all hail the grand pooh-bah

Every now and then, I like to browse the Interwebs. Sometimes, one finds the strangest things out there. Like one particular news release that (thankfully) didn’t appear on the front page of the National Post or some other excuse for Canadian journalism.

I have to confess that the person behind the news release is one of my faves.  He makes me giggle. He can coax a laugh from me. Okay, I’m man enough to admit that he makes me guffaw until my ribs ache. (stop it, yer killing me)

Yes, it’s him. National Grand Pooh-bah of the Holy Order of the Water Buffalo, Guillaume (aka Billy) Carle. Great Chief of all of North America, Turtle Island, and all Lands Outside of China. You saw him bring peace to Vietnam (don’t believe me? check out his web page) You saw him turn the earth on its axis – not for evil but for… uh, something else. Now he’s ba-a-a-a-ck.

Or at least he was, a year ago when he single-handedly took control of the occupation at Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory from those pesky Mohawks. I mean, c’mon, you can’t have Mohawks running a national protest of their own… on their own Territory? Can ya?

Details, details, details… Take it away, Billy.

April 26, 2008 – Canada Newswire

Explosive situation at Tyendinaga – The National Grand Chief Guillaume Carle and the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada where mandated and assigned by the Tyendinaga Mohawk warrior chief like mediator in the conflict against the provincial police of Ontario and also the political government of Canada and Ontario

OTTAWA, April 26 /CNW Telbec/ – Broadcast on the Radio-Canada, National Grand Chief Guillaume Carle of the Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada accepted is nomination as mediator for the Mohawk warrior chief of Tyendinaga, when interviewed by the journalist Sébastien Saint-François.

The Mohawk warrior chief would like to advise the population of the decision to integrate National Grand Chief Guillaume Carle as their mediator / negotiator.

For further information: Alain Prénoveau, Confederation of Aboriginal People of Canada, (514) 605-8652

Time for a reality check. Billy Carle claimed to be Mohawk from Kanehsatake, near Oka, Quebec, in the years after the so-called Oka Crisis. Where many saw devastation and ruined lives, Carle saw opportunity.  Sadly, for him, not a single person at Kanehsatake remembered him or supported his claim to Mohawkness. In fact, a bunch of Mohawk women would chase him out of the neighbouring town of Oka when he tried to hold a meeting there. Why there? Because no one would let him onto the Kanehsatake Territory.

Carle decided that if the Mohawk wouldn’t let him lead them to glory, he would change his creation story. Suddenly, he was Anishnabe from Kitigan Zibi near the town of Maniwaki on the Gatineau River north of Ottawa. Except (sigh, not again) no one remembered him or supported his claim to that Territory either.

It’s got to be tough to be a world leader – especially when people refuse to be led.

Carle then called for all native peoples of North America to convene in Hull to support his take over of the Indian Affairs building. I showed up on my bicycle, as I just happened to be passing by that day. I hoped to catch at least a whiff of Carle’s greatness. But, alas, Carle’s Chief of Security gave me the bum’s rush. I didn’t have a membership in Carle’s exclusive national organization (membership in the low teens). The Confederation of Aboriginal Peoples (absolutely meant to be confused with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples) apparently did not want a real Indian to help take over Indian Affairs. Ah, bien. C’est la guerre.

I do hope that all of those other Indigenous peoples from the West, and the North, and the South of Turtle Island who heard Carle’s clarion call to action weren’t as disappointed as I that day.

Yep, leading a revolution practically all by your lonesome can be pretty tough, especially when your little band of sycophants refuses to share your greatness with the rest of the world.

Carle didn’t let that disaster stop him. He managed to get some ink, thanks to the always gullible Ottawa Citizen and a profile that compared him to that other National Grand Pooh-bah, Patrick Brazeau, who in a strange twist that could only happen in the Wide Wide World of Weird also claims to be Algonquin (again with much head-scratching by the Anishnabe of Kitigan Zibi). The rationale for the story? Read on…

Carle inserted himself into a blockade in Parc La Verendrye set up by a group from Barriere Lake. Minor problem: they didn’t ask for, want, or suffer Carle’s interference or lust for fame and glory. In a rare display of gonads, Phil Fontaine, head of the Assembly of First Nations in Ottawa, told government authorities that Carle was (in so many words… how to put this gently…) a charleton, a shameless self-promoter, a fake.

Undaunted, Carle then set about to proclaim himself the National Grand Pooh-bah of all Aboriginal thingys in Canada. Yo!  Phil, Chairman Clem, step back.

CTV took the bait and Carle wound up on Question Period, providing yet another notch in the journalistic belts of hosts Jane Taber and CTV News Parliament Hill Star Trek villian lookalike, Craig Oliver. Billy was on a roll.

This led to Steve Paikin convincing TVO in Toronto to charter a seat (yes, only a seat) on a plane for Carle to appear on his evening interview extravanganza, and its hundreds of viewers.

This string of successes no doubt had the Dalai Lama absolutely green with envy. (oh dahling, it clashes so with your saffron robes)

Shortly after conquering Turtle Island, Carle invited himself to Vietnam where he would liberate the poor and down-trodden. He took his entire organization (all ten of them) over there in an impressive show of solidarity forever. Of course, no one noticed – over there or upon his return to Canada. No huzzahs. No ticker tape parades down la rue de L’Annonciation in beautiful downtown Maniwaki.

Carle’s star fell from the heavens during that international mission to save all of the world’s Aboriginal types. It has remained sewer-bound ever since.

The last gasp may have been that news release from April of 2008. Perhaps the Mohawk at Tyendinaga knew not what they had forsaken. Then again, maybe they did.

It must be tough when you’re a jackass and nobody takes time to notice.

As for me, I miss the big lug. (snurfle) 😦

p.s.: for a truly hilarious account of the battle for the hearts and minds of the good people of Kanehsatake, read this. (WARNING: shmohawk provides the link for edification and entertainment purposes only)

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Filed under Aboriginal peoples, Canada, Canadian politics, humour, Indigenous peoples, journalism

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