Charge Of The Tech Brigade

first_imgIT + Project Management: A Love Affair ReadWrite’s Inside Tech series takes a close look at the workspaces and office culture of companies creating new technologies.What if your work mattered?That question lingered in the air for me as I walked out of the doors of Brigade Media. The rhetoric of changing the world runs like raw sewage down the streets of San Francisco. When you’ve lived in this town as long as I have, the stink of broken promises no longer even registers on your nose.I found something different when I walked into Brigade’s office in the city’s SoMa district, a place that might as well have been zoned for startups. The address was familiar to me: It had housed two companies I’d covered before, a ghostly whisper of the tech scene’s enduring transience.What I found was hope—hope that a small group of people building technology, organizing themselves in new ways, could change society.Brigade CEO Matt Mahan meets with Jenn Ryan, director of operations.A Brigade Without BrigadiersYou probably haven’t heard of Brigade, because it’s still building a tool it hopes to launch next year. This isn’t a company working on a minimally viable product to generate vanity metrics to secure another round of funding. Instead, Brigade’s engineers are writing software that they hope will make it easier to organize around political causes. They’re keeping mum about its details, though I gleaned a few. After some game tries at grilling them about what they’re building, I quizzed them instead about how they’re building it.Brigade office manager Shira Brosbe offers a tour.First, despite the name, Brigade is far from military in its organization. The only martial metaphor you’ll find in the office is a quote from Dwight D. Eisenhower:In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.Brigade’s chief technology officer, John Thrall, came from a place full of plans: He previously worked at Yahoo for 11 years. (I should disclose here that Thrall and I attended the same high school, though at different times.)At Yahoo, Thrall and his colleagues had to come up with plans like “reference architectures”—detailed schemes for what a product’s codebase will look like after launch, how many users it will have, and how many servers it will need. Brigade CTO John Thrall doesn’t have a martial manner.That idea went over like a lead balloon with Thrall’s engineers—a team made up of a mix of veterans from Causes and Votizen, two online-organizing startups Brigade acquired last year, as well as new recruits.“One person told me, ‘I think this whole reference architecture thing is a waste of time,’” Thrall recalls.That was Tom Dooner, a Brigade engineer, who credits Thrall with getting him to confess his doubts.“To John’s credit, he’s one of the most perceptive people I’ve ever met,” Dooner says. “He will get feedback out of you. He knows what you’re thinking.”Ultimately, Dooner concluded Thrall had been right to push for a reference architecture when it came time to shop around for a cloud service that would run Brigade’s code: “It gave a way to compare very different things.”We Are FamilyBrigade engineers Tom Dooner and Flarnie Marchan discuss a new feature.Brigade’s 25 engineers aren’t broken up into squadrons or platoons. Instead, they belong to multiple “families.” (This is San Francisco, after all.)“There’s no right structure for an engineering team,” says Thrall. “It really depends on where you are in product development. We have things that are pods, that are product-focused or feature-focused. That’s your first family.”The second family engineers belong to are working groups—say, of developers familiar with Apple’s iOS or Google’s Android operating system, who get together to make decisions specific to those platforms. At Yahoo, one of Thrall’s last duties was to set up similar working groups for its mobile apps.Brigade engineer Matteo Banerjee joined the company in August.Brigade’s pods and working groups are largely autonomous, racing to the next “rally point,” Brigade’s term for internal product milestones. They make their own way, as long as they get there on time. A pod might make a decision on how a product feature will work, while a working group more typically makes decisions around internal tools and architecture.“On a meta level, I’m a huge fan of decentralized development,” says Thrall. “You want the team to decide on their own how they code. I can’t think of an example where those working groups came to a decision on their own that I would have disagreed with.”Having both pods and working groups may sound more complex than a straightforward organization by departments or product groups, but it creates “opportunities for leadership across the organization,” says Thrall.Decisions, Decisions“I’ve found there is a lot of decisionmaking by consensus,” says Mateo Banerjee, an engineer who joined Brigade in August after working at Beats Music and Google. “There’s less deferring to a tech lead than at other companies. There’s a lot of importance placed on documenting your decisions and getting buy-in.”At other startups, Banerjee observes, “there’s this bias towards making decisions without justifying them.”While pods and working groups have autonomy, they’re expected to document all of their decisions via a mailing list.Emily Leathers, Brigade’s director of engineering, joined the company through its acquisition of Causes.“I think that overhead actually costs us less than making a decision we have to reverse later,” says Emily Leathers, Brigade’s director of engineering. Leathers points to the time her team took to decide on a cloud service: “That’s a good example of slowing down a bit and making the right choices. It’s easy to lean on your infrastructure providers and be stuck with their way of doing things.”Instead, Brigade’s back-end engineers figured out ways to “abstract the difference between cloud providers,” says Dooner. That cost some time, but Brigade hopes it will save them money if they ever need to switch.A sign at Brigade headquarters.Brigade’s ChargeThere are hints of Brigade’s ambitions in its organization and its job listings. It plans to launch mobile apps—iOS and Android—as well as a website. Messaging, including mobile push notifications and email, must be a key component of its organizing tool, given the team dedicated to that function. And it’s expecting lots of people on Day One, given its work on its back-end operations.Plenty of engineers have taken a stab at fixing the political system through code over the years—you’d have to be a ’90s veteran to remember early efforts like E-The People. Causes, one of Brigade’s predecessor companies, hoped to ride the social wave through Facebook’s app platform. Perhaps Brigade can seize this mobile moment where others failed.What struck me about my visit to Brigade was the genuine, unfiltered passion its engineers had for their project.“I go and talk to friends and family members and there’s this resounding [response]: ‘Yes, we need that,’” says Leathers. “That’s daunting. How do you break through that barrier where it’s easy to use and makes sense?”Before joining Brigade, Banerjee worked in his spare time on a project to engage people on the topic of climate change by mapping flood-prone areas. But there were limits to what he could do as a volunteer coder.“Lots of civic-minded projects for better or for worse are small groups of people hacking things together on nights and weekends,” he says. “Software engineering is hard. If you’re a software engineer, it takes a lot of dedication to build something cool. If you work 10 hours a day on your job, you don’t have another 10 hours a day [to give].“I didn’t know places like Brigade existed,” says Banerjee. “This was exactly what I wanted to do.”Brigade employees’ photos hang along a wall.Photos by Owen Thomas for ReadWrite owen thomas 3 Areas of Your Business that Need Tech Now Related Posts center_img Cognitive Automation is the Immediate Future of… Tags:#Brigade#Brigade Media#Causes#Emily Leathers#Inside Tech#John Thrall#Mateo Banerjee#online activism#politics#Sean Parker#Tom Dooner#Votizen Massive Non-Desk Workforce is an Opportunity fo…last_img read more

Give Up or Break Up? 7 Books for a Healthier Take on Tech

first_imgRelated Posts Unless you were wealthy, the computers you were familiar with growing up were glorified typewriters. Today, computers can do it all: manage your finances, connect you with friends, suggest media for you, even monitor your home. In between, you might’ve learned technology’s key lesson: Just because you can use it every minute of your life doesn’t mean you should. Although technology can help you build relationships, be more productive, and optimize your life, overusing it works against those goals.The key, many tech thinkers argue, is a Goldilocks approach. If you want to take part in society, you can’t be a Luddite. At the same time, you can’t let technology dominate your life. Not sure how to strike a good balance? Check out these books:1. Indistractable by Nir EyalFollowing his Wall Street Journal bestseller, Hooked, former Stanford lecturer and behavioral designer Nir Eyal’s Indistractable is a field guide for training your attention on what matters. The centerpiece of Indistractable is a map that shows how external and internal triggers can create either distraction or traction — which Eyal defines as any action done with intent that moves you closer to your goals.Eyal’s advice? Do away with the anti-tech rhetoric, and learn to fight distraction from within. Drawing from Greek mythology, psychology research, and Eyal’s own experience as a tech industry insider, Indistractable is as humorous as it is helpful and historically grounded. 2. Beat the Bots by Anita NielsenA sales consultant by trade, Anita Nielsen’s Beat the Bots is tailor-made for salespeople in the tech sector. Open her book, however, and you’ll see how relevant it is to everyone who works in a modern office. Through authenticity and empathy, she reminds readers to default to humanity rather than their digital devices.Although most of the book’s best stories come from the sales trenches, Nielsen also draws from her Chicago home life and background in psychology. Futuristic but practical, Beat the Bots is a great choice for stressed-out sales professionals. 3. Essentialism by Greg McKeownOne of the greatest misconceptions around tech is that it makes you more productive. Greg McKeown, a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum, wrote Essentialism to explain how to accomplish more by doing less. Although it’s not a book explicitly about technology, Essentialism tugs on its threads. McKeown helps readers reclaim their time, be deliberate about their device use, and fight the compulsion to accomplish everything.4. Alone Together by Sherry TurkleOne of the most insidious consequences of tech overuse is loneliness. In Alone Together, Sherry Turkle, social studies and technology expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, explores how tools meant to bring us closer together can actually create solitude. But Turkle’s latest book isn’t a rant against tech. Drawing from hundreds of interviews with parents, children, and partners, Alone Together delivers hope by describing the ways tech users create human connections and protect their time.5. The Inevitable by Kevin KellyIn The Inevitable, Kevin Kelly, founding executive editor of WIRED, surveys 12 technological forces that he sees shaping the future. In showing how they overlap and depend on each other, he weaves a picture of how they’re changing the ways we communicate, work, and learn. Kelly’s answer isn’t to abandon those forces; it’s to embrace them, both in life and in business. With optimism and foresight, The Inevitable gives readers a roadmap for rearranging their relationship with technology to adapt to the future Kelly sees. 6. Deviced! by Doreen Dodgen-MageeAsk Deviced! psychologist Doreen Dodgen-Magee what the answer is to technological overuse is, and she’d say, “Intention.” After describing the admittedly dark ways that she sees technology changing users’ minds and relationships, Dodgen-Magee shares a five-part assessment exercise. Through it, she helps the reader understand tech’s emotional impacts and cultivate an internal locus of control. Despite its exercises, Deviced! isn’t a self-help book. It’s a ruminative argument for the middle road: that we can learn to use technology in ways that benefit us, rather than stunt our interpersonal lives. 7. Tiny Habits by B.J. FoggWhy isn’t putting down your phone before bed as routine as pulling up Google? In Tiny Habits, B.J. Fogg, director of Stanford University’s Persuasive Tech Lab, shares what he calls the Fogg Method. In a nutshell, the Fogg Method involves identifying small changes that create healthier habits.Like Indistractable, Tiny Habits is highly applicable, but not limited, to our relationship with tech. Deeply researched yet accessible, Tiny Habits shows how behavioral change is less about willpower and more about appreciating our successes. What unites the books on this list is the recognition that we can’t simply stop using technology. At work and within our homes, we use digital tools everyday. As these authors suggest, we might as well make the most of them. Brad AndersonEditor In Chief at ReadWrite Tags:#book list#books#mental health#productivity#relationship with technology#tech#tech addiction#technology Brad is the editor overseeing contributed content at ReadWrite.com. He previously worked as an editor at PayPal and Crunchbase. You can reach him at brad at readwrite.com. What it Takes to Build a Highly Secure FinTech … Follow the Puck Why IoT Apps are Eating Device Interfaces Trends Driving the Loyalty Marketing Industrylast_img read more

ODCA Cloud Adoption Survey: Trends in Public and Private Cloud Usage

first_imgIn addition to the Big Data area, I have done and continue to do work with Cloud Computing.  Intel is a member of the Open Data Center Alliance (ODCA), an independent consortium of global IT leaders building and recommending a unified customer vision for data center requirements.   Late in 2014, the ODCA sent out a survey to its members on cloud adoption.  I answered that survey, and recently the ODCA has published the survey results.  One finding is there seems to be a strong preference for internal cloud solutions among ODCA members.  Why is that?  Is public cloud adoption really slowing?  What are the key issues with both public and cloud adoption?Overall, cloud adoption for ODCA members is on the increase for both public and private Cloud, although private cloud is increasing at a much faster rate.  The ODCA survey highlighted the following top concerns:  data security, regulatory issues, service reliability, and vendor lock-in.    For the public cloud, the data security and regulatory issues are probably highest in priority.    Intel IT has created a cloud brokering function for deciding whether to land an application externally in the public cloud or in the internal cloud.  This function makes a decision based on factors like security requirements, control, and location. A co-worker pointed out to me that the report seems to be IaaS-centric and that SaaS to the public Cloud is likely to grow.  I would agree, and the report also mentions this.  Opportunistically adopting SaaS Solutions is in Intel IT’s original Cloud Strategy, and today I see that public SaaS adoption continues to move ahead within Intel. The survey also points out key areas of interest to ODCA members, such as Software Defined Networking and hybrid cloud.  SDN is also an area of focus for Intel IT, while moving to hybrid cloud has been a strategic goal.A few other highlights that I didn’t cover:Since 2012, the number of respondents who have greater than 60% of their operations in an internal cloud has increased from 10% to 24%.Organizations project both their internal and public cloud usage to double by 2016.More than 80% of survey respondents are using or are planning to using hybrid cloud solutions at some point in the future.You can see the details by downloading the report.last_img read more

Bend it like Bebo! B-Town babe to rock in FIFA video

first_imgKareena Kapoor is all set to add Bollywood glamour to the official FIFA World Cup music video. She will be seen in a special video for the event along with Hollywood stars such as Matt Damon, Jessica Alba and Kevin Spacey. And Bebo is the only Indian face in the song.Although the actress is yet to go on record about her big- ticket assignment, the buzz suggests her talks with FIFA officials are in the final stages.”Yes, Kareena is doing the FIFA video but it is too early to divulge details because things are still being finalised,” said a source close to the actress.The source added Kareena had already informed the producers of her current assignments that she would need a break for the video.Right now, she is busy wrapping up Rohit Shetty’s Golmaal 3 in Goa.She is also shooting for Karan Johar’s remake of Stepmom and Shah Rukh Khan’s Ra. One, after which she will start work on Madhur Bhandarkar’s Heroine. Reports suggest the video will be shot in the first week of June.Kareena is accordingly working out her dates and finalising the costumes she will wear.This is Kareena’s first shot at football, but her co- stars in the video, Jessica and Matt, have had their brush with sports.While Matt played a South African rugby star in Clint Eastwood’s Invictus, Jessica recently visited the Soccer City stadium in Johannesburg as part of a promotional event for the upcoming World Cup.”Not only is this going to be a tournament to remember, but the lasting legacy of this World Cup will be education for all,” said Jessica, referring to efforts by 1GOAL, a group that campaigns for education for all.Kareena apart, Bollywood music composer duo Salim- Sulaiman will be composing an original song that they will perform at the opening and closing ceremonies of football’s biggest extravaganza. The World Cup will take place in South Africa from June 11 to July 11.Coming back to Kareena, she has decided not to sign any new film this year because she wants to focus on playing an actress in Bhandarkar’s Heroine . Right now, she is doing research for the role by studying closely the works of several famous actresses.Besides Hollywood greats such as Ava Gardner, Elizabeth Taylor and Marilyn Monroe, Kareena is also studying the films of Madhubala, Nutan and her mother Babita.Kareena wants to dedicate Heroine to the yesteryear Indian divas.Bhandarkar apparently wanted Kareena to put on weight for the role, but she has reportedly refused saying she is already voluptuous.Kareena’s next release will be Boney Kapoor’s long-in-the-making Milenge Milenge , in which she stars opposite ex- boyfriend Shahid Kapur.advertisementlast_img read more

TFA ATTEMPTS TO MEET WITH FOUR REGIONS FAIL

first_imgRepeated attempts by TFA, with the assistance of NSWTA, to meet with representatives of the four regions (SWQ, CQ, NQ, SQBD) has thus far met with failure. TFA again restates its willingness to sit down face to face with representatives from these regions to discuss issues of concern. The Board remains open to communication from the regions and for this reason the TFA Board has delayed the approval of the Standing Orders to give the opportunity for compromise. However, to date all attempts by TFA to meet, discuss and hopefully resolve any issues has met only with resistance and delay from the regions. We have been advised that a company called “Touch Queensland” (QLD BN19546981) has been registered with the Office of Fair Trading, Queensland by the four regions. From the information we have received, the regions have made efforts to secure insurance including contacting TFA’s insurer Sportscover. Sporting Pulse, the competition management system in use by TFA affiliates, has also been contacted, though the parent company will not be providing the system to non-affiliated competitions. It appears now that the regions have for considerable time been preparing to start a rebel unaffiliated organisation. While this is a disappointing development, TFA remain committed to encouraging all affiliates to remain with the national body. Affiliates who do not affiliate with the national organisation should make an effort to ensure they fully understand all the implications of a move to an unaffiliated organisation. If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact the office on 0262 852703 or view the TFA website at www.austouch.com.au.last_img read more

2007 QUEENSLAND JUNIOR STATE CUP CHAMPIONS CROWNED

first_imgThe 12th Annual Junior State Cup attracted a record 164 teams for the four-day event from 5-8 July 2007 at the Glasshouse Mountains Sports Club on the Sunshine Coast.Between 4000-5000 players, coaches, referees, officials, spectators, and supporters converged on the venue that has become the home of the premier affiliate based tournament on the Queensland calendar.Affiliates gathered from all over the Sunshine State to compete in Boys and Girls divisions from Under 10 – Under 18, and this year’s field also included 5 visiting teams from Victoria, and three teams from New Zealand.Brisbane Metropolitan Touch Association continued their dominance of the event in recent years, snaffling five of the ten available titles (18, 16, and 14 Years Girls, and 10 and 16 Years Boys), Gold Coast claimed two divisions (10 and 12 Years Girls), with Dodgers (12 Years Boys), Redlands (14 Years Boys), and Bundaberg (18 Years Boys) snaring a title each.New Zealand teams Kotuku Touch (16 Years boys) and New Zealand Sharks (12 Years Boys) won the finals of their divisions, but were ineligible to claim the Queensland Junior State Cup crowns.The visiting New Zealand and Victorian teams were presented with plaques of participation for their involvement in the 2007 tournament.In the 10 Years Girls division Gold Coast (3) got up in a thriller over Emerald Titans (2). The Gold Coast’s Bailey Marshall was awarded the Player of the Final.In the Plate Final BMTA (4) defeated Hervey Bay (0).In the 10 Years Boys section, traditional junior heavyweights BMTA and Gold Coast faced off.BMTA (4) outlasted the Coastie boys (3) in a titanic struggle. Player of the final was awarded to Joel Gittins from BMTA.The Plate final was also hotly contested with Caboolture (3) getting home over Hervey Bay (2).The 12 Years Girls division produced a grandstand finish with a well drilled Gold Coast outfit, coached by former Australian Women’s Open superstar Jody English, prevailing 3-2 over the visiting New Zealand Sharks team. The scores were locked at 2-2 at full time and a drop off was required to split the combatants. Gold Coast scored with their first use of the football in the drop-off and the NZ Sharks could not respond.Lauren Brown was named Player of the Final.The plate final went to Bundaberg after a 2-0 victory over Hervey Bay.The 12 Years Boys final was won by NZ Sharks (9) over Dodgers (2).The fleet footed Kiwi combination played some outstanding touch during the tournament and thoroughly deserved their victory.Player of the Final was Matthew Stone from the NZ Sharks.Dodgers were the best-performed Queensland based affiliate and were awarded the State Cup in this division.The Plate was served up to Dalby who claimed a 2-1 verdict over Coomera in their final.The 14 Years Girls title went to a slick BMTA combination that defeated Redlands 3-1.Lauren Green was outstanding for BMTA and collected the player of the final award.The Plate final was won by Dodgers Green who completed a 6-1 victory over Rockhampton.Redlands crack 14 Years Boys team escaped with a narrow 5-4 win over Hervey Bay Black who pushed the Bayside boys all the way in an entertaining final.Redlands Captain Adam Pryde was the most dominant player on the field and collected the Player of the Final award.In the Plate final Gold Coast (4) defeated Caboolture (3).BMTA continued on their domination of the older junior female age divisions with a 4-2 win over Gold Coast in the Grand final of the 16 Years Girls division.National 18 Years Youth squad member Kirsty Quince was everywhere for BMTA and deservedly won the Player of the Final.Caboolture fought hard to repel Dalby and emerged 2-1 winners in the Plate final.In the 16 Years Boys division, Kotuku Touch from New Zealand ran out comfortable 7-3 victors over a willing BMTA outfit.BMTA’s National 18 Years Youth squad member Oscar Sanft was awarded the Player of the Final Award. BMTA was the best-performed Queensland affiliate in this division and was awarded the State Cup crown.Gladstone enjoyed an 8-3 win over Coomera Comets in the Plate Final.The premier 18 Years division finals showcased some of the best talent the sport has to offer with National Youth Squad members Ali Brigginshaw, Gen La Caze, and Kelly Jones donning the BMTA colours in the 18 Years Girls division.The trio engineered a comfortable 6-1 defeat of First Contact in the final, with Gen “SG” La Caze claiming the Player of the Final.Toowoomba took the plate home to the Darling Downs with a 4-2 win over the visiting Victorian representative team in the Girls 18 Years Plate final.Bundaberg dominated the 18 Years Boys competition with an emphatic 6-3 victory over First Contact in the final.Nathan Broadhurst was the driving force behind Bundaberg’s campaign and deservedly captured the Player of the Final Award.Ballina accounted for Toowoomba in the Boys 18 Years Plate final with an 8-4 scoreline.The prestigious Kerry Norman (Girls) and Scott Notley (Boys) Medals were presented to two outstanding competitors in the 18 Years Girls and Boys divisions who have had a long history in the Junior State Cup, have performed to a high standard of endeavour, and have maintained the highest ideals of sportsmanship, teamwork, and respect for the game on and off the field of play.National Women’s 20 Squad member Samantha Hopkin (BMTA – Girls) and the talented Nathan Broadhurst (Bundaberg – Boys) were presented with the prestigious medals commemorating their participation, contribution, and long service to the tournament and their home affiliate.Full results of the 12th Annual Junior State Cup are available by going to the Queensland Touch Association website at: www.qldtouch.com.au and following the link to the Qld Junior State Cup home page.last_img read more

10 months agoEverton, West Ham to try again for Porto forward Moussa Marega

first_imgEverton, West Ham to try again for Porto forward Moussa Maregaby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the lovePorto forward Moussa Marega remains on the radar of Premier League clubs.Marega is again being linked with Everton, with Correio da Manhã stating he is on the January radar.Marega has netted 11 goals and created a further six in 19 appearances for the Primeira Liga this term and West Ham are also interested.The 27-year-old is valued at around £35m and was also linked with the Blues a year ago.Everton boss Marco Silva is keen to boost his attack next month. TagsTransfersAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your saylast_img read more

10 months ago​Man Utd boss Solskjaer reveals Lukaku tactical training

first_imgAbout the authorAnsser SadiqShare the loveHave your say ​Man Utd boss Solskjaer reveals Lukaku tactical trainingby Ansser Sadiq10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveOle Gunnar Solskjaer has spoken about some tactical adjustments he made with striker Romelu Lukaku.The Belgian no.9 came off the bench to grab the 4th goal in Manchester United’s 4-1 win over Bournemouth.It was his first appearance for the team since manager Jose Mourinho was sacked.”Obviously we need to work on his fitness because he’s had a few days off but [we’re] delighted for him. Even though he was half a yard offside! But it was a good finish,” said Solskjaer about Lukaku in his post game comments.”He’s a good target man but if you tell him to be a target man he’ll never face the goal.”Today he was side on and then he can go in behind or go towards the ball. He’s got the attributes of a top, top striker.” last_img read more

10 months agoBournemouth boss Howe happy with Clyne debut

first_imgTagsLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say Bournemouth boss Howe happy with Clyne debutby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveBournemouth boss Eddie Howe was happy with the performance of Nathaniel Clyne in their FA Cup defeat to Brighton.Clyne has joined the Cherries on-loan from Liverpool.Howe said: “I’ve hardly seen him, to be honest. He literally reported for the game and played.“You wouldn’t have known it was his first game today. We had no doubts over him. His experience will be vital.“We’re looking for him to come in and do a very good job in his position and I thought he did that.“Defensively he was excellent and when he understands how the team plays he will get even better.” last_img read more

Marry out get out But what about voting in Kahnawake

first_img [ (From L-R, Waneek Horn-Miller, Christopher Fragnito and his mother Brenda Dearhouse-Fragnito head to the polls in Kahnawake. But will they be allowed to vote?)Tom Fennario APTN National NewsKahnawake Mohawk Territory — Brenda Dearhouse-Fragnito has been a part of Quebec Native Women Association for over 30 years, she co-founded the Kahnawake Cancer Support Group 24 years ago and according to the federal government, she’s a status Indian, a Mohawk woman of Kahnawake.But this morning when she showed up to vote in Saturday’s election of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawake (MCK), she wasn’t allowed to cast a ballot.“I knew this was going to happen, I knew they weren’t going to let me vote,” said Dearhouse-Fragnito.She isn’t on the voting registry because of Kahnawake’s controversial membership code, which states that members give up certain rights when they marry a non-Mohawk or Indigenous person.“I was married in 1968, and in that particular time I found out that I would not be allowed to vote, she said. “That I would not be allowed to be buried in Kahnawake, I would not have any rights.”Along with a dozen supporters, Deerhouse-Fragnito decided to attempt voting as an act of defiance, knowing full well she wouldn’t be allowed.She wasn’t the only one turned away.“I’ve lived in this community (Kahnawake) for the majority of my life,” said Adriano Garisto, 27. “I’m a status Indian, a Mohawk woman, I should be allowed to vote.”Waneek Horn-Miller had voted in a previous election, but showed up not knowing if she’d be turned away because she lives with a non-Indigenous man who is the father of her children.“It’s very ambiguous the code, you know if you marry out, get out,” said Horn-Miller. “If you’re even living common law somewhere with somebody you get taken off the band list… like I had no clue, I was totally prepared to walk in there and not be on the band list”Chief Lloyd Phillips is one of four candidates running for Grand Chief.He said that the community can’t be influenced by outside influences.“Really what it comes down to is the thinking that if somebody is with a non-native that they’re influenced by other factors other than being a Mohawk of Kahnawake that could impact upon the way you vote,” Phillips told APTN. “The way you participate in community, so that was the root of the thinking, going back to the 60’s, 70’s, and 80’s.”Christopher Fragnito is Brenda’s son. He brought the group of a dozen voters together so that people who were at odds with the membership code would feel safe to at least try to vote…and to make what to him is a very important statement.“Every status Mohawk of Kahnawake according to Indian Affairs is on a (membership) roll at MCK. And everyone of those people, Kahnawake gets funded for.”Fragnito and other community members say that federal funding for Kahnawake is based off the Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada (AANDC) list, and therefore they should be allowed to vote.They point to how AANDC lists over 10 thousand Kahnawake Mohawks as members, whereas Kahnawake’s voter registry has 5,254 eligible voters.See AANDC list here:The MCK readily admits that there is a discrepancy between the AANDC and Kahnawake registries, but says it’s what the people want.“Voting issues and electoral law has always been guided by the will of the community, it has nothing to do with funding and/or money” said incumbent Grand Chief Michael Delisle.Joe Norton is another candidate for Grand Chief, he’s attempting a political comeback after serving as a Grand Chief of Kahnawake from 1980-2004.He points out that more federal funding isn’t tied to a population count like it used to be.“There is no longer anymore validity to that. Now it’s just generally across the board whatever (funds) you can negotiate program by program.”Christopher Fragnito said that by not allowing his mother Brenda to vote, the MCK is violating her human rights, which custom election codes are required to follow by Canadian law.“This election is illegal,” said Fragnito “All (MCK) elections have been illegal, because we’re not allowed to take part.”For her part, Brenda Dearhouse-Fragnito said she has been trying to get reinstated on the Kahnawake registry.“They sent me a letter that said until such time as they reach my file I’m off the list. And it’s been 47 years and they haven’t reached my file yet.”As the conversation continues, the soft spoken Fragnito-Dearhouse’s eyes narrow, her voice gets a little louder.“I think that we should have every right, every single right every single one of us who are born Mohawk, it doesn’t matter who you marry or who you live with, we are who we are,” she said, pausing to catch her breath. “I know who I am,” she concludes. “I know who I am”[email protected]@tfennariolast_img read more