Wednesday, January 16, 2013

I'm getting so tired of this

I've tried to write this post a few times, only to have yet another twist added to the sordid story that seems to go on, and on, and on...

It started before some Chief (who I'd blogged about some time ago) decided to go on a diet hunger strike and camp on an island she claims belongs to her, or her ancestors, or someone she was somehow related to in the past (in the same, "we're all related to Noah" kind of thinking).

She wanted a meeting with the Prime Minister Governor General Queen of England I can't keep track, because after she actually was invited, didn't go. Prior to her diet hunger strike, her band was the subject of a "review" in which they determined that no one was able to account for a shit load of money. "A lie!" or something is how they responded. (Visions of the "She's a witch!" skit from Monty Python come to mind) Sure... a lie, all meant to deflect from the "real" issues.

I can't help but write that anyone who falls for this sort of bullshit on the part of their "chief" must be fairly stupid. "Chief Spence is my hero" read one sign... and here is the problem. If this thief who has clearly time and time again so badly mismanaged the funds that she has been trusted to watch over  is a "hero" ,there is no way out of this seemingly bottomless morass we find ourselves in.

I attempted to look deeper into matters, but I don't think the average reader wants to know the difference between Native Rights, Native Title, Ancestral Lands... Let's just say that it's not only the colonial powers that may not have held up their end of the "treaty". As I understand a deal, there are two parties, both of which need to keep their end of it. Neither party has, but one side has done more than the other. The side that has done more, is the side that promised more. The side that promised little... abject failure to keep their end of the deal. What was asked?

They were to keep law and order, and live peacefully, and abstain from (no sale of) alcohol on reserve.

Sure, a deal is a deal. The Treaties don't seem to offer as much as is being received by the First nations. The Crown is (typically) permitted to carry out logging and mining on the lands as a part of the deal, but now we want to "tweak" that. Courts seem to agree with the "righting of wrongs", making law instead of interpreting it. Notwithstanding clause anyone?

Further to "deals" being deals. How many law suits have YOU heard of between a band and a supplier or contractor who did work on a reserve and didn't get paid in accordance with a "deal"? How about Buffalo Point, where people who had "deals" to lease cottages are now being gouged with new taxes up to four times more than the original long term lease costs? Good deal... if you can break it. It seems those deals even had arbitration clauses... you know ,"I demand to see the Prime Minister Chief about these broken promises." "No... go away."

In as much as I AGREE with the Shoal Lake water debacle because Winnipeg was granted water from that lake for Winnipeg only, and now that we're actually SELLING the water to neighbouring municipalities, the band (fairly and reasonably) expects compensation, I don't agree with "reopening" deals that are clearly only going to make matters financially worse for the balance of Canadians.

Now we have the courts deciding that off reserve natives and Metis are also "Indian". Lovely...
Now the Metis can over fish out of season, trap lobster when there aren't enough and the stock needs to replenish, and can "mass kill" Elk, taking "only as much as they needed".

Ever get offered pikerel out of the trunk of a car? That's only slightly illegal...Sure, there are times it's a commercial fisherman trying to get around the Fresh Water Fish Marketing Board's monopoly, but most of the times it's happened to me, it's a FN fisher taking just a bit more than his "family" needs.  I wonder if that practice might increase if we suddenly allow twice as many people that opportunity?

This "Idle no more" is a great idea but I'm sensing that all these people with little to do during the day are not going to be going out looking for work. They'll continue to disrupt our daily routines, hoping to "draw our attention to their plight." Sorry... stop electing corrupt people, and stop paying them more than the Prime Minister or Premier earns to run your gong show that's under third party management.

Theresa Spence is an example of poor role models, poor leadership, and poor politics. People like her do nothing to advance her people's cause.

Try getting someone in there both parties can respect, because people like her aren't in that category.