Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Angry Canadians

Gloria Galloway reports in the Globe and Mail that hope is fading  for those who believed Friday's meeting between native leaders and Stephen Harper would put an end to the Idle No More protests:

Idle No More organizers will hold their own Friday meeting for chiefs that were not invited to the talks on that day with Mr. Harper.

And Governor-General David Johnston announced on Tuesday that he would not be at Mr. Harper’s working meeting with key Assembly of First Nations leaders. As a result, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence, who called for the meeting in first place, said she might not go either.

Although some chiefs say the leaders of the country’s more than 630 first nations are united in their determination to exert their treaty rights, it is clear that there are divides about how that should be achieved.

There is division among native communities. But that is not surprisisng. People on the ground feel that their official representatives are no longer trustworthy  They are taking matters into their own hands -- and they have good reason to do so. As Jeff Denis wrote just before Christmas:

Since 2008, the Harper government has cut aboriginal health funding, gutted environmental review processes, ignored the more than 600 missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada, withheld residential school documents from the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, abandoned land claim negotiations, and tried to defend its underfunding of First Nations schools and child welfare agencies.

When some dared call attention to poverty, “corrupt” chiefs were blamed. Although the minister of Aboriginal Affairs, John Duncan, claims to have visited 50 First Nations communities and conducted 5,000 consultations, he and his staff clearly have not gained the First Nations’ consent on the seven currently tabled bills that Idle No More activists oppose.

Meanwhile, Indigenous peoples are the fastest growing population in Canada. They are young, ambitious and well aware of historical and contemporary injustices. Like others abroad, they are revitalizing their languages and cultures, rebuilding their nations, and supported in these initiatives by international law, including the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, which Canada reluctantly endorsed in 2010. 

Things are not over. They've only just begun. Stephen Harper's take no prisoners style of government has come back to bite him. He is about to become a hostage to events he cannot control.


Anonymous said...

Steve and the gang thought they could bully Canadians into accepting their regressive ideology. They thought wrong.

Owen Gray said...

A agree, Anon. This is a Howard Beale moment.

Anonymous said...

Hopefully, there will be a better outcome for Canadians than there was for Howard....

Owen Gray said...

True, Anon. We can only hope that the powers that be don't triumph.

Tossing Pebbles in the Stream said...

The recent court decision that indians off the "reservation" are in deed indians (Amerindians, Métis and Inuit) are included in the Constitution. How did the government think they could exclude them. The Constitutional preservation of First Nation's peoples rights is rather simple reading. This decision is the "Persons" Case (declaring women as persons) for aboriginal Canadians. The ranks of Constitutionally protected Indians is about to well.

Canada owes the First Nations people and it is well past time to pay up so we can better share this land together.

Owen Gray said...

That's what this is all about, Philip. The ruling is consistent with the native principle of the expanding circle.

The present government is trying to shrink that circle -- not just for natives, but for all Canadians.

Anonymous said...

On Harper's x-mas interview, he declared himself a devout Christian. Harper was Policy Chief for his, Northern Foundation Party of 1989. He was linked with Christian Fundamentalists, among other dubious links.

Harper's omnibull bill, gave himself permission to, pollute any waterways, fish and hunting grounds of the F.N. all across this country. F.N. should not have to constantly fight, to protect their food sources, from Harper's greed. Harper has no right to intrude on F.N. land, without respecting the F.N. and consulting with them. Harper is a Dictator and an arrogant bully.

Harper's onmibull bill, also gives Communist China permission, to sue any Canadians getting in their way. China sued in BC, to take the mining jobs. Harper has no right to even live in this country, let alone govern.

Harper a Christian, with no morals nor ethics, what-so-ever.

Owen Gray said...

Perhaps, Anon, Canadians are beginning to turn against the bully.