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Canada's First Nations - CF help, protests, solutions, etc. (merged)

Bass ackwards said:
I don't know if building a house out of stove-length logs is really a good idea on a reserve... :whistle:
I hear what you're saying, though.

Hell, they burn them down anyway...the southern type construction just burns easier...and faster. ...but, with the fire engine frozen up full of water they don't have anything to fight the fire except throw snowballs at it.

The natives used to be a proud, hardworking people. Some still are. The generational growth of us lying to them and giving them handouts because they demand it without accountability is doing them no favors.

It's gonna hurt when the tap get shut off.

LineJumper said:
Skin colour?

Allow me to explain my context.  Throwing millions and millions of dollars at people/organizations with no accountability isn't fixing the problem.

I'm suggesting the current Indian act plays a big part in enabling this problem to grow and prosper.  By abolishing the Indian Act Canada would be begin to stop the problem of a few individuals getting all the money and everyone else suffering, to put it bluntly.Treat Native Americans (Canadians)  like Chinese Canadians, Italian Canadians, French Canadians, Hindu Canadians et el.  Those groups manage to maintain their culture in Canada with out the equivalent of the indian act.
‘Unreasonable’ for government to send third-party manager to Attawapiskat: Federal Court
Terry Pedwell, The Canadian Press  Aug 1, 2012
Article Link

OTTAWA — It was “unreasonable in all circumstances” for the federal government to appoint a third-party manager for the financially troubled First Nations community of Attawapiskat, the Federal Court ruled Wednesday.

But there was no political malice at play in the decision — on the part of either Prime Minister Stephen Harper or members of his cabinet — nor any intent to embarrass the northern Ontario reserve or its members, the court concluded.

The decision in November 2011 to send in Jacques Marion to take over the band’s finances was the wrong way to deal with the housing crisis on the northern Ontario reserve, the court said in its written ruling.

“The decision to appoint (Marion) did not respond in a reasonable way to the root of the problems at Attawapiskat nor to the remedies available,” the ruling said.

“The (government) invoked a financial management remedy without considering more reasonable, more responsive or less invasive remedies available.”

But the court took pains to point out that it found no evidence that Ottawa was playing politics with the community when Marion was appointed.

“Those allegations were largely withdrawn, and to the extent that they linger, the court finds that there is no evidence that the prime minister or the cabinet engaged in such reprehensible conduct,” the decision said.

“The problem in this case does not lie at the feet of the political masters but in the hands of the bureaucracy.”

The James Bay community of 2,000 declared a state of emergency in October 2011 after a severe housing shortage forced more than two dozen families to live in temporary shelters, some without insulation or plumbing.

The Conservative government appointed a third-party manager amid suggestions from Prime Minister Stephen Harper that the band had been mismanaging federal funds in the face of the housing crisis.

Marion was withdrawn in April, but the Attawapiskat First Nation refused to drop its lawsuit against the government.

The band said it wanted to proceed to get the courts to “refute” Harper’s suggestion that the band had been mismanaging federal money and to have Marion’s appointment declared unlawful.

When Marion was pulled, government officials insisted it was due to the fact the band had done a good job in improving the health and safety conditions that had required the outside control in the first place.

They said the 25 families affected by the housing crisis were now living in better conditions.
I read the same story in the National Post, and the comments section has lit up like a pinball machine, with an almost universal negative reaction to the ruling.

The fact that this ruling effectively whitewashes the issue of $90 million dollars being received by the band over the previous five years (which should have prevented the crisis many times over), and perpetuates a system lacking in accountability and suffering from corruption because of the lack of accountability. I personally would hope the Government tells the judge to get stuffed, or better still, uses the ruling to overhaul the system to insert accountability (i.e. you don't get government money unless we have a clean, audited set of books in our hands and can do spot checks to see where our money is going).
For those wanting to know more of the story, attached find the judgement in question.
A sensible solution. Oddly this was suggested by another Liberal decades ago (Jean Chreitien), but shot down pretty quickly. I would hope that the current government gives this due consideration, and maybe even is willing to expend the political capital needed to end the "Indian Industry".


It's time to abolish the Indian Act

Every once-in-a-while political parties, regardless of their position on the spectrum, propose policies that are long overdue and just make sense.

Today, the Liberal Party did exactly that by proposing the IndianAct be outright repealed.

Conservative Member of Parliament Rob Clarke introduced Bill C-428: The Indian Act Amendment and Replacement Act back on June 4, 2012.  This Act proposes, in its own words
“… To require band councils to publish their by-laws and repeals certain outdated provisions of the Act.

It also requires the Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs to report annually to the House of Commons committee responsible for Aboriginal affairs on the work undertaken by his or her department in collaboration with First Nations organizations and other interested parties to develop new legislation to replace the Indian Act.”

But today the Liberal Party suggested the Conservative government should go further than Clarke’s bill and repeal the Act altogether.

Bob Rae called the Indian Act “an international embarrassment” for Canada.  Some would go further to call it what it really is: Canada’s apartheid system.  A system which blatantly says certain people – depending on their race – should receive special privileges and should live distinctly separate from the rest of us.

Former Auditor General Sheila Fraser was clear in her report which stated that aboriginals were in their present position for reasons beyond their personal control: she said “structural impediments severely limit the delivery of public services to First Nations communities and hinder improvements in living conditions on reserves.”

What’s more, aboriginal reserves have become a magnet for financial abuse: creating starving, dilapidated communities which seem better suited for a third-world nation rather than Canada.  Dozens of reserve chiefs made – and continue to make – over $300,000 per year while their communities struggle to maintain dry houses and adequate schools.

It is clear that repealing the Indian Act is welcome news.

But what would we replace the existing Indian Act with?

Why not nothing?

The Indian Act was passed in 1876 and is a relic of that time.  It was a time when Europeans felt it was their duty to grant special protections to the “others” with whom they were sharing the land.  Among other affects, it creates:

·        The reserve system.  S. 18 creates reserve lands which are owned and managed by the Crown, but lent out to aboriginals while also giving them healthy, unaccountable subsidies to remain destitute on those lands.
·        Permanent reliance on government.  S. 20 states that no aboriginal ever owns his own land, unless the band’s council has specifically allotted him that land.  And under subsection 4, even if the band has allotted this land, the minister can overturn the decision.  Every Canadian should have the right to her or her own private property.
·        A lack of ambition or desire.  When aboriginal lands (er, government lands loaned to aboriginals) are located above valuable resources such as oil, their communities see none of the profit.
·        A double standard for law enforcement.  Trespassing under the Criminal Code is a summary conviction, yet the Indian Act says trespassing on a reserve is only punishable by a $50 fine or one-month jail term.
·        A dangerous black market, or no market at all.  Under s. 32, aboriginals in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Alberta are not allowed to sell or barter cattle, animals, grain, hay, or root crops, unless the minister personally exempts them.  Yet if you travelled outside those reserves to Saskatoon, Winnipeg, or Calgary, you’d be hard-pressed to find the same laws.
·        Undue interference in private contracts.  S. 46(1) allows the minister to void all or part of a person’s will or last testament if it is “against the public interest.”  But the rest of Canada has a court system in place to try wills and estates, and they seem to usually do an okay job.
·        Unfair red tape.  An aboriginal wishing to take out a loan must submit a request to the minister, who in turn may request money from the Minister of Finance in order to make loans to aboriginals.  But at any one time, the minister is not allowed to have loaned out any more than $650,000 to all aboriginals.  Ridiculous laws like this prevent aboriginals from owning their own private property, especially important investments such as houses.

It’s time for the Indian Act to go – not just amended, but abolished.

Abolishing the Indian Act would mean Canada would no longer handle certain races separately than others.  It would, gasp, mean all Canadians are equal.

And that’s something all Canadians should agree on.
Pretty good blog post, actually.

The Indian Act and DAANDC is an embarrassment to a 21st century liberal democracy.  Let's resolve treaty issues and get on with things.

Cutting this act (or severely curtailing it) and emptying this department would save the government 7.8 billion dollars a year.  How's that for deficit action plan?
So....like, you tell the reserves "the cheque is in the mail" ?

What about all the treaties, agreements, et al. Are they actually going to hold the reserves financially accountable? Treat them like muncipalities?

It is certainly doable, just wondering if we are not going to created one boondoggle out the other boondoggle....

Reading the comments section in the National Post below the article, I can say that very few people are being taken by this....


‘Idle No More’: Hunger-striking Attawapiskat chief vows to ‘die’ for her people as aboriginal protests spread

Canadian Press | Dec 11, 2012 11:23 AM ET
More from Canadian Press
Jean Levac/Postmedia News

OTTAWA — Aboriginal protests against recent federal legislation are gaining momentum, with at least one prominent chief vowing to die for her people.

Chief Theresa Spence of Attawapiskat started a hunger strike this morning, hoping to persuade the prime minister and the Queen to build a better relationship with aboriginal leaders.

Spence’s northern Ontario community was at the centre of an international media storm last year because of a winter housing crisis.

Thousands of protesters in cities across the country took to the streets Monday in what has been dubbed the Idle No More movement against what they say are unilateral actions by the Harper government.

    Jonathan Kay: Natives deserve the same property rights as all Canadians
    ‘Unreasonable’ for government to send third-party manager to Attawapiskat : Federal Court
    National Post editorial board: Too many Attawapiskats

They are angry over a number of bills before Parliament, including one that would force First Nations to disclose their financial statements and the salaries of chiefs and councillors.

They are particularly upset with Bill C-45, the government’s omnibus budget legislation, which they say weakens environmental laws.

For Spence, the pain of watching her people suffer through a lack of housing and inadequate water supplies was the tipping point.

“The treaty’s been violated [for] so many years and it’s time for the prime minister to honour it and respect our leaders,” said Spence, who is staying in a cabin on an island in the Ottawa River while she goes without food.

“I am willing to die for my people because the pain is too much and it’s time for the government to realize what it’s doing to us,” she said.

One post on social media websites set up by the Idle No More organizers accuses Prime Minister Stephen Harper of abandoning aboriginal people.

“A few Canadians get E.coli sickness and Harper shuts down XL Foods,” reads the post, referring to the recent closure of an Alberta meat processing plant over a contamination scare.

“But Cree are dying in [Fort Chipewyan, Alta.] from toxins in their water, yet Harper keeps the tar sands open.”

The government says it holds thousands of consultations with aboriginal leaders every year and that Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Minister John Duncan has visited dozens of reserves over the last two years.
It's about time the taxpayers found out where their money was going.

It'll probably be a big eye opener to most band members also. ::)

Hmmm. I didn't get a Facebook invite :dunno:
Why is she not doing her hunger strike on her own reserve rather than Ottawa?  If you are gonna be hungry, its at least nice to be comfortable....  ::)
From the FB page
REQUEST URGENT!! We are seeking an army bed for Chief Theresa Spense so she will not have to sleep on the ground
Hmm.....my "army bed" is like a yoga mat -- non-inflatable -- only olive drab. Probably not as posh as she's hoping for.
Yeahhhh, I'm not going to be all broken up over this.

One of the first times I have ever been really impressed with the comments following a Globe article though!
More funnies from the FB page.


Chief Spence - the equivalent of nelson Mandela
Seriously, a part of In Flanders Fields too?  :facepalm:

Judging by her double-chin in the picture, she hasn't done any hunger strike workup training...
Uh oh...

PTN National News
OTTAWA–The “long silent war drums” of First Nations people will pound again if Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence dies from her hunger strike, says the head of Manitoba’s largest chiefs organization.

Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs Grand Chief Derek Nepinak issued the statement Sunday, the same day Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo released an open letter calling on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Gov. Gen. David Johnston to agree to Spence’s demand and meet with First Nations leaders to discuss the treaties.