Chief Mona Denomme
The Spiritual Wisdom of any Tribe or Organization comes through its Elders, But Its Power and Voice comes through its Chief.
Who’s Chief Mona?
The truth is that all Chiefs voices are made over the years. Their voices just grow and grow as the years go by, either good or bad it makes no difference for the voice does not discern. Wisdom or not, again matters not, because a voice does not know wisdom. So what protects the people? It’s the ideas of discernment and compassion. If a Chief has discernment than they will never put forth things that are not good for the people. Now the people might not always see the reasons behind the words, but discernment keeps the wise Chiefs on the path. Next is greatest and it is compassion, a truly wise and great Chief has so much compassion for the people that they could never hurt them. In fact, they both take it as a personal injury and betrayal to their being if they hurt the people. So a Great Chief will do everything in their power to always keep compassion as their highest calling. Yes there are many other traits that should be present, however these two are what protects the people.
Discernment is the ability to perceive the reality of a situation and it further includes the power to move or change course as needed. Chief Mona has always been just this type of person, leader. She reminds us of the current of a great river, always on the move, but ever getting to where it needs to be. Currents, like Chief Mona don’t always take the easiest course, however they do get us to where we truly need to be. Chief Mona has the strength of character and will to guide OCIP into the future and just like a current she pulls along all of our goals and desires.
Next, Chief Mona has the greatest capacity for compassion that one can find. Is it not any wonder that she has chosen to be a healer. Some merely feel the urges of compassion, but Chief Mona lives it. She dedicated herself daily to the attainment of this goal. So in the affairs of OCIP some will watch, some will stand, while others do. Chief Mona has always done the tasks before her. When times were tough and no money was to be found, Chief Mona put her time, wisdom, and money into whatever was needed to keep OCIP going. Often time passed before she was repaid, but not an ill word was heard from Chief Mona. She saw to it that others were looked after first and that OCIP was well tended too. So is this selfless compassion that is at the core of Chief Mona’s being.
Together these traits of discernment and selfless compassion are what OCIP needs and what Chief Mona has in abundance. For the coming years needs not the loudest voice, but rather the discernment of when to talk, when to listen, and most of all when to give wisdom. Further in the difficult years ahead with Covid-19 and all the other trails to come, OCIP needs the heart of a healer with selfless compassion. For the need for healing is great and has been made greater. So the Great Spirit has blessed OCIP with a great healer, in Chief Mona, when we need her most.
Chief Mona’s Experience
Chief Mona’s experience is as wide and powerful as the great current in the river. One see’s not all of its happenings; however one knows it is there when a leaf is floating by. Chief Mona is the same, for she never brags or waves her arms in the air saying look at me, see what I did. No, Chief Mona just carries on regardless if we see her work or not. This was shown when her Husband the Great Region 5 Governor John Larabie was ill and passed on. She took up the cause of OCIP and various other works they had started together.
Some might wonder the significance of this, but in Chief Mona’s hardest times, she picked up the torch and kept on for you. Not a step was missed. Filling great leader’s shoes is always difficult, but to do it in grief is exceptional. This is what Chief Mona did. This shows both the strength and depth of soul of our Chief.
Chief Mona has all the needed institutional, Political, Activism, etc. skills. Yes, Chief Mona can fill out funding applications or represent OCIP in whatever it so needs, etc. But greater still Chief Mona can chart the future of OCIP, because she has charted the courses of many other organizations during very difficult times. Just like that current in the river overcoming a fallen tree, she has overcome lack of funds, changing governmental policies, etc. to reach the goals. This is where Chief Mona shines, she can chart the future and she can carry us there. All the while Chief Mona is ever OCIP’S Healer Chief.
Chief Mona’s Desires
It is always important in judging a person’s character to look at their desires. So in judging any chief we must look at their desires for their Tribe, Organization, and People. Chief Mona is no exception, her desires for OCIP and her People are summed up briefly as Healing and Safety, The Pandemic, Recognition, and the Future. Chief Mona is well aware that this will expand as time goes by, but these will be her desires until they are either over or completed.
In the Area of Healing and Safety, Chief Mona want all Indigenous Peoples firstly Safe. While at the MMIWG (including 2SLGBTQQIA people) then Vice Chief Mona was with full vigour and voice fighting for the Safety of Her People. In fact she has been a strong voice for reforms that will protect Our Peoples, as well as bring justice for them. The Safety of Her People is a cornerstone of her being, However right behind this is her Being a Healer Chief and Chief Mona wants healing for all those effected by the violence of others, the past, discrimination, racism, etc. Chief Mona knows that to own our Future we must be healed of the Past, so she has this as her first guiding principle and desire for change.
Next, the Pandemic is on everyone’s mind and the Great Creator saw that we, of OCIP needed a Healing Chief, so sent to us Chief Mona. What the Chiefs of the past started needed to be continued, but now there is a new trial before us. It is one that needed to have a view of both the healing of the Body and Soul, for this time taxes all of us. A Chief without this healer’s heart could make a miss-step. But healers have always at the centre of their being the welfare of the person, family, group, etc. This is Why the Great Creator Blessed us with Chief Mona, for she is a gift of healing.
One such thing started by our Past Chiefs was the Issue of recognition. As Indigenous Peoples we need to be “Not Forgotten” and next recognized. The Chiefs of the Past saw to it that we were “Not Forgotten”, now is the time for recognition. This is Chief Mona’s Desire, that ALL Indigenous Peoples are recognized not just in OCIP or Ontario, but rather across Canada and then in the whole world. For our wisdom is as old as the rocks, as wide as the universe, and as important to mankind as the air we breathe. Yes, Chief Mona is wise enough to know that this will not happen in her lifetime. However it must start within and for OCIP, after all every flood or river started with the smallest drop of water.
Chief Mona’s final desire fits fully with her other desires. The Canadian Government, including the Ontario Government has adopted the UN Declaration for the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and in the coming years this is being thrust front and centre. This Document and the ideology it supports must be looked at by all in Ontario and in Canada. These articles will affect us all and if enacted correctly will be a beacon of hope for all Indigenous Peoples in the future. Here again is why discernment and compassion are needed, for a whole country lives under ignorance and fear of what will happen if we are given these rights. Yet in Truth they will be made stronger and only a Wise and Healing Chief can present this reality.
Chief Mona was sent to OCIP by the Great Creator into these troubling times not because she wanted it, but rather because we needed her leadership, healing, and strength. Will Chief Mona do all this, of course not; but here is where her great skill of uplifting those around her to do their best to work together. Chief Mona knows that the children and youth must be empowered to go forth, learn more and take their place in the future of OCIP. Next she empowers the budding wisdom keepers, healers, elders, and yes Chiefs, etc. to build upon their wisdom, flex their muscles and to take on more responsibility in OCIP to build a great future. Lastly, Chief Mona knows that we will not move one step without the wisdom and strength of the past. So she calls on all Elders, Wisdom Keepers, Healers, etc. do not think you have nothing left to offer, for OCIP and all Indigenous Peoples still need you.
This Truly is Why Chief Mona was chosen for these days and together we all will see a great an wonderful day. Chief Mona wishes us all the Wisdom, Strength, and good fortune that the Great Creator can give.