Chief responds to criticisms by ‘outside’ band member

Chief responds to criticisms by ‘outside’ band member

‘There is more to this community than those

individuals sitting in a ditch and saying woe is me’

To the Expositor:

I would like to respond to Kari Smith’s recent letter in The Expositor ‘Traditional healer should sit down with community members and listen,’ August 22, page 5).

Ms. Smith’s letter reeks of cynicism and is misleading and judgmental. Kari Smith signs her letter as Sheguiandah First Nation, but meanwhile she lives in Six Nations. She has not lived in Sheguiandah in over four years. Further, she is not even Anishnabek, she is a Mohawk.

Let me address some of Kari Smith’s concerns so that she can be set free. These protestors are trying to play the victim and attempting to solicit public sympathy. Therefore, the public has a right to be informed because there is false and misleading information being passed off as the truth. Kari, you talk about great heartache by community members, maybe wallet-ache. The band has been carrying these people for so long on our backs, all we are doing is asking them to get off and walk. My family has raised pigs before and one thing I have noticed is that once you start feeding them, it is hard to get them away from the trough.

Let’s not talk about Attawapiskat or other First Nations. Let’s deal with SFN (Sheguaindah First Nation)! My sister recently came back from another First Nation and was remarking about how run down all houses were. I told her that this was likely from financial mismanagement and from a Chief and Council not collecting rents. How other First Nations run their reserves is totally up to them.

Kari Smith keeps mentioning ‘suffering’ in her letter. What an exaggeration! All these protestors have homes to go to.

As for these trumped-up charges, I am up against some of the best liars in Sheguiandah. The UCCM (United Chiefs and Councils of Manitoulin) Tribal Police can also be faulted here for not doing a proper investigation. I did not admit to anything other than charges being laid. There is a system here in Canada that states, “Innocent until proven guilty.” I will have my day in court and the truth will prevail. Further, Kari Smith, you talk about Jake (Ago neh) being judgmental and here you are talking out of both sides of your mouth.

My brother Jake, myself and other band members have one advantage over you, Ms. Smith, when it comes to assessing the situation at hand. We were born and raised here. We know everyone and the dynamics of our community. You don’t! You are an outsider and you always will be an outsider. You live in a bubble down in the Six Nations. You may be a band member, but you were never part of the community. So quit trying to speak on the community’s behalf.

In closing, once again Kari Smith tries to play the victim card in her last paragraph. And once again she is wrong. The person Kari refers to had a contract with our First Nation and was not an employee.

So I will leave it at that. There is more to this community than those individuals sitting in a ditch and saying, “woe is me.”

Chief Orville Aguonie

Sheguiandah First Nation




  1. he is being charged with criminal activity . Why does he think he should still be chief . this is crazy . He has no honour . he is seems to be a very selfish man , and is drunk on power . and he says ” those protesters have homes to go to ” . meanwhile he is evicting some of them . and Not signing ontario works checks . Hello . Mr. agounie . i thought it was called ONTARIO WORKS . NOT sheguinah works .. he has no right to choose who gets their welfare checks or not .

  2. To Mr. Chief and Expositor,

    Mr. Chief, sir.
    Miigwetch for your letter, a little condescending but nothing that I did
    not expect. Thank you for centering me
    out and giving me your attention, I appreciate that as well. With that, I will respond to your, um
    “professional” thoughts where I am concerned.
    I apologize for that nerve that I so unabashedly struck and the ego that
    I unintentionally bruised for you.

    There is one thing, (maybe a few) which I, myself will
    define to you, rather than you having to assume about me. I will define who I am, plainly and simply,
    just for the record. Only I have that
    right, Mr. Chief.

    I am a Mohawk woman, living in Six Nations, and presently working
    at a Native Treatment Centre. Prior to
    this, I have lived and worked on Manitoulin for over 20 years. I am a community
    member of Sheguiandah First Nation. I
    am an Anishinabe woman of the true Ojibwe tradition, and my children are
    blessed with best of both nations. May I
    point out, never once did you attempt to speak to me, in any type of adult
    conversation whatsoever. There may have
    been a mumbled hello twice, maybe 3 times, throughout those 20+ years. And an occasional hateful response from you
    towards me during a council meeting or two, a few years back. Your attempted presumptive and vast knowledge
    you claim to have about me, and how you know me is minimal at best. But Wow, I didn’t realize that I was that
    important to you and I will take this into consideration. This may really earn my vote, Mr. Chief.

    You do NOT have the opportunity to make any feeble attempt
    to define who I am, where I live, or what I do!
    Or who to vote for! Further, you
    do not have to worry yourself at all about “freeing” me, I AM free. But again, miigwetch for your concern. As for Kari Smith’s concern’s; as predicted
    and expected, you sorely missed the mark on these concerns. What kind of chief does that? Totally blinding yourself to the issues that
    I am questioning? Did you take this as
    finger pointing? Are you feeling. . .
    guilty, so guilty that you put yourself on the defensive? Divert attention off of these issues and “put
    me in my place” Mr. Chief? Does this
    type of action justify your letter?
    Justify your importance? Okay,
    Mr. Chief, you are important, you are. I
    do believe this. Every individual is
    very important, even you. Why don’t you
    believe this? Is it because you had a
    trough? I think I will just politely
    decline any comment here. You said
    it. I didn’t. And I won’t.
    I do have courtesy, tact and respect for the readership, and you as
    well, Orville Aguonie.

    Nonetheless, you are contradicting yourself when you would
    rather not talk about any First Nation, and soon as you say (write) these
    words, you talk about your sister going to other First Nations and commenting
    on their homes. So, what is it you want
    to do? Talk about them or not? Let’s not and just move on, okay.

    Yes, I am still talking about suffering and heartache, if
    you see this as an exaggeration, I am sorry.
    Sorry that again you blind yourself to this part of being human and
    unable to recognize it; especially when it lies right beneath your nose. Sorry that you only see housing arrears, and
    see your fellow community members as pitiful, woebegotten individuals and liars. I am sorry that you only see the people as
    ‘freeloaders’, (if I may summarize your much contemplated thoughts). I thought it was the government that did these
    things to us, forced us to live ‘their’ way, under their laws, by their
    discretion and further the very same way in how they portrayed us, as
    Anishnabek, in their paternalistic points of view and dire concern. Your story sounds so familiar for some reason. Did I not mention the public apology they
    made in recent history, for that which they did to our people? With your incessant verbal attacks, you so
    adamantly and repeatedly voice of how you so stringently follow their
    guidelines/protocols. And before I
    forget to request, I am formally requesting the minutes and financials for the
    past 2.5 years of your reign. I trust you got a man on this, as we speak.

    You fool only yourself to think you have ANY advantage over
    me. I am actually sorry for you too,
    that you think you can have any advantage over me, or any one, because you tell
    on yourself, your tactics, your thinking.
    Niichki, you tell on yourself.

    I am not fighting you, I am listening. It is not me you are struggling with, it is
    your self you are struggling with. Kudos
    to you, though – you’ve lasted this long in your struggle. One question I ask though is, “How is that
    working out for you?”

    Trumped charges? Are
    you playing euchre, here? Lol. You go ahead and vindicate yourself, and have
    your day in court. You deserve that much
    anyway. That’s your business, not
    mine. If you feel the need for public
    support on your righteousness, and use your letter to me to do so… feel ‘free’ to do so. It’s not like I have to “free” you on that,
    not at all. So, go for it, I don’t mind.

    Again, for the record, I do not have to talk about Jake
    (Agoneh) or judge him, I was talking TO him.
    Just asking the councillor of Sheguiandah First Nation to clarify his
    statements. Trying to have an adult
    conversation with the man, you know. As
    I am doing here, with you. As you did
    with me in your letter, Orville Aguonie.
    Hey, how come you don’t have a special name like Agoneh yet? Just askin?

    I don’t know if you realize that a mouth does not have
    ‘sides’ as you say? And your joke or
    innuendo, was totally lost here, however, I feel I must let you know that I do
    have two ears, and these can account for the ‘both sides’ you are speaking
    of. One on this side and the other on
    this side. Because I am using “both”
    ears to listen, maybe even deeper than you realize or can comprehend. I write and speak with only one heart, one
    mind and one spirit. This is basic
    anatomy 101. Which brings me to another
    point that is much to your concern.

    Yes, you were right when you said I have been living here
    for the past four years. I have to admit
    this. As you must be aware, I have been
    attending University for these four years, obtaining my degree. During these four years, I have spent my
    summers, living in (Sheguiandah) the community, working on the Island as a
    nurse. And even worked two jobs one of
    those summers, as well. I am surprised
    that you didn’t see me while I was there in the community. However, I must say miigwetch for your
    support and encouragement whilst I attended university. I appreciate the acknowledgement. Further, I appreciate the invitation to speak
    to the students of the community as to my academic journey and achievements. Will you still like me to speak at the awards
    ceremony? Or maybe not? And the small awards for achievements for
    honour students is commendable as well?
    Miigwetch, again.

    I cannot argue that you were born and raised in SFN, nor do
    I care to. It’s not even a concern of
    mine. I do however, know this to be true: my children were born and raised there as
    well. However, I hold the same type of
    origins of your parents. I was not born
    and raised there, true, neither were your parents. They were from different First Nations, as
    well. Nothing to argue about.

    The point you make that again, I question is that you know
    every one in the community. This is
    hardly true. You don’t KNOW me, my
    children or any of my family members, that live there and the dynamics we
    share, so don’t profess that you all inclusively know every ONE of ‘our’
    community. YOU don’t! Outsider?
    Please! Don’t insult your self-proclaimed
    ‘intelligence’, this insults even your family name. Unaccepted.

    A bubble?
    Really? Is this the best you can
    muster, Mr. chief? Yes, you are right again,
    I am a band member. You state, “You (I)
    was never part of this community.” Uh,
    yeah okay, Mr. chief. Thanks for letting
    me know that, I’da never have known that.
    Lucky for me, there’s a chief to tell me that. Right. I guess my speaking engagement is out of the
    question, eh? And are you “instructing”
    me not to speak on behalf of the community?
    Or are you asking me? Actually, it
    really doesn’t matter, does it? I think
    the community is speaking for itself.
    And I, my friend, am speaking for myself!

    As for your opinion, about my being judgmental, cynical and
    misleading, really doesn’t mean or matter that much to me, matter of fact, I
    won’t even dignify that with a response, Orville Aguonie. Further, if you’d like to refer to me, along
    with ‘all the other community (members) as liars, feel ‘free’. Actually, it is quite expected and

    In closing, I just like to voice to you that yes, there is
    more to the community… there most certainly is!
    Too bad you fail to see it. And
    I, too, will leave it at that. When you
    have something important to converse about, I’d be glad to entertain you, until
    then I will let you thrive in your own mind.

    Kari Smith,

    Sheguiandah First Nation band member

  3. As a political figure, he is open to scrutiny. He basically wasted a whole page in the newspaper complaining that someone complained about him. I am amazed at how people can vote such morons into office.

  4. pretty vicious chief,that’ is why the reserves are falling apart,stop with the me,me,me thing and look around at the people that need a good ,and HONEST chief, i was threw sheq when i was up camping on the island, i stand proud for those people on the side of the road and they weren’t in the ditch as this chief stated,we are all brother’s and sister’s and should all work together,,,,so hats off to the people of sheq get this chief out of there he is not there for you,,,,,,and they way he slammed the women from six nation’s but only because she is right and know’s more than him,,,,,well keep up the good work and keep standing and get that awfull chief out of there,,,,a sister :)

Leave a Reply