Exposing Ego and Hypocrisy within Social Change
By Johnny Hawke ACTION
Within our Social Movements a common phenomenon that we all experience is the “Walking Ego” syndrome. Some of the People at the forefront of attention and movements seem to fall victim of their ego. These selfish people forget they are representing their supporters and comrade’s and discredit not only their own reputation but others involved and the movement by nurturing their Hypocrisy and Ego. They are the cause of why support is lost and future good intentions do not get off the ground. They become Walking Ego’s so full of shit that they can’t fly.
Elizabeth Brass Elson of Anishinabek Nation Martin Clan has been active for many years incorporating her own business, Seventh Generation Management INC an initiative for the protection and resource management of her people’s resources. Elizabeth along with another Anishinabe Kwe, (Women) helped to start a weekend sacred fire vigil in the spring of 2009 on the proposed Simcoe County Site 41 Dump construction site near her Nations Territory.
The proposed Dump Site 41 was sitting on top of a pristine underground water aquifer which serves local wells and when polluted by the dump would’ve contaminated the surrounding waters and Georgian Bay, Anishinabe Territory.
After their weekend vigil fire keeper Johnny Hawke decided not to leave and that exercising Anishinabe Sovereignty, Two Row Wampum, 1764 Niagra Covenant Chain Belt and challenging the Government of Canada’s illegal Indian Act with its stipulation which Canada gives itself the Fiduciary Duty of Indian Lands was very much needed to be spoken about and acted upon. So he told the women he was staying in which the rest of the camp followed.
Elizabeth and the other founding Woman of the vigil both held positions that required them being impartial. Elizabteh was a Councillor of her First Nation and her friend was employed by the Canadian Government and both felt pressures to be silenced on expressing their responsibility as Anishinabek Woman to protect the Water. So they allowed another Anishinabek Kwe to be the voice of the Camp whose name we’ll give respect and won’t mention but refer to as “Walking Ego” or the Warden of Beausoleil First Nation.
The Camp was located across the construction of the Dump Site on a farmer’s field which by permission of the Farmer was made into the main Camp. The Fire Keeper John Hawke who is an active member of a certain society like the two women felt the need to practice humility, an Anishinabe virtue and remain silent when Media was present. So the voice of the Camp was represented by one person, “Walking Ego.”
During the encampment support grew and fellow “aboriginal” people came responding to a Call-Out and working with the settler community of farmers successfully shut down the illegal Dump Site which broke Ontario’s Environmental Laws. The Settler Community of Farmers empathized with the struggles First Nations face daily by themselves being called Criminals, seeing Government break their own rules for profit, and being arrested for exercising their rights.
“Walking Ego” caused many divisions by making uninformed outlandish comments to the media which represented all people involved. Media attention caused her ego to explode which caused more divisions amongst all parties involved. Anishinabe Spirituality kept the group together ignoring “Walking Ego” which led to Site 41 success. This Site was in the works for 20 years and it took the devotion of six months of Direct Action started by a Clan Mother and a Warrior to win this fight. Even though somebody’s Ego caused division Unity still prevailed. (Thank you to my Brother Gavin for those words RIP.)
This Past 2010 my best Friend and Cousin and Warrior and Firekeeper of Site 41 Gavin Jameison drowned in the water he fought for along with Elizabeth Elson’s son Matt Elson. It was a sad time for our Community. We had a sacred fire which I watched until their bodies were found and continued it untill after the funeral.
“Walking Ego” got up during the wake and funeral services and talked about her invovlment of Site 41in which turned into a shameful self promotion, while Elizabeth and I wept by our beloved lost family members.
“Walking Ego” is now the Union of Ontario Indians Southeast Commissioner for Water representing the Union of Ontario Indians due to her “alleged” starting and victory over Site 41. She is also an initiate of the Three Fires Midewiwiin Lodge which she also speaks on behalf. She has made her self known recently for publicly announcing by email that only qualified Anishinabe Midewewiin should conduct any Aboriginal Ceremonies that is requested in Southern Ontario. She has hurt many other Indigenous people of other Nations particularly Mohawk Environmentalist and National Aboriginal Achievement Award recipient Danny Beaton who was apart of the Site 41 struggle before the Anishinabe were even involved. She has publicly slandered his name commenting that he his not even aboriginal and has no business conducting ceremonies in the area and that qualified Midewiwiin people have that right.
She has upset many non-native Allies and Politicians in the settler community for her Egotistic and Nazi-Spiritualist behavior. She is now representing the Union of Ontario Indians and the Three Fires Midewiwiin Lodge and is making these institutions come off as Dictatorships in this Region.
ACTION condemns this hypocritical behavior and ACTION has no ties to “Walking Ego” just because ACTION was an influence on the successes of SITE 41 and is located in Sovereign Anishinabek Territory an area which she claims for the Union of Ontario Indians and Midwewiin under her strict Cultural Rhetoric.
ACTION recognizes this territory belonging to Anishinabek allies, the Wendat Nation our trade partners and allies during pre-contact. We have continuously defended this territory for them from the British Crown, USA and recently Ontario Government and Simcoe County. Also ACTION recognizes that the Haudenasaunee People who we also have alliances with and share territory in what is known as Southern Ontario.
ACTION exercises its alliances with other Indigenous Nations and therefore respects their freedom and the freedom of practicing spirituality anywhere one desires and condemns this Dictatorship Behaviour of “Walking Ego” and the organizations she Represents.
I have also come across an online “Aboriginal United” group who’s “leader” presents himself as a “Warrior” and advocates for our Aborginal Women, Elders and Children exercising Non-Violent Direct Actions. This is another “Walking Ego.” He has made it known by his actions that his groups is all about waving signs and marching and thumbing their nose at authority and posting it online for sake of ego.
His reputation in our circles is becoming well known and it’s becoming tarnished along with his group which has 4000 people online. Recently an Anishinabe sister was treated unjustly by this “Leader” due to his Ego.
ACTION condemns this group because its leader does bot respect our First Law of the Land which honors our women. He has disrespected a sister within our Nation and Warrior Society and as a Warrior who respects the First Law of the Land and who gets my authority and direction by Women I condemn his Group, which out of respect won’t mention.
He has made one of our Sisters feel insignificant because she wasn’t waving enough placards for his satisfaction. There are more ways of helping the movement then waving flags, everybody plays a part and every action counts. Even if it is not in your “activist groups” region and how insignificant it may seem every action helps. Reading his site it comes off as another Dictatorship, fighting for social freedom and suppressing the ones he’s fighting for. He represents 4000 of you online.
It is time to put the drama away, humble the ego with our Teachings and Beliefs and unite. Remember the teachings of the Warrior Flag and our own Nations teachings. We are not making this movement a Religion and it is not all about the messenger but the message and practicing it.
I am Kai Kai Kons, Little Screaming Hawk, John Hawke, you have my commitment and on good authority I am not a “Walking Ego” To some of us our movement is not about waving flags and getting on television.
” Unity Shall Prevail” – Gavin Jamieson Ojibway Warrior Turtle Clan
In Memory of Matt Elson and Gavin Jamieson