Chief Letter No. 6

Originally published in the May 8, 2020 edition of Pikwakanagan Tibadjumowin

“Miigwetch to the Algonquins of Pikwakanagan First Nation”

You see courageous people pop up in all cultures, traditions, and eras. From shepherd-boy David facing giant Goliath, to Julius Caesar defeating Vercingetorix King of the Gaul’s, to Harry Potter and friends confronting Lord Voldemort.

There is something exhilarating about individuals, pitted against the odds, rising above fear and narrow concerns about self-preservation.

And when you see real life examples of valour, our faith in human nature, in the possibility of virtue, is enhanced. I have witnessed many people in our community display varying degrees of courage over the past couple of weeks during the Covid-19 pandemic and during the lockdown.

What is courage? ‘Courage… is the willingness to risk life and limb work round the clock for the sake of something larger than ourselves. In other words, courage reveals what we care about… It reveals that which inspires us to overcome ourselves. And it is the self-overcoming character of courage that makes it so poignant. When we are witness to real acts of courage, we know immediately what matters most fundamentally to the courageous person – and it is not him or herself, not his or her own physical well-being.’ It about other people and the most vulnerable.

Standing up for what is right in our community by protecting our community’s health is courageous.

My mother always said to me, “don’t be afraid to pluck up a courage”, “Stand up for what you believe in, even if you stand alone.” “Stand up for what is right regardless of who is committing the wrong.”

During these uncertain times, keeping our community safe and healthy has been our top priority. Each of us plays a role in protecting our community and loved ones from COVID-19.

Miigwetch to everyone who has taken their roles seriously from our community members, business owners, volunteers, staff, members of Council and friends outside of our community.