Peace and brotherhood

December 10 1979

Peace and brotherhood

December 10 1979

Peace and brotherhood



David Thomas’ article on the Mohawk peacekeepers, Now Who Shall Keep the Peace? (Nov. 5), was objective and accurate, but I would like to clarify three of his statements. Thomas refers to the peacekeepers as looking “like B-movie members of a Wild West posse.” Having been subject to every form of policing, from the RCMP to the Amerindian Police, we have concluded that what works for non-Indians does not work for us. Official, militaristic, authoritarian regalia is resented and mistrusted by Indian people. The police “uniform” which affords a sense of security to non-Indians offends us. Our peacekeepers are trained in the same procedures as other law officers and enforce the same civil and criminal code. Thomas also states that legally our peacekeepers are “little more than a gang of vigilantes: functioning without government sanction.” That is true only from a non-Indian perspective. The peacekeepers are not commissioned through the Quebec Police Act and so technically neither the federal nor provincial government recognizes them. But they are sanctioned by the Mohawk people and are under the jurisdiction of our government. Thomas does say that recent events have proven the peacekeepers alone have the “moral authority to enforce law and order on the reserve.” Isn’t that the whole concept of law and justice? Isn’t moral authority supposed to be the basis of legal structure? We are advocating enforcement of the present civil and criminal code; we know the peacekeepers do a better job in maintaining peace and

harmony because our people sanction them. It is the system which has not sanctioned the peacekeepers.


The referees of death

I am appalled and ashamed that Greenpeace is a Canadian organization (The

Fall Kill, Oct. 29). Canada is one of the greatest hunting grounds on earth; a fact for which we are envied around the world. The idea that any sportsman is permitted to be openly harassed while attempting to engage in an authorized hunt on supposedly carefully administered land is incredible to me. If the B.C. Parks Division people feel that they are not able to properly

supervise activities within Spatsizi Plateau Wilderness Park and effectively manage its wildlife, then perhaps they should simply relinquish control of it to the Greenpeace Foundation as they did recently.


Life at the top

Your article Santa Claus Is Coming to Town (Oct. 1) discussed economic development in the Yukon as being one of the possible benefits from the Alaska Highway pipeline. It mentioned only the benefits of economic development in the Yukon. It said nothing about the quality of life here. Many people are happy with the way life is here now. We don’t need a pipeline or hydroelectric dams. We love the Yukon for what it is. Is it asking too much to be left alone? LARRY BURGIS, DAWSON CITY, YUKON

Physician, strip thyself

Rules and regulations. What a sharp Barbara Amiel is! (The Salvation of Canadian Society May Be in Taking Our Clothes Off in Public, Nov. 5 ) She has devised a means of defying the makers of myriad, meaningless mandates. She has asked for volunteers with the brains to perceive the pettiness and the bodies to protest by stripping. The meek

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should streak. Negate nugatory regulators. The crudity of nudity will add credulity. I rally to her cause. I will bare arms, and she can have my slightly shrunken brain. As for the rest of the stripping, I believe I should have my varicose veins stripped first, my hernia repaired and wait for warmer weather in the spring. But I’m enthusiastic.


Let them eat cheesecake

I was displeased on seeing in your Oct. 29 issue that a letter of mine had been published without the last sentence. I can see where an editor may have misunderstood a subtlety; however, I think you can easily see that the deletion has altered the meaning somewhat. I wrote: “Regarding a number of complaints claiming that the preponderance of flesh in Maclean’s is inappropriate in a news publication, I must take exception to this selfish criticism. Don’t let Maclean’s be spoiled for the rest of us. If they want news, let them read a newsmagazine.”


A somewhat freer press

Contrary to your correspondent’s statement in the article The President’s Diamondgate (Oct. 22), the president-general director of the Agence FrancePresse (AFP), is not “appointed” by the government. He is elected every three years by the 15-member board of directors, of whom only three are appointed by the government due to important contracts various public services have with the agency. The overwhelming majority of the board is made up of publishers of French newspapers. The charter of the AFP, sanctioned by a law passed by the French parliament, provides for its independence.


A hanging offence

I noted in your article Clayton Ruby’s People Power (Oct. 22) that lawyer Ruby defended comics MacLean & MacLean who were charged with singing the ditty Do Your Balls Hang Low? on a stage in Algoma District. I might note that this was one of our marching songs in the First World War and helped to keep our spirits up. At that time our enemy was the Hun. Apparently some 65 years later our enemy is a smallminded part of the Canadian public. From time to time I have hummed this song to myself and chuckled inwardly. I am glad to see that this ditty amuses others.