Dispute about burial of Metis RCMP

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Unionist
Dispute about burial of Metis RCMP

Strange I never heard about this story before - I hope it belongs in this forum:

[url=http://www.cbc.ca/canada/story/2008/11/13/scoc-mountie.html?ref=rss]

Supreme Court refuses to intervene in Mountie burial dispute[/url]

Quote:

The Supreme Court of Canada has refused to intervene on behalf of
the parents of one of four Mounties killed in the Mayerthorpe massacre
in their legal bid to keep their son's body in a northern Alberta
cemetery.

In a decision released without comment Thursday, the top court
rejected a request by Const. Leo Johnston's parents to review the case.

Kelly Johnston said her husband would have chosen to be buried at
the national RCMP cemetery in Regina if he had known about it. But his
parents say he deserves the peace of remaining where he was buried in
Lac La Biche, Alta., 220 kilometres northeast of Edmonton.

Grace and Ron Johnston have also said moving their son's body after it's been interred would violate Métis tradition.

 

 

TVParkdale

My opinion is relatively simple.

He was Metis.

His job was RCMP.

It is, in all FN cultures I know of, an abomination to dig up the dead. 

I gather his wife was not Metis? 

Unionist

TVParkdale wrote:

It is, in all FN cultures I know of, an abomination to dig up the dead. 

I gather his wife was not Metis? 

The article doesn't say, but that seems to be the implication.

What surprised me is that for the Supreme Court to have said no, this issue must have been winding its way through at least two levels of court already. I'm going to do some google-sniffing to see if there's more info about this - like maybe a court decision.

Unionist

Ok - here is the original Court of Queen's Bench decision (PDF file) denying an application by Grace Johnston (mother) and the Alberta Metis Nation to stop the relocation of Leo Johnston's remains:

http://www.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb%5C2003-%5Cqb%5Ccivil%5C2007%5C2007abq...

And here is the Alberta Court of Appeal denying the Metis Nation's request to intervene in favour of Johnston's parents at the appeal level:

http://www2.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb%5C2003-%5Cca%5Ccivil%5C2008%5C2008ab...

And this is the Court of Appeal rejecting the request by the Metis Nation of Alberta to intervene:

http://www2.albertacourts.ab.ca/jdb%5C2003-%5Cca%5Ccivil%5C2008%5C2008ab...

Now I have to do some reading...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Well, the Supreme Court didn't say no, they simply refused to hear the case. That's why there was no comment. They effectively upheld the decision of the Alberta Court of Appeal, which was made in May.

Quote:

The written decision effectively ends attempts by Johnston's mother, Grace, to block the move on the grounds the grave shouldn't be disturbed because it is near his Metis ancestors.

She could appeal the ruling to the Supreme Court, but there is no guarantee the court would hear the case.

Kelly Johnston has said she believed her husband's wishes were to be buried in plot in the national cemetery.

In its written decision, the Court of Appeal said that because Kelly Johnston was Leo's wife, she had the right to determine what is done with his remains.

ETA: Sorry, cross-posted with unionist!

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I think the Courts made the right decision. Legally, Kelly Johnston has the authority to decide what to do with her husband's remains and how best to  accord with his wishes. Ethically, I don't see any disrespect to Metis culture, because the case is particular--Leo Johnston has no obligation to identify as Metis more than he identifies as a police officer. The courts assert no preference as to what is a better, or more moral choice for future cases.

Funeral services are for the living anyway. It's a shame that Leo Johsnton's parents will be offended, perhaps bitterly, by this, but you have to let your son gop eventually. Kelly has legal and moral jurisdiction over his remains.

TVParkdale

*shrugging*

I just don't GET IT.

The guy is buried. He's Metis. He is, for want of tactful words, merrily pushing up dandelions with his ancestors.

Why would someone want to move his remains?  Unless his widow [who might later marry someone else anyway] wants to be buried with him, and can't be?

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

Funeral services are for the living anyway. It's a shame that Leo Johsnton's parents will be offended, perhaps bitterly, by this, but you have to let your son go eventually. Kelly has legal and moral jurisdiction over his remains.

She certainly has legal jurisdiction, as administrator of his estate - which is what the courts found. I'm not sure about the "moral" part; you may be right. But the complicating factor here is the that the Metis Nation of Alberta went to court as well, asking for his remains to be undisturbed. If "funeral services are for the living" (which, I agree, they are), are the Metis not among the living?

Anyway, I'm of several different minds about this one.

TVParkdale

unionist wrote:
Catchfire wrote:

Funeral services are for the living anyway. It's a shame that Leo Johsnton's parents will be offended, perhaps bitterly, by this, but you have to let your son go eventually. Kelly has legal and moral jurisdiction over his remains.

She certainly has legal jurisdiction, as administrator of his estate - which is what the courts found. I'm not sure about the "moral" part; you may be right. But the complicating factor here is the that the Metis Nation of Alberta went to court as well, asking for his remains to be undisturbed. If "funeral services are for the living" (which, I agree, they are), are the Metis not among the living?

Anyway, I'm of several different minds about this one.

 

I'm not conflicted at all. The guy is already buried. He may even be buried in sacred ground for all I know since it's not written there anywhere.

I might feel differently if they had this argument the day he died instead of dragging it through the courts to this point.  I fail to understand how that didn't happen in the first place if she was living with him during the time of his death and had legal custody of the body.

I don't know why she'd fight to dig him up and hurt his whole community.

She's his wife but this is HIS NATION.

Maybe it's a 'Nishy thing. I dunno...

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yes, well I'm not sure of the tact Kelly Johnston uses in exhuming the remains of her husband considering her family's (and the métis nation's) beliefs. I suppose my point mainly is that I don't see any special significance that this case involves First Nations. I don't feel that an already marginalized people is being singled out, and I don't think that this decision works to further marginalize FN beliefs. So I think this is entirely a legal question. Consider Terri Schiavo--I think most people would believe that the husband's  interpretation of his wife's spiritual and physical wishes should stand (although, Schiavo was arguably still alive, and had a vested interest in the case--I don't think Leo does).

 I'm not entirely set in my opinion, though. Can someone tell me why the métis should have any say in this situation at all, except to affirm Leo's parents' assertion that it is sacreligious to dig up buried remains according to métis tradition? 

George Victor

 

I believe that 2 ponies recent posting about the corrupting influence of religion and its tendency to divert energy and attention away from attempts by FN people to take postive action on their situation, applies here. 

quote:

 In my view, there is a significant “drift” towards the establishment of theocracies in several FN communities; at least 75% of the meetings I go to in FN communities start off with a prayer I take offense to this type of practice because I like to decide when & how I pray; with a braid of Sweetgrass in the privacy of my home – but sometimes I’m forced to hear a prayer to Jesus (from a FN person), other times a prayer to the Creator, the point is I’m basically forced. But is this open to discussion? No. And to suggest any other practice often results in being labelled with some pejorative term. There isn’t enough debate in our communities by & large; there isn’t enough discussion on how we’re going to allocate limited resources in an effort to ensure that youth have a chance at succeeding in this rapidly changing world, for instance. There’s a significant tendency for groupthink, and disagreements are largely solved by way of finger-pointing & allegations- at least in my experience as a 32 year old FN person with 14 years working in FN communities & organizations.

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I'm sure that unionist would agree with this sentiment.

Unionist

Catchfire wrote:

Can someone tell me why the métis should have any say in this situation at all, except to affirm Leo's parents' assertion that it is sacreligious to dig up buried remains according to métis tradition? 

 

Here's what the Metis Nation said in a letter to Kelly Johnston last January:

 

Quote:
Dear Ms. Kelly Johnston,


It’s been more then 3 years since Constable Leo
Johnston fell in the line of duty but the Métis Nation
and all of Canada still mourns for the loss of your
husband. We all owe a great debt to him and his
fellow Constables for what they did on that tragic day
in Mayerthorpe, Alberta. He served to protect us all
and he will always be remembered as a dedicated
Constable, a proud Métis, a beloved son and brother,
devoted husband, and a true hero.


In life, your husband stood as a role model for his
hometown, an example to every young Métis on
what they could achieve through dedication and
hard work. The pride he had of his community is
matched only by the pride his community had in him
and continues to have in his memory. The people of
Lac La Biche and the entire Métis Nation take great
comfort knowing his spirit remains with his people,
in the town where he was born and raised, in the
homeland of his ancestors.


I hope you will reconsider your decision to have your
husband disinterred and taken away from his people
and his family. His resting place is a place of honour,
an enduring testament to his selfless sacrifice and an
eternal memorial to his cherished place in the hearts
of his family and the Métis Nation.


I close by offering, on behalf of myself and the entire
Métis Nation, sincere condolences for your loss. I
hope you can fi nd strength and guidance from his
memory in making this difficult decision.


Yours Sincerely,
Clément Chartier
President,
Métis National Council

 

[url=http://www.metisnation.ca/press/08-june26.html]Source.[/url]

TVParkdale

George Victor wrote:

 

I believe that 2 ponies recent posting about the corrupting influence of religion and its tendency to divert energy and attention away from attempts by FN people to take postive action on their situation, applies here.

quote:

In my view, there is a significant “drift” towards the establishment of theocracies in several FN communities; at least 75% of the meetings I go to in FN communities start off with a prayer I take offense to this type of practice because I like to decide when & how I pray; with a braid of Sweetgrass in the privacy of my home – but sometimes I’m forced to hear a prayer to Jesus (from a FN person), other times a prayer to the Creator, the point is I’m basically forced. But is this open to discussion? No. And to suggest any other practice often results in being labelled with some pejorative term. There isn’t enough debate in our communities by & large; there isn’t enough discussion on how we’re going to allocate limited resources in an effort to ensure that youth have a chance at succeeding in this rapidly changing world, for instance. There’s a significant tendency for groupthink, and disagreements are largely solved by way of finger-pointing & allegations- at least in my experience as a 32 year old FN person with 14 years working in FN communities & organizations.

--------------------------------------------------------------------------

I'm sure that unionist would agree with this sentiment.

Although I agree with the Theocracy drift problem, particularly as I'm atheist--I still back Metis Nation on this one.

It isn't about the religious aspect. It's about disenfranchisment of a NATION.

She *married* him. That's all. Where are the children in this? What are they saying? They're Metis, what do they want to see happen?

Cripes, I still DON'T GET IT! 

 

Scout

So if she'd popped out a few kids she'd be worthy of having her rights respected? 

It's not about a disenfranchised nation at all. It's about respecting her rights as a spouse - starting making exception for one religion and the next one will be knocking on the door.

 Marriage is a lot to things to different people but no one has the right to dismissing it and suggesting race or religion trumps it or a "NATION" does for that matter. After all that went into gaining equal marriage in this country and the shit that is Prop 8 in the US it makes me more than a bit irrate to have to listen to someone shit on another person's choice to marry and have it belittled. It's out of order.

HeywoodFloyd

TVParkdale wrote:
If the wife was so enamored of burying him somewhere else, she had her opportunity to do that when he died.

If she had legal custody of the body when he died why she didn't bury him elsewhere THEN?

Nobody here has successfully answered that question.

 She didn't know about it

 http://www.canada.com/edmontonjournal/news/story.html?id=9f056220-1266-4591-82b5-4ea70b1e19da&p=2

 

Quote:

About two months after her husband's burial, Kelly Johnston learned that there was a special cemetery for fallen officers at the RCMP Training Academy in Regina, known as Depot.

She decided she wanted Johnston's remains moved to Regina because she believes he would have wanted to be buried in the city where he got his RCMP badge and where they fell in love.

 

TVParkdale

Scout wrote:

So if she'd popped out a few kids she'd be worthy of having her rights respected?

It's not about a disenfranchised nation at all. It's about respecting her rights as a spouse - starting making exception for one religion and the next one will be knocking on the door.

Marriage is a lot to things to different people but no one has the right to dismissing it and suggesting race or religion trumps it or a "NATION" does for that matter. After all that went into gaining equal marriage in this country and the shit that is Prop 8 in the US it makes me more than a bit irrate to have to listen to someone shit on another person's choice to marry and have it belittled. It's out of order.

That is because you are stuck in the idea that FN are not *sovereign nations*, we're "Canadians" in your view.

The reason I mentioned children is because the children are Metis so why aren't their voices heard?

Marrying someone doesn't take necessarily precedence.

If the wife was so enamored of burying him somewhere else, she had her opportunity to do that when he died.

If she had legal custody of the body when he died why she didn't bury him elsewhere THEN?

Nobody here has successfully answered that question. So I went looking for it:

"Constable Johnston, who was Métis, was buried in the Willow Park
Cemetery in Lac La Biche, Alberta shortly after his death.
Approximately one year later his widow Kelly Barsness (who was also the
Administrator of his estate, and WHO HAD ORIGINALLY AGREED to his
burial in Lac La Biche
)
sought to have his place of burial changed to
the special RCMP Cemetery in Depot, Saskatchewan. "

Now she later claims she didn't know he could be buried at the RCMP cemetary. Well sorry, I don't buy it. It would have been right there in the benefits packages that she paid for the original burial with. And I doubt that all his RCMP buddies would have kept their mouths shut about it, either.

She doesn't get to change her mind a year later at the emotional expense of everyone else.

If he was  a France National and his French family came over, took the body and buried him there  with her permission-- would she be allowed to go over there and dig him up a year later? What would I expect the French government to say about it?

I'm pretty sure they'd tell the wife, "Thanks but no thanks. You had your chance."

 

TVParkdale

HeywoodFloyd wrote:
TVParkdale wrote:
If the wife was so enamored of burying him somewhere else, she had her opportunity to do that when he died.

If she had legal custody of the body when he died why she didn't bury him elsewhere THEN?

Nobody here has successfully answered that question.

 

Sorry heywood, was editing when you posted LOL 

Scout

Quote:
That is because you are stuck in the idea that FN are not *sovereign nations*, we're "Canadians" in your view.

No, not really. Nasty poke though. It doesn't matter who is coercing her they have no right.

Quote:
The reason I mentioned children is because the children are Metis so why aren't their voices heard?

Maybe because they are children and not the spouse? It's not coming across any less  unprogressive when you change the phrasing. You're suggesting that a grown women shouldn't make a decision that some how her children are more important than she is because she's not the right race.

Quote:
Marrying someone doesn't take necessarily precedence.

Actually it does. This is where your righteousness falls down. Being his spouse means she gets to make the decisions. Unless he wrote a will that indicates other wishes she is the voice for him when he's dead or incapcitated. That's one of the reasons us non-religious folks get married.

 

Quote:
She doesn't get to change her mind a year later at the emotional expense of everyone else.

Yes she does - you may not like it but she can decide whatever she wants and it's really not too many people's business.

Stargazer

I don't agree with the decision to allow her to remove the body. This man has parents, other family. The wife is NOW deciding to hell with them, I'm doing what I want. That would have been fine, BUT, the husband was clearly a large part of his community, was clearly a proud Metis, and clearly the community respected him. Sorry but no, the wife should respect the wishes of others at this point. And I bet the RCMP had something to do with chamging her mind.

Sorry, not cool to dig up your dead husband just because she wants him buried where the police are buried. 

Unless there is some evidence he wanted to be buried in the RCMP burial ground, then she should leave his body alone. Also, does she even give a hoot about what it means to her husband and his tradtion to have him dug up and reburied? Apparently not. 

 

 

Unionist

Scout, I fully agree with you that the decision belongs to the spouse in this case.

But the fact that the parents and the Metis Nation are extremely upset, to the point of going through all these court battles, shows that there's an underlying problem which needs to be addressed. It doesn't mean anyone gets to veto Kelly Johnston's decision. But it looks to me more than just a question of legality or a difference of opinion between family members.

TVParkdale

Scout wrote:

Quote:
That is because you are stuck in the idea that FN are not *sovereign nations*, we're "Canadians" in your view.

No, not really. Nasty poke though. It doesn't matter who is coercing her they have no right.

Quote:
The reason I mentioned children is because the children are Metis so why aren't their voices heard?

Maybe because they are children and not the spouse? It's not coming across any less unprogressive when you change the phrasing. You're suggesting that a grown women shouldn't make a decision that some how her children are more important than she is because she's not the right race.

Quote:
Marrying someone doesn't take necessarily precedence.

Actually it does. This is where your righteousness falls down. Being his spouse means she gets to make the decisions. Unless he wrote a will that indicates other wishes she is the voice for him when he's dead or incapcitated. That's one of the reasons us non-religious folks get married.

She MADE the decision. Then she self-centredly changed her mind at everyone else's expense. She's not "his voice"--the man is dead and can't speak for himself.  Nobody is "his voice" unless we find his written instructions and they must not exist or else she would have dragged that little piece of information through the court.

But of course, she couldn't do THAT because it would prove she knew the option existed at the time of his death. 

Quote:
She doesn't get to change her mind a year later at the emotional expense of everyone else.

Yes she does - you may not like it but she can decide whatever she wants and it's really not too many people's business.

It is when she drags it through court to disinter his body. She MADE it everyone's business. 

Right.

If he was Jewish and she was Catholic and SHE AGREED to bury him in Jewish cemetery you can be damn sure she wouldn't be legally allowed to dig him up a year later because she found was offered a free plot the Catholic cemetery. And if she tried, you can be damn sure the Jewish community would be rightfully piffed.

The only reason this even GOT to court is because it's an RCMP cemetery and somehow that qualifies as "greater than" the Metis Nation or his family. 

The woman is selfish, inconsiderate and has no regard for the feelings of anyone else in this matter.

She has no understanding whatsoever of the man's culture or history. 

She dragged this thing through court and I can tell you right now if that was my brother they'd be dragging my body off the gravesite before they got to the corpse.

Can we say "shades of Oka" anyone?

TVParkdale

Stargazer wrote:

I don't agree with the decision to allow her to remove the body. This man has parents, other family. The wife is NOW deciding to hell with them, I'm doing what I want. That would have been fine, BUT, the husband was clearly a large part of his community, was clearly a proud Metis, and clearly the community respected him. Sorry but no, the wife should respect the wishes of others at this point. And I bet the RCMP had something to do with chamging her mind.

Sorry, not cool to dig up your dead husband just because she wants him buried where the police are buried.

Unless there is some evidence he wanted to be buried in the RCMP burial ground, then she should leave his body alone. Also, does she even give a hoot about what it means to her husband and his tradtion to have him dug up and reburied? Apparently not.

 

 

It's that utter lack of respect that makes me wonder what this woman's REAL motives are.

Whatever they are, they sure didn't come out in court. 

Scout

Quote:
She MADE the decision. Then she self-centredly changed her mind at everyone else's expense. She's not "his voice"--the man is dead and can't speak for himself.  Nobody is "his voice" unless we find his written instructions and they must not exist or else she would have dragged that little piece of information through the court.

In the eyes of the law as his spouse she is his voice unless he left other written details. He didn't.

Quote:
But, said Russ Brown, it was a foregone conclusion from the beginning.

"The regulations to the Cemeteries Act make it very clear that it's the spouse who has the last word on this, which makes sense," said Brown.

- from the above linked article.

Quote:
Chartier urged Kelly Johnston to "delay her actions until she can fully appreciate and understand what the issues are."

Stargazer when any man speaks to a woman like this it's wrong, she was married to him and to speak to her as if she's an ignorant idiot unable to understand how much more important her husband is to them than he is to her is not right.  And if this was the Catholic Church you'd be steaming mad - the double standard is wrong.

It isn't clear that most of the people fighting for him to stay buried even knew him personally. The explain to his wife what an inspiration he is but really they have his living twin who is also in the RCMP let him inspire the community.

Quote:
It is when she drags it through court to disinter his body. She MADE it everyone's business.
 

Lucky for us the law applies to all people who live here and not just those who think their culture carries a big enough stick that they can over-ride the interests of individuals. Also it wasn't her idea to go to court it looks like it was his parents, who had back-up. How nice for them to put their son's widow though the expense.

Quote:
Also, does she even give a hoot about what it means to her husband and his tradtion to have him dug up and reburied? Apparently not.

Apparently that's your bias, she is claiming to be acting on what he gave a damn about. Everyone else seems to be talking more about what it means to them and their culture and their community and their pride. She the only one wo seems to be talking about his life. 

Quote:
It's that utter lack of respect that makes me wonder what this woman's REAL motives are.

Whatever they are, they sure didn't come out in court.

Wow, this is a bit much, now your suggesting she had nefarious motives. Why? Cause she's white? You need to dial it back.

Quote:
Can we say "shades of Oka" anyone? 

That's out of proportion.

 

Quote:
But the fact that the parents and the Metis Nation are extremely upset, to the point of going through all these court battles, shows that there's an underlying problem which needs to be addressed. It doesn't mean anyone gets to veto Kelly Johnston's decision. But it looks to me more than just a question of legality or a difference of opinion between family members.

It doesn't give them the right to put Kelly Johnston through the crap they have - taking ads out in the newspaper to "convince" her? Hey how about the Catholic Church put big ads in the paper begging specific women to not have an abortion?

 

TVParkdale

Scout wrote:

Quote:
She MADE the decision. Then she self-centredly changed her mind at everyone else's expense. She's not "his voice"--the man is dead and can't speak for himself. Nobody is "his voice" unless we find his written instructions and they must not exist or else she would have dragged that little piece of information through the court.

In the eyes of the law as his spouse she is his voice unless he left other written details. He didn't.

Quote:
But, said Russ Brown, it was a foregone conclusion from the beginning.

"The regulations to the Cemeteries Act make it very clear that it's the spouse who has the last word on this, which makes sense," said Brown.

- from the above linked article.

Quote:
Chartier urged Kelly Johnston to "delay her actions until she can fully appreciate and understand what the issues are."

Stargazer when any man speaks to a woman like this it's wrong, she was married to him and to speak to her as if she's an ignorant idiot unable to understand how much more important her husband is to them than he is to her is not right. And if this was the Catholic Church you'd be steaming mad - the double standard is wrong.

Asking her to reconsider her selfish actions is "is wrong" because a Metis MALE said that to a white woman? So he's now, what? Patronizing her or something?

Are you aware that his own mother, Grace Johnston tried to negotiate with her before any of this hit the papers and  she absolutely refused to discuss it? And that his mother states it was HIS wish to be buried there? 

That his mother goes to the grave every day? Did his wife? So, she burys him in Regina and what--everyone gets to take the bus but the wife? How convenient!

Also, I don't see his brother, who was, as a twin, likely privvy to many secrets, jumping in on Kelly's side, here. 

What has the Catholic Church got to do with it? What "double standard"? Do you see the Catholics disintering their cemetaries to accomodate anyone at this point?

Where do you get the abortion analogy? Ludicrous. 

It isn't clear that most of the people fighting for him to stay buried even knew him personally. The explain to his wife what an inspiration he is but really they have his living twin who is also in the RCMP let him inspire the community.

His parents "didn't know him personally"? How did you work that out?

Oh, so Metis are fungible according to you?  His twin is just the same as he is? Why don't you ask their mother Grace, if she thinks that? Oops lost one kid, too bad, you have another just like it, lady.

You get the live twin, she gets the dead body? Just take Indian A out of there and we'll let you have Indian B. 

 

Quote:
It is when she drags it through court to disinter his body. She MADE it everyone's business.

Lucky for us the law applies to all people who live here and not just those who think their culture carries a big enough stick that they can over-ride the interests of individuals.

That' the precise part of this problem that you and this woman DO NOT GET.

The rights of the individual in Native culture DO NOT override their responsibilities.  There's no word in ANY native language for "rights" there are only words that mean "responsibility".

So what is his mother, chopped liver here? In cultural terms SHE has a large say in what happens--but of course that doesn' t fit in YOUR world view, nor that of the wife.

KB chose to marry a Metis man. That's her choice.

With that choice comes certain responsibilities whether she likes it or not.

The responsibility of the Metis community in this is to try and make some peace and keep him where he's buried because it is an abomination to them, to dig up the dead. Their responsibility is not to necessarily agree with, or even uphold, a flawed court decision. 

If KB chose to marry an Italian and agreed to have him buried in Italy, you can be damn sure the pope would refuse to ship the body back if she changed her mind. 

Also it wasn't her idea to go to court it looks like it was his parents, who had back-up. How nice for them to put their son's widow though the expense.

How nice of their son's widow to insult them, his culture and his dead body. 

I told you before and I tell you again.

Had she tried to pull this stunt with another country she'd be told to blow. Not handed a respectful letter requesting her co-operation. You didn't respond to that point, because you know it's true.

But of course, it comes down AGAIN as to whether we are sovreign nations or simply Canadian wards of the court. 

Quote:
Also, does she even give a hoot about what it means to her husband and his tradtion to have him dug up and reburied? Apparently not.

Apparently that's your bias, she is claiming to be acting on what he gave a damn about. Everyone else seems to be talking more about what it means to them and their culture and their community and their pride. She the only one wo seems to be talking about his life.

Read what was actually said by the Metis and his family, not your limited interpretation of it. 

She can claim he wanted to throw fart flames out his ass. Doesn't make it true. She has no proof of where he wanted to be buried. Now had she made this decision at the start nobody would be piffed off about it, her decision would have been accepted like it is on a daily basis with other Metis across the country who choose to be buried outside the community.

But she didn't DO that, did she?

You keep refusing to see that part of it. SHE made the choice to bury him there. SHE did. Nobody stuck a gun at her head and said, "Bury him here."

 

Quote:
It's that utter lack of respect that makes me wonder what this woman's REAL motives are.

Whatever they are, they sure didn't come out in court.

Wow, this is a bit much, now your suggesting she had nefarious motives. Why? Cause she's white? You need to dial it back.

Dial it back? I don't trust her motives because she's "white?" I don't trust her motives because she's an inconsiderate idiot to his family and memory no matter what colour she is. 

And I suspect in a year or two, she's going to be slapping a lawsuit on somebody over this. Or capitalizing in some other way. In fact, I'd bet a moose meat DINNER on it. 

Quote:
Can we say "shades of Oka" anyone?

That's out of proportion.

Quote:
But the fact that the parents and the Metis Nation are extremely upset, to the point of going through all these court battles, shows that there's an underlying problem which needs to be addressed. It doesn't mean anyone gets to veto Kelly Johnston's decision. But it looks to me more than just a question of legality or a difference of opinion between family members.

It doesn't give them the right to put Kelly Johnston through the crap they have - taking ads out in the newspaper to "convince" her? Hey how about the Catholic Church put big ads in the paper begging specific women to not have an abortion?

Oh please, it's apples and oranges. It's not Kelly's body--it's her husband's and he's DEAD. 

What would you rather they do? Stand on her doorstep? Throw themselves in front of the bulldozers?

If they did, what would you be accusing them of then? Stalking and harassment maybe? 

Doesn't seem like she's hiding from the media that I've noticed. In fact, she seems to be using them quite effectively.  The "because we fell in love and he got his badge here" was effectively touching.

She knew full well from the start he could be buried in the RCMP cemetary. That offer would have been made to her from the RCMP and it was likely listed in the benefit plan.

The wife may have the so-called "legal right" in Canadian law, but when you screw other people over selfishly , you can expect them to fight back.

Pardon his family for thinking she may not have known his wishes all that well. 

Especially since she was only married to him for a year.

 

The sad part is, the way he died, I think most people would feel a lot of empathy for Kelly and particularly the Metis, if she hadn't pulled this stunt. 

 

Scout

Quote:
Asking her to reconsider her selfish actions is "is wrong" because a Metis MALE said that to a white woman? So he's now, what? Patronizing her or something?

She's delayed her actions while she went to court for a year and by your own words has had conversations with his parents so she can "fully appreciate" the situation. I think his tone was utterly patronizing. It's wrong because it treats her as if she hasn't had a thought about this and that at his behest must make a better effort to see his side and cave. Are you suggesting that because he's Metis he can't be patronizing to a woman?

Quote:
Are you aware that his own mother, Grace Johnston tried to negotiate with her before any of this hit the papers and  she absolutely refused to discuss it? And that his mother states it was HIS wish to be buried there? 

Was he living with his mother? Does his mother over-ride his wife? No, he chose to get married and make decisions about his life with his wife.

Quote:
That his mother goes to the grave every day? Did his wife? So, she burys him in Regina and what--everyone gets to take the bus but the wife? How convenient!

I don't think they went everyday but then again I guess the wife should take the bus. She apparently has the least right to him in death.

Quote:
What has the Catholic Church got to do with it? What "double standard"? Do you see the Catholics disintering their cemetaries to accomodate anyone at this point?

Did you not yourself bring other religions into this conversation? I am merely pointing out that no group has the right to tell his wife were to bury him.

Quote:
Where do you get the abortion analogy? Ludicrous. 

Well you sure are wonderful to have a discussion with.

Quote:
His parents "didn't know him personally"? How did you work that out?

I said most, besides his parents and brother the rest of the people buying ads, sending letter and court the media like what he accomplished but do not appear to know him. It would be super if you'd stop twisting my words.

Quote:
Oh, so Metis are fungible according to you?  His twin is just the same as he is? Why don't you ask their mother Grace, if she thinks that? Oops lost one kid, too bad, you have another just like it, lady.

The letter above mentions what a shining example to the community he was, well he's dead and the are other living and breathing shining examples for the community - like his brother. Better a living role model for youth right?

Quote:
So what is his mother, chopped liver here? In cultural terms SHE has a large say in what happens--but of course that doesn' t fit in YOUR world view, nor that of the wife.

Is the wife chopped liver? I feel for his Mother but her son made a choice to marry whom he did. 

Quote:
With that choice comes certain responsibilities whether she likes it or not.

Really? How can you suggest that? What responsibilty did he take on when he married a non-Metis? Why does his being Metis supercede the marriage he entered into?

[quoteIf KB chose to marry an Italian and agreed to have him buried in Italy, you can be damn sure the pope would refuse to ship the body back if she changed her mind. 

If the Pope could do that and I'm not sure he can he would still be the same asshole he always was and I'd disagree with his belief that he has the right do dictate such things. It would be wrong.

Quote:
How nice of their son's widow to insult them, his culture and his dead body. 

How nice of them to drag his widow through all this so strangers on the internet can accuse her of some scary hidden agenda and of doing this on purpose.

Quote:
Had she tried to pull this stunt with another country she'd be told to blow. Not handed a respectful letter requesting her co-operation. You didn't respond to that point, because you know it's true.[/quote

Really? Prove it. Countries that don't respect her wishes aren't the problem her though. Her problem is in in-laws who don't think the marriage she had means a hill of beans.

Quote:
But of course, it comes down AGAIN as to whether we are sovreign nations or simply Canadian wards of the court.

No, not really. It comes down to wether they have the right to dictate to her where she buries her spouse. Wether any parent has the right to impose their wishes.

Quote:
Read what was actually said by the Metis and his family, not your limited interpretation of it. 

I did, please fill me in on what my ignorant self is missing that proves she's lying.

Quote:
She can claim he wanted to throw fart flames out his ass. Doesn't make it true. She has no proof of where he wanted to be buried.

Yes she can! That's the point as his spouse she can claim that he wanted to be sent into orbit and in the absence of a will her word is all there is. They lived to together, shared a bed and a life. She is his intimate partner. Not estranged wife but a wife in a position to know her spouse.

Quote:
Now had she made this decision at the start nobody would be piffed off about it, her decision would have been accepted like it is on a daily basis with other Metis across the country who choose to be buried outside the community.

How do you know that? I didn't read that? Quote please.

Quote:
But she didn't DO that, did she? 

You keep refusing to see that part of it. SHE made the choice to bury him there. SHE did. Nobody stuck a gun at her head and said, "Bury him here."

So? She an change her mind. There is no evidence that she's lying about knowing where he could be buried. So I can't see her changing her mind lightly, another funeral would likely be very painful for her too.

Quote:
Also, does she even give a hoot about what it means to her husband and his tradtion to have him dug up and reburied? Apparently not.

You don't know that. Only she knows what it meant to him. And she's saying this is what he would want. She apparently gives a huge "hoot" as this is a circus and a reasonable person wouldn't do this without feeling strongly and there is no evidence that's she not a reasonable person. Even though she has won the decision she isn't rushing to move him, she is giving his family time to adjust. 

Quote:
Oh please, it's apples and oranges. It's not Kelly's body--it's her husband's and he's DEAD. 

Well that's your opinion, I see it as one culture applying pressure to an individual to abide by their culture. Your incredibly dismissive of opinions different than your own.

Quote:
She knew full well from the start he could be buried in the RCMP cemetary. That offer would have been made to her from the RCMP and it was likely listed in the benefit plan.

Anyone else calling her a liar but you? His family?

Quote:
Especially since she was only married to him for a year.

Ah another one of your reasons she doens't get a say - she didn't have any kids, then again if she had they would still over-ride her some how and now she hasn't been married to him long enough to have any rights.

Quote:
The sad part is, the way he died, I think most people would feel a lot of empathy for Kelly and particularly the Metis, if she hadn't pulled this stunt. 

I don't think it's a stunt, nothing back's that up other than your bias. And empathy with a price tag is worthless. 

TVParkdale

Scout: 

I'm going to put a stop to this right now.

You are stuck in your Euro-American view that the wife has all the rights here because that is what the law says.

Saying this:

"It isn't clear that most of the people fighting for him to stay buried
even knew him personally. The explain to his wife what an inspiration
he is but really they have his living twin who is also in the RCMP let
him inspire the community."

The letter above mentions what a shining example to the community he
was, well he's dead and the are other living and breathing shining
examples for the community - like his brother. Better a living role
model for youth right?

Is racist. 

There's no other term for it.

It is racist.

If you don't know why I suggest you haul off to an anti-oppression workshop first thing in the morning.

The Metis Nation that is fighting this, his family and others share the view that it is abhorrant to disenter the dead, that she had her opportunity to bury him wherever she chose  the first time and she has broken her word and her agreement  to change his burial place. 

You want to defend that? Fine. Do it. Go for it. By all means, continue.

The polar opposite opinions I can tolerate.

Your bigotry and projection I will not. Find another fool to play with.

 

 

 

Scout

You win - you called me a racist - you win. No way I can argue jack shit now. It won't matter what I said, you can't even piece what I meant back together anyway you have so badly bastardized it. You win, you have killed the dissent.

You're are real prize addition to babble.

remind remind's picture

No scout, he doesn't win. And I personally cannot believe that it was suggested to you that you need to take anti-oppression classes.

TVparkdale perhaps you should think about how it would feel to have someone say you should take some anti-sexist or sensitivity training/ classes?

Anyhow, I have been reluctant to get into this as I can see it from too many sides and have a reluctance to discuss publically someone's private matters, Having said that I have been weighing what I would do in a simalr position. And interestingly, at least to me, I never gave it thought, though it something we, my partner and I, should have discussed long ago.

However,  I must agree with scout, "nationhood" does not trump spousal rights, ever! full stop. Moreover, it does not matter whose nationhood it is, either. In fact, I am not even sure this belongs in this forum. It is not about aboriginal rights.

It is about spousal rights.

It is about a woman, who wants her dead husband moved to another burial site that she believes honours him in a special way, for how he died. It does not matter what anyone else believes, if it is an honour, or a dishonour. It is her right and her choice to do what she chooses, alone, without recrimination nor judgement.

 

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

Michelle

Okay, I think we need to get a grip on quoting etiquette with this new software. It's not necessary to quote a huge, long, scrolling post full of quotes inside quotes inside quotes in order to respond to people. Could we please try not to do that? Thanks.

Also, I'm seeing a difference of opinion here based on two different worldviews, which isn't surprising. Scout (and now remind) is seeing this from a very individualist perspective which is common in white, European-descended culture, and TVParkdale is seeing this from a more collective, community standpoint that is common in First Nations and Metis culture.

So, as a result, Scout and remind see TVParkdale's point of view on this issue as sexist, or in Scout's words, "unprogressive", because they feel it takes individual power away from the wife, and TVParkdale sees Scout's point of view as racist because he feels she isn't respecting the communitarian values of Indigenous culture.

I think that since this thread is in the Indigenous Issues and Culture forum, that it's important to hear about this from an Aboriginal perspective.

So perhaps everyone could call a truce on this argument, since it seems to be going around in circles at this point, your positions and points have been made clearly, and before anything more hurtful things are said to each other. And then we can continue in this thread exploring the perspective of the Metis groups involved in this dispute since this IS the Aboriginal Issues and Culture forum.

Also, it would be great if we could discuss this without getting angry and confrontational. Way back at the beginning of the argument between Scout and TVParkdale, I saw an angry tone right from the start on both sides, and now remind has jumped in with more. When it starts out like that, there's not much of a chance that it won't get even more heated down the line.

Scout

Thanks for nothing Michelle.

Michelle

You're welcome.  What forum do you think you're in?  You called him "unprogressive" and implied that he's sexist.  The tone of your posts in this thread was hostile from the start.  What do you expect?

Unionist

I was under the impression TVParkdale identified as a "she", Michelle, though I stand to be corrected.

Michelle

Oops!  Sorry!

Caissa

Scout  has been a voice of progressiveness and reason throughout this debate, Michelle. She has been the sinned not a sinner.

 

The law on this issue is clear. My understanding is that Kelly Johnston has no intentions to have a hasty exhumation and reinternment.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

The law is white law. I tend to agree with it, as I stated upthread, but this:

Michelle wrote:
I think that since this thread is in the Indigenous Issues and Culture
forum, that it's important to hear about this from an Aboriginal
perspective.

Should be respected. Unionist made a very thoughtful (and sort!) post that encapsulated the issue quite nicely and deserves repeating:

unionist wrote:

Scout, I fully agree with you that the decision belongs to the spouse in this case.

But the fact that the parents and the Metis Nation are extremely upset,
to the point of going through all these court battles, shows that
there's an underlying problem which needs to be addressed. It doesn't mean anyone gets to veto Kelly Johnston's decision. But it looks to me more than just a question of legality or a difference of opinion between family members.

 

 

Scout

I didn't imply anything. I plain out called her on being unprogessive, I don't think she's sexist but I think she will happily set aside some views to accomplish others. Suggesting a woman's children are more important than she is, is unprogressive. So is continuing to rail that's she "just a wife". To make up scheming motives for a woman to put her down is right out of the right wing hand book. Not progressive.

I understanding wanting this woman to change her mind but it's a whole different matter to attack her with lies and suggest she just doesn't get it and needs to rethink her decsions and that well if she had been married longer she'd get a say. No room here to understand that the husband made a choice - no ones giving him hell for not writing his wishes down, nope it's her fault for marrying a Metis and not being willing to take responsibilty for that. Sorry that's wrong and it's not progressive. Want to rail against the state? White culture? Great, but to focus on this woman and to attack her for being "just a wife" is not progressive. I think I was more than restrained dealing with that kind of garbage.

TVParkdale responded agressively over and over again, mangling anything I posted until the final jab that I'm a racist. I reported this to you instead of having a big pissing match and your giving her a pass.

The problem isn't this woman. The problem is a clash of cultures and the only person to really blame is dead. It's much eaier to make this about the woman.

Caissa

The accusation of racism was without merit and should not have been given a free pass.

remind remind's picture

Michelle:

You read a tone in my words that was not there. And I was giving my view point as a partner of a FN's person.

Moreover, it is a woman's/spousal issue, period. And I thought tvparkdale identified  as a male.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

TVParkdale

remind wrote:

 

Anyhow, I have been reluctant to get into this as I can see it from too many sides and have a reluctance to discuss publically someone's private matters, Having said that I have been weighing what I would do in a simalr position. And interestingly, at least to me, I never gave it thought, though it something we, my partner and I, should have discussed long ago.

I hope you do open that discussion with your spouse. It's particularly important in culturally mixed marriages to save trauma when someone dies, everyone is upset and tempers tend to flare.

Coming from an extremely multi-family, I can tell you, burial & funeral arrangements get rather strange at times. 

Under the law, regardless of *what* someone says in their will, the executor takes precedence. 

I find that abominable in itself. I've know people who put express wishes in their wills that were completely overridden by the executor. 

In this case, it happens to be the spouse.

However, I must agree with scout, "nationhood" does not trump spousal rights, ever! full stop. Moreover, it does not matter whose nationhood it is, either. In fact, I am not even sure this belongs in this forum. It is not about aboriginal rights.

It is about spousal rights.

It is about a woman, who wants her dead husband moved to another burial site that she believes honours him in a special way, for how he died. It does not matter what anyone else believes, if it is an honour, or a dishonour. It is her right and her choice to do what she chooses, alone, without recrimination nor judgement.

This is where we differ. I would not be concerned had KB stated that wish at the time of death. Nor would anyone else, I expect.

She had that opportunity. She chose to bury him in the Metis cemetery. Her wishes *were* respected.

It's not about "spousal rights" it's about "executor rights". 

Would you feel the same way if his mother or brother were executors and told KB to go pound salt, they're moving the body from the RCMP cemetery?

When it comes to moving the body from that cemetery it becomes about sovereignty and imperialism as well as culture.

Does the 'executor' get to stomp over to different Nation with different practices and remove the body? 

 

remind remind's picture

Most often the executor, is the spouse, unless said spouse has pre-deceased their partner.

Of note, I also looked at this from my family perspective where my brother-in-law buried my sister in full casket, whereby my sister had stated no burial, cremation only. It was pretty upsetting to us all, but her spouse made the choice and we abided by that decision.

My partner and I had discussed what we want done with our bodies upon our demise. It was the disposing of the ashes we had not discussed. I did not know whether or not he wanted his to go back to NS, or not. I now do.

You cannot disassociate in this case the executor from the spouse. She is both. Making a conflating argument about; "would I feel the same if his  family were the executors", serves no purpose, it is speculation. Moreover, given the fact that it is against their beliefs to dig up a body once it is buried, they would not be making a decision to move the body, if it was in the RCMP cemetery.

Furthermore, on a personal note, I do not believe the body, or indeed any body, should be dug up and moved, however that is not my choice to make it is the spouse/executor's choice.  And that right I uphold, as the person who designated them as such must have trusted them. If it is a case of no will, then the state steps in and designates executor usually the spouse unless the spouse does not want to.

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

TVParkdale

Nobody would have an issue with this if
Kelly Barness had buried Leo Johnston at Regina in the first place.
She's no innocent victim here.

It is not only an abomination in FN
cultures to disinter the dead, it is an abomination in many
cultures.

The law may be clear by the imposed
colonialist government
but it is
a completely separate issue for FN.

I've
said before and I say again, this is about the dominant culture
imposing itself on sovereign nations that they refuse to see as
sovereign nations.

You cannot go to another country with another
culture and demand, as the executor of an estate, to dig up dead because you have
that “right” in your own country. To say otherwise is to assume that
FN have no sovereignty to refuse your demands. It's an imperialist position to
assume that one has the right to impose the laws of one nation, on
another.

Now, whether or not one agrees that FN nations are sovreign and not just some subculture is where the whole thing breaks down. 

This
is not about “her spousal rights” it is about a line she crossed
by wishing to disinter Leo Johnston's body. Leo is considered a
“fallen warrior” and as such, the Metis Nation is honour bound
to back the family and community that his body not be moved.

 

If
this was about Kelly's rights as a woman, such as enfranchisement I
would be inclined to consider her claim. It isn't. It's about
whether or not she has the right after making the decision
herself
to hurt everyone else by
her actions. It's not about her control of her own body —it's about
her trying to commit an abominable act by using colonialist law to
prove her “right to control the body” as if it was property she owns--as the executor.
Not the spouse. The
executor.

Assuming
that “individual rights” are more important than communal
responsibilities or family considerations is a Euro-centric view.
Assuming that it is somehow more “moral” to view the world that
way is sheer colonialism. Accusing Metis Nation of being 'repressive'
because they will not support one individual who is direct conflict
with an entire community and his own family is against common sense. They are
trying to get justice in a case that should never have happened in
the first place and occurred due to one person's selfish actions.

**************************

Let's
reverse the whole thing for a minute and see how it looks.

Kelly
gets shot in the line of duty. She's been married one year. They have
no kids, so he doesn't have to worry about their opinion. He's still
young. Leo agrees with the RCMP to bury the body in their cemetery.
Everyone is traumatized. Everyone has access to the grave site.
Everyone is doing their best to mourn the dead and try to keep
living.

Kelly
tells everyone, except Leo apparently, that she wants to be buried in
the RCMP cemetery. He claims with no proof she wants to be buried in
the Metis cemetery even though it goes against what everyone else is
saying.

Now,
he decides, a year later that maybe he'd prefer to bury her in the
Metis burial grounds because it suits his agenda.

Her
whole family is appalled. The RCMP hires a lawyer and takes it to
court on behalf of all her friends, family, government and
tight-knit police community because they do not want to see their
fallen comrade disinterred and dishonored.

He
claims that no matter what her sister who is also RCMP, her mother,
family, friends and community thinks, he has all the rights because
the law says a man has the right to dig up his dead wife, whenever he
wants and plant her wherever he wants no matter what anyone else
thinks because he's the legal executor.

Kelly's
mother and sister beg him to reconsider. Kelly's family begs him to
reconsider. Her friends beg him to reconsider. The RCMP beg him to
reconsider. For that—they're called “repressive” because his
legal 'rights' as executor
supersede everyone else's under colonialist law.

The
Metis Nation is not publicly backing his claim. Nor is anyone else.

He's
the only one putting everyone else through secondary trauma because
he's left them no choice but to fight it.

You
can bet if this was reversed, everyone would be screaming at HIM as
being a selfish, culturally antiquated misogynist b-tard and if the
Metis Nation backed his claim you can also bet they'd be screaming
the same insults at them, too.

What
if her mother was legal executor and dug up the body and moved it
without HIS permission? Would that be okay, too?

I find
it incongruous that marrying someone means that you somehow own your spouse's body by default. Or if you are executor of an estate 'the body' is your property. People are not property. The dead are not "property". If that's the case, then necrophilia and cannibalism would be legal since the executor "owns" the body so they can do whatever they wish with it.

 

There
are some other considerations when I researched this:

  1. The only reason this every hit the
    media at all was because the Metis Nation is backing the family
    against the spouse who is ex-RCMP as well. I have a hard time
    believing she was somehow coerced to bury Leo somewhere she didn't
    want to.
  2. I don't buy Kelly Barness' story
    that she didn't know about the RCMP burial ground because she was an
    ex-RCMP employee herself. The Metis Nation has been tactful enough
    not to point this out, publicly:

    http://books.google.com/books?id=ce3VZuGnYQ4C&pg=PA250&dq=Kelly+Barsness+metis#PPA207,M1

  3. Kelly Barness' statement that
    “they fell in love in Regina” is a fabrication. They met in Fort
    McMurray and married in Mayorthorpe while he was stationed there.
    The RCMP burial grounds are in Regina. It speaks to her credibility
    and I'm not surprised the media didn't question her about any of
    this since it fits the right-wing agenda to state that the Big Bad
    Metis are beating up the victimized widow.

  4. The RCMP have refused to publicly
    back Kelly's claims.

  5. Leo's brother is not backing her
    claim, even though he is an RCMP officer

  6. She didn't “not rush” to move
    the body for obvious reasons. First, it's expensive and secondly,
    the mayor demanded a “cooling off” period before he would
    release the body.

On to why I called out “racist
statement”:

Saying that his brother being alive is
somehow a substitution for Leo's work, life and where he is buried
is a racist statement and I stand by it.

Metis are not interchangeable. Assuming
that one Native person can be replaced with another is a product of
“YOU PEOPLE are all the same” thinking.

If I had stated, “Why don't those white people just
replace Jack Kennedy with Bobby Kennedy because those white people are
all the same and they should just get over it by focussing on Bobby instead” this whole board would be shocked and rightfully so.

How is this any different? 

I left all the statements in and responded in pieces because I didn't
want to be accused of “being repressive” or “taking it out of
context” again.

TVParkdale

remind wrote:

Most often the executor, is the spouse, unless said spouse has pre-deceased their partner.

That's common in this culture, not so common in some others. 

Of note, I also looked at this from my family perspective where my brother-in-law buried my sister in full casket, whereby my sister had stated no burial, cremation only. It was pretty upsetting to us all, but her spouse made the choice and we abided by that decision.

This is where I think the law needs to change so that the will takes precendence. This sort of upset would be avoided. 

My partner and I had discussed what we want done with our bodies upon our demise. It was the disposing of the ashes we had not discussed. I did not know whether or not he wanted his to go back to NS, or not. I now do.

You cannot disassociate in this case the executor from the spouse. She is both. Making a conflating argument about; "would I feel the same if his family were the executors", serves no purpose, it is speculation. Moreover, given the fact that it is against their beliefs to dig up a body once it is buried, they would not be making a decision to move the body, if it was in the RCMP cemetery.

I don't see it as "speculation." I see it as looking at it from another angle because verity is verity. 

___________________________________________________________
"watching the tide roll away"

You may believe that the law is correct in this case.

I do not, for many reasons stated below which I was uploading as you answeredWink

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

TVParkdale: Stop quoting massively long posts for no reason. It is tantamount to spamming. If you need to quote at all, keep it brief and to the point, so we know exactly what you are replying to. Otherwise, just put the person's name, like I've done here, or, if possible, nothing at all.

As the creator of Caliban said, 'brevity is...wit'.

Scout

Quote:
Would you feel the same way if his mother or brother were executors and told KB to go pound salt, they're moving the body from the RCMP cemetery?
 Yes. His choice would be honoured then, not theirs or hers but his. That’s the point.  
Quote:
You can bet if this was reversed, everyone would be screaming at HIM as being a selfish, culturally antiquated misogynist b-tard and if the Metis Nation backed his claim you can also bet they'd be screaming the same insults at them, too.
 No I wouldn’t. She married him and without written evidence left by the deceased I’d have to believe he’s doing her bidding. Just as I believe Terri Schivo’s husband was doing her will.  To suggest women here would use Feminism in such an inappropriate way is tedious at best and at worst it’s manipulation and poor debate. 
Quote:
What if her mother was legal executor and dug up the body and moved it without HIS permission? Would that be okay, too?
 Well I’d be fine with that too because the deceased indicated who get’s to make the decisions. 
Quote:
I find it incongruous that marrying someone means that you somehow own your spouse's body by default.
 Then don’t get married. None of this is by default? It’s one the many reason’s same sex couples fought to have equal marriage because then the person they trust the most makes decisions for them when they can’t. It’s not default. It’s a major aspect of what marriage is. Don’t like it or have other ideas don’t get married or have a will. 
Quote:
This is not about “her spousal rights” it is about a line she crossed by wishing to disinter Leo Johnston's body. Leo is considered a “fallen warrior” and as such, the Metis Nation is honour bound to back the family and community that his body not be moved.
 That seems to be suggesting a level of ownership that you don’t believe Kelly should have. That they own him instead and can prevent her from “honouring” her vows to him as his wife. It’s placing one group’s honour system above and beyond another’s, an individual given the right to do as she see fit by the deceased himself. The Metis community should honour the whole man – the man who chose to marry outside his community and to serve a country they feel is oppressing them with laws he vowed to uphold by not allowing them to over rule her. 
Quote:
She's been married one year.
 The duration is utterly irrelevant. The reason this hit the media might also be that the Metis community took out an ad in a newspaper to ask her to concede to their wishes not her husband’s.  I think in the face of this much pressure and being dragged to court most people would have given in, this would just be too hard and horrifying to have so many people applying pressure to you. The fact that she stuck to it makes me think that she really believes she’s honouring his wishes – not a scary hidden agenda or dark secret that has yet to surface. <cue spooky music> You don’t “buy” her story? So? That doesn’t mean you get to make up shit. Are you saying she’s really “Kelly Dore”? Nothing in the link you posted suggests it’s the same person? Your link isn’t very compelling. 
Quote:
Kelly Barness' statement that “they fell in love in Regina” is a fabrication. They met in Fort McMurray and married in Mayorthorpe while he was stationed there.
 You have no idea when or where they fell in love. You can’t possibly know. 
Quote:
Saying that his brother being alive is somehow a substitution for Leo's work, life and where he is buried is a racist statement and I stand by it.  Metis are not interchangeable. Assuming that one Native person can be replaced with another is a product of
“YOU PEOPLE are all the same” thinking. If I had stated, “Why don't those white people just replace Jack Kennedy with Bobby Kennedy because those white people are all the same and they should just get over it by focussing on Bobby instead” this whole board would be shocked and rightfully so.
 Shocked? Oh please that doesn’t even remotely approach the meaning of what I said anyway. The heir and a spare mentality is a white European thing, a son was a son – all that mattered is that you had one left. The English throne is all about that. Even if that what I was saying it’s not even close to the mentality of “YOU PEOPLE are all the same.”  And you didn’t just say the statement was racist, you also said I was a bigot. You got on quite a roll. Don’t back pedal now.  The constant pressure placed on Kelly to not move his body because her husband was such an inspiration to his people – well he’ll still be an inspiration buried where ever won’t he? And if it’s truly about him being an inspiration and a large chunk of the above letter communicated that well they have a great role model in his twin, who just happens to be alive and able to physically contribute to his community. So frankly I don’t find his ability to be an inspiration to be a compelling reason to pressure her into changing her mind. Cultural reason or not.

Stargazer

What about the digging up of his body, which is against his tradition??? Does that not count at all?

Webgear

Stargazer wrote:
What about the digging up of his body, which is against his tradition??? Does that not count at all?

 

I think it should count. I believe the dead should be buried were they have fallen.

 

 

Caissa

The spouses wishes and the law should trump tradition.

Makwa Makwa's picture

Caissa wrote:
The spouses wishes and the law should trump tradition.
I believe that this view has already been well articulated.  It adds little value to reiterate it.  I agree with StarG and TVP that the cultural values and beliefs of all aboriginal peoples in these Turtle Islands have been 'trumped' for centuries now, and it is about time that the peoples of the first nations have their traditions and beliefs honoured, and the Canadian courts and all non-aboriginal people should learn to respect that unconditionally.  That being said, if this acrimony does not cease in this thread, it shall be closed.

Stargazer

We don't have any idea what the dead man's wishes were, so I DO NOT agree.

Caissa

Makwa,

the hammer threat of closing threads is tedious. The insults and acrimony has not come from people who support the spouses wishes.

 

I could also say that your view has been well articulated and that to reiterate it adds little value, but I won't.

Unionist

[url=Mayerthorpe">http://www.cbc.ca/canada/edmonton/story/2009/07/15/edmonton-mayerthorpe-... Mountie's mother doesn't know where remains are[/url]

Quote:

Seven months ago, the body of murdered Alberta RCMP Const. Leo Johnston was moved from a plot in his hometown of Lac La Biche, 220 kilometres northeast of Edmonton, and cremated, at his wife Kelly's request.

Johnston was to be reburied at the RCMP cemetery in Regina, Sask., but that hasn't happened.

Johnston's mother said Kelly Johnston refuses to tell them what she plans to do with the cremated remains or where they are. [...]

Two years after his burial in Lac La Biche, his widow said she wanted him moved to the RCMP cemetery in Regina.

His parents fought the move all the way to the Supreme Court of Canada, but lost. Last December, his body was exhumed and cremated.

"Then to add insult to the hole that we will always have in our heart, in April we received a court order demanding that we pay $22,000, part of the legal fees that were incurred by her," Grace Johnston said.

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