Years ago, I briefly rented a post-office box and took out an ad in the classifieds which, apart from listing the box address, simply read “Tell me a story.” This response was long, angry and political. I’ve removed the sender’s name, address and phone number.
Tell Me A Story
Received Dec. 12/01
Typed on 8.5×11 paper.
09 December 0l
Sir or Madame:
I have seen your ad placed in the Ottawa Citizen journal now for a couple of weeks, and I somewhat wondered, what variety of stories you were seeking, and could only conclude that if this ad had been placed in the personal section of the newspaper, that you maybe seeking ancedots which concern personal stories. The story revealed to you maynot be of interest to you, but all who have heard our familys’ story have just shook their head.
Le Famille Simpson
On Feb 17, 1977, my father, Joseuph Renald Normand Simpson (Couchise) was murdered on Ontario Street, St Laurent, Montreal, P.Q., and the family can only presume that his death was committed by the Security Forces of Montreal. Our family was not notified, were not allowed to access his papers or possessions, were not allowed to bury him or be known where he was buried. Eventually we did find out where he was buried, due to the intervention of the Archbishop Maurice Courture, but we were to discover he was buried in a paupers grave, with other corpses thrown on top of him. Our family has demanded the possessions and papers of my father, and that the Montreal Police incur the costs of a tombstone, without an apology. We have waited for 25 years, and Quebecs’ response was to send Police from Quebec to my residence in Ontario in which they warned me to stop bothering their govt. The second time they came the OPP and the RCMP stepped in front of these Officers stating to them, this was not a Policing matter, but the inability of the Quebec govt to address the claims of the Simpsons. I was advised by RCMP to proceed with Civil Lidigation, but first of all accessing this type of legal aid for a single native parent is out of the picture; second of all we are a family of great honour, I have not come to be compensated by those who have not committed these crimes, I have just come to bury my father with respect.
I have also come for the VLA entitlements of my uncle Georges Simpson who died in the Second World War serving with the Regiment du Chaudiere. We have addressed this matter with the Regiment, Department of Defence, and Department of Indian Affairs. The conclusion we receive is there working on it, but if you reflect on the statistics, you will discover 972 native vets served, but only 72 exist today, all the others are deceased. Govt wants to radify the 72 soldiers who are still presently alive, but they do not want to reimburse dead soldiers’ families for the others who have contributed. It would be inappropriate for me not to represent the stolen rights and entitlements of my uncle.
I have come for native status to be radified, it is the only inheritance I have received from my family, and I am proud to be Indian. My family was destroyed by the residential schools, foster homes and boys schools, but we have not come for compensation for these actions, we believe the Great Spirit allotted us this spiritual journey, so that our family would be stronger, we require no monetary settlement for the crimes that have been committed. The native chiefs talk of racism in Canada, but no politician or media type will ask this Chief if he and his native Band have ever denied a legitimate claiment of their parent Band. There is close to 450,000 non status Indians in Canada who request their native identity, but it would appear the registration agenda between Chiefs and DIA, is ensuing more effort to deny legitimate claiments, than it does to radify them. How long does it take to register 1.4 million Indians, 50 or 60 years? How much administration monies have been spent by native Band, the Federal and Provincial governments? Why did the United Nations state in 1985, that the native registration Act of Canada, was the most regressive and racist legislation that has ever been placed on their desk.
These are the rights I come for. I have been decorated three times for my service to my country, but I can not bury my father or recieve the entitlements of my uncle, nor can I have my personal identity. The Feds, the Quebec govt and certain native Chiefs have labelled me the most administratively confrontational Indian in the Canadas, which amuses me. My Dad was considered the most mititant native in the Canadas. If these parties who aren’t amused could arrest me, I would be placed in a very dark cell indeed, but alas, the massive dossier of our familys’ is the largest personal native file in DIA’s history, and proceeding to the law or the courts for the govt or Chiefs, would not be a good situation for them, so they give me the allowances to write my blunt letters. The media publishes my free lance stories I have written in the past, but they will not present the story of my family, and I have contacted pretty well all the publications in Canada. My attempts at publishing a book about this matter Esprit de mon Pere, well it has never got past any Editor. In May of this year I took the liberty to inform all parties from govt to the RCMP, that soon the son of Couchise will come in the spring to excavate the remains of my father for appropriate burial, and I will complete this task without the permission of the Catholic church or the govt. I have contacted Indians, Metis and Innu to attend this action in Montreal as witnesses, for I have told all Indians, that our family is the most militant Indians in the Canadas, and that I will show all Indians how to take back their rights this day. There will be massive support for all Indians know, my father and brothers’ demise was all caused by Montreal Police and these Indians too hate this security force; they are also aware our family will not back down, we prefer to die than retreat, a virtue of honour that is hard to find among natives or white men.
I have come for the rights of my family, and do believe if my story could be heard, a different outlook maybe be taken by Canadians, but chiefs, govt and media do not tell the full Indian story; they have not addressed all the racism yet, there are native Chiefs who practise this virtue against their own peoples, let us see which Chiefs they are. Our family is one of the most decorated native families in the Canadas, but our identity or burying our dead with respect is disallowed? The dossier of our family is the evidence, but the evidence lays buried if no forum to present it is offered me, therefore the avenue left to me, our the militant instructions of my father, who for all intentional purposes will allott me the priviledge of death, if I proceed to Montreal, that is certain, the Police do not want these evidences placed on their table. Thats’ my story.
Thank you for listening to my words, if you check with the govt, security forces and state to them, the son of Couchise comes soon, they will inform you I am a belligerent Indian who has caused them great distress. If I am such a militant, such a misplaced individual, why have they not arrested me, for many lawyers have read my letters to the govt, stating anyone else would have govt 2 years less a day for my dire warnings to the govt and security forces. I desire to rattle these parties sufficiently to want them to take me to court, but alas, it would appear nothing I state will make them rise to the occasion. If this story I have presented you offends you, or is not of specific interest to you, thanks for the time anyway. Do not come to me in the spring though when I proceed to Montreal with my supporters, it will be too late to tell my story then, for I have acted respectively for 25 years concerning this matter. The story of my family will be told; if it requires my death to allott me this priviledge, then I will retrieve the titles of my father. May the Great Spirit give you the allowance to understand that Canada can not deny us our right to burial or our right to identity. Your great philospher Marshall McLuhan once stated, “To steal a cultures or personal identity of any individual or race, will only lead to violent confrontation”. It has taken a long time to learn this by your leaders, despite the fact we are the most competent warriors in the entire world, and at present we have more military ground equipement than all security forces in the Canadas. Canada loves to insert itself into everybody elses’ wars, always for the benefit of mankind, what will they do if they go to war with their Indians, who will come to their aid, for they can not, repeat can not stop us. The only help recieved will be from the U. S., because they conduct themselves in the same manner as Canada concerning their Indians. Who then will the Indians ask help from? In otherwords my dear friend, us Indians must come and die in numbers that will make you once again reflect on your treatement of our peoples. It is the only avenue left after this length of time, our Elders of Peace are all gone; our militants stockpile their equipement preparing for the enevitable. Reflect on your history and analyse what reprecussions could occur if the Indian becomes confrontational; what excuses will Canada use when bodies are in the streets. The UN statement that Canada will endure what South Africa is still enduring if they do not address this injustice, does not seem to scare North American leaders though, we wonder why? Canadians are not ready for what will come, for instance we could shut down all alcohol sources for all Canadians in a very limited amount of time, yes, if Canada had no alcohol for 5 weeks, the bankruptcy of this country would come forthwith, that is how dependent this country of people is apparently with alcohol. Thats how simple it is.
A la prochaine mon vieux, et ca est l’histoire de la famille Simpson, le plus militante famillee des Autochtones; le plus militante famille du Canada. Meegwetch.