Focus on Kent: Learning about the Role of a Warrior Chief

Learning about the role of a Warrior Chief - by Debbie Hopper, Focus on Kent, June 27, 2013, p.3

Learning about the role of a Warrior Chief – by Debbie Hopper, Focus on Kent, June 27, 2013, p.3

With the recent historic events taking place in Elsipogtog and along the 126 in Kent County, and with Warrior Chief John Levi and his people making the news daily, many New Brunswickers may indeed wonder, “What is a Warrior Chief?”

Elsipogtog community member, Amy Sock, offers a moving description of the depth this role entails. “Please do not think that a warrior is someone that has weapons and someone that wants to fight and create trouble. A warrior is totally the opposite. A warrior protects the Earth. A warrior’s weapons are our medicines, our feathers, our sage and tobacco.”

Speaking to Warrior Chief John Levi, he explained that he was appointed by the Grand Council of Elsipogtog which is grassroots, traditional and has nothing to do with Indian Affairs.

While John was appointed to this role approximately three weeks ago, he says that preparation for this responsibility didn’t happen overnight. It began when he was very young and first began to speak.

It began with the upbringing that he received; the respect for his culture and traditions modelled by his father and other members of his family and community.

John felt greatly honoured when his people bestowed this title of respect upon him.

With this honour comes the responsibility of protecting Mother Earth. For this reason, Warrior Chief John Levi is saying NO to shale gas exploration and development. It is nonnegotiable. No amount of money or jobs can change that. With SWN poised to continue its seismic testing in Kent County, Warrior Chief John Levi wants to send this message: “The time to act is now!”

Georgina Sock, like so many in her community, has the greatest respect for John Levi. “He’s part of the reason we’re here,” she says speaking of why she and members of her family are at the Sacred Fire site protesting shale gas. “He provides emotional guidance. He’s teaching the youth to be nonviolent.”

Georgina said that her immediate reaction to the seismic testing in her beloved province was to want to fight for her children’s future, but that Warrior Chief Levi calms everybody down. “You feel him. You feel his peace.”

Warrior Chief John Levi welcomes all who come in peace to join the ongoing protest. He stands for the protection of Mother Earth. Will you stand with him?