Aug 01 2009

A Common Sense Approach to Canadian First Nations Issues?

Published by at 8:45 am under Canada,canadian politics,First Nations

In a democracy, elected representatives are supposed to get props for talking to the people so they can build goodwill and obtain grassroots ideas about how to improve things. But when it comes to Canada’s discussions with First Nations people, it gets complicated.

Most Canadian Aboriginals live off-reserve, so the governing party in Canada has decided that we ought to be talking with their representatives, not just the First Nations people living on reserves (Vancouver Sun). This seems to be in keeping with our political system, which takes into account not only the population as a whole but also regional and municipal groupings. Nothing wrong there.

But members of Canada’s loyal opposition don’t like what they’re seeing. They’ve trotted out a number of wince-inducing quotes from Conservatives in a press release, mostly spoken with extremely poor timing, to boot, claiming that Canadians “won’t be fooled”.

But aside from the perhaps ungenerous timing of the very first quote tossed into the press release, from a Conservative on the day of the Residential Schools Apology, I’m not sure what’s terribly bad about Pierre Poilievre’s statement about Native Reserves:

“There’s too much power concentrated in the hands of the leadership and it makes you wonder where all of this money is going. …Now along with this apology comes another four billion dollars in compensation… Some of us are starting to ask are we really getting value for all of this money and is more money really going to solve the problem.”

Why is this statement considered beyond the pale by the opposition? Canadian First Nations reserves are ground-zero zones for unemployment, poor education outcomes, suicide, substance abuse and near-pervasive corruption by band councils. Why is it unfair to point out that Canadian taxpayer dollars have been subsidizing this mess, or that it’s high time we asked for better results?

Canadians do want better results. Talking with First Nations representatives living off-reserve seems like a good way to get some momentum going on improving the status of First Nations people in this country.
Museum of Anthropology May 08 043

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3 responses so far

3 Responses to “A Common Sense Approach to Canadian First Nations Issues?”

  1. dollopson 01 Aug 2009 at 10:43 am

    All discussion and negotiation (with Native Canadians) should cease until the objective is extinguishment. The people in question have been the target of institutionalised bigotry from the mid-60’s on. Either they are fully capable human beings like all others around the world throughout history or they are something else which, God help them, justifies government help. We are a nation of bigots until such time as we free our Native neighbours from “status”. Canadians obviously want to be generous (at least 25 billion per year*) with their money re. bettering living conditions for those stigmatised by Status, now let’s also be generous with our attitude toward their place in society.
    * I will explain on request.

  2. garyon 01 Aug 2009 at 11:28 am

    I’m trying to get a US Visa-Exempt status as an American-Indian born in canada no matter what the canadian Government thinks of my Indian background.

    But here lies the paradox, I supposed to get a Indian Status card from INAC dept plus a letter from the tribe I desend from.

    OK fine……the Tribe is in Vermont and had to break-up during the Eugenics plan to sterilizes all native females to take over vermont by the simple occupation of more Non-natives, some Indians fled across to Quebec as my great grandfather did and set-up home just 1/4 mile North of the 45th paralell away from Vermont.
    But in order to survive they had to split up and occupy the woods or farmlands so a sneak attack into Quebec would be futile, but Quebec and now canada sees these Vermont Indians as not part of the First Nations Mafia that controls who gets Status.
    Vermont has no records because Indians buried thereown in sacred grounds to return to the earth, there was no Immigration records for Indians moving North into Quebec or records for their exit from Vermont.

    It gets worse, but my point is that I need ID to get ID to get a Visa-Exempt status as being of American background by Treaty as my dad was.
    I never want the Indian Status in Canada because it signs-away your rights and makes you a “Ward of the State” to be pigeon holed as a pathetic Minority to have Pity on and ergo…lower the bar for success in life.

    The only thing a can prove is that I’m not a Immigrant,nor are there any records to prove my Dad’s background is from immigrants because he was born around 1924 so his dad’s records should be on file.

    Who the hell are these Natives dictating to the Government what other Aboriginals get Status as natives?

    While the US Consulate Staff was very Polite , I wasn’t the least bit shocked when a worker try to solve my problem by telling me to ask my Dad about his background and Military records for proof of ID .
    Gee I should have thought of that, I get a space-heater and smelling-salts once I uncover the grave and then ask him to nod for yes or blink for No.

    The Privacy laws keep records closed for 94 years , the archives take for ever to view but can’t be removed and copied.

    Oddly enough , my dad was born at about 45′ North latitude while i was born in the town he moved to at 43′ N Latitude.
    I’m actually further south into vermont if you head east along that Line, but wish me luck for dealing with Both Governments who seem to tell me I’m the other nations problem.

  3. Joshuaon 01 Aug 2009 at 1:44 pm

    Im canadian.Half caucasian half native.But im CANADIAN.Not aboriginal ,not indian ,not native american,but CANADIAN.The native leadership leading those reserves need to be scrutinized and every single dollar needs to be tracked because some of those natives are on the take at the expense of their brothers and sisters.Im not interested in my original birth certificate anymore.Why?My biological parents didnt raise me,instill me with values,cloth me,feed me or got me decent education.My adotive parents did that and as far as im concerned they are my real parents.

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