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
The law may be clear by the imposed
colonialist government but it is
a completely separate issue for FN.
said before and I say again, this is about the dominant culture
imposing itself on sovereign nations that they refuse to see as
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
Now, whether or not one agrees that FN nations are sovreign and not just some subculture is where the whole thing breaks down.
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.
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
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.
reverse the whole thing for a minute and see how it looks.
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
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
he decides, a year later that maybe he'd prefer to bury her in the
Metis burial grounds because it suits his agenda.
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.
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.
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.
Metis Nation is not publicly backing his claim. Nor is anyone else.
the only one putting everyone else through secondary trauma because
he's left them no choice but to fight it.
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.
if her mother was legal executor and dug up the body and moved it
without HIS permission? Would that be okay, too?
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.
are some other considerations when I researched this:
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
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:
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.
The RCMP have refused to publicly
back Kelly's claims.
Leo's brother is not backing her
claim, even though he is an RCMP officer
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
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