Aboriginal in Canada

Discussion in 'Canada' started by jimnyc, Oct 12, 2003.

  1. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Let me just preface this with "I don't believe all Canadians are racist". I know I'll hear about it if I don't include that!

    Now, why the mistreatment of these people? Why is the government having trouble acknowledging simple human rights for these people?

    *************************************
    "Canada's treatment of its aboriginal
    population remains the most serious human rights problem
    facing the country, according a report released by the
    Canadian Human Rights Commission today."

    "The failure to achieve a real solution to the problems
    facing Canada's aboriginal people "can only continue to
    tarnish Canada's reputation and accomplishments," the report
    warns."

    ""Canada is seeking to present itself internationally as a
    world leader in the systematic promotion of human rights at
    a time when its own vehicles of change are in need of
    repair," said the report."
    http://nativenet.uthscsa.edu/archive/nl/9404/0040.html

    **
    "The Geneva-based UN Human Rights Committee said in a report last week that the Canadian government had failed to implement recommendations of the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples - proof that Ottawa was not complying with the international covenant on civil and political rights."

    "The United Nations also called on both the Canadian federal government and the administration of the province of Ontario to establish an inquiry into the 1995 police shooting of Dudley George, an Ojibwe man who died while protesting the seizure of Native land on the shore of Lake Huron. "

    "George's death has been the focus of Native protests in Canada, despite the conviction of a police officer for manslaughter. "

    "Indigenous leaders claimed the police attack on the protesters was orchestrated by senior politicians and government officials and they hailed the UN report as an important blow for Native rights."
    http://www.hartford-hwp.com/archives/41/332.html

    **
    "Canada's treatment of its aboriginal people has been shameful."

    "Canada had an official policy of destroying native culture and re-educating their children during the early part of the century. Children were taken away from their parents and placed in residential schools, where their culture was essential stripped from them. It was a kind of cultural genocide."

    "The native community, on the whole, is an economically disadvantaged one, and the Canadian government has been largely responsible for this."
    http://www.vancouver.hm/racism.html
     
  2. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    Simply put, you're right. Canada's track record with our First Nations are absolutely abhorrent in most cases. As someone who has worked closely with many aboriginals I can attest to some of the low living standards they must cope with.

    However, there is a dyanmic in Canada with our FN's that isn't present in the USA. The USA said to the FN's, "Okay you're a conquered people, take this land we give you, here's some money, here are some rights and don't you dare come calling me to after for more. We're a white nation and we're giving your a deal to be able to stay here. This is all you're going to get." In Canada, we still are still working out the treaties and deals for us to use their lands, but in the meantime we're wasting millions, if not billions, of dollars fighting social ills using a method that is completely ineffective in order to maintain our ideal of multiculturalism that whilst succeeding in grand fashion in other areas of canadian culture, has dismally failed with the FN's.

    We have a government bureaucracy (INAC/DIAND) that sucks up most of the "aid" money to figure out what the FN's want without even talking to them. I can attest to this first hand as I worked in a consulting company that worked on projects for the reserved in the Canadian North. This, coupled with rampant alcoholism, corruption, violence and poverty within the reserve social structure has made living conditions at a near 2nd world level (It's not 3 world despite what people say).

    I believe I have several solutions:

    1. Give the FN's a large final monatary package and cut out annual government funding. I.e. give money to make reserves self sufficient.

    2. Keep FN's tax free status, subsidize transportation and free post-secondary education for FN's to improve education and develop profession trades.

    3. Allow FN run casinos on reserves.

    4. Distribute more resources and land to reserves to promote self-organized industries.

    5. Implement heavy prison sentences for corruption.

    6. Promote the idea of community and native culture to allow for more of a return to traditonal roots and stamp out crime and alcholism (as done in most of Canada's inuit community)

    7. Promote the formation of self-governed regional or territorial entitities to allow FN's to direct their own growth based on the model of Nunavut which is resounding success in all manners.

    It is often said that the path to hell is often paved with good intentions. In a lot of respects I believe that this was the case in Canada in many ways, perhaps more so post-WW2. It would be ignorant to say we did everything right, which would be a laughable offense, but especially post 1950's our intentions were getting in the right place, but the execulation was miserable. However, US's own track record too, is far from clear.
     
  3. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    I like your solutions, Isaac, you should be in government!

    However, I do disagree to an extent with this portion:

    There are politicians going to bat for the tribes and reservations here all the time, and they are getting increased funding as well. There have been many grants created, a few to be specific are; grants for victims of crimes, substance abuse, children's justice, crime policies, safe havens, domestic violence, legal assistance, mental health, technology... And thats just to name a few.

    There rights are being protected and enhanced more and more each year. There is plenty additional that can be done here as well, but I think your "quote" is a bit far reached.
     
  4. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    My apologies! I think I may have not made myself clear! The US, in my opinion does a much better job CURRENTLY, than Canada with respect to FN's. Of course I believe this is due to the relatively high self-sufficience of native americans over the year.

    What I was referring to with the native americans was within a historical conquest. While Canadians, usually opted for diplomacy (although one sided at best), America often resorted to violent means to subdue their indigenous populations.

    For example:
    1. Sand Creek Massacre of the Cheyenne
    2. Spirit Lake Massacre of Sitting Bull
    3. Forcreable settling on reservation by military force.
    4. Infection of indigenous populations by use of small-pox laced blankets.

    Now Canada is not innocent and I want to make that clear, but i think i'd argue a very good case that Canada's history with our first nations were perhaps the lesser of two evils. Although one event, that still bugs me is the supression of the Red River Rebellion which sought to introduce Manitoba (my province) as a French speaking, metis colony. As a francophile myself, i think many of Canada's French-English problems would have diminished if we had a third resolutely french speaking province, but I am getting off topic and digress.

    Actually I think i'll end it there. Thanksgiving turkey may have penetrated past my rather full stomach and has perhaps headed north. Cheers.


    P.S. Politician? Well perhaps if my even get that break in hollywood, I could always go for California. :p Ouch too soon?
     
  5. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Past and present, I'll agree with what you wrote, well said.

    And yes, I almost forgot, Happy Thanksgiving!
     
  6. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    Isaac,

    I agree, America treated the American Indian tribes as a people to be conquered. However, now that the US and Canada have established our two countries over our respective lands, I don't understand why we continue to treat Indian tribes as a separate class of citizen. I think that the reservation system that we have established in America does more to keep American Indians in poverty than anything else we could do. If it were up to me (which it's not), I would phase out the reservation system and get Indians to join the rest of the population.
    I'm not really familiar with Canada's relations with their FNs, but I think a similar solution could work there as well.
     
  7. Isaac Brock
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    Isaac Brock Active Member

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    I would agree with you considerably as I believe reservations are a heinous reminder of both our countries past history. However, we must also realize that unless we start telling the FN's they were a conquered people that was allowed to lived in the land we annexed, we wander into a pretty tricky legal situation. I would think that they would like to keep their special status.

    In Canada, we simply can't remove reserves. Why? Because legally, the reason why I can live in the big city or farm the countryside is because we agreed to allow them to live on these reserves, not pay taxes and get subsidies from the crown. We cancel that right, we'd wander into some pretty serious human rights issues and treaty violations, no matter how antiquated they are. It'd be like Cuba saying, "Hey US, hand back Guantonamo (sp?) because it's making our lives miserable." Slippery slope.

    That being said, their are some very solid reserves in Canada that take care of themselves and their people spectacularly, elevating their standard of living beyond middle class. However, that is by no means a majority situation.

    What's the solution? I don't know for sure, but I did have a few ideas posted before. I think the general idea is to somehow bring them up to modern, average Canadian (or American) living standards by promoting self governance and self reliance. The big red pay check is not the way to go IMHO.
     
  8. 5stringJeff
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    5stringJeff Senior Member

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    I agree 100% - self reliance, not a government handout, is always the better solution.
     
  9. jimnyc
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    jimnyc ...

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    Let me add that I am also saddened that NYS will no longer allow me to purchase my smokes from the reservations!

    I was getting them for $25 a carton as opposed to $40-50 locally. NYS was losing money on the deal so they made it illegal for me to do business with them. :(
     
  10. Johnny Canuck
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    Johnny Canuck Guest

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    Previus thread was locked quite awhile ago, and for good reason. Please don't circumvent locked threads.

    Edited by jim
     

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