The Black Rod

The origin of the Usher of the Black Rod goes back to early fourteenth century England . Today, with no royal duties to perform, the Usher knocks on the doors of the House of Commons with the Black Rod at the start of Parliament to summon the members. The rod is a symbol for the authority of debate in the upper house. We of The Black Rod have since 2005, adopted the symbol to knock some sense and the right questions into the heads of Legislators, pundits, and other opinion makers.

Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada

We are citizen journalists in Winnipeg. When not breaking exclusive stories, we analyze news coverage by the mainstream media and highlight bias, ignorance, incompetence, flawed logic, missed angles and, where warranted, good work. We serve as the only overall news monitors in the province of Manitoba. We do the same with politicians (who require even more monitoring.) EMAIL:

Saturday, November 03, 2007

The 12 Steps Update and Feedback

It was two weeks ago that The Black Rod rose to the challenge of Ron Evans, Grand Chief of the Manitoba Association of Chiefs. If natives are to blame for social ills, he said, he would welcome help to fix the problems.

What he had in mind was a "roundtable" with, of course, all levels of government. Lots of talk, coverage on the television news, and a declaration or statement at the end. Then it's off to the casino for a little r 'n r.

We said waitaminit.
Why waste time and money?

Everyone already knows the problems and the answers. And we offered Ron Evans our 12 Step Program ( ). FOR FREE.

Sadly, we have to report it doesn't appear the AMC wants to change its ways.

Within days Ron Evans was in the news again, signing on to A NEW STUDY of aboriginal life in Winnipeg. And it will lead to A NEW REPORT.

The AMC and a Winnipeg think tank, the International Institute for Sustainable Development, would like the report out next May. Once they find the $100,000 it's going to cost.

Our consolation was in the flood of emails we got,and comments on fellow blog Small Dead Animals, which linked to our story, some of which we'll share with our readers:

A) Yahooooooo
When I read your article on the Manitoba Indians I thought I had died and gone to Heaven, man oh man finally somebody had the balls to speak out. This problem has been getting bigger and bigger every year yet our fine politicians, judges, social services, police chiefs etc etc have sat back on the gutless assess (sic) for years.

Please, please get over to Saskatchewan and see the exact same situation over there only worse. Keep writing and telling it like it is, but also be very careful.

This is the first time in my 45 years of adult life that I have seen and read the truth about native people. The first 15 years I thought all people like me were raised in honest loving homes, how naive. Keep up the excellent work.

B) Fantastic. Well done. Kudos. Thank you for saying very well things that most of us would like to say but cannot find the words, or string them together properly.

C) Bravo. Not politically correct, but the public does not want 'politically correct" anymore.

D) Wow, that's the most explosive yet sober and accurate commentary on aboriginal affairs I've ever read; kudos to you!

I suspect the pushback you're going to get if any of the native leaders actually read your blog will be unprecedented. Please make sure to let us know.


Memo to the Grand Chief was linked by Small Dead Animals and here's a sampling of the posts that appeared on the comment page.

Read it all at:

1) As a ex-Winnipegger, let me echo this...
"It's not because of racism, it's not because your daddy went to a residential school, and it's not because you're poor. It's because you're stupid."
Posted by: T...
(Read Memo to the Grand Chief for the context of the quote...ed)

2) Two thumbs way up. The quote given by T... should be a quote of the month or year.The whole thing should be published in the G&M, Star and NP.
Posted by: M.P.

3) Absolutely the best 12 step for Indians that one could possibly come up with. Kudos.That post should be read by every Indian and every politician in Canada.
Posted by: J.W.

4) It's tough to read, but I am glad he wrote it. Every single word the unabashed truth. So rare! It's saddening to know he will be hated by most for just writing it.
Posted by: D.M.


And this we received via email:

Why do you hide behind the name black rod?
Why don't you identify who you really are; what are you afraid of?
A person should be willing to give their real name when writing stories about the kind of things you do.

The use of pseudonyms is a social convention of the Blogosphere where rules for the new journalism and citizen reporters is still evolving.

We are simply following a long tradition of Manitoba journalism where dispatches from "Justicia" kept newspaper readers in Toronto aware of what was happening during the Riel Rebellion, and "Nor-Wester" and "Riviere Rouge" stirred up the letters pages of Montreal newspapers.

BTW, there's a radio show on CJOB by a guy who calls himself Charles Adler. Did you know that's NOT his real name? Go get 'em tiger.

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