There is one chief for a time of peace, but during a time of war, a War Chief steps forward.
If National Chief Shawn Atleo wants to remain National Chief, he will have to ensure that the time of war does not come.
Don't Get Hung Up on the Word 'War'
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak is the War Chief and he is fomenting a direct action movement against the government's pride and joy: The economy.
His rhetoric is bombastic and militaristic and he openly provoked the Prime Minister by demanding they all meet at the Delta Hotel instead of at Langevin Block for the January 11 meeting. He boycotted the meeting anyway.
Nepinak is Shadow Head of AFN
Pam Palmater has alleged Nepinak is already in control of the AFN:
Pam Palmater, an Idle No More spokesperson who ran against Atleo for the AFN leadership, said Atleo has no independent decision-making power. The fact Atleo and what she called "a minority of chiefs" attended the meeting "doesn't mean good things for the AFN," Palmater said on Power & Politics.
She also said that chiefs, such as Nepinak, who boycotted the meeting, "took their control back" and that they are the ones who control the AFN.
Grand Chief Derek Nepinak is openly advocating for direct action and threatened a vote of non-confidence against Atleo if he attended the meeting, which occurred today and that Atleo attended. We'll see how that plays out in the near future.
Idle No More
Nepinak has also co-opted Idle No More, saying that "Idle No More could bring Canada's economy to its knees". In essence, he is recruiting from the fringes of the Idle No More movement, laying out a tantalizing objective - bringing the economy, and the government, to its knees. He is amassing an army for direct action and already has plans to use it.
Don't Get Hung Up on the Word 'Army'
And so, as the War Chief builds an army and coordinates missions to subjugate the economy, he continues to aggrandize Atleo and Harper, poking them both with sharp sticks.
Even today he has called for the repeal of two bills, C31 and C45, another huge poke in Harper's eye.
A Word to the Wise
Free advice to the government: Create conditions that make it easy for National Chief Atleo to continue leading during a time of peace. You do not want the alternative.
Update January 14th
- Shawn Atleo has stepped aside as National Chief to regain his health. So much for my 'keep Atleo at the helm' plan.
- It is also worth noting that Perry Bellegarde is one of the interim heads of the AFN, and he is also in the close company Pam Palmater suggests is secretly running the AFN, as he also boycotted the J11 meeting.
- Derek Nepinak has issued a letter to the Prime Minister and let's say that he's still trying to poke the bear.