Tuesday, December 06, 2011

Attawapiskat and the Indian Act

Here we go folks...

First off, I want to say that I have many friends of aboriginal descent, all of which who left the reserve to get an education and become successful.  "Best thing I did was leave the reserve when I did," they'd say.

The terrible conditions in Attawapiskat and lack of medical staff which contributed to the death of a child are the cause of one thing, and one thing only--greed and gross mismanagement by the reserve chiefs and "administrators".  There's only 1800 folks that live there yet money, millions of it, pour in from the federal government and get squandered. 

Liberal leader Bob Rae was bellowing in the House of Commons asking the Prime Minister to visit the reserve to see the conditions.  Does that mean Mr. Harper should also visit every reserve in the nation?  Some are doing well, like in Osoyoos, BC, but we know that many are not, despite the millions poured in.  And when the federal government threatens to cut back, the first whiners out of the gate are some of the band chiefs crying about the conditions of their people, like it was caused by the current federal government, when it's their own uncaring greed.

Now, the feds wanted to send in a third-party manager but the chief doesn't want him there.  Oh, gee why is that?  To show what a greedy, uncaring band council you really are?  Smarten the hell up.

Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence told CBC News that she had informed the band manager of her decision.

"I advised my band manager I don't want them in my community … doesn't work for our community … we should focus on the crisis, not on other things," she told host Evan Solomon, on CBC's Power & Politics.
Yes, you SHOULD HAVE been focusing on the crisis.  But you didn't.  
The government said earlier it had chosen Jacques Marion, from the accounting and consulting firm BDO Canada, as its third-party manager for Attawapiskat. Marion was to exercise signing authority for all department spending and would decide which band staff are required to run its program and services.
Spence said the minister responsible for First Nations "didn't listen."

"We'd like to work together but put third party away … We've demonstrated we have our deficit down. We don't need a banker to come and tell us what to do," the chief told Solomon.

Like many Canadians now learning of these autracities, I've had it with some of these whiny chiefs who think they know better when they clearly have no bloody clue.  I've had it with reserves all together.  When I drive through many of them in Alberta, I don't like what I see.  No regard for the environment.  Boarded up homes and apartment complexes.  Burnt cars.  Trash.  Is this the traditional proud lifestyle of our aboriginals?  Not at all.

And now National Chief Shawn Atleo is in the spotlight.
"We must move beyond the Indian Act and we must affirm our Crown-First Nation relationship," he said during a speech on the first day of the Special Chiefs Assembly in Ottawa. "This 19th-century relic continues to hold us back in delivering better lives for our peoples."
He's right.  The Indian Act (ignorant name to begin with) needs a complete overhawl, or you know what, maybe just scrap it all together.
Atleo said that despite the potential being reached by many young First Nations people and other areas of progress, it is still a "frustrating" time. Too many people are struggling with substance abuse and suicide, are sick from dirty drinking water, living in unsafe homes, and too many children go to school in cold, mouldy classrooms, Atleo said.
But sorry chief, despite all the money that pours in, you need to hold your band chiefs accountable.  Maybe set an example and not live a lavish lifestyle.
"Canadians saw for the first time last week what we see every day," Atleo said, referring to the situation in Attawapiskat in northern Ontario.

But if you see it every day then what are YOU doing to solve it, National Chief?  Are you actually saying that because of the Indian Act where millions of dollars are poured into reserves and essentially lining the pockets of band chiefs hasn't solved the issues and problems?

If you are, then that's pretty refreshing to hear.  But talk is cheap.  Canadians and the media are going to now pay even more close attention to see if it isn't.


dmorris said...

"We must move beyond the Indian Act and we must affirm our Crown-First Nation relationship,"

No,Mr.Atleo, the first thing we must do is end the fantasy that Native Bands are Nations,and end the de facto apartheid that exists in Canada.
The only beneficiaries of the Indian Act are the Native politicians,who have carte blanche to run a third world dictatorship right in the heart of a democratic Country.

By all means let's rid ourselves of the outdated Indian Act,and declare all Indian Reservations, Municipalities,with all the same rights and responsibilities of those entities under Canadian law.

And, let's have the Great Holy Charter apply equally to ALL Canadians. Let's see all elections overseen by Elections Canada.

And, let's see each Native given his home and land with a clear title to it.

As for the Northern Reserves,what in hell IS the solution,unless we keep the "outdated Indian Act" in place,if the residents of those Reserves refuse to move to where the jobs and facilities are?

The "elephant" no one wants to mention,but is glaringly obvious to anyone who's paying attention; the Native Politicians are quite happy with the status quo,and so are many of the Rez Natives,as long as they get enough money to live comfortably.

In short, many Natives don't want to move and go to work,it's not any mystical attachment to "our Land", most of them have given up on the "Land" as their provider long ago,it's just easier to keep on keeping on.

Don't expect much to change, because to do that,the Natives would have to admit that they are their own worst enemy,despite all their wailing against the "evil White man".

Oh yes,a nd, I'm part Indian/Native,too,like so many people whose ancestors came here over three hundred years ago. There were no online dating services back then.

Anonymous said...

I want to see pictures of the chiefs house.

Rob C