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Calling a spade, a spade!

Cece Hodgson-McCauley
Guest comment
Monday, July 20, 2009

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My hat off to Mike Vaydik, General Manager of NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines, and Lou Covello, president of NWT and Nunavut Chamber of Mines. I hope all you good people out there took time to read and digest these two gentlemen's letters to the editor.

Regarding my column on Covello's dream in the June 15th issue of News/North: I may have been on my "high horse" sticking up for the west, but I must say, in reality, these two gentlemen are calling a spade, a spade!

They are businessmen and we must wake up in the NWT and start to listen to reason and reality. We have wasted 50 years since the feds moved a government into our territory to civilize it and make it part of Canada.

We wasted 50 years being led by the nose by featherhead bureaucrats and environmentalists, operating only in self-interest. Just look at their track record!

And the good old federal government in Ottawa for all these last 50 years have absolutely no clue of what is going on in the North, while the GNWT is playing at being a government.

So it is time for a wake up call by all of you people in the NWT. And the number one on the list is for aboriginals, who should really take a good hard look at their leaders. Compare the Dene to Inuvialuit and the Inuit. Why are they so advanced in business in the Beaufort and Nunavut? I know why! Because they hire the best people.

No matter what nationality, just take the Inuvialuit in Inuvik. Their huge corporate office on Main Street. Their cousins to the east, the Inuit are very busy too in mining, fishing, etc.

You don't read about them protecting this and that, not like the Dene who are so busy protecting too much.

Just look at Nahanni Park. It wasn't enough they expanded it, do the average little aboriginal realize once they create a part, it is written in stone.

You cannot touch or change it. Just ask your cousins, the Inuvialuit and that Tuktut Nogait Park next door to Paulatuk town. After the park was a done deal, a company from the east called Darnley Bay Resources Ltd. discovered huge deposits of nickel and the rumours are many more precious deposits.

Paulatuk is perched right on top of it! So the Inuvialuit tried to get the park's boundaries moved over a bit to accommodate them because it is proven that the very rich deposit extends under the Park. The government says, "too bad!" Even when the people need jobs! So your average aboriginal people better wake up and read all about the Inuvialuit and Inuit and learn from them.

They are more business minded and not so much politics. And they are not forever trying to protect the past. They concentrate on the future for the sake of your children and speak out or write to your newspaper.

I know and you know that many are unhappy with the system of the GNWT, especially the education and training. We can talk all we like on training and training, but the number one issue is you must be able to read and write first!

Many adults can't barely do that! We need upgraded facilities and tutors and by the way, I see in Norman Wells they closed Aurora College for the summer because there's no money. Damn and damned some more, the MLAs go on these overseas trips for what?

Costing us about a quarter million a year - money that should go to young people to upgrade for jobs. I declare GNWT is not my government!

- Cece Hodgson-McCauley is the founding chief of the Inuvik Dene band and will remain honourary chief for life. She can be reached at fax (867) 587-3003 or by phone (867) 587-3037.