Friends, as a writer I always make it a point to at least read what other writers have to say, and especially if I disagree with them.

It’s just a good way to keep an open mind.

Somba K’e columnist Roy Erasmus, Sr. hits the nail right on the head with his latest, about how children have this habit of carrying on what goes on around them, usually from their parents.

For instance, in the manner of bullying, it is most often picked up at home and taken to the playground and beyond.

One of the things I noticed early, in my many travels to the American Southwest, is that this happens, even among the poorest of Americans, our Navajo Dine relatives.

Even though these people are at the very bottom of the social ladder, comparably, they still are made to believe that they are somehow superior to ‘those Arabs’, and others around the world.

Bullying, like smoking, drinking and drug use, as Mr. Erasmus mentions, is a learned behaviour, started in the home.

And, it’s not all bad, either, friends.

In the same issue of News/North there is a story about the pipeline issue finally being put to rest, after it first reared its ugly, greedy head way back in the early ‘70s.

Over the years I wrote quite a number of my columns here about the issue of fracking, and its direct links to cancer. I was glad to note the Northern public’s input eventually stopped even the GNWT’s support for this devastating practice.

As staff of the original Indian Brotherhood of the NWT, we fought against this pipeline form of ‘development’ on our lands, tooth and nail, and ended up with a 10-year moratorium set in place by Judge Thomas Berger, in 1977.

The Dene Nation even goes down in history, for doing its part, with the famous Paulette Case, for the national recognition of Aboriginal Rights, much in the news ever since.

The reason I say what has happened in the past is being repeated, even for the good, is that the younger generation carries on what we started.

My good friend John T’Seleie’s son, Daniel, went to South Dakota as a part of the movement to stop a pipeline going through Lakota lands, at Standing Rock.

He was so committed to this particular cause that he was fined some $1,500, in American dollars.

What this all means is that what Roy Erasmus and others have to say is right, that we need to keep an eye on what we say and do, for one way or another, someone is picking up on them.

Mahsi, thank you.

Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain is a Dene artist and writer originally from Radilih Koe/Fort Good Hope. He can be reached at www.mountainarts.com.

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