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NEWS RELEASE · 14th July 2011
Conservative Party
CHIEF SPEAKER... that's the name bestowed on Prime Minister Stephen Harper by the Blood Tribe of Alberta.

Harper became an honorary member of the Kainai chieftanship July 11. By accepting his new name, Harper promises to promote the cultural pride of the Blackfoot and Kainai, as well as all First Nations. Honorary chiefs are expected to hold the headdress with the highest respect and be an available resource to First Nations.

The chieftainship was bestowed at the request of Blood Tribe Chief Charles Weasel Head as a response to the 2008 apology by the prime minister to former students of Indian residential schools.

“It is a great privilege to be named an honorary chief of Alberta’s Blood Tribe, a strong and proud First Nation,” said Harper. “I am particularly proud of this honour given it recognizes the efforts that our government has been taking to help preserve the rich culture and heritage of First Nations in Canada while also investing in the future of Aboriginal peoples.” He said he will carry the name Chief Speaker with “great joy and pride.”

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What Happened?
Comment by Janice P. Robinson on 2nd August 2011
Actually, it's nobody elses's business but the Bloods. Many First Nations adopt, honour, and bestow names on beloved friends of the nation and/or "house." Canada's first conservationist comes to mind......"Grey Owl."
An Englishman named Archibald Belaney, who was much-loved by the natives.....and ridiculed by his fellow-countrymen.

I smirked when I read Ms. Stephen's comment.....because.......I have travelled many miles on the other side of the Rockies, and have been honoured to work among many nations besides my own. Most prairie people had never heard of the Tsimshian Nation. And many who had learned of the Tsimshian Nation were dismayed and judgmental. They looked down at us, on the Wet Coast for selling out. So! A Cree Pipe Carrier once told me that coming to Tsimshian Territory to facilitate workshops was "like teaching a kindergarten class......over and over again."

"Is that so?" I asked.

And here we were......just enjoying her presence and her medicine. We didn't care that she never did come up with anything new to share with us.

A Sioux medicine man, named Tatanka Husti bestowed a Sioux name on me. "Sencerai." We met while both teaching in federal prisons. My point is.....maybe Stephen Harper's Blood name, "Chief Speaker" rings truer in the Blood language.

Harper's Conservatives did apologize, after all.

Still......not a peep from any other party.....ever.
Mockery
Comment by Sylvia Stephens on 19th July 2011
Have these people lost their marbles, how can they sell out their heritage? This is a mockery and I am disgusted, this government and governments before have tried endlessly to assimilate Indians...his apology had no meaning..look at all the cuts he made to our most essential programs..this is the joke of a lifetime.
Chief Walking Eagle
Comment by uronndnland on 18th July 2011
Wasn't it Harper who said in 2009: "We also have no history of colonialism..." (http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2943)

I liked Gordon Campbell's "indian name" better: "Walking Eagle," an eagle so full of s**t he can't fly!
govnor
Comment by mo on 14th July 2011
at first glance i thought the editor had made a mistake as i believed it was harper named as chief weasel head