Restless natives

Posted By: John Moore · 1/10/2013 10:47:00 AM

It's amazing how quickly a story can be eclipsed by developing news. Idle No More was shoved aside Thursday by two breaking stories; Friday's planned teachers strike and Brian Burke's sacking. 

But Idle is the subject of my column today in the National Post so I thought I'd mention it here. 

I don't know why it seems on-one can have a nuanced position on an issue anymore. I call out McGuinty for being such a hardass with teachers and suddenly I'm manning the picket lines with a bunch of Marxists. On the native file this all or nothing approach is pointless. Lacing into Theresa Spence and her incompetence as a community leader isn't going to make the native protests go away. And no amount of calling natives lazy and entitled makes our failure to fulfill contractual obligations seem any less binding. 

My column is actually more about how young natives are organizing themselves and what to expect in the years to come. If anything, we should take significant comfort in the fact that this movement isn't called "Oppressed No More" it's called "Idle No More". There's a big difference.  

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  1. Ken posted on 01/10/2013 12:44 PM
    John. It doesn't matter what the latest "movement" is called. The intent has not changed. Take more tax money from those that are working, following the laws of the country and lining up in the hospital wait rooms and give it unconditionally to 630 First (really?) Nation leaders (really?) so that they can waste it and supress 1.2 million of "their own" people who don't want to ask where's the money? where are the schools? where is the infrastructure? where is the investment in business development and jobs? Let the working stiffs just hand over more of their hard earned dough and give it to this fast growing group of "entitled" - with a few anarchists thrown iin because they know the police won't react. Like Ex-Lax calms the intestinal tract, fresh taxpayer dough will calm the movement of the entitled but as we know, both medicines are only temporary. We will then have to bend over and do it again.
    1. AJAQUES posted on 01/10/2013 01:11 PM
      @Ken I agree with this deffinetly. I really thought the Exlax comment to be on the spot. Though I do feel that there is a need for a serious talk about how to fix the problem, because so far there has been very little talk of exact measures to be taken.
  2. Rob posted on 01/11/2013 08:53 AM
    It comes down to accountability. All organizations receiving compensation from the feds should be made to account for every dime. No exceptions. Shame on the feds for not enforcing this policy and shame on the recipients for laying blame on everyone but themselves.
  3. Tony Guy posted on 01/11/2013 02:46 PM
    The taxpayer’s contribution per year to First Nations household is more than $11,000, tax free, per man woman and child that, plus the infrastructure paid for by taxpayers, is enough for the average Canadian family to live above the poverty level. The fact is our tax dollars have not proved affective at improving life for many destitute First Nations families and appears, in contrast, to have benefited some "leaders or elders" in privileged positions. It seems there are three contributing reasons:

    • Trying to sustain a "European Lifestyle" (food, amenity and entertainment) in remote settlements where, 200 years ago, the residents were hunter gatherers with an average life span of 40 years. Providing health care, education, power, clean water, not to mention, booze, satellite TV, snow mobiles, ATVs, groceries and fresh vegetables in remote communities is prohibitively expensive.

    • In 200 years the First Nations have developed, with taxpayer subsidies, a sense of entitlement that has removed initiative and denied generations of children the opportunity to emigrate, like most of Canadian's ancestors did, to Canada for a new life.

    • Even when money is spent on subsistence, health care, education and clean water many communities still have serious youth, employment, substance abuse and alcohol problems. It appears that funding fails to address these problems.

    It is time to rethink our solution. Should Canadians continue to send money to communities that do not seem to be improving? Should we use the money to encourage and assist the First Nations to meld with mainstream Canadian society? We have tried the former solution for 200 years and nobody seems happy with the result. Maybe it’s time to change course!

    I do not expect many in the First Nations to agree with the alternate solution. To them I suggest foregoing the amenity of European life and go back to living off the land.
    1. Caroline posted on 01/15/2013 08:23 AM
      @Tony Guy I agree. It's one or the other. Want to retain your traditional culture and traditional values? Fine. Abandon most or all of the pretense of living in an advanced western democracy. Go back to living a hunter gatherer existence and look after yourselves. Demanding that you be looked after when it's convenient, and demanding to retain your culture when it isn't, is ridiculous.

      And one other that idiot who was talking about bring the Canadian economy to it's knees. Okay, well, if that happens I suggest the Federal government completely cut off all funding to native communities. After all, it's the Canadian economy that generates that money, so if it's being brought to it's knees, we have to save somewhere.
  4. Ken posted on 01/11/2013 03:55 PM
    @Tony is right on.
    Throwing more money doesn't change anything.
    The $11,000 subsidy per man, woman and child does not even include the significant revenues on many reserves and the normal day-to-day businesses and their revenues. ALL tax free!
    The medical and health facilities can not be as poor as reported. The fertility rate on reserves and amongst First Nations is many times that of the general non native population.
    As Tony says, the ability of society to duplicate modern standards of living and all the amenities in isolated communities for just a few hundred people maximum is not viable. If you want to live in isolated and remote areas because they did that 10 generations ago, go ahead - but don't expect the rest of society to build you roads and bike lanes and parks and pools as if you were in a densely populated area.
    The issue that is at the root of all Native-Non Native issues is the fact that NO ONE CAN BE THE VOICE FOR THE NATIVES AND MAKE A DECISION THAT ALL NATIVES WILL AGREE TO! Applies to land claims, infra-structure, reserve expenses, education, business development and it goes on and on. Stop ALL consultations and negotiations until the Natives can figure out who has the authority to make a decision!
    Abolish the Indian Act! Make Canada Whole and Equal! Equal status! Equal taxation!
  5. proton posted on 01/11/2013 04:59 PM
    "Lacing into..." and "calling natives..." may not help however neither does burying one's head in the sand and avoiding the serious problems that affect these communities. What you refer to is a result of the frustation of ignoring the bull in the china shop.

    Money isn't the issue; the way it's misspent is a major problem. There are many players interested in maintaining the status quo, both native and non-native
  6. Sandy posted on 01/12/2013 06:23 PM
    Lets pretend. I'm a native leader. So why don't I let my people live on a baron rock in the cold most of the year with no resources. That sounds like a good leadership. We can all slowly die, drink, become depressed, and complain. But that's all worth it because we can always ask for more money to continue to live our miserable unproductive lives.

    Or,,, lets go live with the whites. Then we can live in dumps on Six Nations, sell illegal cigarettes, drugs, and weapons and make good money.

    Dam it - I WANT RESPECT !!!,,,, Oh ya, don't forget. More money please.
    1. Caroline posted on 01/15/2013 08:25 AM
      @Sandy That's a good point actually. How about they demonstrate some good will and clean up the illegal activities in their own communities.
  7. Caroline posted on 01/15/2013 08:36 AM
    John, can you please not inflict Kormos on us again? He's a washed up lefty who spouts even more nonsense now as he did when he was in elected office.
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