Wednesday, November 30, 2011

An NDP Supporter With Some Common Sense About Attawapiskat

NDP Charlie Angus should call the  NDP supporter who contacted John Ivison at the National Post about the situation at the Attawapiskat reserve instead of blustering. The NDP supporter says Angus is a "dreamer" for demanding the government just throw more money at the situation so the problem can go away.
 But if he is jaundiced by his experience in the north, he is equally scathing about the political posturing happening in Parliament. "I would vote NDP but some of the stuff [NDP MP] Charlie Angus is saying, it's dreamer stuff - 'just get the government to pay more and the problems go away.' There's no reality to that. It goes so much deeper than that."

This is what the supporter told Ivison what he experienced while he was a teacher up there:
 He said the social problems on reserves are compounded by abysmal leadership. For example, every spring, hunters on his reserve would be ferried to hunting camp by helicopter - using money that could have been spent on housing or education.
"Native leadership is really bad. There is apathy and no worldview. No one sees a solution. It's pretty depressing. I don't see any possible way for the problems to be fixed - they're too far gone."
He said native communities like Attawapiskat and neigh-bouring Kashechewan should be moved south, as the federal government recommended when Kashechewan was hit by an E. coli outbreak in 2005. "They need to be closer to civilization to see how dysfunctional things are," he said.
In the event, the people of Kashechewan decided to rebuild their community in its existing location, with $200million from Ottawa. "That was driven by fear. People were afraid of the outside world. They don't do well down south, so home is their safety net, it's what they're comfortable with."
The determination to stay in such isolated locations has led to a cycle of poverty, violence, alcoholism and illiteracy.
Despite prohibition, residents buy liquor from the local bootlegger. "He sells to children or anyone else who wants it. Everyone knows who he is," said the young teacher.
Eventually, he left the reserve over concerns for his safety and his health. "I lived in a moldy house and was perpetually sick," he said. "It's a very, very difficult place to live. It's hard to maintain your mental health."
These people should not be living in such deplorable conditions but throwing more money at it is not going to solve the situation. As that NDP supporter stated it's more than just money, the problem is deeper than that.  First of all accountability has to come including, the band leadership. Where is our money going? We need to follow that money.  

Then the whole system needs to be totally reformed.   The Indian Act is a big part of the problem in my opinion.  It holds first nations back and keeps them dependent on the public purse. Scrap the  Act. . Integrate them, teach them self sufficiency and how to take of themselves like the rest of us do. 

Time to get out of the eighteenth century. We are living in the twenty-first century for goodness sakes! Treat First Nations people the same as every other Canadian.


  1. frmgrl, I going off a limb here but refers to aboriginals. Are you are aware of the 'Band' in Calgary, for some reason I remember their band name. Anyway, this band or aboriginals are very wealthy they haotherve build numerous business of their own: Casino, Golfcourse and I think a camp ground. These people work very hard and are proud of their accomplishment and don't need any assisstance from the fed government.

    My brother in law who golfs around there ask about 'aboriginals working there'
    To his surprised he was told by one of the workers (aboriginal)that they put a request to aboriginals in reserves that they will be given a free housing among other things if they work at the casino or golf or another job around there but, the answer they got was NO.

    I just can't imagine why those people at Attawapiskat reserve are living in that mess. Something doesn't give, millions of dollars was poured and nothing was accomplished or is there something more that we are not reading into. I think the latter.

  2. You know what bugs me about this Attawapiskat reserve is that I saw in the same house the media kept showing: a large fridge and a large television. Yet ndpq Angus said that they have no cleaning water nor electricity. Really Angus take a look again.
    What also bugs me is that millions are given to the chiefs to see to it that their people are properly cared for; I am sure that the chiefs wouldn't want to have fed employees poking their noses around to see if the chiefs are putting the money where it supposed to be.
    Angus knows that this government and previous government gives money and the amount given. How is it that he hadn't taken it out on the chiefs themselves for abusing the money intented for the people.
    Like I said before, something doesn't smell right here at all.

    I wonder how the ndpq would react if the fed government decides to take over the reservation finances completely and be runned through fed without a single dime going to the chiefs or bands itself.
    And seeing they(fed) to it themself the cleaning up of waters, homes constructed etc under their very noses even if it is to live there until all is completed. Putting of course some aboriginals to work.

  3. Great article by Ivison. I wonder what Charlie Angus thought after reading it - assuming that he did.

  4. Mr. Harper has tried a number of times to bring some sanity to the natives. In the minority, he put in the Accountability Act some restraints and accountability on the natives; he tried to bring human rights to the females and both were defeated by the NDP and Liberals. Hypocrites

  5. Anonymous, do you or can you find that piece of legislation the PM tried to bring in regarding to the 'Aboriginal Accountability Act' which the opposition refused to support.


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