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Different views, common ground

Author: 
Marie Burke
Volume: 
5
Issue: 
7
Year: 
1999

Page 4

It is interesting how people can see one issue - and one another - so differently. Take for example men and women - obviously two different experiences with a lot of common ground. You might forget that there is a lot of common ground between men and women when you hear the two words that sparked the interest of several national leaders, men and women, at a recent conference in Edmonton. The words are Gender Equality.

Gender is informally described as a person's sex; and equality means the same in value, particularly in this case, a person that is equal to another. Now, culturally, that could mean finding harmony between man and woman. Politically, it might have several different meanings. The meaning of gender equality translated into mainstream terms is just another way of saying some women might be trying this feminist thing on that some of our white sisters use to protect themselves in a man's world, said one Aboriginal woman.

For me, I think I've been very fortunate that I haven't had to categorize men and women and, in most ways, our people's minds are beginning to change and become more open. The old way of thinking is slowly dying, the way that was taught to us in our modern schools and generations before that. When the missionaries came, they saw Native men and thought they needed more power over women. It was unthinkable for most European men in the early 1800s to ask a woman for advice.

Today, I see men saying 'I need more women here,' not because I needed a woman to go to places where I couldn't, like the women's only bathroom, but because women are easier to talk to, they will listen and take in the information, then they will give you their opinion. What the men bring to balance the scales of gender and equality are: assertiveness and aggressiveness, in a good way. Men demand work be done and then they get it done, no nonsense, no fuss, no question of pathos.

There it is again, an interpretation. The polarizing state of opinion not only takes in the issue of woman versus man, it takes in the on-reserve, off-reserve, the status and the non-status, the member and the non-member, question that is the state of affairs for some Aboriginal people. And the list could go on.

The opinions of people that favor one solid color of an issue, that is one that can only be seen as one way or another but not both, forget that those solid colors are made up of all the in-between shades of blue, yellow, red and white.

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Powwow alert at Treaty 8 commemoration

The powwow scheduled for the Treaty 8 commemoration will start on Friday with registration for all dancers at 2 p.m. and the grand entry to follow at 7 p.m.

That's the word from Paulette Campiou at the Driftpile Powwow Society. Campiou is concerned that dancers may be confused by the schedule of events that was published in the Treaty 8 event schedule.

"It will run like a normal powwow, that is what most dancers are familiar with," said Campiou.

Saturday's grand entry will start at 1 p.m. and Sunday's grand entry will also start at 1 p.m., she said.

Campiou pointed out that the annual Driftpile powwow is happening, as in previous years, on Aug. 13 to 15.

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