Jun 25 2007
>You know the hands-off approach to living alongside Aboriginal people isn’t working when the government has to call in the army to protect the band’s children from the parents.
Canadian Aboriginals held off from the predicted round of roadblocks and mass protests for a National Day of Action this week, presumably because the feds have decided to speed up treaty negotiations (since more than a century was probably seen as a little too long of a wait). It’s not just about the treaties, of course. Canadian First Nations are understandably upset over the Third-World conditions prevalent on their reserves as well as the almost-as-bad outcomes for Natives off reserve.
But as bad as things are on Canadian reserves, Australian Aborigine communities seem to taken it to the next level. The Australian government has mobilized the army to restore order on Aborigine reserves, where sexual abuse of children has pretty much become the norm.
Some Australian Aboriginal groups are complaining it smacks of racism. But from a pragmatic approach, if the Canadian government found out that virtually every family in Vancouver’s Kitsilano had started molesting their own kids as well as their neighbors, you’d expect a pretty heavy-handed response.
The reserve system hasn’t worked. Providing incentives for Aboriginals to live on poor, unproductive land, isolated from the rest of the nation, has resulted in pretty much what you’d expect of any group of people put in that kind of situation: total poverty and anarchy.
Giving the land back and evacuating the tens of millions of newcomers isn’t an option. Treaties will only go so far in alleviating the tragedy, whether in Canada or Australia. The only real option for the ones living on the worst of the reserves is for the government to pay to move them to whichever of the big cities or functioning reserves they want and tear down the ones that have already fallen apart from the inside.