It's no secret that the media love to sensationalize violence and conflict, but this is particularly dangerous for marginalized communities like First Nations.
"‘If it bleeds it leads' isn't new, and it's not unique to Aboriginal issues," says Duncan McCue, an Anishinaabe reporter who covers Aboriginal affairs for CBC's The National.
"The problem, though, is when it's focused on a racial group you end up with the concern that Indians are being painted as problem people."
The people of Hobbema, Alberta, are well use to this attitude.
If you can cut through the racism, ignorance, and half-baked opinions of pundits, politicians and sound-bite media, most folks will realize that Attawapiskat and many other First Nations have been labouring under the repression of colonialism far too long.
The antidote for poverty is self-determination and no one can give you that. You have to stand up and take action yourself to make it happen. Colonialism does not give way on its own; it must be defeated through vigorous and enlightened opposition.
Related rabble.ca story:
Canada is celebrated for its contributions to human rights: a beacon of hope for immigrants, a safe haven for refugees, a country of high quality of life. Yet when it comes to the experiences of First Nations, Inuit and Métis communities, we are hard pressed to deal with a blind spot that has been with us throughout our history.
Canada was a leading force in the 1948 UN Declaration on Human Rights, but denied status Indians the right to vote in federal elections until 1960. Today, Canada is in the top 10 countries on the UN Human Development Index, but First Nations communities ranked 68th, reflecting structural inequities in access to education, housing and clean water.