Harry Lafond of the Office of the Treaty Commissioner was one of the dignitaries present at the unveiling
of the Joni Mitchell plaque at River Landing last week. (Photo by Cam Hutchinson)
The scoop on the Trump-Kim meeting

What luck for us. We’re not the New York Times or the Washington Post or Bridges, but we have the inside scoop on what North Korean leader Kim Jong-un and Donald Trump discussed at their historic private meeting last week in Singapore.
Trump: Nice to meet you, Dictator Kim (giving a thumbs up and a goofy smile). You’re probably a big fan of mine. Everyone is a big fan of mine. I could shoot someone in downtown Pyongyang and not be arrested.
Kim: Of course you could. There are a couple of things I need to know before we begin our talks. Why did you call me Rocket Man?
Trump: Actually I called you Little Rocket Man. Well, I do it because I like to say childish things about people who say things about me. My favourites are Lyin’ Ted, Little Marco and Low Energy Jeb. But you’ve called me names too.


Tom Cochrane:
Humboldt players ‘off to immortality in the big leagues’

Singer-songwriter Tom Cochrane knows Canadian people, understands their hopes and dreams and, most significantly, knows how small towns are defined in the face of tragedy.
“Like most Canadians, I was shocked and depressed when I heard about the tragedy of the Humboldt bus accident because junior hockey defines what is best in Canada’s small communities,” he said. “The loss of those individuals hit us so hard because it was close to home and hockey is the essence of who we are and who we were.”
There were 16 members of the Bronco family who lost their lives on April 6, when the bus carrying Humboldt to a Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League playoff game was in collision with a semi-trailer truck at a highway intersection about 30 kilometres from Tisdale.
Cochrane has ridden the buses — first as a boy from Lynn Lake in the far north of Manitoba to Winnipeg and later, as the entertainer in the earliest years of a career which has extended to more than 35 years.

Americans apologize for Trump’s behaviour

I could write a column every week about the racist, stupid, diplomatically-ridiculous and dangerous lunatic that is the American president.
While following the G7 summit, for example, despite knowing what he is capable of, I was still completely floored by his behaviour: boorish, insulting, disgusting. Most of you will know exactly what I’m on about, so perhaps I will stop there before I start ranting again. I did that last week.
What I loved about the whole thing, though, was the outpouring of pro-Canada and/or anti-Trump sentiment coming from his own people. Americans.
I just about lost it when I saw actor Robert DeNiro exclaim “Bleep Trump” on the Tony Awards, except bleep started with the letter F, and thrust his fists in the air. Go, DeNiro. If you haven’t seen that moment, it’s worth checking out on the Net. He got a standing ovation from the Broadway crowd; Trump called him a person of low IQ.

SJO to reimagine Ellington’s repertoire during jazz festival

The Saskatoon Jazz Orchestra (SJO) will launch its new season during an upcoming SaskTel Saskatchewan Jazz Festival performance that will pay tribute to music legend Duke Ellington.
The SJO began five years ago as the brainchild of jazz trumpeter Dean McNeill. The jazz orchestra is committed to presenting the highest-calibre professional-grade large jazz ensemble music through its programming and by featuring local, national and international talent.
“If there is one word to describe what the SJO is trying to do, I would say it is ‘re-imagine,’ ” said McNeill, the SJO’s founder and artistic director.
“It’s what artists do. We’re trying to re-imagine that which came before us in reference to the large jazz ensemble. So we might play some music by Buddy Rich or Duke Ellington or whoever, and then we might play something totally new,” said McNeill, who is also a professor of brass and jazz at the University of Saskatchewan and a member of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra.

I remember when powwows were held in secret

Eight dancers.
Four years ago, my reserve hosted a traditional powwow. Everybody was all excited because we’d never hosted an “official’’ powwow before.
What I mean by that is pow wows were held but in secret. The year I was born it was illegal for Indians to gather, lest we go on the warpath, I guess.
In fact, First Nations people weren’t yet allowed to vote. It wasn’t until my favourite prime minster, John Diefenbaker, came along and made us a “people’’ that First Nation people were allowed to vote. I wonder what First Nation people were before Dief the Chief came along.
The first time I danced in one of these “secret’’ powwows I was nine years old. This was not one of those powwows one sees today with thousands of people attending. This was more of a gathering of a select few who sang and danced to the beat of the Cree Nation with only the flicker of light coming from a central fire.

Trump a big blowhard, but a dangerous one

I always viewed Prime Minister Justin Trudeau as a feckless spendthrift and thought that he was more of a dilettante than a diplomat. But he earned my esteem this last week for not kowtowing to the big American bully, Donald Trump.
Since the inauguration of Trump in 2017, the leaders of allied nations have tried their best to reason with and cajole the most unstable American leader in history.
They are learning that powerful bullies cannot be appeased, especially when they are supported by spineless enablers more concerned about their own political safety than their country.
Trump did not want to attend the Group of Seven (G7), or should I say G6 plus one, summit held in Canada but reportedly did so as a “favour” to Trudeau.
Like the proverbial skunk at a garden party, he offensively stated that Russia should be brought back into the fold, even though his government had imposed sanctions on Russia.


Pot stores get gouged, while plaza gets break?

When I saw a headline stating that Saskatoon city council was considering a staff recommendation of a $20,000 licencing fee for cannabis stores, and then an annual $10,000 renewal fee, I thought it was a joke.
When I saw that city council actually agreed to proceed with that outrageous rate structure, I quit laughing. This is utterly absurd. What is council thinking? That the sky is falling, apparently.
The report from city staff said the $20,000 would help offset the costs to the city for time spent developing municipal regulations ahead of Trudeau making good on his cannabis legalization promise. You know, the one he made in 2015.
According to Randy Grauer, manager of the city’s community services department, employees have had to put off other work to attend to legalization-related tasks. In other words, they had to prioritize.