For years now we have been as a nation making treaties with our First Nations Peoples and then simply giving them a different spin when it came time for their implementation resulting debate upon debate, new act over old act, in a vicious cycle designed by the Canadian government to make Canada look like it is indeed interested in the problem, like it is trying to get this problem resolved, when all that is really intended by the Canadian government is to stall and forever keep the circle going round and round. So tired of the debate the government of Canada hopes all stake holders will be willing to accept any solution that is put on the table no matter how unfair, no matter how morally wrong, no matter how illegal. I would say that up to now this strategy has worked, because the average Canadian is willing to accept the premise that just because we said we will do something to set a wrong right does not mean we have to do it if it is inconvenient and will cause us to give back what we have attained illegally. In every other instance in Canadian law it is illegal to acquire either with knowledge or without knowledge stolen goods. Once it is determined that you indeed did acquire someone elses property illegally you are forced by law to give it back and seek your remedy from the person, or persons who made the illegal sale to you. Never has the orignal victim been forced to buy back what is already theirs like our First Nations People are being forced to do and in this case only if the offending party is willing to sell it back at an inflated price seeking to further profit from the crime. We as Canadians have been sold on the idea from the Canadian government that doing the right thing morally and legally is something we do not have to do if in the end it does not get us the result that we seek and that somehow with the passage of time the truth somehow will change and what was once illegal will become legal, what was once and immoral act will somehow become morally right and what was once unjustifiable will somehow with the passage of time justify itself.
History and events all over the world are proving this to be not true as the oppressed, the mistreated and the abused of countries rise up and make a stand. Sometimes this protest is peaceful and sometimes it is not, but more often than not lately it is carried out until a just and fair remedy is found, or one side no longer exists. People’s memories are long and their will to see justice done is strong and they will pass down the history of the injustice to their children and leave extract from them a solemn unbreakable pledge to get back what is theirs by right. This is our future in Canada if we do not listen to the pleas and now the warnings coming from our First Nations People who we have first stolen everything we have from, made deals that we had no intention of keeping to and now refuse to honor causing them much suffering and it a lot of instances death. When we alter the law of the land so that we can get the results of the case in point that we want, I say there is no law and therefore the remedy will not be found within the confines of the law. This is the case when it comes to our First nations People when trying to get justice within the confines of Canadian law.
I have heard the promises from the government of Canada year after year and listened to the pleas from our First Nations People to receive justice and their fair share of Canada’s riches and the honoring of treaties that predate the forming of Canada and that were entrenched as an obligation to keep and not alter by the crown in the agreement that saw Canada become an independent nation. If no treaty to this date has been honored by Canada with its First Nations People, what difference does it make what they promise to do in the future? I heard Chief Mercedes speak with passion and talk about going to the crown with their concerns if forced to, by the lack of action from the federal government and I wondered exactly what good the First Nations People though that would do for them? This is the same crown that made the orignal treaties that they did not honor either and the very validity seems to be under question by the government although they are a part of our accepted history.
I think that the issue now is trust and as everyone knows the Canadian government has given the First Nations People everything but a reason to trust them. We have as a nation given these people hope in word both spoken and written and denied or out right refused to honor them. We have stolen their children out of their homes, forced them into schools far away from their homes and then on top of it all abused them in every way possible while trying to beat the Indian out of them and in the end Prime Minister Harper apologised and thought the debt was paid and the stigma erased, a mission accomplished as far as he and his government were concerned and need never need come up again. Poor sick man.
Now if we can agree that before we can get an agreeable deal we must have trust on both sides of the table that the deal will be upheld an honored by both sides and that the wording in the deal means the same thing to both sides I can understand the government being willing to give it a try the First nations People have been nothing but honourable, patient and completely honest and have acted for their part in good faith, but what is the government of Canada bringing to the table except please trust me I promise not to renege again.
For one thing the Prime Minister, Stephen harper is already stating publicly that as much as he would like to scrap the Indian act and get beyond it, because it is too deeply entrenched in our society and laws to simply negate it and go back to what was originally promised in the treaties and Canada is under crown obligation to follow. In other words before the first talk on the issue Canada’s official position is we can not do that, so here is what we can. Our solution does not recognize any your needs, or any of the guaranteed promise made to you, but it is acceptable to us and considering all things and the time that has passed it is a step up from where you are now and better than nothing. If you do not accept our offer we can go back to court, to the crown, or anywhere else you wish to take this fight and waste another 300 years arguing and debating while your children go uneducated, and you continue to live in squalor; or you can choose to trust us that this is all that we are prepared to offer you and that it is a one time offer.
It is not good enough to listen to the other side in this type of situation as the once Grand Chief said it is now a time for action. The time for lame promises is over it is a time for action. This government has shown time after time that with their strong, stable, majority government that they can pass any law that they chose, spend money where they like and as much as they like and have done so up to now to kill people in far away lands, take away rights of Canadians, and make the poor and most fragile of Canadians suffer with their cuts to social spending. This government has increased the size of its government with every cabinet shuffle, tipped the balance of the senate it said it would abolish in its favor through patronage appointments and pout a gag on what the people of Canada are allowed to hear and know when it comes to the running of this country, so we know that they could if they wanted to fix this problem too, but chose not to.
It is this coming to the table to negotiate that I despise because the government already knows it will do nothing to make things right. Oh they will probably offer up a little cash to make themselves look like they are trying and the First Nations people are not. They will clean up the reserve that needs the most work, but they will never come close to fixing the core problem which is honoring the agreements that already in place. There can be no moving on no new agreement with a country, a government that has proven in the past and is still proving every day that it is incapable of living up top anything that it promises to do. I think that we as a country must now do what is inconvenient and swallow the bitter medicine. If people are on land that was promised to the First nations People than they should be bought out and the land given to its rightful owners whether it be businesses, or personal property, because all of the sales were illegal to start with. Services such as education should be a guaranteed thing immediately by law today; we know how fast this government can pass a new law when they are motivated to do so. Let these people have some dignity and autonomy at let them contribute through paying taxes like everyone else for the services they will be getting like everyone else. They are not children and are asking to stop being treat like mentally challenged adults incapable of taking care of themselves as they are thought of and treated now.
I think that the question of moving beyond the Indian Act is not question on the table as part of the government’s solution to tis problem. I think that over the years the Canadian Government has made it clear that giving these people what is theirs by right of birth, treaty and law is something that any government of Canada are not now and will never will be willing to do. Doing the right thing has taken too long and the harsh reality is not one citizen would be willing to give up a farm, a house, the fish in a stream, or even a good hunting spot to see the situation of the First Nations People corrected and so the political powers that could make the bad situation a good one tomorrow protect their jobs and stall for time. We cry, we protest as citizens when the news reports reveal a situation like Attawapiskat and the government says we are trying and succeeding in most other First Nation Reserves and pretends that this is an isolated incident, or a result solely of bad band leadership and not insufficient funding, but what of these places and these people, are they all just isolated incidents and a result of poor band allocation of funds?(Fort Albany, a First Nations reserve in Northern Ontario, Wasagamack First Nation, about 600 km north of Winnipeg in northern Manitoba, Kashechewan First Nation, a fly in Cree community upstream from James Bay in northern Ontario, Tsawwassen First nation 25 km south of Vancouver) are all suffering from either overcrowding, water pollution and an over all despicable and deploring state can we as Canadians and a government lay claim to innocence in all of these cases? I think not and there are more First Nations Reserves out there not mentioned in this post in this sorry state all over Canada. Do we owe these patient people nothing on this long over due debt, this miscarriage of justice? Are they to see another generation go by without an honest attempt to do right by them?
More promises made to look at things yet again, but no promises to do anything of importance were made by the Prime Minister and a feeling of yet more unheard pleas from the First nations People who have once again been told to go home try to do better in managing what we give you and be patient we are working as fast as we can on these very complicated legal issues. another meeting more wasted money on talks. Why not just give the money wasted on these go no where do nothing meetings to the suffering people on these reserves.
Question: If the First Nations People of Canada were to rise up and use force to get what is owed to them like oppressed people are being encouraged to do all over the world by the Canadian Government and with Canadian government financial and military support, would they be seen as traitors, terrorists, or freedom fighters to you?
- Harper, Atleo leave summit still at odds over fate of Indian Act (vancouversun.com)
- ‘We need and want Canada to work with us’ (macleans.ca)
- Canada’s First Nations People Sentenced To Slow and Painful Death By Canadian Apathy
- Abolish Indian Act, Elijah Harper says (theprovince.com)
- Nothing For First Nations People, The Metis, Or The Inuit Of Canada Except Empty Promises
- Prime Minister Stephen Harper pledges changes to Indian Act as he launches historic First Nations summit (thestar.com)
- The Absolute Power Of A Majority Government Could Be Used To Do Good But Political Will Is Not There (archemdis.wordpress.com)