Victim Impact Statement, Theoren Fleury
At a young and very impressionable age, I was stalked, preyed upon and sexually assaulted over 150 times by an adult my family and I trusted completely.
I was a boy with a big dream and the talent to match. I played hockey in the early morning hours, after school, on the weekends and holidays, I even dreamed of hockey. Everyone in my life knew of my passion and my talent, including convicted pedophile Graham James.
Mr. James was a well-known minor hockey coach, and he zeroed in on my family and me. He skillfully manipulated us all, and eventually my parents entrusted my care and well being to him in order to allow me to move to other towns and cities to advance my hockey dream. He was a larger than life figure with the hockey credentials and education as a teacher, to match, and it was drilled into me that he held the keys to making my dream become a reality.
I was just a kid. A child. I was completely under Graham James’s control. And I was scared. I did not have the emotional skills, the knowledge, or the ability to stop the rapes or change my circumstances. I felt lost, alone, and helpless. And those feelings did not stop after I was able to get away from Mr. James; I continued to feel that way for 20+ years afterwards. I descended into years of drug addiction, alcoholism, and addictions to sex, gambling, rage. My loved ones, including my beloved children, spiraled down with me. The pain was all encompassing. And no matter how many NHL games I won, or money I made, or fame I gained could dull the pain of having been sexually abused by Graham James. His sickness changed my life, changed the lives of everyone who was close to me, and caused more pain than can be measured.
Finally, after a night in the New Mexico desert with a gun in my mouth and finger on the trigger, I found the courage to get help and start a long process of healing. I am now reconciled with my children and family, I have been sober for 6 years and I have put the course of my professional life on an amazing path. I am fortunate to speak to victims, survivors, victors and advocates all over North America. From little boys to men as old as 82 have told me they too have been victimized. I am honoured each and every time they share with me. They shed tears, they tell me secrets they have never dared to tell anyone else, and they look for some sort of peace in the midst of their hell.
This court must know that pedophiles like Graham James do not ever change. They are devoid of anything good, and their moral compass does not exist. The statistics show 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 5 boys will be sexually abused before the age of 18. A good majority of these children will grow into angry adults who are completely stunted in their emotional growth, and are unable to contribute to healthy and loving relationships. Some will find healing, but many will not, and the after effects of sexual abuse will affect everyone close to them. They will be unable to find decent employment, they will be unable to fully commit to loving relationships, they will be unable to trust, they will be unable to parent their children, they will be unable to really contribute to society. All because a monster like Graham James preyed upon them, took advantage of their trust and their age, to commit heinous crimes on their bodies, souls and spirits. This is an epidemic and it has to stop.
Do not show leniency to Graham James, he certainly never did to me or any of his other prey. He had many opportunities to stop, to get help, to change, and he never took them. In fact, he kept going. He created situations wherein he could abuse me, he lied time and again, and he found how his authority over me could allow him to do whatever he wanted. He instilled not only physical pain, but also deep emotional pain and left scars so deep and so wide it took decades for me to sleep one night in peace. He was purposeful, he planned his assaults, he took the time and the energy to sexually abuse me every chance he got. And believe me, he will do it again and again and again if ever given the chance. He has no remorse. A monster who will sexually assault children should never be let loose in society ~ never.
When you consider punishment for Graham James I ask this court to think not only about the law, but also about that scared little boy who had nowhere to turn, nowhere to run and nowhere to hide each and every time Graham James raped me. Think about that little boy, his tears and his anger and his helplessness. Think long and hard about YEARS OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS, not just one or two incidents, YEARS OF SEXUAL ASSAULTS, perpetrated by Graham James on me and other children. Think about the journey to hell he sent them and me on. Think about the tears shed that could fill the oceans, rivers and streams by his victims. Think about the ruined relationships, the lost opportunities, the anguish, the fear that follows every waking moment and invades every dream. Only then should you consider punishment. And the punishment should be a lifetime removed from society in a prison where the keys are thrown away, never to be found again.
I urge this court to set an example, not only for other offenders, but to those who have been victimized ~ that this court and this country takes sexual abuse and assault seriously, and that you’ll protect the innocent, harshly punish the guilty and encourage healing for everyone who has ever been even remotely affected by monsters like Graham James.
My name is Theoren Fleury and I am a victor over sexual abuse.
Housing & healthy living
Sustainable Housing Project
Approximately half of the world’s population lives in earthen structures, but the construction method is frequently overlooked by builders within the United States – except in the dry, warm climate of the desert Southwest.
Earthen walls provide thermal mass qualities that regulate temperature and humidity passively, which keeps the indoor environment cool in the summer and warm in the winter.
Compressed earth blocks (CEBs) are an eco-friendly construction material, similar in composition to adobe bricks but without the need for sun-drying, that is becoming more common in semi-arid climates such as Colorado’s.
Made from a mix of sand, minimally expansive clay, and a small amount of cement that makes them more resistant to moisture and therefore more stable than adobe, CEBs offer a low-cost, mold- and insect-resistant building alternative that can be made using locally available resources. But would CEBs work in Montana, where the winter weather is even more extreme?
A team of CU researchers from the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Mortenson Center in Engineering for Developing Communities was asked to answer that question for the Department of Energy and Mineral Development in the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) and, in the process, has helped create a sustainable housing solution for the Crow Nation in southeastern Montana.
Six homes have been completed using the compressed earth blocks. There are four more in various stages of construction with seven to ten more planned.
“We’re seeing strong positive evidence that this is the most likely to succeed approach to alleviating the tribe’s housing shortage because it allows the tribal members to learn a new technical skill that is based on locally available materials and it will save the families who buy these homes significant money on energy costs,” says Tom Bowen, director of sustainable housing projects for the Mortenson Center at CU-Boulder, who has been consulting with the Crow for the past two and a half years to get to this point. more...
2012 Summer Solstice
Aboriginal Arts Festival & International Competition and Powwow
Aboriginal communities across Canada traditionally kick start the summer season with National Aboriginal Day celebrations. The one event not to be missed for 2012 is the Summer Solstice Aboriginal Arts Festival and International Competition Pow Wow hosted in Ottawa June 22-24.
For fourteen years, the festival provided an opportunity for local Aboriginal community members to celebrate National Aboriginal Day and experience world class Aboriginal artists, but the addition of the International Competition Pow Wow for 2011 attracted world class drums, dancers and artisans from across Turtle Island.
Last year, over 30,000 people enjoyed the FREE Competition Pow Wow, Mainstage concert series, interactive Metis & Inuit cultural pavilions and extensive family programming –making it one of Canada’s largest and most diverse Aboriginal gatherings. 2012 co-hosts National Association of Friendship Centres and Aboriginal Experiences are confident that everyone will be thrilled with the return of all popular festival programming plus the new 1812 Bicentennial themed activities and a move to the more spacious and “green” Vincent Massey Park to accommodate our growing audience.
Music lovers will not be disappointed by the Mainstage concert Series scheduled for Friday and Saturday evening featuring some of the best First Nations, Metis and Inuit talent from across Canada including Saturday headliner and Ontario hometown favourite, Crystal Shawanda.
Don’t miss the 4th Annual “Aboriginal Canada We’ve Got Talent!” Competition for some amazing energy and talent. Emerging Aboriginal acts are encouraged to apply now for the opportunity to compete for prizes totalling $20,000 including a Grand Prize of $5,000! A one day Aboriginal Music Summit will also help provide some tools for emerging artists to follow in the footsteps of past contest winners like Inez & Dawn Maria and youth Aurora Finkle & Noelle Maracle. more...
The Little Brown Moccasin by Enrique Segay
Once upon a time, in Chinle, Arizona, there was a beautiful girl named Julie. When she was nine, the only people who truly loved her, her parents were killed in a horse stampede. So, she had to move-in with her old and demanding grandma named Rachel.
Rachel treated Julie like a servant because Rachel was not treated like a princess when she was a kid. Julie got everything she wanted when her parents were alive, but Rachel didn’t like that. Rachel wanted Julie to respect her heritage by making her feed her horses and sheep as well as making the food. But, Julie thought Rachel was being cruel instead of teaching her actual skills. This all continued until Julie’s nineteenth birthday.
The day before Julie’s birthday, while she was cooking food, Julie over-heard her grandma talking about a Song and Dance ceremony that was going to be held the next day. Julie was excited when she heard the news and really wanted to go to the ceremony. It had been years since she had done anything exciting. So, Julie made-up her mind to do all her work early and extremely nice to her grandma Rachel so that she would be able to go to the Song and Dance ceremony.
The next day, on Julie’s birthday, she woke-up to a cold, dusty morning. Julie got dressed and went outside to feed the horses and, when she came back to the Hogan, she cooked breakfast for Rachel. When Rachel got up, she smelled the delicious eggs, sausage, and potatoes. While Rachel was eating and Julie was building a fire, Julie asked, “Can I go to the Song and Dance with you?” Rachel stopped and said, “No, because you have to watch the house and animals.” Julie was shocked. She felt like a needle and punctured her heart. Her eyes immediately fill-up with tears and she ran outside to the sheep and horse corral to cry. As she cried, a shadow came upon her.
Julie squinted and saw her parents’ spirits and was happy to see them again. They both asked, “Why are you crying?” into the wind. Julie told them, “Grandma will not let me to go the Song and Dance with her.” Julie’s parents’ spirits because upset and her mother ordered her to go to the hogan. Julie asked, “Why?” Her mom replied, “You will find a dress in the closet and jewelry in the dress’s pocket.” Her dad added, “You will find the keys to the storage in a jacket next to your mom’s dress.” As Julie smiled excitedly to her parents, they walked away into the sunlight. When Juile was walking back to the hogan, she saw her grandma go in her truck to go to the Song and Dance ceremony. Julie immediately ran into the hogan and opened the closet door. When she saw her mom’s dress, she was very happy.
When Julie arrived at the Song and Dance, she heard drums, singing, and people chattering. She smelled wood and smoke and also saw people and colors dancing everywhere. Julie was asked to dance several times and fun until she saw Rachel get out of her truck. Julie thought to herself, “I need to stay out of her view or I’ll be grounded!” So, Julie hid for an hour or two until Rachel saw Julie dancing. Julie turned and saw her grandma staring at her and knew that she was caught. So, she grabbed a horse and rode back to her hogan. In her hurry, she accidently left her small, brown moccasin.
Shortly after she left the Song and Dance ceremony, a twenty-year-old man named Tom found Julie’s moccasin and decided to find the owner. He searched for several days and night to find her. After deciding to give-up his quest, he saw Julie hanging her and Rachel’s laundry on the clothes’ line. He asked Julie to try on the small, brown moccasin and, to his surprise, it fit! From that moment on, they became best friends but, a couple of years later, they fell in love and got married.
Rezzed-Out Cinderella in Pinon Town by Rosondra Jim
Once upon a time, in Pinon, there was a beautiful girl named Breanna Hosteen. When she was sixteen, her father, the only person who truly loved and understood Breanna was skilled by a skin-walker while walking to the car to get his phone. So her stepmother, Bella, who was a very cruel and ugly woman, adopted Breanna.
Bella mistreated Breanna because Bella was the most unsightly and oldest woman in the entire town. But, once, when Bella was young, she was the most beautiful woman in the whole of Pinon. One day, Bella’s old age caught up to her and she became an unsightly, wrinkly, and dirty woman.
The day of Breanna’s birthday, while she was cleaning her stepmother’s bedroom, she over-heard her stepmother, Bella, talking about the Halloween Dance that was going to be the following night. Breanna was very excited about the Halloween Dance and wanted to go. It had been a month since she did something exciting. So, she decided to do all of her work early and be extra nice to her stepmother so she could go to the dance.
That night, after Breanna completed all of her chores and finished baking a Navajo cake for her stepmother. But, Bella’s response was a swift, “No!” After hearing her response, Breanna ran to the top of the room and let her tears flow. As she cried, a ladybug quietly walked onto her hand and started to talk to Breanna.
Breanna looked at the ladybug and saw that that the ladybug was holding a tiny, diamond-blue ring and a Navajo dress. Breanna gratefully took her gifts form the ladybug. She knew that they were for her to wear at the Halloween Dance. Suddenly, the ladybug flew to a blue car, smiled kindly and began to fly away from the rooftop. Breanna turned to watch the ladybug fly away. But, she had to blink a couple of times and rub her eyes because all she saw was a little red spot flying away. After the ladybug was gone, she looked at her Navajo dress, diamond-blue ring, and went to the blue car. As she slid into the blue car, she noticed that her ring was a little big for her finger, but, because it was so beautiful, she graciously put it on and made her way to the Halloween Dance.
Breanna was so happy when the saw the zombies, bats, werewolves, vampires, and other monsters. While walking over to the juice punch, she accidently put a hand on a kind man who was also reaching for the juice punch. His name was Jeremy. He asked Breanna to dance with him and, when they were done, they talked for a long time before dancing again. Finally, it was midnight, so she ran to the blue car and hurried back home.
But, in her rush, Breanna left her diamond-blue ring behind at the dance. When Jeremy was running after Breanna, he saw Breanna’s ring on the floor. Because of the wonderful night he had spent with her, he planned on marrying Breanna. So, he looked for her and, when he found her the next day at her house, he asked her to marry him. She happily said, “Yes!” After a couple of years, Breanna and Jeremy had two kids and lived happily every after.
Rezzy Cinderella By PJ Jinnity
Once upon a time in Pinon, there was a girl name Julie. When she was nine years old, her grandpa was killed by a stampede of wile horses. Then a few weeks later, Mable, her mother-in-law, adopted her and forced her to live with her two daughters named Kate and Sam.
Mable and her daughters were always mean to Julie because of how many well-trained horses she had. Julie was made to wake-up early in the mornings to clean, feed the sheep, and build fires. Then, when she was done with all of that, she had to chase in the horses. Her mother-in-law, out of jealousy of Julie’s horses, would only allow Julie to use the truck with breaks every once in a while. This continued until Juile’s nineteenth birthday.
Two days before her nineteenth birthday, she head about the atiih, which is the start of a Squaw Dance Ceremony after the participants are finished singing. She was so excited to take the stick with her cousins and rider her best horse. She decided to nicely ask her mother-in-law for permission to attend the atiih but, as preparation, she picked her best horse and groomed it neatly.
That afternoon, when finished with all of her chores and made her mother-in-law some sheep ribs and fry bread, she carefully asked Mable if she could go to the atiih but, Mable responded, “No!” after swallowing a chunk of meat. Julie rushed out the door as tears flooded her eyes and began crying under an old Pinon tree. Then, she suddenly noticed a shadow on the ground beside her. As she turned to face it, she realized that it was her grandpa’s spirit.
Her grandpa’s spirit pulled out a nice turquoise dress and bearskin coat. Then, he told her that it was going to be cold and to pack some blankets. As she got up to heed his advice and take some blankets to the horse corral, a beautiful, painted stallion came up from behind the hill. She instantly knew that was the horse should would take to the atiih.
That night, when she returned from the attih, she was very sore. She returned the horse to the corral and went back to the hogan to sleep. When she woke up the next morning to feed the horses, she noticed that her painted stallion was gone. So, she continued to the sheep corral to let out the sheep and walk back into the hogan to build a fire for her mother-in-law. When she walked back into the hogan, she saw Mable sitting on the hogan’s blanket. Mable informed Julie that she would have to work twice as hard for going to the atiih without her permission.
Julie was upset but knew there was nothing she could do about it. So, she continued with her work. She was putting away her blankets and saddle when she noticed that the bearskin coat was missing. Then, she remembered that she had dropped it when she was riding the horse by the windmill on her way back from the attih. To find the bearskin coat, she secretly rode one of her horses to the windmill but she couldn’t find it. She then overheard some elderly women talking about Martin Yazzie hand found a bearskin coat.
She hurriedly galloped home and saw her mother-in-law try on the bearskin coat through the hogan’s window. So, she barged into the hogan and glanced to the right to see Martin sitting on the stool. When he told Julie to try on the bearskin coat, Mable yelled viciously, “Why her? She doesn’t deserve to be with you!” But, Martin insisted so Julie put it on and it fit perfectly. Two years later, to that exact date, Julie and Martin got married and lived happily ever after.
Rachelle’s Story by Hannah Begay
Once upon a time, there was a pretty girl name Rachelle. Rachelle was deeply loved by her father, Rick. Although he had married a mean woman named Maria, and she had two spoiled girls named Rozy and Rebecca, Rick always made sure that Rachelle was treated fairly. One day, Rick went grocery shopping and got shot in a drive-by. But, before Rick died, he gave Rachelle a hand-made bracelet. When Rachelle grew older, she never out-grew her bracelet. In that bracelet, there was a hidden, golden key that one knew about but Rick. After Rick died, Rachelle had to continue living with her cruel stepmother, Maria.
Maria mistreated Rachelle because when Rick was alive, he treated Rachelle nicely and always played with her. So, Maria got jealous and wanted revenge. Furthermore, the differences in appearance made Maria even more vengeful. Rachelle would smile with her pretty, brown eyes but Maria would turn away flicking her drab, frizzy hair. Maria’s revenge was to make Rachelle stay at home, clean, and do all the work around the house while she watched T.V. This continued until Halloween night at the Halloween Dance.
Two days before the Halloween Dance, Maria told Rachelle to take the dogs for a walk. While Rachelle was out with the dogs, she heard some girls talking about the dance. She really wanted to go but there was a problem. The problem was that she was free every Sunday but the dance was on a Wednesday. When she got home, she begged Maria but was told that she had to sweep the entire bard and clean the whole house. Rachelle started early so she would be able to go. And, to top off her efforts, she tried to be extra nice to her stepfamily.
She had been saving up money for many years so, in light of the Halloween Dance, she went to the store and bought herself a dress. She bought a red dress that came with a red, sparkling mask. Rachelle put on the red dress and looked in the mirror and realized how pretty she truly was. The dress hit below her knees and really brought out the rosiness in her cheeks. She liked it so much that she screamed, “I’ll buy it!” The next store she stopped at was a shoe store. She bought a pair of black heels with straps that delicately crossed her feet.
Rachelle returned home elated. She asked Maria if she could go but Maria responded, “You have not cleaned the attic.” Rachelle had a lot of work to do. The party was going to start in five minutes and she had not even started. So, while she diligently worked, the furniture started to talk. As soon as the furniture told her to just go to the dance and not to worry, she heard someone by the door. She answered it and found that it was her friend Jamie. Jamie informed Rachelle that she was there to pick her up. Rachelle squealed in excitement and ran upstairs to get dressed. When she opened the attic door, she saw that everything was put back in place so she closed the door and ran out of the house, to Jamie’s car.
The Halloween Dance smelled like a hotel with clean floors and tables. It looked like a party place and sounded like many people talking. The air felt a little cool. When Rachelle went out on the dance floor, a handsome guy came up and asked, “Would you like to dance?” Rachelle responded, “I would love to!” So they danced and danced until Rachelle got a text message that read, “You forgot to do the laundry!” When Rachelle read the message, she immediately ran home but when she got there, she noticed that her bracelet was gone.
The next day at school, she looked for the guy she danced with the night before. The guy, it turns out, was a prince and was looking for her too but, he did not remember how she looked. Rachelle put up posters for her lost bracelet and posted that whoever found it would get a reward of $50. Rozey, Rachelle’s stepsister, noticed that the prince was holding the bracelet so she went to the prince and told him that it belonged to her. The prince said, “Let me see your wrist.” But, her wrist was too big so pulled it off saying, “No way is this your bracelet.” Rebecca, Rachelle’s other stepsister, gave him her wrist but her wrist was also too big. Finally, Rachelle asked the prince to try the bracelet on her wrist and it fit. The prince could not believe his eyes! Rachelle reached into her bag to give him the $50. The prince grabbed her hand and asked her, “Would you like to be my bride?” Rachelle exclaimed, “Yes!” So, Rachelle and the prince got married and moved away. Many days later, the bracelet broke and a key fell out. It read House 404, Gallop, New Mexico. So, they traveled to Gallop and found that the house belonged to her. Rachelle and the prince moved in and lived happily ever after.
Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. She is a Grammy Award winner, with over 40 music awards (13 Native American Music awards).
She has captured the hearts and souls of audiences all over the world, from North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Korea, and has been praised for her work of peace and hope. She is a board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Traditional Knowledge www. hiawatha.syr.edu.
Shenandoah has performed at prestigious events such as The White House, Carnegie Hall, three Presidential Inaugurations, Madison Square Garden, Crystal Bridges Museum, The NMAI, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, The Parliament of the Worlds Religions, (Africa, Spain and Australia) and Woodstock 94.
2010 Vancouver Olympics Entertainer, Singer/Songwriter & Workshop Facilitator Tracy Bone has been blessed with many exciting and satisfying career highlights, including sharing the stage with the likes of CCMA Hall of Fame Inductees Prairie Oyster, Canadian Country Music Award Rising Star Shane Yellowbird, Multi-Award earning group Doc Walker and Country Songwriter Charlie Major.
She returned from the 2010 Olympics after a week full of live performances in Vancouver, BC, Canada with humbling “once-in-a-lifetime” memories. The 2009 Juno Award Nominee Tracy Bone glowed with pride while representing her home province during Manitoba Night at BC Place along with Doc Walker, Grand Analog, Chic Gamine and Inward Eye.
The Country Recording Artist performed on the nationally televised award ceremony and received top honors for “Songwriter of The Year” – ’09 APCMA’s for her debut album “No Lies”. She took home a Western Canadian Music Award in 2008. Her music found a place in an episode of APTN’s Mixed Blessings, and her performances have been featured in four music series, Blackstone, Solstice Concerts, The Mix and Arbor Live. CBC Radio has twice featured Tracy on live radio broadcasts. The Songstress received “Women of Note” recognition in Winnipeg Women Magazine.
The follow up to the 2009 Juno Award Nominated Album “No Lies” is currently being groomed for release.
Tracy’s been delivering workshops for five years. The Independence Through Music Project is the latest initiative that she has committed to providing mentorship as the youth hold a special place in her heart and the future.
The award-winning ensemble began as a guitar trio in 1994 and was based in the southern New Mexico town of Las Cruces and gained an almost immediate following. During this time Nosotros successfully self-produced two albums, “Palomo” and “Pico,” both of which received excellent reviews and recognition.
By September 2001, Nosotros had grown into a 6-piece band and relocated to the Albuquerque/Santa Fe, New Mexico area, firmly establishing themselves as one of the most popular bands in the state. Next, in February 2002, Nosotros caught the ear of percussionist and producer Chris Trujillo, who is best known for his work with Tom Petty, The Black Crowes, Rod Stewart, Toto and Diana Ross. With Trujillo as the producer, Nosotros released their third album, “Nosotros,” in November of 2003. This selftitled album received numerous awards, cementing the group’s reputation as a Latin music powerhouse not only in the state, but the southwest region.
In the year 2006, Nosotros continued its musical journey with the release of a fourth album, titled “Llena La Alma,” co-produced by Grammy award-winning engineer Doug Geist. This musical project, once again, proved very successful and was subsequently honored by the New Mexico Music Awards (NMMA). One of the tracks off this album, entitled “Hermosa,” was recognized as a finalist in the prestigious John Lennon Song Writing Contest. More recently, Nosotros has returned to the concept of self-production with a much anticipated 5th album, “Ver El Sol.”
Over the years Nosotros has evolved and taken on a life of its own. Yet, through all that has changed, one thing remains the same: Nosotros’ sound is, and always will be, felt in the pit of your soul. The current band lineup features Felipe Ruibal and Carlos Fontana on lead vocals, Randy Sanchez on electric tres, Shane Derk on electric and synth guitars, Gilbert Uribe on bass, Dennis Jasso on drums, and Manuel Ramírez-Ruiz on saxophones.
This group of musicians brings together individual styles influenced by many different genres that, when combined, create a unique, hybrid and energetic style of music that has brought them to stages with a wide variety of world-renowned artists such as the Gypsy Kings, Etta James, Lisa Loeb, Robert Cray, Los Lonely Boys, Tony Furtado, Ozomatli, and The Wailers, to name a few. more...
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