April 04, 2016

Time to reject the “fairy tale” that First Nations reserves can develop robust economies

Brian GiesbrechtRebel Blogger
 

Until not that many years ago it was the common belief that people from aboriginal communities would, over time, merge with the general population. As they acquired job skills, people would leave reserves and compete for jobs with other Canadians.

That was certainly the belief of the men who wrote the Indian Act. Reserves, and the demeaning classification of aboriginal people as wards, were supposed to come to a natural end when aboriginal people became a part of the modern community.
    
That kind of thinking is now considered passé, almost quaint. It is now widely believed that aboriginal people should remain separate from the general population in self-governing tribal nations, where they are subject to a separate set of rights and benefits determined at birth by the race of their parents. These tribal nations are envisioned as having their own economies. The Indian Act, or something similar, would forever treat aboriginal people differently from other Canadians.
    
Aboriginal activists passionately support this “separateness” model. The last federal government chose to ignore it, but the current government appears to enthusiastically support separateness. In fact, this model has become so fashionable that to even question it is considered an affront.
    
But does separateness make sense in today’s world? Could it be that the quaint assumption that integration is both desirable and inevitable has been right all along?
    
I think separateness is the wrong way to go, and is already a proven.
    
First, where does the idea of separateness come from?
    
The answer is clear. Keeping a distance between cultures was a natural response by aboriginal people to past assaults on their culture and traditions. The government, churches, and the general population told them their culture was inferior, and that they must learn to be just like white people.

This continued unabated, but aboriginal people refused to succumb. They simply would not let their culture die. Just like the people of Quebec, who knew that their culture must be preserved, aboriginal people insisted -– against all odds -- on remaining aboriginal.
    
They won the battle. Aboriginal people now take pride in their identity. Their culture is strong. Prominent aboriginal people have proven that an aboriginal person can be successful and proudly retain his or her identity.
    
So the idea behind maintaining a degree of separateness was absolutely necessary to preserve a culture. Unfortunately, somewhere along the way a good idea was distorted. The determination to hang on to a cultural identity morphed into the destructive concept of a permanent apartheid type of system, with separate laws and separate economies based on racial lines.
    
This bad idea was formalized in the Report of the Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples in 1996. According to their plan, the individual reserves, or First Nations, would be self-governing – meaning that the money coming to these communities from Ottawa to keep them functioning would be handed to local elected leaders, and not federal appointees.

These communities would, by some unexplained process, develop separate economies, and residents would find decent jobs without having to move from their communities. Although Ottawa did not accept all of the legal changes demanded by the Report, it has transferred massive sums of money to First Nations during the last twenty years with this model in mind.
    
The RCAP report said that this money from Ottawa would be needed initially, but that tribal nation self-government and independence would eventually result. In fact, RCAP set out the number of years this would take. Twenty, to be exact. That was in 1996. It is now 2016. The twenty years is up, but the reserves are no closer to being self-sustaining than they were in 1996. In fact, they are even more dependent now.
    
The RCAP plan was not realistic. The reality is that most of Manitoba’s reserves will never be economically viable. Welfare has become a way of life. Although people hunt and fish to supplement their food supply, a welfare cheque usually pays the bills. “Government money” in one form or another sustains these communities. This is not to say there aren’t many good people in these communities. But their communities are not able to produce all of the good jobs their growing populations need, and never will be.
    
Many people in these communities are trapped in a cycle of dependency. Calvin Helin, an aboriginal lawyer from the west coast, discusses the debilitating effects of the welfare trap in aboriginal communities in his book “Dances with Dependency”.

He describes how dependency inevitably leads to social disintegration, and how it sucks the life out of communities. The massive government subsidies needed to finance separateness further entrench dependency.
    
The federal government and the aboriginal leaders should admit that the notion of separate aboriginal economies with good jobs for everyone is a fairy tale. They cannot buy people the lives that they want. There is but one economy – one is either part of it, or on the margins.  
    
Educations and entry into the job market is the answer. Aboriginal youth face the same challenge as every young person -- to prepare themselves to succeed, and then to move to where the jobs are.

It is a fact of life in rural Manitoba that a young person will probably not find the job he or she wants in their home community. There is no separate path to success for aboriginal youth.       
    
The good news is that a growing number of successful aboriginal people have shown their young people the path to follow. They have become fully integrated into the Canadian economy, and have done so without losing their cultural identity.         
    
So, the question of separateness or integration is of vital importance to our future. Do we really want a Canada that officially separates races by means of concepts such as “blood quantum” and “status Indian” – a Canada of subsidized, racially segregated mini-nations?  

Or shall we finally rid ourselves of these outdated vestiges of yesterday, and recognize that we are all part of one Canadian mosaic?


        
   

Comments
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commented 2016-04-07 15:14:32 -0400
“Our whole White system, has been purposely, designed to destroy a very proud and entirely, self-sufficient People.”

First of all, RAE FRASER, it wasn’t a “white” system. It was just a more modern system developed over many centuries in Europe where the vast majority of the population happened to be white. And it certainly wasn’t “designed” to destroy the Indians. It damned well changed their culture, and we can certainly have an argument about whether that was a good or a bad thing, but let’s put it this way: once Indians had their hands steel axes and iron cooking pots, the old ways were gone forever – there was no way they’d ever go back to stone tomahawks and hot stones in birch-bark containers.

The modern Indian Industry is built upon a hopeless Rousseauian image that is equal parts romantic drivel and Hollywood hogwash. The “noble savage” – if he ever did exist at all – was on the fast track to extinction from the time that Cartier anchored at Stadacona and Hochelaga.

There is absolutely no doubt that the Reserve system was a terrible mistake – but that gross error pales in comparison to the most unforgiveable sin of all: the unwillingness/inability of the powerbrokers to improve the system one bit, despite the expenditure of countless billions and the passage of decade after weary decade.

Dependency and disfunction increase with each succeeding generation, so with the passage of every year the problems move closer to chronic insolubility thanks to the parasites and cowards who have a vested interest in continuing, even reinforcing, the status quo. They are the ones who wave the horrors-of-assimilation flags; because they know and fear that practical solutions centred on self-reliance and commons sense would mean an end to their personal gravy train.

My solution? A one-time offer to every Indian who has completed grade 12: a quarter (or half) a million bucks if they renounce their Indian status forever. I have a funny feeling that if you landed and made that announcement in Pikangikum or Sandy Lake – or at any one of the scores of shithole Reserves that are a blight on our map – you’d need a fleet of Hercules before nightfall to meet with the demand.
commented 2016-04-06 04:37:52 -0400
ATOKENCONSERVTIVE…Your intent and ideals are good!.. No debate there.. It would indeed be great if skilled workmen first turned their own communities around by showing pride and a way out of the morass… A very healthy impetus… Tell me if I am wrong however, but I sense that “inter-nation” petty politics would probably keep workers of one “nation” from working in the adjoining ones?… I believe at the core, for generations now, are too many bloated chiefs, still guarding their own turf, putting their family first, and preserving the status quo at all costs… Tell me if that isn’t so?… Which, is no different from tribal politics in Africa where the chief’s “kraal” is the biggest and the rest of the tribe scramble for the scraps… And how long has that been going on?…
commented 2016-04-06 01:34:12 -0400
Rae, speaking as someone who has lived on a reservation for most of his life, you have no idea what you’re talking about. Most people who have never met aboriginals do, except parroting liberal claptrap from the ’60s who think they can speak for their “lessers”. There are only welfare cases and normal workers who commute out of town left living there. They are already white in every way except skin color. There would be literally no difference if they assimilated now because their lives are no different than your common Canadian. Anyone who knows anything about people who live on reserves knows its true.

All those who knew anything about the culture has long since passed on and their children have decided to throw it out just like everyone else in Western Civilization has to live off welfare. Nobody is wistful for the good old days except when it can get them more money from the government. They know nothing of their old ways because they have abandoned them. The only reason reserves still exist is to get band council members richer and to make the liberals feel good, and no other reason. They should all be closed and the people should assimilate.
commented 2016-04-05 19:35:54 -0400
Liberal Trudeau’s Corporate Canada – EAST continues Conservative Harper’s (Corp.Ca.-WEST) to Deprive the most Vulnerable Canadians (ie. 95% – 99% of Canadians), both; Native & non Native, and Potential Trade Partners of Due Diligence Info

A ‘RIGHT’, or, a ‘PRIVILEGE’ for Native Canadians, et al, to Access Info re; The W.A.D. Accord & its Compensation; Harper’s (Cons.) Corporate Canada Considering?

ECONOMIC JUSTICE for NATIVE CANADIANS, et al; End of the DEPRIVATION of the Relevant INFORMATION & the Start of Getting the Information Directly to the most vulnerable community members for their humble Consideration in RETRIBUTION FREE forums?

‘Consultation’ with Native Community Still Does Not Include the Most Most Vulnerable Members, ie. 95% – 99% of all Community members.

It’s might strike some Canadians, both; Native & non Native, and the non shareholders of the nations who have become, & those who are becoming, signatories to The NAFTA, C-CITreaty, CETAgreement, TPPartnership, et al,
as odd that corporate Canada’s desire to avoid, &/or, to dilute its contribution to The Compensation in The W.A.D. Accord (that brings some justice for the government of Canada’s/corporate Canada’s deprivation of Native Canadians, et al, of the simplest & most basic economic information via their treaties with Native Canadians) has led corporate Canada to mislead their signatory associates & will bring corporate Canada, its shareholders, et al, to face charges of international fraud, etc. before, not only The Supreme Court of Canada, but, the highest courts of the aforementioned signatory nations. The superseding, cyber Court aka; The non Native Tribunals may find that they are jurisdictions without a home & thus, “persona non grata”.

The W.A.D. Accord & the related questions to it are presently before The Supreme Court of Canada. One of the many important questions is;

The W.A.D. Accord (Less Comprehensive version)
https://plus.google.com/100148384357668706698/posts/7HXsUbS2yNE

…(basically) The W.A.D. Accord (aka; ‘The Australian Question’ as it pertains to Aboriginal Canadians states that most Canadians, et al, agree that it is a ‘right’ not a ‘privilege’ for the most vulnerable Aboriginal community members, et al, to obtain from the government of Canada, et al, its (the government of Canada’s) criteria for ascertaining the health and robustness of their Native communities’ economies. That is to say; the criteria would probably include, amongst other things, a list of those environmentally sustainable businesses, industries and/or enterprises that can:
1) provide the most vulnerable with the direct, cash dividends that amount to over two times (ie. factor of 2+) the amounts that the most vulnerable can obtain from all the present sources of social assistance,
2) xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx,
3) be expanded to provide over 100% employment of the most vulnerable members of an Aboriginal community,
and
4) etc.

And, finally, “The Australian Question” states that because “some” of the most vulnerable Aboriginal community members are being deprived of the aforementioned benefits and the information regarding these benefits, the most vulnerable are entitled to be compensated** for their deprivation (ie. their poverty, despair, disenchantment, fear, unconscionably high rates of unemployment & suicides, etc).. “The Question” asks; is $47,400 ($87,000 Australian, circa 1984) per year a reasonable compensation …?"

**The Compensation; similar to the Residential Schools Abuse compensation, except larger.
Also see; Google; ‘HELP IS ON THE WAY? The UN’s Special Rapporteur Mr. ANAYA;”IGNORAMUS et IGNORABIMUS?’


And, See; Excerpts from ‘The Submission’ to The SUPREME COURT of CANADA:
‘The SHAREHOLDERS & Corporations of AMERICA, China, Canada, the EU, the Trans-Pacific nations, et al
vs.
the (harmless) Canadian NON shareholders, both; Native & non Native, et al’
including
‘The MERKEL (Chancellor of Germany) Letter; To Sue, or, Be Sued?’
(see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com)
*
For more Information & Questions re; The Relationship between Human
(Nature) Rights & Economics in the C-CI Treaty, the CET Agreement,
TPP, et al, via The WAD Accord,
see; davidehsmith.wordpress.com
or,
Google; “David E.H. Smith” to access RECENT ARTICLES, LETTERS & NOTIFICATIONS by DEHS.
commented 2016-04-05 19:23:21 -0400
What has been lost in history is the fact that each and every fort that was built and inhabited by Europeans was built as far as possible from native settlements. After initial trading was done almost all natives that could , would move right beside the fort in their area. Attempts were made to move them back to their original settlement areas but all failed. For example the Sarcee natives signed the Treaty 7 Agreement that gave them land down near Gleichen beside where the Siksika moved but the tribes couldn’t get along so they moved back to Fort Calgary. It took several decades but the Federal Govt. finally gave in and granted them that land. There are white families in Calgary whose ancestors lived there before the Sarcee did.
Today the reserve system is a known failure and there have been many attempts by all political parties to do away with the reserve system but there is staunch opposition today from the AFN , the federation of Chiefs who find their current situation to be quite beneficial to them , their families, both elected Chief and hereditary Chief’s families. This are little Canadian fiefdoms and the AFN doesn’t want anything to change that regardless of the misery of their people under them.
commented 2016-04-05 17:06:54 -0400
I don’t think that assimilation is the only path – Liza R. It is actually, a very insulting and arrogant conclusion. Our whole White system, has been purposely, designed to destroy a very proud and entirely, self-sufficient People. WE have destroyed their way of Life. We have attempted to destroy their Religions , beliefs and culture —-and then sit back in amazement when when their suicide, crime rates and lack of success are stereotyped by White standards ,White rules ,White criticism and WHITE VALUES. The Olde ways are gone Forever. It must be very sad because it all occurred in such a short time period. Just imagine—-there are still some Grand parents alive today that can still remember -the Proud olde ways. All I am saying -that there must be some ‘happy-medium’ solution that could best figured out by honest people, the Respect each other and not by Politicians , the Poverty Industry or ANYBODY that is seeking to make Profit.
commented 2016-04-05 16:57:00 -0400
Andy, I thought I was looking at the reality. There’s lots of small towns, with a couple of hundred people or less, whose population wouldn’t live in those conditions. Why don’t the people who live in the reserves fix their houses up, just like I have in my small town? Contractors and plumbers will go to another town, for mileage, if commissioned to. It looks like the problem isn’t so much with the chiefs (except, possibly, for the money) as much as it’s with the individuals who live in those shit holes and just don’t care about it, at least until a media crew is there filming them in their squalor. If it was because the chiefs are holding back the money to do these renovations and improvements, I can’t help but think the people living in those shacks would find a way find a way to fix them up if they really wanted to, chiefs money notwithstanding. I haven’t heard a lot of complaints from them to get money to fix their places up, except in Attawapiskat.
commented 2016-04-05 16:56:44 -0400
Andy, I thought I was looking at the reality. There’s lots of small towns, with a couple of hundred people or less, whose population wouldn’t live in those conditions. Why don’t the people who live in the reserves fix their houses up, just like I have in my small town? Contractors and plumbers will go to another town, for mileage, if commissioned to. It looks like the problem isn’t so much with the chiefs (except, possibly, for the money) as much as it’s with the individuals who live in those shit holes and just don’t care about it, at least until a media crew is there filming them in their squalor. If it was because the chiefs are holding back the money to do these renovations and improvements, I can’t help but think the people living in those shacks would find a way find a way to fix them up if they really wanted to, chiefs money notwithstanding. I haven’t heard a lot of complaints from them to get money to fix their places up, except in Attawapiskat.
commented 2016-04-05 14:36:24 -0400
Assimilation is the only path for success. Education designed to put people into the work force. Rebuilding strong families and culture may have a better chance to flourish in such an environment, but that part is up to them. Given the opportunity I think most Indigenous people prefer to assimilate. The Chief’s and activists, and as Jamie M. points out, politicians, not so much. The Indian Industry is the problem that is certain.
commented 2016-04-05 14:33:57 -0400
I just don’t understand how a band such as Attawapiskat, for example, can expect us to pay for them to stay located on the land of their ancestors. Where the town is located is flood plain. Every year we give them money to repair their houses and infrastructure damage caused by rising water. They say they have a right to stay there as their ancestors once did. Their ancestors had the good sense to move to higher ground when the waters rose. They didn’t live in permanent houses close to the water, or stay there all year round. They relocated as necessary for hunting and fishing. And then there is Theresa Spence and her hoodlums and the stupid games she plays with her people and with Ottawa.

What of the Inuit. Are we to subsidise their existence in places they no longer can scratch out an existence with out white man’s money? Why? The Inuit have a history of impressive adaptation. They flourished on Greenland when the slip into the mini ice age killed off the Vikings. They must live as their ancestors did or go where they can survive as modern man. Evolve. Trying to have it both ways has failed.
commented 2016-04-05 14:17:21 -0400
I feel sorry for our Indians on these shithole reserves. When you think of the unbelievably huge sums of money that have been poured into our Indian Industry over the years, you can only conclude that there has been absolutely no will to change things, otherwise it would simply not be so.

So there can be only one conclusion: that it has been more advantageous for the various departments, administrations, and experts in charge of the mess to use up the resources to maintain the status quo. Their true goal should be to aim for their own redundancy.
commented 2016-04-05 14:05:44 -0400
Sorry to say , but they can continue on and stay in the reserve, even if it costs me , don’t want them come to my environment and tell me to change according to their view, alike the Muslims. have enough of minorities depriving me of my way of life.
commented 2016-04-05 11:22:55 -0400
Lying within the Indian community, aided and abetted by government and other do-gooders, will continue so long as it is so lucrative (especially for the lawyers who work for the Indian bands). The lies exposed in the book (disrobing the aboriginal industry by Widdowson) will make you cringe. But no sign of it changing any time soon as we (non-indians) are all racists.
commented 2016-04-05 10:48:15 -0400
I HAVE SEEN LANDFILLS THAT ARE CLEANER THAN THIS !!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL !!!!! SERIOUSLY,GIMME,GIMME,GIMME OH AND BY THE WAY,GIMME MORE !!!! ABSOLUTELY NOT !!!!
commented 2016-04-05 10:46:10 -0400
BRING BACK THE FINANCIAL TRANSPARENCY ACT…………FOLLOW THE MONEY…..CHIEFS LIVING WELL,WHILE RESIDENTS LIVE IN SQUALOR…..IT IS DISGUSTING!!!!!! WHERE HAS ALL MY TAX MONEY WENT?? Justin ( CANADIAN BLOOD ON YOUR HANDS )Trudeau sure snuggled up to THE ATTAWAPISKAT BITCH when she was camped out in Ottawa ,though….didn’t he ????NOT ANOTHER FUCKING RED CENT TILL I SEE SOME FINANCIAL DISCLOSURE……END OF DISCUSSION!!!!!!!! FUCK YOU JUSTIN
commented 2016-04-05 10:34:57 -0400
atokenconservative I work with quite a few in the oilsands and they tend to leave the rez when they get tickets or skills. The majority of them don’t want anything to do with the current reservation system.
commented 2016-04-05 10:31:54 -0400
They will for the most part amount to nothing, Just how it is cut off the funding and force them to GET A JOB. NO MORE ENDLESS WELFARE HANDOUTS.
commented 2016-04-05 09:51:31 -0400
In My Opinion: The Natives need a hand up, not hand out. We need to STOP giving them money. Period. If they live off the Reserve, they need to pay taxes and live like every other Canadian. If they live on the Reserve, which is their land, they can do with it as they will, including selling rights for mining AND doing the actual mining themselves, building and running casinos with their own money and staff, building manufacturing plants and employing themselves, being hunting and fishing guides at their own resorts, etc. or even choosing to sell some of their land to each other or to Canadians. They want to call themselves a NATION. Let them govern them self. They want to be DISTINCT. Get out of their way. No more gov’t money. NONE.
As for land claims, they need to be settled once and for all. And no, there wasn’t 1 million Natives in the country we call Canada before settlers came. And NO, they do not get to divide up 150% of the land between themselves.
Spending what will amount to BILLIONS in the final analysis on the Syrian situation doesn’t make sense until we get our own house in order.
We need to give these people the RESPECT that they deserve. They need a hand up and not a hand out, and then we we need to get out of their way.
One last point. Did you notice the garbage in the “front yards” of the houses on the Reserve? And this looks like one of the neater ones. And these folks are all supposed to be super environmentalists. For those among us who have never been on a reserve and seen their self inflicted conditions,it can be a real eye opener. Personally, I would never even throw a candy wrapper out the window of my car, even if no one was looking, let alone leave a rusted broken down car or a washing machine in my front yard. And do you think that I am exaggerating?
A definition of stupidity is to keep doing things the same way and hope for better results. It should be readily apparent that the present course of action is not working.
commented 2016-04-05 09:46:10 -0400
The ridiculous liberal idea turned into a permanent welfare program? Who would have thought it?
commented 2016-04-05 09:24:12 -0400
We need to keep the Indian act!
Once the Muslim brothers take over, the North American white man will be joining his adopted red brothers on reserves.
commented 2016-04-05 08:15:06 -0400
Greetings from Iqaluit NU. I will say that without “Southern” money, this place would cease to exist. There’s government jobs and retail jobs to support those government jobs, and a little bit of tourism, and that’s pretty much it. I have the utmost respect for the Inuit people. Everyone that I’ve met speaks at least two languages, some more than that (so don’t believe for a minute that they’re not intelligent), and I have felt welcomed and accepted by most in the community. In short, I think they’re good people. However, some of the things I’ve seen are saddening. Suicides among young people (is the worst for me), the alcoholism, the dependency. More than you would see down South. I don’t think there’s an easy fix to this. It truly is a cycle of dependency, in some families, and frankly, we created this situation, and now we sit back and are critical of their communities. Hey, I get it, some of that is deserved, but as long as we perpetuate the status quo, do we honestly expect the situation to change?
commented 2016-04-05 02:33:27 -0400
ATOKENCONSERVATIVE… Indeed good in theory but once again it fails based on the reality of the situation… Some of these reserves are “nations” of only some 200, 300, 400 people… Hence there is not enough demand for full time skilled trades employment in them… Once again it’s a trap, created by the Indian Act… You may remember that when the Conservative government made reserve finances public there was one “nation” up near Sturgeon Falls, Ontario (?) that had a chief being paid to “administer” less than a dozen people… It’s demonstrable madness, but certain people profit from this being perpetuated…
commented 2016-04-05 02:20:59 -0400
Good post Maurice. This comment seems a most important one to me, “I think the erroneous philosophy that must be addressed is this concept that simply being born entitles anyone to anything, particularly the purely coincidental chance of one’s birth parents being of a particular ethnicity as an entitlement factor.”
I also agree that the best way to kill any motivation to progress as a society is free money. Those making a living off of the Indian industry are complicit in their destruction. That goes for native activists, and chiefs as well as politicians and lawyers. Too bad Trudeau is undoing the steps Harper managed to accomplish. It is a set back for natives and taxpayers. The only ones who win are the lawyers, activists and politicians.
commented 2016-04-05 01:06:29 -0400
Rae Fraser made an astute observation. That’s a good question, isn’t it? There’s obviously a whole lot of work for carpenters, plumbers, landscapers, tradespeople of all kinds on pretty much any reservation. I know that most trade schools have FN’s among their graduates every year, and there’s places like the Dumont Institute that specialize in some trades, why aren’t these guys (and girls) going back to work on the communities they came from? It’s not like there’s no budget for it, we’ve paid and paid and paid for it already. That, in itself, could foster an employment boom among the reservations across the land. Anyone know the reason why that isn’t happening? Is this something that our federal government could be looking into, or at least get questioned about by the opposition?
commented 2016-04-05 00:08:52 -0400
Excellent synopsis Brian!… Intelligent people learn from their mistakes… The common denominator in all “ghettos”, all over the world – and that is from Chicago to Sao Paulo to Delhi to Kampala to reserves across Canada, is that if you don’t own the land you will not have the pride to take care of it… If you are a “serf” you will do the minimum to get by… And that, as we can see if we care to, and are honest enough to admit it, passes from generation to generation…
commented 2016-04-05 00:03:32 -0400
Here are some comments I wrote back during the whole Theresa Spence “hunger strike” thing. (You know, the one where she gained 20 pounds?) I think my comments are worth reposting. I have a great concern for the aboriginal community, probably because of my own aboriginal ancestors. The aboriginal community will never flourish or prosper as long as they are kept as wards of the state, dependent on government handouts. Following are my comments from a previous post:

“There are Indian bands where resources are shared equally and the community in general is industrious, hard working and entrepreneurial, but that’s the exception, not the rule. It’s human nature that whenever a people group is treated as dependent, too immature for self-determination, by a government with a nanny state mentality, invariably that people group will become less industrious and develop an entitlement mentality. It’s also inevitable that when that same nanny state government shovels money carte blanche into the coffers of that people group, those who control the purse strings will take the lion’s share.

I think the erroneous philosophy that must be addressed is this concept that simply being born entitles anyone to anything, particularly the purely coincidental chance of one’s birth parents being of a particular ethnicity as an entitlement factor. Our personal history begins with our birth (or conception). I am a Metis, and therefore I claim aboriginal ancestry. But even if I couldn’t, my history on this land is 16 years longer than Theresa Spence, since she was born in 1963. It’s 23 years longer than radical warrior chief, Dr. Pam Palmater, as she was born in 1970. The only thing that I automatically inherited from my parents is my DNA. The rest is at their discretion. And that DNA may create in me a certain pride of ancestory, but not an attitude of entitlement. Instead, I have an attitude of deep and profound gratitude for the good fortune of being born in this Country with its corresponding rights and freedoms. Most people on this planet are not that fortunate. I’ll be damned if I’m just going to stand by and watch those rights and freedoms be hi-jacked by special interest groups of any kind.

Yes, native people have been treated badly by government policies in the past, and there was absolutely no excuse or justification for residential schools. However, there’s more than one side on the residential school issue as well. First of all, during the commission inquiry, those who had positive experiences in the residential school system were silenced. Secondly, I don’t believe for one second that the majority of nuns and priests, and missionaries from the other denominations. were all monsters. I believe most of them were just there trying to do God’s work and were motivated by love for the people, However. no doubt some were monsters and treated their charges brutally. However, regardless of how the natives were treated, the real injustice was forcibly ripping families apart. There can be no justification for that! But it was done and we have to move on. Besides, didn’t the former Prime Minister already apologize for that? The past is the past, we can’t change it. Besides, how quickly the natives forget how they treated the Jesuit Missionaries who came to them to spread the love of Jesus. Whether they were right to do so or not, their motivation was one of love and concern for the people. However, they were frequently repaid for their efforts by becoming dinner, often while they were still alive! I guess we’re even. Let’s move on."
commented 2016-04-04 21:54:25 -0400
«officially separates races by means of concepts such as “blood quantum” and “status Indian”»

Eventually, everyone will be 1/4194304th Indian. Does this mean everyone will be a ward of the state? How will we convince foreign lenders to pay for this?
commented 2016-04-04 21:50:21 -0400
Stone-age culture belongs in a museum, not burdening your children.
commented 2016-04-04 21:10:28 -0400
If you are not connected on the reservation you will not live well
commented 2016-04-04 20:55:47 -0400
Excellent article! First they were called Indians, then aboriginals, then First Nations, and now indigenous people. I have a novel idea. How about we call them Canadians. It is unbelievable how our politicians continue to promote the same policies that haven’t worked for 183 years now. The ideas advocated in the article are exactly what needs to happen. Finding enough politicians with common sense and courage is going to be a challenge.