I was born and raised on a small farm southwest of Portage la Prairie, not far from Long Plain and Dakota Plains First Nations. One of my grandfather’s most respected friends was Long Plain Chief Angus Merrick.
Hmmmm, but ...
Chief Dennis Meeches of Long Plain First Nation said he had been less than pleased with the support shown by outgoing Portage-Lisgar Tory MP Brian Pallister, saying the MP never made one official visit to his reserve since being elected in 2000.
"[Pallister] didn't consider it part of his mandate to recognize and treat First Nations leaders in the same manner as mayors and reeves in his riding," he said. "It was a very sour relationship there, but I think we'll have a very good relationship with the new MP."
Pallister was fond of going on about how his grandfather respected the indigenous community of Long Plain First Nation. But he had to go back two generations for this story, it seems, because during the whole time he was their local MP—and even critic of Indian Affairs—he never actually went there himself.
So apparently the indigenous community closest to his own home is only good enough for a folksy, cynical, political soundbite.
Did he actually ever visit there? Nope! Consult with the Chief? No, sir. Act responsibly as their federal representative? Not so much.