If we remove the part played by luck or fate, in the way Patrick Brazeau’s life has unfolded, we still have to admit that by most measures he probably represents most people’s view of a successful Canadian native. He is youthful, outspoken and a member of Canada’s Senate. If we could wave a magic wand over Attawapiskat, and cause all the young lives, currently on the slippery slope, to find some happy ending, Mr. Brazeau could provide the mold for this favourable outcome.
It appears, however, that this sentiment is not shared by Theresa Spence and whomever follows her footsteps. Rather than wishing that more young natives aspire to a similar success, she thinks Mr. Brazeau is a “Typical colonized Indian asshole.” Or so said the tweet which originated from her address.
If anything, this gives us an all too clear picture of what the rest of us are up against in addressing the issues that bedevil our native population. If Mr. Brazeau’s success represents, to the talking heads of the aboriginal community, not a success to be emulated, but a “colonized Indian”, where do we begin?