I felt I needed to find ways to connect with people in as many ways as I can and so I am starting this journey of keeping a Weblog (BLOG) of my adventures as I navigate my role as Xakiji. Short lesson #1 First of all, a little lesson here to set the proper protocol within our Tsuut’ina life way. I use them term “Xakiji” because that is the formal title in Tsuut’ina. The term Chief is acceptable when I am talking with other Headmen of their own Nations but I much rather prefer to address them in their own language if I learn it. It is a sign of respect. Enough of a lesson for now. I often get asked if I knew what I was getting into. The simple answer – “Yes, most definitely”. I pretty well knew since I was a young lad. I just didn’t know when and, in all honesty, I even began to doubt it myself. The days seemed to be growing shorter and I came to the realization a couple years ago that my ambition to be in a position of great responsibility was more of my idea and not that of what the community thought. Lesson learned on that day.  That was a day of reckoning for me. I remember that day clearly. It was Springtime 2016 and I was flustered with where my career was taking me. I worked part time in Casino Surveillance and as a disability navigator. Earning just enough to keep the bills paid and food on the table. I had a sudden moment of saying to creation itself. If the role I was to play for the rest of my life is to be a better father and community advocate then I accept that. It was not what I planned but had to give into an ego. I thought I better start making an idea for what I was going to do for the rest of my life as I crept ever so slowly to the dreaded “Elders age” (I still hate the thought by the way). There had to be an idea for a pension.  That’s when the thought of starting an apiarary (Honey Bees) was something worth giving a go. I reasoned that it wouldn’t be that much work and the initial investment was relatively minor. So that’s what I did. I bought myself a bee package and started to see where it would go. Suddenly I was getting calls from around the community to deal with their problem bees. Hunh? All I has was a bee suit and gloves but there I was getting rid of wasp nest and no honey bees. Still it was a good learning summer. …I digress… Back to the subject at hand…. Where was I? The reality of letting my name stand as a candidate for Xakiji (Chief) came though another long story and I will tell that story sometime in the future. Some people already know the story anyways. Anyways I did win by a slim margin and the outgoing Chief did call me to wish me good luck and said the people have spoken. I thanked him for that and took “the reins” from that point on. It has not been the smoothest of transitions and I stepped into a role where the community was very much divided in half. My winning was as much a surprise within my own community as it was outside. No one in the Native politics or the non-native business world heard of me so didn’t know how to react. It became a wait and see attitude by everyone. Kinda like downhill ski racing. The incline is steep and lots of high speed curves. The final result is will he make it to cross the finish line? Well the finish line is a long way off and I am in “full tuck” as life goes whizzing past. A few wider turns then I would like but still on course. Anyways, as more posts come along I will try to speak more to the point of whatever  it is I need to speak to. This is just the Intro in the non-sensical mind of Wakinyan Duuta. Stay connected, people, and lets change the world! Xakiji Lee Crowchild (April 17, 2018)]]>

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