All Canadians should be treated equally
By: By Allen King
| Posted: Wednesday, Feb 13, 2013 05:43 pm
Over the years we have watched Canadian governments and good people from the First Nations who have continually failed in their attempts to resolve the problems affecting both the aboriginals and non-aboriginals alike.
The Aboriginal way of threatening, mainly by blockades and public outbursts, to get attention must come to an end. This has cost other Canadians time, money and inconvenience.
What has all of this really gained the First Nations? Precious little.
The average Canadian is weary of this nonsense. The federal funding many bands have received and grossly mismanaged is almost monumental and, in fact, would appear criminal. After all, we all must remember the funding allocated to First Nations is federal tax dollars paid for by the working Canadian. The Idle No More movement originated with two First Nations ladies in Saskatchewan. A noble idea but this movement was not intended to cause any such public disruption as we have seen. The nonsense of late was created by a number of chiefs, who it would appear only think along the lines of public disorder. What great leaders, if that is their level of thinking, one wonders.
Where did the Aboriginal people originate? They came here from elsewhere, as did all of our ancestors, from one part of the world or another. The fact remains these people never formed any unified nations along the lines of western countries over the last several hundred years. Several bands may have belonged to one or two larger tribes, but there never was one leading entity akin to our federal and provincial governments. The aboriginals refer to themselves as the “First” Nations Peoples of Canada. I disagree, they were never a relatively cohesive group, such as the Canadian nation is today.
Each First Nations person has a band number and I feel that, under the present arrangement with the federal government, say at 18 or 21, they should receive their monthly stipend directly from Ottawa. This arguably would create more work for the federal government, but it would stop the mismanagement of funds which are being sent to the bands in lump sums. Funding for overall reserve use would go to the reserve office and would have to be accounted for. If the funds are spent badly, or the band does not maintain its infrastructure, no further funds would be available.
Should each person of the First Nations directly receive a monthly cheque, then one’s economic well- being would be their own responsibility. This way each person would receive a dedicated amount of funds, not just what some corrupt and irresponsible chief wants to share. (Sorry Chiefs no more SUVs paid for out of the public purse). The poverty on many reservations is purely the fault of those governing on the reservations, namely chiefs, band councils and administrators. Blaming government? That time is over.
I have to revisit the attitude Chief Clarence Louie, CEO of the Osoyoos Band in British Columbia, displays. His message: Go to school or get a job. Get off welfare. He argues since all our ancestors worked for a living, so should we. This man took over a band that was declared bankrupt in 2000. The band of only 432 now owns among other things: a vineyard, a winery, a golf course and a tourist resort, and they are partners in the Baldy Mountain Ski development. They have more businesses per capita than any other First Nation band in Canada. He cautions it is stupid to keep on whining about 100-year-old failed experiments, and foolishly looking to the Queen for help.
Whenever First Nations peoples have partnered with outside interests, they have been successful. For example, in the Fort McMurray oil sands where they reported business activity of over $1 billion in 2012. The Crees partnered with the Quebec government in the James Bay Hydro Project, which we all know, has been successful.
Chief Crowfoot, were he to be alive, would be proud of the above mentioned bands but would have no respect for the habits and the way Chief Theresa Spence and many of her cohorts are acting today.
We, the Canadians who do not receive a monthly cheque from the federal government which we have not worked for or contributed to in preparation for retirement, are tired of all of the stupidity, recklessness and narrow mindedness which is being displayed by many First Nations leaders.
Like it or not, one law must govern us all and equally. Like it or not, we all must contribute to the welfare of this great country. It is time we moved to see that happen.