July 10, 2015

First Nations "grievance mongers" complain about Harper despite his record

Brian LilleyArchive

So the leadership of the Assembly of First Nations says the Harper Conservatives are bad for aboriginals, that they do nothing for them. Mulcair and Trudeau agree. But what are the facts?

I get why some chiefs don't like Harper. He wants them to be more transparent about how they spend all the money we send them.

But the Harper government also passed the bill that gives women on reserve the same rights as women in the rest of Canada when it comes to the matrimonial home and real property.

And what about land claims?

Did you know that of all the claims settled between 1973 and 2014, 28% of them were settled between 2007 and 2014. That’s right, in a 41 year period, 108 claims were settled vs 282 in the 34 previous years.

Now why do I use 1973 as a reference date?

Because that's when Prime Minister Pierre Trudeau set up the process.

Harper streamlined the system in 2007. Hence the sudden jump in the number of settlements.

Many of these chiefs are grievance mongers.

They can’t complain about the slow pace on land claims when he is speeding it up.

So they complain that he won’t call an inquiry in to missing and murdered aboriginal women, even though an inquiry won’t bring a single person to justice, won’t result in a single charge being laid.

Harper isn't perfect, but saying he's done nothing for Canada's First Nations people doesn't line up with his record.

So much for "truth and reconciliation."

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commented 2015-09-01 16:28:40 -0400
Sounds to me like you’re the one doing the complaining about “them”. Quite dismissive, your simplistic comments reducing the importance of an inquiry for missing and murdered aboriginal women. A process that, “won’t bring a single person to justice, won’t result in a single charge being laid” so let’s not bother. As though those are the only significant factors that matter in an inquiry. Unbelievable how you can state something so trite, and not feel self conscious. You may want to look up: validation; honour; causation; closure.

The phrase “…the clearance rate is the same for non-native and native women”. What does that mean exactly, can you please cite your sources here because I’m not quite sure what you are getting at. I missed the memo where 1181 missing and murdered women of caucasian decent has taken place anywhere in Canada.
“It gives them something to complain about.” Perhaps taking on a slightly less demeaning tone when referring to 1181 missing/murdered human beings – as a tiny footnote to your talking points – might earn you a bit more credibility. The blather, it burns.
commented 2015-07-15 06:58:49 -0400
LOL. Gee, Liza, and you were doing SO well there for a bit. Must have been a strain.
commented 2015-07-14 21:14:04 -0400
Liza Rosie – closure.
commented 2015-07-14 20:54:07 -0400
Where do you get off.
How’s that for a dismissive insult.
commented 2015-07-14 20:04:26 -0400
I guess you don’t know very much about Justice Berger or his work. And please…don’t bother with the Google search to come up with a few dismissive insults. It’s dishonest, and a waste of my time.
commented 2015-07-14 18:36:20 -0400
“mine actually helped define it.” That almost sounds like an admission of enabling the corruption in the Indian Industry and rich Chiefs, if not just condoning it!
commented 2015-07-14 08:11:15 -0400
Liza: your “experts” are the prime minister’s spokesperson and a paid shill for the oil industry.
My “expert” is probably Canada’s best known adjudicator of law related to title, treaties and claims.
You’re quite right: your “experts” are not my experts. I’m afraid you’ve selected yours because they validate your world view: mine actually helped define it.
commented 2015-07-13 19:55:32 -0400
You’re not actually listening, Rick.
commented 2015-07-13 19:52:54 -0400
Terry posted,“Well, that’s one reason to ignore inconvenient expertise – because they actually have experience in the area of which they speak”
Your experts are not my experts. The Ezra jab is cheap, you know I do my own research. We just come from different ends of the table is all.
commented 2015-07-13 19:50:59 -0400
“assimilate Aboriginal people” Oops, there we go with the “A” word again. Do they not consider themselves Canadians, and why not? The KA is a non starter. Get over it.
commented 2015-07-13 19:17:30 -0400
Terry, let me be clear, I mean neither your souse, nor you, any ill will.
I wanted only to suggest, that if the Brit./Cdn powers that were, had decided to go with the American
example of dealing with natives, and massacred most all of them, who knows who you’d be married to.
That you are married to who you are, should that not be celebrated?
commented 2015-07-13 19:07:12 -0400
Well, that’s one reason to ignore inconvenient expertise – because they actually have experience in the area of which they speak . Ezra Levant has been a paid lobbyist for the oil and tobacco industries; I guess that’s what makes him an expert in your eyes?
commented 2015-07-13 12:46:14 -0400
And Justiice Thomas Berger is a life long Indian industry recipient.
Vancouver lawyer Doug Eyford levelled stinging criticism at the federal government AND First Nations leaders.
If you read the link you would see it was about sharing the blame for things not moving along more efficiently.
commented 2015-07-13 12:27:18 -0400
" Eyford, Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s envoy…"
So a spokesperson for the Prime Minister sets forth Conservative position. Well, that’s a shock.
Liza, where there is an opportunity for corruption, corruption may occur – in a federal department, in the Church, in a band council, on a corporate board.
The answer, however, is not to dismantle governments, disenfranchise the Church, assimilate Aboriginal people, or dissolve corporations.
commented 2015-07-13 10:48:55 -0400
It looks to me that there are problems of dealing in good faith from the FN’s side as well.


“Governments have spent $600 million, and given millions more to bands in grants and loans to support negotiations. That, Clark said, is not sustainable.”

“Vancouver lawyer Doug Eyford levelled stinging criticism at the federal government and First Nations leaders on Thursday in a report that calls for a fundamental shift in direction to salvage the B.C. land claims process.
" But he also took a jab at the ‘aboriginal rights industry’ that he said includes incentives in some First Nations to drag out negotiations, thus sustaining jobs of band members involved in the negotiations."

" ‘Negotiations have indeed become a ‘way of life’ for many aboriginal communities,’ he wrote. Tiny bands in particular, and B.C. has far more than other provinces, have a strong incentive to avoid reaching a deal because that would trigger the requirement to pay back federal loans from the cash settlement of the claim, he said. He noted the average accumulated debt at each negotiating table, which in many cases involves more than one band, is $10 million."

Many Chief’s say they shouldn’t have to pay back the loans, and some of the money given to support negotiations was used by Cheif’s for “other” unrelated things. To say that the Feds are the entire problem is disingenuous.
commented 2015-07-13 07:29:37 -0400
Peter, I owe you no apology whatsoever. My wife was forbidden the use of her language, told her father (a trapper) was “pagan” and was going to hell, and strapped for smudging. You can apologize to her if you want.
commented 2015-07-13 07:26:59 -0400
“Canada cannot tolerate or afford another 600 “nations”.”
That’s not the structure contemplated in the Kelowna Accord. I have a sense that most of critics here are getting their ideas about KA from either Wikipedia or from Conservative bloggers: remarks about its lack of “accountability” are simply incorrect.
“Without full “good faith” participation from Gov’t and Natives, it is doomed to failure.”
I am aware of four major analyses of Land Claims implementation to date: two conducted by the Auditor Genera, one by Justice Thomas Berger (commissioned jointly by the feds and the Inuit), and one by Deloitte. All four reached the same conclusion: the Federal Government was jeopardizing the honour of the Crown by failing to meet their obligations under implementation contracts. “Good faith”??
commented 2015-07-12 20:48:33 -0400
Joan, read Fatal Shore by Robert Hughes, to see what your Gov’t used to do.
commented 2015-07-12 19:40:41 -0400
Connie Black’s take on the Truth and Reconciliation report: http://news.nationalpost.com/full-comment/conrad-black-canadas-treatment-of-aboriginals-was-shameful-but-it-was-not-genocide

The report makes me think the reporters got tired and made a sloppy report. Or lost focus and/or perspective. It is histrionically long and detailed and unrealistic. But it’s a start. We must start somewhere.

I want referenda of all Canadians, FN and non-FN, on issues of shared concern and on Constitutional issues related to FN peoples. Above all else, I want FN children to get the education they need to fairly compete in the world.
commented 2015-07-12 19:36:20 -0400
Peter, were you dragged away from your family? Were you forced to do manual labour? Were you sexually abused by a government that wrote on your birth certificate not your mother’s name but only “squaw”? Be fair.
commented 2015-07-12 19:34:26 -0400
I’m not sure Perry Bellegarde takes the unbiased approach his position requires regarding the FN interest in who wins this next federal election. I think he is too radical for this government to be able to please.

I’d like the Conservatives to promise to scrap the Indian Act and hold a referendum of all Canadians, Native and no-Native alike, on FN Constitutional issues. Promise that and then see where the chips fall.

Someone has to, and Trudeau won’t. Mulcair? Maybe. But someone must. Settle the Treaties and fix the law. End of.
commented 2015-07-12 17:48:22 -0400
And, on the matter of some of the other abuse in the RS.
I’m an immigrant.
In 1957 I was forced to start school, I was forced to get a haircut.
I got the strap, some got the yardstick, some got caned.
I had to learn English, there was no talk of my other langue or culture.
Terry, you owe me an apology.
commented 2015-07-12 17:26:38 -0400
Rick Plesnik my hat’s off to you, well said.
remember the windshield wipers, don’t be so anachronistic. People in days of yore were not as enlightened as you are today, they saw human life somewhat differently. Read “Fatal Shore” by Robert Hughes. The Slave Ships and Plantations were not much different. In Middle and S. America the Spanish killed most all the Indios to get their gold. In the States the Americans killed off almost all the natives during the Indian Wars. In Canada they built Residential Schools, from which there were many survivors
commented 2015-07-12 14:21:55 -0400
Canada cannot tolerate or afford another 600 “nations”. We would end up with 602 “solitudes”. Canada, Quebec, and 600 aboriginal bands! It would be the end of this country, having being “balkanized” beyond any hope of recovery. Some parts would likely separate truly, not just threaten like Quebec. There has been an undercurrent of separation in the western provinces for since the PET Liberal years, oft described as a “mile wide and an inch deep”. Residing on the back burner as it were. Should westerners feel threatened by polictically correct appeasers, selling out the population for advantage or power, that sentiment could easily grow to a mile deep as well.

The racist Indian Act needs to be abolished. The fact that South Africa based their apartheid policies on it speaks volumes! Start over again taking into consideration valid existing agreements already in place and move forward from there. However, all will be for naught if:
Native Leadership declares themselves not willing to be a part of Canada, “Nation to Nation”?! and……
The “Indian Industry” opposes any changes that will most surely affect their own personal power and prosperity.

Without full “good faith” participation from Gov’t and Natives, it is doomed to failure. We have been throwing millions of tax dollars at this issue for decades and nothing has improved for rank and file aboriginals on the reserves, so simply more money is not the answer. Any monies transferred will have to be vetted, specifially earmarked, and audited for effectiveness of dollar spent. This is likely the most contentious part for the “Indian Industry”. The Theresa Spences, Pam Palmateers, and such ilk will not be able to hold their bands hostage for personal gain. They may even (gasp) actually have to work for their money, being accountable to not only the sources of funding, but directly to their bands as well. No more “nudge, nudge, wink, wink”. Democracy, not dictatorship. The “Indian Industry” is not just natives, there are many white lawyers, politicians, and others that would feel the effects of transparent dealings with native peoples. One on this site has held up the example of the never ratified Kelowna Accord negotiated under the Paul Martin Liberal Regime. Regrettably it did not contain accountability provisions for monies transferred as previously noted, and would have been open to abuse as has occurred for a long time under the current situation. A noble attempt, but incomplete in objectivity. I believe it to be nothing more than a Liberal “bribe” intended for re-election chances, likely ignored after election as most Liberal “promises”. As noted in the news item for this thread, really, only the current Conservative Gov’t has done more for natives in land claims etc, than in 34 years of previous Liberal rule. I am hoping Conservatives have factored in aboriginal policies for the upcoming election as part of their overall platform. The Liberals and NDP have really only promised backwards steps on legislation and (of course) more money!

These are my thoughts. Thank you all for bearing with me through this post.
commented 2015-07-12 13:42:23 -0400
Thinking outside the box. Invasive species, there are many invasive species in the plant world that have been brought over from Europe. There’s knapweed for example that will sterilize the ground around it so that native grasses die out and there are countless other species that do the same thing that in fact take over the native plants. That being said we are also the invading species, I know it’s easy to say that much time has gone by so just get over it, but I know if I where a FN person I don’t think I could.
You can go on and on at nausium on this agreement and that accord and which government did this and that but it doesn’t change a thing we are still the invasive species.
To put it into perspective we have on the horizon another invasive species, and that would radical islam and what comes with it ,sharia law and I don’t think that they will want to sit down and make agreements and accords with us do you ? And all this being discussed on this thread is all very interesting but …..,,, meanwhile back on the Rez………….
commented 2015-07-12 12:33:25 -0400
“I think the RS were a very noble attempt to integrated a native culture in a new society.”
“Integrate” native culture by forbidding the use of the language or the practice of culture?
commented 2015-07-12 10:26:16 -0400
I happen to be of the opinion that the Residential Schools should be celebrated, not denigrated.
I think the RS were a very noble attempt to integrated a native culture in a new society. I hear the lament from the survivors of these schools. In other jurisdictions, where the white man expanded, there were no schools and very few if any survivors. The RS were not responsible for abuse, that was at the hands of the Administration of the schools, the same Administration that went on to Mt. Cashel, MLG, WHL, and that Education Minister in Ontario.
Yes, we are still trying to integrate, and some want to separate. I disagree with the T & R Comm.
The rent keeps going up, how much more are we to pay to Quebec and the Natives?
commented 2015-07-12 07:18:39 -0400
" a native leader commented that now Nation to Nation negotiations can begin."
Nation to Nations discussions began with the Royal Proclamation of 1763.
In the USA, the relationship between the settlers and the indigenous peoples was warfare. In Canada, it was defined by a series of treaties – not post-war “peace treaties”, but trade and military alliances, definition of rights of entry and access, and the conferral in perpetuity of certain rights and benefits.
commented 2015-07-12 07:13:04 -0400
“There is plenty of scope within our legal and constitutional frameworks to come to a resolution acceptable to ALL Canadians.”
I look forward to your suggestions.
commented 2015-07-11 21:01:12 -0400
This is from memory. Maybe someone can help me out? Around the time of Harper’s speech about his Truth and Reconciliation Commission, with which I disagree, a native leader commented that now Nation to Nation negotiations can begin. Now Canada has to ask Quebec and the Natives before it can fart.