Name this Graham Greene character. New native affairs minister should know.
Sometimes it seems these white boys can't hold down a job for very long.
Last week, the very capable minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Michael Bryant, was moved up the food chain to economic development by Premier Dalton McGuinty. Bryant, a former attorney general, was appointed the first-ever minister of the newly created Aboriginal portfolio in October 2007.
Now former Mel Lastman sycophant and ex-labour minister Brad Duguid is thumbing through paint swatches for his new Aboriginal Affairs office. What particular talent Duguid has for his post, we'll never know. Maybe it's all the native burial grounds in his Scarborough Centre riding.
Several native leaders are upset with the shuffle, saying they'll have to go back and start training the new guy - again.
Two to three years is the average lifespan for such ministers, both federally and provincially.
They spend most of their time accepting gifts of smoked-moosehide beaded gloves, traditional carvings and paintings and cool fringed leather jackets from Aboriginal bigwigs before being hustled out.
If you're looking for cheap native arts and crafts, check eBay after each shuffle.
Still, I want to be fair to Duguid. He's got a bit of a roller coaster coming up: good luck with that Bryant leftover, Caledonia.
With such a frequent turnover, it concerns me that these new ministers might not be fully informed about the complex cultures of Canada's Aboriginal people. For one thing, they might not be aware that we are not all one people. It's true. I have it on good authority.
So I would like to suggest that McGuinty prepare an exam for Duguid, one that would indicate whether he has the overall knowledge of the people he will be responsible for negotiating with and about.
Below are suggested questions.
If Minister Duguid gets eight or higher, start sending him the birch bark bitten wall hangings. Five to eight, a dreamcatcher. Three to five, a seagull feather. Anything less, a bus ticket out of the province.
10 QUESTIONS FOR BRAD DUGUID
1. What language is spoken in Kashechewan?
2. What year did native people get the right to vote in federal elections?
3. What was the name of Nick's native best friend in The Beachcombers?
4. Who coined the phrase "My heart soars like an eagle"?
5. Who is the only First Nations person to win an Academy Award?
6. What town does Tom King's Dead Dog Café take place in?
7. In Dances With Wolves, what is the name of the character played by Ontario's own Graham Greene?
8. What Ontario First Nations community has laid claim to a portion of Caledonia for the past two years?
9. What year did the Red River rebellion take place in?
10. Name the two members of Kashtin.
4. Chief Dan George
5. Buffy Ste. Marie
6. Blossom, Alberta
8. Six Nations
10. Florent Vollant and Claude McKenzie