. Samson is only one of the 4 First Nations at Hobbema. The others, Ermineskin, Luis Bull and Montana Nations seem to manage. The issue of gangs and violence is mainly a Samson Nation problem. Samson - the wealthiest First Nation in Canada. Next to you, Montana First Nation is a pauper. But they seem to manage.
So what's your problem? As any business analyst can tell you, when there is an operational problem in a business or corporate, it normally boils down to a management issue. Poor or faulty management. Mismanagement. For example, look at what we say about mismanagement in our article on Attawapiskat. Too often chiefs and councils in these places are more concerned about money and position, rather than in leadership and vision. Traditionally in our society Chiefs were not paid, nor were they elected. The achieved their position as Chiefs because of their demonstrated good leadership. There is a reason why in Cree these traditional leaders were called OKIMAW, "Chief" and why the Reservation/Government Chiefs are called OKIMAKAN, "Immitation Chiefs". How much did Big Bear, Bobtail, Maskeptoon or Poundmaker make as chief? Zero! Nada! Nil! MAKIWEW! Yet here we hear of Chiefs and Councilors managing to take home over a $1 million in a year - while others on the reserve face starvation or have to live in shacks. Is this leadership? Is this good management of the Nation? Do you know what the average salary of a Governor of a State in the United States is? $6,000. That's right - Six Thousand dollars to govern a State. Too many First Nations lack leadership and management. Chiefs and Council are too busy attending meetings at Las Vegas, or New York, or River Cree Casino. Attending meetings and conferences, rather than management and leadership. This is not to say that that leadership and ability are lacking on reserves and in the aboriginal communities. I know many - including on Samson reserve - who are effective leaders and managers. But almost none of them are in management positions on the reserve. They are not part of the Political/Nepotisitc elite, but they are the true heirs of the Traditional Chiefs. They actually accomplish things. Those positions are usually given to political appointees with no particular skill, background or interest in the job. A good friend from one of the backwater reserves not unlike Attawapiskat owns and farms more land and has more businesses than the average Reservation. His annual operational budget is over $4 million. He, himself, employs about 100 people. He has little to do with his reserve and they have never bothered to ask for his advice, let alone for his management skills. He is not the only one. These people are the true OKIMAWs, not the OKIMAKAN. Some years ago we published an article about 'What Is A Chief' in MOUNTAIN NEWS. It is perhaps worthwhile to post this online.
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