"Idle no More" concerns

Discussion in 'Canada' started by Steve G., Jan 6, 2013.

  1. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    #21
  2. BackRoader

    BackRoader ROK strapper

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    Just to add a little more to this discussion
    Quote:
    Subject: The "We Want More" Movement (Idle No More)


    My Thoughts on the We Want More Movement
    How can all those first nations protesters afford to take time off work to attend the marches and roadblocks across Canada? They must be using up all their vacation time, earned overtime, and sick days. How can Canada’s fragile economy withstand such a devastating blow? I would imagine all commerce and industry within a hundred miles of any first nation community would be crippled or shut down completely by the absence of all these employees. Who’s running the affairs of their band office while they are blocking trains and hunger striking? Seems like every one of them is a “Chief” except some of them are “Grand Chief”. How come Chief Spence hasn’t lost any weight during her “hunger strike”? I think someone is smuggling KFC into her teepee after dark. Quote:
    #22
  3. Moving Pictures

    Moving Pictures Sir Loin of Biff

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    Sigh.

    From my column Friday.

    "Visits to reserves in Northern Saskatchewan in the three years I lived there revealed a multitude of stark contrasts: a new school and new houses were often located 500 metres away from rundown homes, abject squalor and evident poverty. Despite continued federal assistance, unemployment is staggering on many reserves. Drug use, alcoholism and suicide are major issues, and First Nations are drastically over-represented in jails and penitentiaries.
    Montreal Lake, SK, for example is isolated, like many reserves in this country. The nearest major town, and thus source of jobs, is 100 km away in Prince Albert. Without access to reliable transportation, commuting is impossible – but entry level jobs don’t make such a commute financially viable. Because there are no nearby, accessible, full-time jobs,
    many in such communities are dependent on welfare or EI.
    A memorable man named Joseph used to hang out near my office at the Prince Albert Daily Herald. One of the last victims of the residential school catastrophe, he was constantly battling alcoholism - he wanted to buy a home with his 2007 lump sum residential school settlement, but drank it all. He tried to find work in the city, but kept going back to the reserve - “rez,” as many First Nations term their home turf. Why?
    One of the contractual guarantees of First Nations treaties is housing. On reserve, housing is free. Yet those who grow up on reserve don’t learn how to rent or own: necessary skills to live off reservation. Moving to the city is an often overwhelming shock.
    Further, First Nations people have a deep respect, if not reliance, on family – just as many in this area do. (Likewise, there’s a stigma on “going away” and a stigma on success.) It’s tough for many aboriginals to break free from guaranteed housing and family on reserve, just as it’s tough for many of our young graduates to break free of family and stick with a two-year college or four-year university program.
    With certainty, corruption is a major issue. Chiefs hold too much power, too much money, and folks like Joseph, who aren’t related to the power-brokers and chief-makers, see little, if any, of the millions paid out to First Nations groups every year. But Idle No More isn’t - or wasn’t - about chiefs. It’s about folks like Joseph, and his children, who are upset at the establishment of both sides.
    On that note, Prime Minister Stephen Harper is supposed to meet with First Nations groups to tackle major issues today, but most assuredly, nothing substantive will take place. That’s partly a certainty because of the ideological slant of the current government, but more a function of neither Canada nor First Nations addressing the need to abolish or rewrite the Indian Act. Our nation’s wretched example of legislated, Apartheid-style racial segregation is flawed, reprehensible and encourages crippling dependency that is killing First Nations.
    The current solution to almost every First Nations problem is, invariably, to ask Ottawa for more money: but that just exacerbates existing dependency.
    To that end, First Nations author, speaker and business owner Calvin Helin told a Vancouver radio audience this week that he expected a lot of backlash with his first book on exactly this issue, “Dances With Dependency,” published in 2006. Instead, it became a seven-time best seller.
    The surest way to kill a man,” writes Helin, “is to pay him to do nothing.”
    #23
  4. yamalama

    yamalama wet coaster

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    The (white guy) ethnocentricity displayed within this thread is truly dismaying.
    People living in abject squalor, and whitey worried about having his commute to work disrupted.
    More or less.
    :jive
    #24
  5. Mercenary

    Mercenary Mindless Savage

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    Basically it comes down to taking RESPONSIBILITY for their own situation. The enemy certainly isn't 'whitey' as you so elequently present it. The 'enemy' is their own corruption within their own band structure.

    The native population in this country seems to thrive on the us against them mentality. The government...and by extension....the non-native population in this country funnels money into these reserves with little to no oversight. These payments would be more than adequate to bring each and every household up to livable standards. Yet we find many living in squalor while precious few live far beyond their means.

    So what is the answer? It certainly isn't more autonomy and less oversight. Its integration into today's society. Give a man a fish....or teach him to fish?
    #25
  6. MitchG

    MitchG Iron Collector

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    Brother,

    I haven't really noticed that being displayed in this thread. I'm actually a bit surprised and proud at the level of understanding regarding the current situation(if not the root cause), that the inmates have shown so far.
    #26
  7. Deuce

    Deuce Crazy Canuck

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    She is drinking fish broth, which is loaded with protein & fat. :1drink
    #27
  8. mayday

    mayday Stromer

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    Uhm, on a site geared towards adventure motorcycling - i.e people with jobs, vacation time and discretionary spending - not really the typical "Idle no more" stereotype
    #28
  9. Timo Explorer

    Timo Explorer Trail Wizard

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    :clap

    I really thought that "Idle No More", meant that the participants were finally getting off their tax-sucking asses and going out to get real jobs and contributing to the country's (and their own) economy. Obviously not what they had in mind.
    #29
  10. sherpaguy

    sherpaguy Been here awhile

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    I have had opportunity to go abroad and do some humanitarian work (a year in Jordan, a couple of weeks in Mexico and Grenada etc.). Through that experience I have learned that disaster and famine and poverty are trad-able commodities.I am wondering if that is what is happening here in our country. Thanks to all for your opinions and insights. I will continue to volunteer my limited expertise in disaster situations as I see the ones suffering are most often the result of some else's greed for money or power or both. I also worked as a cowboy in the Alberta foothills and saw firsthand that money does not reduce (of it's own accord) deplorable living conditions or ignorance or poverty.
    #30
  11. G Goat

    G Goat Been here awhile

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    Maybe you could start the fund up for Justin? :rofl



    http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/thund...eber-indian-inuit-rolling-stone-reaction.html
    #31
  12. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    One thing Idle No More is accomplishing is to bring into the open (finally) some of the internal friction in aboriginal politics. No, they're not all the same stripe. It's also illustrating the discrepency between some stated beliefs held (respect, understanding, extended family) and what actually happens. And in terms of respect, that they're not willing to treat other groups with much.

    While the Indian Act needs reform, it is also the responsibility of the aboriginal population to reform from within - after all, from without hasn't worked despite having money showered on the problems. And joining the world may mean that you move from a location that either the band or DIAND chose as your village, even if it was a poor choice.

    I think most Canadians are willing to support and spend on helping aboriginals find their place in society - after all, other more recent ethnic groups have. In some ways, perhaps the current situation can be compared to an addiction. The first step is admitting that you have a problem and it's not all someone else's fault. The addict has to want to succeed and change before that's possible. And like any addiction, there are those who benefit from it - perhaps some bureaucrats in continuing jobs, some chiefs and band members, and certainly a whole bunch of carpet bagging lawyers and others.

    If this starts a process that lets aboriginals move forward, good on it. It is good to see a number of native leaders come out and make statements - far more rational ones - disputing the goals of Idle No More. Or more accurately, what goals? Like Occupy, it's sort of 'down with the man', and complaining. You have to have a point to have it addressed.

    Chief Spence, unfortunately, is starting to look like what she may be - an unsophisticated person who was doing a bad job and wasting millions of dollars, is way out of her depth, being pretty childish and unreasonable.

    In a previous post, I noted that the Yukon has mostly settled land claims, people are working it out and it's succeeding. We're probably 20 years ahead of most of Canada in that regard, although bands like Osoyoos, Winfield, Kamloops and others are also doing extremely well, having fit into the modern world without losing identity. It can be done if the band members want to, but it won't be easy. It is, in large part, up to them. Other groups have.
    #32
  13. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    In this particular case, with federal 'grants', and royalties from the diamond mine, that band was given over $1,000,00 per household [300 million,300 houses] ,,,,, last year. I'm thinking if I was given a million bucks, I could not only fix the roof on my house, I could make a real nice house. Instead, the chief there kicks out a federal auditor to figure out where the money is going, then,,,,while her people live in tarp houses in the freezing cold, she spends $96,000 on a second Zamboni, even though the government purchased Zamboni they have is quite good. Then she spends another $90,000 to have it shipped up there. Hey, my local ice rink has one Zamboni,,,,,like WTF??
    I'm thinking the 'idle no more' bandwagon jumpers should be protesting her instead of that evil monster who's running the country right now.
    #33
  14. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    Not a Harperite, but that evil monster may stand up to blackmail like Chief Spence better than the Liberals did...lots of sobs, no progress. Verdict seems to be that Harper is relentlessly pragmatic, not a bad thing in moving ahead with a new Indian Act and deal. One thing to remember is that the government of the evil monster in it's first mandate did some very left things, like resolve the tainted blood scandal (by compensating those outside the artificial date) and gave rights back to native women off reserve. Just when you think you have them figured out, they do something quite left, and you WTF? Picture Justin Trudeau in this situation...no, let's not. :deal
    #34
  15. Steve G.

    Steve G. Long timer

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    I'm not a harperite either,,,I was kind of joking about those who literally thought the sky was going to fall when he was voted in. I'd rather have a boring, weird looking fiscal conservative spending my tax money rather than the ultimate fence sitters or the socialists. And another Trudeau running things? Don't even want to go there,,,,,,,
    #35
  16. Commuter Boy

    Commuter Boy Long timer

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    If he's anything like his old man I'd be all for it. PET was all set to abolish the Indian Act back in the 70's and let them loose in Canadian society with no other subsidies than what was agreed to under signed treaties. He got talked out of it as being a politically unsavoury option.

    They have treaty rights, no doubt, but the majority of the money and funding they get from the Feds isn't related to treaty rights.
    #36
  17. Dan Alexander

    Dan Alexander only happy when sad

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    A columnist at the Montreal Gazette who was very knowledgable about Indian Affairs wrote often that the only way they will get ahead is to leave the reserves and join Canadian society. The future is to get an education and a good job and look forward. There is no life and nothing to look forward to living on a remote reserve where the ancient lifestyle of living off the land is now unsustainable.

    Like Trudeau wanted to do, the best bet will be to abloish reserves, give some kind of settlement and relocation help and stop the handout mentality. Plus the sheer greed of so many of those in power who have little to no accountability is astonishing

    I've been to quite a few reserves when I was in the fur business and I've seen first hand the mess some are trapped in.
    #37
  18. nvdlboy

    nvdlboy Long timer

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    In 1990/1991, I had a classmate in university who was a well-educated and smart native fellow. He was a mature student studying economics while holding down a job as an assistant manager in a bank branch. He was quite pleased about the fact that he lived on a reserve in the Lower Mainland and that the bank happened to be in a mall on reserve land leased from the band. He kept refusing promotions and transfers at the bank because he was paying no taxes in this scenario and his university education was being fully funded by the band (ultimately by the taxpayers). Someone with his skillset and education would be an asset to the band, however, he had no interest in band council or leadership, he just wanted to use the system to get ahead. I'm pretty sure he would have been successful coming from a rural reserve, however, the proximity to an urban centre made his situation much easier to exploit.
    Far too many people prefer to blame others for their situation in the world over hard work to improve their lot. Unfortunately, the natives' traditional ways of life is not viable for the majority of the natives in Canada, the world has changed since Europeans arrived in North America and people need to overcome the awful treatment that so many faced under misguided attempts to integrate or assimilate into Eurocentric society. There was a lot of abuse and mistreatment that was hidden away, but people need to address it in a meaningful way and move forward in order to break the cycle of abuse. The current approach is broken for so many and compromise will be needed to bring the parties together.
    #38
  19. aquadog

    aquadog Dude Buddha

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    Well said. One thing to keep in mind is that some of the abuse was not intended as such, but was the order of the day to "help the natives". Society has become more sophisticated since then. In rural areas, residential schools were not only for natives... There is some tendency to cling to the past rather than move beyond it. Remember, deal, move forward. A lot of the "dealing" has to be done by aboriginals themselves, we can only support it.

    Since the dark days, there are many, many programs that help an Indian get ahead if they want to. Free schooling with room, board, etc., tax free under some conditions, business advantages, preferential treatment for some jobs, etc., etc. The list is long.

    Inter-generational effects of residential schools aside, how much more is there to really complain about, except the shock of meeting a new world? This was not the U.S. As for the passing down of school abuse, it's enough generations that you start to wonder if the current problem is more one of isolation for some bands, and a lack of something to do - no jobs in some of these places, or only a made-up one, with a big wage from the Council.

    Hmmm. Let's be blunt. I had a girlfriend who had been abused by her father. I know what this can do. But even then, nobody is making Grandpa screw his 14 year old niece in return for booze. And if you think that's not happening on reserve...why aren't band councils doing something about it?

    While schools were awful for some, not for all, and it did produce many of the current native leaders and lawyers. A bit of a Catch 22 there.

    The vocal band members tend to idealize a society they never experienced, and that probably never really was. I had a band member explain the extended family to me, and it sounds great - when it works. Often it doesn't. Instead of the whole community looking after children, sometimes nobody safeguards them, and you get the Highway of Tears. No, it shouldn't happen anyway, but why are so many vulnerables put at risk? Because nobody cares enough about these young women to arrange a ride for them. Pretty simple. And the young women may not feel comfortable enough to ask. Stop talking about it and do something, when it's that serious.

    The Pickton inquiry shows a bit of a travesty in terms of police work and communication, but it also shows that very few other people cared either.

    Other aspects are also given a rosy treatment. It wasn't always harmony with nature, environmental stewardship and respect for all. Let's not forget that first nations practiced slavery, genocide of other bands on occasion, and mass killing of animals where feasible (bison). Today there can be incredible wasting of meat from hunting - shoot 24 caribou, butcher 4. Tools reveal what people do, if they have the ability.

    It's a thorny issue and is going to take some time and good leadership in the aboriginal community.
    #39
  20. AKDuc

    AKDuc Alaska Born Ducatisti

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    Here's an interview with the very lovely First Nations activist and attorney Pamela Palmater:

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    She states that ultimately the goal of the movement is the protection of Canada's lands and waters. Now that sounds like something I can get behind. And for that reason I put on some Native duds and went downtown to show my support and concern for "The Great White North." :D

    Me and my cousin Marcella. Her BIL in Vancouver BC made the Raven drum I'm holding. I haven't studded up the KLR yet this winter so I rode my Fatback instead. :wink:
    [​IMG]

    A local tv channel shot our little gathering: http://www.ktva.com/home/top-stories/Alaska-Natives-Protest-Development-Projects-186559681.html They flash by us at about 1:40 and if you listen carefully you can hear me beating my drum near the end of the segment at around 1:58. Warmest regards from farther north, Mark H.
    #40