One has to admire the total lack of knowledge retention and disregard for historical facts as well as the predictable rhetoric that the National Post seems to Post-it Post Haste require in their overtly Caucasian editorial staff writers. Ifs more than obvious, it’s downright in your face, with the extended middle finger waving in the air…at least as far as Aboriginal Peoples are concerned.
The August 28 National Post editorial talks about the $7 billion that permits “tens of thousands to be spent on each reserve household.” In Cree country we calculated that it was around $13,000 per household compared to southern non-Native households who averaged $25,000 per household for similar services.
National Post-it notes that Native communities are “beset by higher rates of chronic ill health and infant mortality, lower incomes, higher rates of welfare dependency and substance abuse, more youth suicides and inferior infrastructure.”
Now get this, the writer blames only corrupt and incompetent band governance. Talk about the big lie. Didn’t the writer even do any research at all? Obviously not or he would have seen the same reasons used to sterilize women, take children and foster them out and justify the residential school system. All this happened before Native leadership got to administer their own poverty!
The solutions are simple; all Aboriginals should become a part of the “greater society of Canada” that the writer seems to be so proud of.
A society he is part of and wants to assimilate Aboriginal Peoples into. Hasn’t he read the international definition of genocide, because isn’t that exactly what he is advocating? This same thing has been advocated in the past and enforced. The results were the deplorable conditions that the National Post tries to attribute to the “poorly educated and nepotistic native leaders” that we supposedly suffer from en masse.
As for blindly handing over money, nothing could be further from the truth. Audits are required and controls are more stringent than in non-Native communities. A non-Native community like Toronto is allowed to have a 25 per cent or more deficit in Ontario compared to 8 per cent for the Native community across the board in Canada.
The solution called for by the National Post is the movement of Natives from rural to urban areas. This too was tried in the past when the Federal government had something called the Buffalo Jump Program. This is where Native communities were designed to be so bad that Natives would supposedly flock to the cities and become disenfranchised. It didn’t work then and it won’t work now. But it is interesting to note that this program may have been the basis for some of those deplorable conditions the writer talks about.
Looking at the examples of cities as a place where the “pathologies bred of isolation and welfare dependency are more rare” I would have to point out the example of Winnipeg with it’s high Native population. It is full of pathologies if I have ever seen a place with such things. The Post never addresses Saskatchewan where Native men were left to die, allegedly by police.
As for the Federal Government deciding on its own what is best for the Indian in its Governance Act, we have seen the past results of similar processes and never again will Natives allow themselves to be un-consulted as to their future. All in all, I felt the National Post editorial should be one that Coon Come takes to South Africa with him to show the level of benevolent racism that is prevalent in a national newspaper.
Has it ever occurred to the writer in question that when he mentions “natives should cease to be considered outsiders in their own land,” that he might actually be an outsider in Native land?