January 18, 2008
Letter to Stéphane Dion by Grace McKay-Jolly
The Honourable Stéphane Dion, M.P.
Leader, the Liberal Party of Canada
81 Metcalfe Street, Suite 400
Dear Stéphane Dion,
I have supported you consistently since the day —
long before the leadership race — when I decided that
your intelligence and integrity were what my country so
desperately needed. I wanted you to be our Prime
Minister. Your ill-advised intervention in
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill River has shaken my
confidence badly, not only in you, but in my own
I watched you from Afghanistan explaining how top
down intervention does not work there. It does not work
here either. Residents of Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill
River are insulted and outraged by your aborting of the
legitimate nomination process and denying them the
democratic right to choose their own candidate.
I have lived closely with Metis and First Nations
peoples for the past 20 years and, by invitation, I
attended the meeting in Prince Albert on January 12th.
The pain and anger were palpable. John Dorion and David
Orchard were there, having been tossed aside by their
leaders as if their months of hard work counted for
nothing. The elders were there to pray and counsel us.
Veterans spoke of fighting for freedom in other
countries only to lose it in their own. Mayors and
Chiefs representing thousands of northerners spoke
powerfully, never of the candidates, always of the
democratic right to choose the candidate. Finally, they
all, elders, veterans, chiefs, mayors and residents
achieved consensus and made their recommendation.
They deserve to be heard. Revoke the race and gender
based appointment which has trumped democracy in
Desnethé-Missinippi-Churchill. Ask Ms. Beatty to resign
her appointment and run for nomination. Please do it
immediately. It is no disgrace to change a bad decision
which was based on misinformation and inadequate
knowledge about the people involved. It is a sign of
strength in leadership to listen to the people.
Yours very truly,
Chief Marcel Head