Attawapiskat Nightmare 3

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Catchfire Catchfire's picture
Attawapiskat Nightmare 3

Continued from here

This piece showed up in the Guardian yesterday, co-authored by a colleague of mine:

 

Canada's First Nations: a scandal where the victims are blamed

Quote:
The federal government's response to the crisis has been a combination of arrogance and bullying. The prime minister, Stephen Harper, stood up in parliament to argue that widespread corruption on the part of band leaders was to blame, stating: "This government has spent some $90m since coming to office just on Attawapiskat. That's over $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the community. Obviously we're not very happy that the results do not seem to have been achieved for that."

As the author of the apihtawikosisan blog points out, this figure not only conflates the amounts allocated for education, maintenance, healthcare and social services but ignores the cost difficulties brought about by Attawapiskat's remote location and the fact it is over a number of years. Full government-sponsored audits since 2005 are available on theofficial Attawapiskat website.

Then Harper placed Attawapiskat in third-party management. Last Monday, when the controller arrived, he was promptly asked to leave by the community – and did. Now, the aboriginal affairs minister, John Duncan, has given Attawapiskat two choices: either hand over control of their affairs directly to the federal government (at a cost of $180,000 to the community), or evacuate the needy families. As chief Theresa Spence states in a press release: "It is incredible that the Harper government's decision is that instead of offering aid and assistance to Canada's First Peoples, their solution is to blame the victim, and that the community is guilty, and deserving of their fate."

Between Durban COP17 and this, what a disgraced nation Canada is nowadays on the world stage.

 

Issues Pages: 
Regions: 
Slumberjack

From the last news link previous thread; it's surprising the media has taken this long to put form to divisions within the community.  It operates the same as division within other nations, which correspondingly assists in smoothing the way forward when the necessary decisions are taken.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Yeah, no kidding SJ (link to CBC story: Some Attawapiskat residents at odds with chief). I guess their journalistic penance was longer than usual this time 'round. This is the excuse that counts for journalism in this country: randomly interview Attawapiskat residents who support Harper's plan in order to undermine the nation's autonomy and sow divisions within. If only they had done the same when our Prime Minister was elected by 28% of the population.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Fidel

Steve Harper wrote:
"This government has spent some $90m since coming to office just on Attawapiskat. That's over $50,000 for every man, woman and child in the community.

No, that's below $50K per person over five years. It says here that the pop'n of Attawapiskat was 1,929 in 2010. So if no children have been born since 2010, and Steve's claim of $90M spent since 2006 is true, that would be:

$90M/5years = $18M/year

$18M/1929 = $9,331.26 per person per year

That's poverty no matter where you live in Canada. They don't need Jacques Marion - they need sweet Jesus performing the loaves and fish party trick. And some wine wouldn't be a bad idea to help them forget what a shitty situation they are in while under siege from the feds. I think the Harpers must have graduated in the bottom half of their class at http://ReformatoriesOut2LunchCollege.com college for Reform Party retreads and right wingers alike. 

NDPP

Attawapiskat Resident Reveals History of Abuse (and vid)

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20111213/attawapiskat-resident-reve...

"Jocelyn lahtail, a former resident of Attawapiskat, is now coming forward with personal recollections of abuse. 'The most frightening part is people know,' lahtail told CTV's Daniele Hammadijian. She says the abusers were people that she trusted including relatives of some council members..."

more aspects of Canada's genocide

RevolutionPlease RevolutionPlease's picture

NDPP wrote:

Attawapiskat Resident Reveals History of Abuse (and vid)

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20111213/attawapiskat-resident-reve...

"Jocelyn lahtail, a former resident of Attawapiskat, is now coming forward with personal recollections of abuse. 'The most frightening part is people know,' lahtail told CTV's Daniele Hammadijian. She says the abusers were people that she trusted including relatives of some council members..."

more aspects of Canada's genocide

It's unfortunate these stories only come to the light of day when there's a need to disparage First Nations.

Where, may I ask, are they running the stories lately, of victims of residential schools and Canada's genocide?

Are we becoming a National Enquirer nation?

Sound bytes and diversions.

Fucking care for people and fix this fucking mess. Of course it's going to cost more money to uphold our part of the bargain in the North.

Really?

Really?

People are more concerned with $50/year tax cuts than dealing with our fellow Canadians?

Fuck you Stephen Harper and your mealy mouthed disparaging of our fine First Nations.

It seems so easy to see through the facade but for some reason, others around me buy into it.

Woe is me.

Onward.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Lorraine Land wrote:

Should Toronto be put under third party management? That community has been running a deficit for years, and the combined total of all government spending (federal, provincial and municipal) is $24,000 a year for each Torontonian.

Attawapiskat, on the other hand, which is only funded by one level of government — federal – received $17.6 million in this fiscal year, for all of the programs and infrastructure for its 1,550 residents. That works out to about $11,355 per capita in Attawapiskat.

People often forget, when talking about costs of delivering programs and services to First Nations, that almost all those costs are paid from one pot: Aboriginal Affairs. By contrast, non-Aboriginal Canadians receive services from at least three levels of government.

Here are the total expenditures per capita per level of government for Toronto residents:

[url=http://www.oktlaw.com/blog/taking-a-second-look-at-those-attawapiskat-nu... on...[/url]

Slumberjack

Where are the photos of Nycole Turmel with homeless people in Toronto, who for lack of other viable options, have to take up residence on the city's sidewalk grates.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

You know what would solve this whole "crisis"? Private property.

Quote:
In the pre-budget report tabled on Wednesday, the committee calls for the federal government “to examine the concept of a First Nations Property Ownership Act as proposed by the First Nations Tax Commission.”

“I think it’s fantastic,” said Manny Jules, the head of the commission, who has been advocating the idea for years. Mr. Jules wrote the forward for a book on the topic last year, called Beyond the Indian Act: Restoring Aboriginal Property Rights, that was co-authored by University of Calgary political science professor Tom Flanagan.

Mr. Flanagan is a former campaign manager and adviser to Mr. Harper. He had previously written a book called First Nations? Second Thoughts, that attracted controversy by challenging many of the accepted positions of native leaders.

Mr. Jules and Mr. Flanagan argue that, while not a panacea, having access to private property would lead to major improvements in the lives of many native Canadians. They also recommend that the legislation be optional rather than mandatory. Mr. Jules says there are about 10 communities out of the more than 600 first nation reserves in Canada that are ready to move in this direction, while others are expressing interest.

Mr. Jules said that in light of the current focus on aboriginal issues triggered by the attention on the living conditions in Attawapiskat, he’s hopeful that now is a good time to push for change.

NDPP

Manny and Flanagan are a perfect team...

"Our object is to continue until there is not a single Indian that has not been absorbed into the body-politic of Canada and there is no more 'Indian Question'. That is the whole purpose of our legislation.."

Indian Affairs Canada 1920

the object continues,,,

 

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

An excellent and lengthy article on the Fee Simple Land Proposal being promoted by Harper and the First Nations Tax Commission. An excerpt:

 

Quote:
...a growing group of Indigenous people and chiefs have been speaking out against the Jules/Flanagan proposal, arguing that fee simple property ownership will leave collective Indigenous title and rights and reserve lands—which are affirmed in section 35 of the Constitution Act, 1982—vulnerable to encroachment by developers, corporate interests, and federal and provincial control. Chingee has been open in his rejection of the fee simple proposal, as has Arthur Manuel, spokesperson for the Indigenous Network on Economies and Trade.

De Soto, president of the Institute for Liberty and Democracy (ILD), is notorious for advocating fee simple property ownership and market-led agrarian reform among Latin America’s campesinos. His ideas are promoted by international financial institutions like the World Bank, as well as the US international development organization USAID, which uses his theory to back their own market-driven development projects throughout Latin America.

He’s also been assailed with criticism from popular and grassroots organizations such as Via Campesina—a global peasant movement—which maintains that the ramifications of de Soto’s economic agenda are the global phenomena of dispossession of Indigenous people and intensified economic stratification.

Like de Soto’s proposal for Latin America, which aims to convert latent or “dead” assets into market capital, Jules and Flanagan aim to transform collective rights into individual titles, which can be openly traded on the market. In Canada, collective land title is understood to be the inherent right of Indigenous peoples.

In a letter against the fee simple proposal published in the First Nations Strategic Bulletin, Manuel asserts the power and protection of collective title. “No single individual can give up or extinguish our Aboriginal title and Indigenous rights. It would be suicide or extinguishment for our future generations to accept fee simple in exchange for our collective title,” he wrote.

Chingee’s response to the proposal warns of the damaging impact of privatizing reserve land. “The change would undermine signed treaties across Canada, undermine our political autonomy, restrict our creativity and innovation and place us in a dangerous position where any short-term financial difficulty may result in the wholesale liquidation of our reserve lands, or the creation of a patchwork quilt of reserve lands, like Oka,” he wrote...

[url=http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/3715]World Bank Darling Promotes Privatization of Reserves[/url]

Fidel

Catchfire wrote:

You know what would solve this whole "crisis"? Private property.

So predictable. They need some new blood on the right. Let's hope FNs don't fall for it like Labour voters did in Maggie's England, and there in the U.S. with false promises of McMansions for everyone and trains that run on time. They are fascinated with trains running on time and allowing banks to thieve your private property after banksters put the kibosh to the economy.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Catchfire wrote:

You know what would solve this whole "crisis"? Private property.

..i believe that this is the master plan. atleo came in on an open for business platform though i don't think he will be able to pull it off in this current political  enviroment. people are very angry.

NDPP

More Victims Tell of Sexual Abuse on Reserves

http://www.ctv.ca/CTVNews/TopStories/20111214/attawapiskat-abuse-grandst...

"A day after two women spoke out on suffering sexual abuse on a troubled northern Ontario reserve, more victims are coming forward to say the problem is prevalent across the country..."

http://www.thepeoplespaths.net/articles/bschools.htm

"Chief Ed Metawabun, electric shocked at age six 'to entertain visiting dignitaries at the St. Anne's Catholic Residential School..."

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

An excellent read:

 

[url=http://michaelskinnerresearch.wordpress.com/2011/12/12/canadian-miners-m...

Canadian Miners Make the Big Move into Afghanistan: And We Wonder Why “They” Resist from Afghanistan to Attawapiskat.[/url]

 

Quote:
...

The people of the Attawapiskat First Nation tried to negotiate fair compensation with DeBeers for years. The process divided the community between those who wanted to protect their ancestral land in its natural state, and those who hoped to benefit from exploiting their resources either by getting good jobs at the mine or by starting businesses to service the mine.

In the end, DeBeers was the big winner. The people of Attawapiskat lost at least as much as they gained in the Impact Benefit Agreement (IBA) they signed with DeBeers, in 2005.

The diamonds mined on Attawapiskat land, since 2008, may not be “blood diamonds”, but there is no such thing as “clean diamonds”. Diamond mining may be marginally cleaner than some types of mining, but every mine affects the environment.

In addition to environmental concerns, the social and economic impact on the people of Attawapiskat has not proven positive. Only a fraction of the promised jobs ever materialised and the mining company does little business with the community of Attawapiskat.

Gaining a diamond mine in their backyard certainly didn’t help many of the people of Attawapiskat; most are worse off today....

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Is there a 'boycott DeBeers' movement yet?

(not that I would ever be in the market for a diamond)

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Yes there is. Join us.

We also boycott Lamborghinis, Predator drones, and Beluga caviar. It's a very pro-environment, anti-war, pro-biodiversity, and pro-native rights movement.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Sounds good to me. I've been boycotting Ferraris and Porsches for decades. Smile

Tommy_Paine

A boycott of Canadian diamonds isn't where to strike.  The idea would be to sully the brand by bringing attention to what is going on. 

But not so fast:  You don't want to sully the brand so much that, down the road, the native populations can't realize benefits from the diamonds.

The best approach, in my mind, is to have a quiet campaign to threaten such an act.  Not that I'd take following through off the table, but I think caution is needed here.

Anyway, I found this map yesterday.  A lot of these stories and issues arise and no one gives much of a sense of place or physical position.  This map doesn't have place names but I am sure we all know where Attawapiskat is on the map by now.

 

 

 

 

 

http://mapper.infomine.com/maps/mapper/default.aspx?SESSION=df61b532-285...

If that comes up blank, go to the home page and click on Ontario.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Does the community of Attawapiskat even want the diamond mine on their land? Or was it pushed onto them? Anyone know?

Tommy_Paine

That's a good question, Boom Boom, and I will try to find an answer to that. In the mean time, I came across this article today.

http://www.vancouversun.com/business/Northern+reserves+have+been+separat...

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

In the mining article I linked to (#15), it suggests that the community was divided during the negotiations but I imagine a vote took place on the De Beers Impact Benefit Agreement. The link takes you to a PDF file of the Agreement that probably mentions whether it was ratified by vote.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Okay, thanks, will have a look.

milo204

it also appears the government/IA is holding the first nation hostage by forcing them to agree to third party mgmt in order to get ANY help in the form of repairs, trailers and other short term measures...

 

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/12/16/attawapiskat-duncan-lette...

 

i'm happy though that some people are beginning to compare the percapita expenditures that everyone is freaking out about on reserve to the much higher per capita spending in major cities.  Still like to see some comparison of similar sized rural town etc in canada...

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I'm not sure what the annual operating budget is for the Rural Municipality of St. Laurent (approx. pop of 1,500) but the list of amenities and services are pretty impressive:

 

http://www.rmofstlaurent.ca/english_home.php

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Excellent. I'd be surprised if you get a reply, but who knows.

 

Arthur Cramer Arthur Cramer's picture

Michael:

I sent your email as requested in my name, and emailed it to eveyone else that I know asking they do the same and send it to their friends asking they do similarly.

Ippurigakko

Stephen's quote ""We also have no history of colonialism. So we have all of the things that many people admire about the great powers but none of the things that threaten or bother them."

 

this is make me very angry! He have no right and not education in Native american history.....

superbrad

Just a thought here...

Average amount per Torontonian = $24000

Average amount each Canadian pays in income tax both federal and provincial = $8000

Average amount each Canadian pays in HST = $1520

(This not to mention that wages per capita are higher in TO than in most places therefore tax paid is actually higher than CDN avg) 

$24000 - 8000 = $16000 - 1520 = $14480

 

Average amount per capita for Attiwapuskat = $11355 - taxes paid by Attiwapuskat natives..... still $11355....

$14480 - $11355 = $3125

Now, let's look at the average torontonian standard of living vs. that in Attiwapuskat...... hmmmmm are we all to believe that $3125.00 makes that big of a difference?

Unionist

You're so right, superbrad. Please forward your excess $3,125.00 to rabble.ca in the spirit of the holiday season. You'll see that it can make a difference!

 

superbrad

Sorry.... my $3125 and then some is slated towards my municipal property taxes.... Wink

Fidel

‘Stop playing Pinocchio' on Attawapiskat, NDP tells John Duncan

 

Attawapiskat's ‘dire' conditions are deeply concerning: UN human rights official

Quote:
"The social and economic situation of the Attawapiskat seems to represent the condition of many First Nation communities living on reserves throughout Canada, which is allegedly akin to third world conditions," Anaya wrote. "Yet, this situation is not representative of non-Aboriginal communities in Canada, a country with overall human rights indicators scoring among the top of all countries of the world."

Pointing his finger at the federal government, Anaya noted that aboriginals in Canada face higher rates of poverty and poorer health, education and employment rates compared to their non-aboriginal counterparts.

UN chides our corrupt stooges again for perpetrating Canadian-style apartheid.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
NDPP

Iran Summons Canadian Envoy

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/219134.html

"Iran has summoned the Canadian charge d'affaires over the increasingly concerning situation of the aboriginal citizens in the North American country. The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned Dennis Horak on Tuesday to convey Tehran's concern over the violation of the rights of the Canadian aboriginal peoples, which has also drawn criticism from international human rights organiztions..."

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Unionist

[url=http://www.documentcloud.org/documents/282370-chief-spence-reply-to-mini... of Chief Theresa Spence's Jan. 5 letter to John Duncan[/url]

 

Ripple

Thanks for the link, Unionist.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Romeo Saganash writes on Facebook:

I am honoured to speak at the Toronto benefit for Attawapiskat on Thursday, January 19. Thanks to Rich Hunter for organizing this event. Working in the original spirit of partnership, First Nations can move forward. There are solutions. For now, let's hold each other up.

ATTAWAPISKAT BENEFIT CONCERT ‎19 January at 20:00 at Revival Bar

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

Attawapiskat seeks injunction against third-party manager

The Attawapiskat First Nation has filed a request for an injunction removing the third-party manager imposed by Prime Minister Stephen Harper, while Chief Theresa Spence has also signed an affidavit comparing the impact of the third-party manager to her experience in residential school.

The documents were published on the website of the Attawapiskat First Nation on January 26. In the motion for an interlocutory injunction.....

http://thetyee.ca/Blogs/TheHook/Rights-Justice/2012/01/28/Attawapiskar_s...

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..thread drift
13 people, 3 bedrooms and jugs filled with water from hole in lake ice
video

APTN National News
It’s a community living in poverty despite having rich neighbours.

The reserve sits in the middle of half a dozen profitable mining operations.

In her final instalment of living conditions in northern Ontario, APTN National News reporter Tiar Wilson takes us to Mishkeegogamang Ojibway Nation where most houses have eight or more people living in them.

end drift..

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Holy sh*t! That's awful. Those mining companies should be occupied on site until suitable compensation is made for use of aboriginal land.

Fidel

That's sad. It's third world Canada many Canadians never see. And for our corrupt stooges in Ottawa it's out of sight and out of mind.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

And Harper plans to make it worse by gutting the provisions for environmental assessments and review, as well as introducing private property provisions for individual FN Members. This will erode their constitutional rights to have developers negotiate with their communities for fair compensation if not benefit sharing agreements. Not that the private sector has been great at it but at least FNs had court recourse to correct wrongs. Crown corporations like Manitoba Hydro and Hydro Quebec have doen better on the benefits sharing front in recent years. But with Harper at the helm, he is going to dilute all best practice standards and return us to the state of affairs in the first half of the last century where resource developers could just confiscate land and destroy ecosystems at will.

Unionist

Bad news and good news from Federal Court:

[url=http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/02/03/third-party-manager-ordered-to-rele... news:[/url]

Quote:
Attawapiskat will have to wait until spring to challenge the Harper government over imposition of a third-party manager to handle the community’s finances.

The Federal Court has dismissed Attawapiskat’s attempt to immediately overturn the Harper government’s decision to impose a third-party manager on the community.

Justice Michael Phelan said the case against the third-party manager would be heard on April 24.

Phelan, however, also ruled that the third-party manager must release funds for the transportation and installing of 22 modular homes bought by the federal Aboriginal Affairs department in response to the housing crisis in the community.

 

Fidel

[url=First">http://charlieangus.ndp.ca/post/first-nation-infrastructure-needs-must-b... Nations Infrastructure Needs Must Be Addressed[/url] says Charlie Angus, NDP MP for Timmins-James Bay

Quote:
"Far too many aboriginal communities lack good roads, safe drinking water, a reliable source of electricity or heat, housing, schools or meeting facilities," said New Democrat Aboriginal Affairs Critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona). "This is a problem that stretches beyond Attawapiskat but also includes James Bay communities such as Fort Albany and Kashechewan."

For Charlie Angus the problem is Conservative Government's history of neglect for these first nations communities.

"Despite the fact all three of these communities declared a state of emergency and this government has done little to address their critical needs," said Angus. "Attawapiskat didn't just happen overnight and isn't the only communities facing these problems. I think it would be wise for the Aboriginal Affairs Committee to take a good look at the full range of problems facing these communities," said Angus.

NDP MP says Harper's Third Party Colonial Administrator blocking federal funds for Attawapiskat

Quote:
NDP MP Charlie Angus, whose riding includes Attawapiskat, said in a telephone interview with CBC News that the money needed to get the construction work underway is being "choked off" by the third-party manager.

According to Angus, a technical team and service crews have been on the ground for over three weeks but the government has "handcuffed' the council by "refusing to put up any of the funds."

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

This morning on CBC MP John Duncan said Angus is making stuff up, that the funds have not been held back as Angus alleges. I guess there's a bit of back-and-forth going on here. I take Angus' side in this, because Duncan is a prick.

Fidel

It's either that or Angus is making sure that they don't stall any longer. These Harpers have required pushing and prodding every step of the way thus far.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yes, that sounds about right.

Unionist

Quote:
"Far too many aboriginal communities lack good roads, safe drinking water, a reliable source of electricity or heat, housing, schools or meeting facilities," said New Democrat Aboriginal Affairs Critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona). "This is a problem that stretches beyond Attawapiskat but also includes James Bay communities such as Fort Albany and Kashechewan."

Surely the answer here is to send in the military. Don't they have a decade of valuable hands-on experience doing all the things Duncan mentioned - in Afghanistan? Remember the Provincial Reconstruction Teams?

Why isn't the NDP calling on Harper to send in the military??

 

Fidel

Unionist wrote:

Quote:
"Far too many aboriginal communities lack good roads, safe drinking water, a reliable source of electricity or heat, housing, schools or meeting facilities," said New Democrat Aboriginal Affairs Critic Linda Duncan (Edmonton-Strathcona). "This is a problem that stretches beyond Attawapiskat but also includes James Bay communities such as Fort Albany and Kashechewan."

Surely the answer here is to send in the military. Don't they have a decade of valuable hands-on experience doing all the things Duncan mentioned - in Afghanistan? Remember the Provincial Reconstruction Teams?

Why isn't the NDP calling on Harper to send in the military??

 

What civilian agency exists (aside from none that we know of) that could do the necessary work in a reasonable amount of time? There are more Attawapiskats in Ontario alone. And they will still be there living in abject poverty after Harper and his stoogeaucrats in Ottawa are done.

The military did a fine job of helping out in Eastern Ontario and Quebec during the ice storm of 1998. By all means bring in the military, because Harper would never dream of taking charge of the situation himself. The army guys are fully capable and would not hesitate as the Harpers have done.  

 For many of us just reading the words "The Harper Government of Canada" is the most absurd oxymoron. He's not my PM. I didn't vote for him, and neither did 60% of those who bothered voting.

Attawapiskat et al is Harper's Katrina moment, and he's flunking.

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