“The life expectancy of an aboriginal is a decade less than a non-aboriginal in Canada. The rate of infant mortality is three times higher. The suicide rate is six times higher. Aboriginal people have a rate of diabetes and heart disease three times the national average, and dramatically higher rates of infectious diseases like tuberculosis, HIV-AIDS and H1N1 influenza.”-
Globe & Mail
I am so ashamed of this country sometimes.
(Source: The Globe and Mail)
Do ya’ll even know what happened yesterday in Canada?
Shit is getting real.
March on parliament hill yesterday
This is parts of what was said while they were there…sorry no time to write the whole dialogue out but you get the idea of the greatness of yesterday. This happened in the hall way.
“What is being deemed by the federal government as consultation with afn or any other political organizations is not what we stand for, we are here for our people…we are here to pose objection of any bill that is continuing to violate our inherent right as a people of Turtle Island…no longer will government tell our people what to do, this has got to stop, and this is what we’re here for. Two, three people across the land is not consolation, I represent almost 6000 people in treaty six territory nobody has come and asked me and my people for our opinion of what is being proposed today. We are here to serve notice to government enough is enough we will not tolerate we will not put up with it any more.”
~shitty response by government official~ “my colleague John Duncan blah blah blah”
“We are people we are human beings too cotrary to what legislation initially [the indian act]…it is an inherent right to land…why is government policy and legislation always wanting us to surrender land?~gets interrupted by government person~ WE WOULDN’T BE HERE IF YOU WERE FOLLOWING THE CONTITUTION…your legislation don’t mean a dam thing to us.”
the government officiall walks away
the police stop them from entering a meeting they were invited to
A protest like this from the general population should have also happened en masse with C-38, though this bill is at least as terrible if not moreso. The Conservatives have been allowed to get away with this crap for too long.
Also, “forcing their way in” and “scuffling”? Methinks HP reeks of some bias or other.
And Baird’s a blustering, skeevy ball of privilege but I’m pretty sure that’s common knowledge by now.
“It should agree with Canadians. It should agree with the government.”-
Oh John Baird, keep on being the worst.
OH MY GOD THAT IS NOT HOW SCIENCE WORKS FUCK YOU BAIRD SCIENCE NEEDS THE FREEDOM TO DO ITS THING INDEPENDENT OF GOVERNMENT CENSORSHIP OR ITS NOT EVEN SCIENCE FFFFUUAAHAHGGGHGHGHGHGHG. It makes me sick how many organizations are losing their funding simply for daring to approach the issues they deal with in a way that is not in lockstep with conservative ideology. They are gutting EVERY RESEARCH ORGANIZATION dealing with everything from climate and marine science (they also just hacked 1/3 of the funding for Bamfield Marine Science Centre which does an incredible amount of important marine research as is a massive part of hands on university science education in this country) to Indigenous people’s healthcare (NAHO). It’s sick. I wonder who’s next on the chopping block?
Jesus H. Christ and all the fucking apostles.
From Senator Jaffer Mobina. (First emphasis mine.)
I don’t think I know enough swear words to adequately express my disappointment here.
Last Thursday was a sad day for Canadians. It was on this day that, by a vote of 48 to 37, the Omnibus Crime Bill was passed through the Senate. All Liberal Senators present, with the support of Conservative Senator Nolin, fought hard and voted against this bill but unfortunately we were out numbered.
As the Conservative members brought forward a motion which would limit the time Bill C-10 was debated to a maximum of six hours, I was given the opportunity to deliver two speeches, both of which I have attached to this e-mail.
The first speech I delivered focused on why it was problematic to place time limitations on the debate of such an important and complex piece of legislation.
The second speech which I delivered was at the Third Reading of Bill C-10 where I focused on mandatory minimum sentences and how they would adversely affect vulnerable populations such as Aboriginal peoples, our youth and those who suffer from mental illnesses.
Bill C-10 is now back in the House of Commons where the amendments introduced in the Senate will be reviewed and voted upon. Sadly, it is quite apparent that this bill will very soon become law.
I am now working on Bill C-19, An Act to Amend the Criminal Code and the Fire Arms Act. This bill aims to abolish the long gun registry.
I am grateful to have had the opportunity to work with you over the past few weeks. I have benefited greatly from all of your contributions and I would welcome the opportunity to continue working with you. I would be happy to keep you informed about the work of the Senate Standing Committee on Legal and Constitutional Affairs. However, if you would like to be removed from this mailing list please contact my assistant Nadia Charania whose contact information is listed below.
Thank you once again for your continued support.
Dealing with comments about Attawapiskat
The Auditor General of Canada speaks up.
The Auditor General of Canada released a report in June of this year examining Programs for First Nations on Reserve. A similar report was published in 2006. This report identifies deficiencies in program planning and delivery by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Health Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
The reports also provide a number of recommendations to improve these deficiencies. The 2011 report evaluated the progress made since the 2006 report, and in most areas, gave these federal agencies a failing grade.
Don’t worry, there is a point to this, stay with me.
The 2011 report has this to say:
In our view, many of the problems facing First Nations go deeper than the existing programs’ lack of efficiency and effectiveness. We believe that structural impediments severely limit the delivery of public services to First Nations communities and hinder improvements in living conditions on reserves. We have identified four such impediments:
- lack of clarity about service levels,
- lack of a legislative base,
- lack of an appropriate funding mechanism, and
- lack of organizations to support local service delivery.
I know this is going to look like mumbo jumbo at first, so let me break it down a little for you. This will help explain why millions of dollars of funding is not enough to actually improve the living conditions of First Nations people, particularly those on reserve.
Lack of clarity about service levels
As explained earlier the federal government is in charge of delivering services that are otherwise provided by the provinces to non-natives. The Auditor General states:
“It is not always evident whether the federal government is committed to providing services on reserves of the same range and quality as those provided to other communities across Canada.”
Shockingly, the federal government does not always have clear program objectives, nor does it necessarily specify specific roles and responsibilities for program delivery, and has not established measures for evaluating performance in order to determine if outcome are actually met.
That’s right. The federal government is not keeping track of what it does, how it does it, or whether what it is doing works. The Auditor General recommends the federal government fix this, pronto. How can a community rely on these services if the federal government itself isn’t even clear on what it is providing and whether the programs are working?
Lack of a legislative base
“Provincial legislation provides a basis of clarity for services delivered by provinces. A legislative base for programs specifies respective roles and responsibilities, eligibility, and other program elements. It constitutes an unambiguous commitment by government to deliver those services. The result is that accountability and funding are better defined.”
The provinces all have some sort of Education Act that clearly lays out the roles and responsibilities of education authorities, as well as mechanisms of evaluation. There is generally no comparable federal legislation for the provision of First Nations education, health-care, housing and so on.
As noted by the AG, legislation provides clarity and accountability. Without it, decision can be made on an ill-defined ‘policy’ basis or on a completely ad hoc basis.
Lack of an appropriate funding mechanism
The AG focuses on a few areas here.
Lack of service standards for one. Were you aware that provincial building codes do not apply on reserve? Some provincial laws of ‘general application’ (like Highway Traffic Acts) can apply on reserve, but building codes do not. There is a federal National Building Code, but enforcement and inspection has been a major problem. This has been listed as one of the factors in why homes built on reserve do not have a similar ‘life’ to those built off reserve.
Poor timing for provision of funds is another key issue. “Most contribution agreements must be renewed yearly. In previous audits, we found that the funds may not be available until several months into the period to be funded.” This is particularly problematic for housing as “money often doesn’t arrive until late summer, past the peak construction period, so projects get delayed and their costs rise.”
Lack of accountability.
“It is often unclear who is accountable to First Nations members for achieving improved outcomes or specific levels of services. First Nations often cite a lack of federal funding as the main reason for inadequate services. For its part, INAC maintains that the federal government funds services to First Nations but is not responsible for the delivery or provision of these services.”
The AG also refers to a heavy reporting burden put on First Nations, and notes that the endless paperwork often is completely ignored anyway by federal agencies.
Lack of organisations to support local service delivery
This refers once again to the fact that there are no federal school or health boards, no federal infrastructure and expertise. Some programs are delivered through provincial structures, while others are provided directly by the federal government, with less than stellar results.
As the Auditor General states, “Change is needed if meaning full progress is to be realised“. There is extreme lack of clarity about what the federal government is doing, why, how, and whether it is at all effective. No wonder Harper is confused!
First Nation appeals to UN for 'international assistance'
Seven youth suicides in four months prompt renewed cry for help
Posted: Oct 21, 2011 11:30 AM ET
Pikangikum First Nation is asking for help from the United Nations to deal with a suicide rate that is 36 times the national average.
The isolated community of about 2,400 people is located in Ontario, about 300 km northeast of Winnipeg, Manitoba. Five percent of the population has committed suicide in the past 20 years.
“We have identified a major gap that needs your assistance,” wrote former Pikangikum chief Gordon Peters to the UN in a letter dated Oct. 12.
“We are living in fourth world conditions in a first world state … these hopeless and desperate conditions have resulted in many suicides among our youth.”On April 15, the First Nation declared a state of emergency due to a lack of potable and running water. Jody Porter
It’s been nearly two months since Ontario’s chief coroner issued 100 recommendations for improving life in Pikangikum. But little has changed.
Seven young people have killed themselves in the last four months.
‘Death permeates’ entire society
Dr. Bert Lauwers said he tried to write his report in a way that would bring outside interest.
“You know, we are watching the rising body count as it related to the tragedy of these children dying,” he said.
“How do you get the rest of Canadians and Ontarians to care about an issue like that?”
The Nishnawbe Aski Nation was hopeful a recent plane full of media representatives could focus attention on the crisis in Pikangikum in a way the coroner’s report hasn’t.
The media visit Oct. 20 ended abruptly at the airport, however, after word that an infant died and people wanted to grieve privately.
Dr. Bert Lauwers said death permeates the entire society here.
“People are in a constant state of trying to recover from tragedy,” he said.
“In other words, one death begets the next death, [which] begets the next death.”
And with little help on the horizon, more grief seems inevitable.
Grand Chief Stan Beardy said the recommendations for a new school, clean drinking water, and new homes in the community need government support.There are 450 homes in Pikangikum First Nation for the 2,400 residents who live there. About 340 of those homes don’t have running water. Jody Porter
“There has to be some assistance from outside interests to help Pikangikum with the recommendations,” he said.
But so far governments have not acted.
“Our nation needs to be able to see a future for our children,” Peters letter to the United Nations continued.
“We need international assistance.”
Oh, Canada? Our Home and Racist Land
Stephen Elliott-Buckley, November 28, 2011
Canadians’ racist neglect of our first people’s seems unshakable.
We had Davis Inlet, and we didn’t wake up to any systemic problems. That was just a one off?
And now Attawapiskat? Perhaps it was just a tragedy of homelessness that happened in the last few weeks, so we couldn’t expect the government to be on top of it all. It turns out no. There have been systemic funding problems going back years.
But we learn a few things here:
- 2,000 people live there and the federal government has committed $500,000 to renovate five vacant homes. Five.
- The chief said the federal government has committed $2 million more but Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan [email@example.com, 613-992-2503, 250-338-9381] denies that decision has been made. Maybe that would be another 20 homes renovated?
- This community has “a litany of problems,” so “officials would travel to the area this week to ensure that recent aid is being used effectively,” which for most of us trained in the code of Canada means that they can’t take care of themselves because they’re drunks, addicts, politically corrupt or incompetent, or just not educated enough to manage. This in itself, beyond being one of Canada’s biggest racist black eyes, is sufficient evidence that there are systemic problems throughout our country with respect to how we even think about “the other.”
- But everything’s ok now because the federal government will, “send our people in to make some, help make some, decisions with the chief and council” [emphasis mine]. While there are undoubtedly a series of problems, “Canada” prefers to deal with problems like this by equating first peoples’ communities as sad, unfortunate dorm rooms that our suburban children inhabit–rooms that are riddled with a litany of problems that stem from them living alone for the first time. Like children.
- And of course there is a chance to make the prime minister look good by saying his economic action plan had completed another 44 homes. Remember there are 2,000 people living there. Doing a little bit is good enough, eh? 44 homes. Plus 5. Plus maybe 20 more.
While I had Attawapiskat on my mind for days last week, I was stuck on how to figure out what I wanted to say about the situation beyond just phoning the prime minister [firstname.lastname@example.org, 613-992-4211, 403-253-7990] and screaming.
But as I think about the holidays, I think about helping these people. I can send some money to the Canadian Red Cross. And tell my friends.
But the best thing I can do is to help change the dialogue in this country that allows us all to sleep soundly at night as hundreds of thousands of families in our country live in varying degrees of abject poverty, all preventable in a rich nation like Canada.
This post started out as one of flabbergast at how police tried to disperse protesters with motorcycle exhaust at Science World in Vancouver on Friday when the prime minister showed up for his photo op with the premier. Gassing protesters seemed unbelievable until I saw the picture [film at 11].
But in a country where we can justify or explain that tactic away, Attawapiskat came into clarity for me.
Certain people are disposable. Protesters, first peoples, anyone who makes us uncomfortable. If there are mass Occupy Christmas actions that “threaten” the brinkmanship inherent in capitalism’s suicidal retail model, those funky guerilla theatre protesters dressed as elves or whatever will become non-persons to mainstream Canadians who are continually molded by corporate media.
Perhaps we only have binary switches: people are like us because we are told we can relate to them, but if they are “other”, we can ignore them, like the hundreds of thousands of Canadian children still living in poverty today, 20 years after the House of Commons unanimously pledged to end child poverty 11 years ago.
So if you are still agnostic on the Occupy movement, it seems pretty easy to get behind fixing the systemic problems in our first nations communities. They need help. They need resources. They need the rest of Canada to start thinking about dignity and screaming at our politicians, embarrassing them if need be to realize that it’s not just about handouts and auditors, but about community, inclusion, healing, justice, respect, cordial international relations, and an authentic willingness to fix a problem that is centuries old. And let’s face it, largely/completely our [non-first peoples’] fault.
This is a solution we can all be a part of…because we all are actually a part of the solution. The politicians work for us. We constantly forget that because they constantly behave as if they don’t. We’re in charge of them. Make them get moving on starting a national healing. As long as we let them sleep at night while others live in Home Depot lawn sheds, we’re not getting the job done.
> Troll Canada: Elect the conservative bloodist party.
Screw these guys, you’re going home.
Tories kill access to information database - Canada - CBC News
here we go.
I wish I was surprised in any way.
I knew the next few years were going to be bad, but I didn’t think it was going to get this bad this fast. I am legitimately scared for our future now.