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Crown / First Nations Summit

Boom Boom
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Boom Boom
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Link

excerpt: (summit is January 24)

Grand Chief Derek Nepinak, head of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, said Third-World conditions in native communities are a symptom of the unequal relationship between aboriginals and the Crown. Harper must take immediate action following the summit or frustrated young people will start taking matters into their own hands, he warned.

"Our young people are fed up with the way things are," Nepinak said. "We've made several attempts to deal with this through diplomatic means and political means, but we're reaching a point where the winds have shifted.

"People are frustrated. If diplomacy fails, we can't speak for what happens beyond that."

Harper announced the long-awaited summit last month when a housing crisis in the Cree community of Attawapiskat became high profile. First Nations chiefs had been asking for such a meeting since the summer of 2010. Harper called it a "historic" opportunity to discuss the challenges and opportunities facing aboriginal people.

The summit is only for one day and Nepinak said First Nations are tired of being trotted out for photo opportunities. They want to see some real change.

"It's a small window of opportunity. We're going to do our best to kick that window in."

Grand Chief Stan Beardy, who represents dozens of northern Ontario First Nations, said the treaties signed by his ancestors promised to share the land and its resources, yet his people live in poverty while governments make millions off the north's natural resources.

Beardy said he has managed to convince some people to give diplomacy a chance, but that hasn't paid off so far.


Boom Boom
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Land claims, education, economic development on Jan. 24 meeting agenda

According to a preliminary agenda released by the AFN, three concurrent sessions will be held during which First Nations delegations can address members of the cabinet and government officials on the following topics:

  • Strengthening the Relationship and Enabling Opportunities (treaties, rights, governance, jurisdiction, title, etc.).
  • Unlocking the Potential of First Nation Economies (economic development, partnerships, land issues).
  • Realizing the Promise of First Nations Peoples (education, health, safe and secure communities, etc.).

Ghislain Picard, the Assembly of First Nations regional chief for Quebec and Labrador, says it is not yet clear whether regional chiefs will have a chance to present their issues directly to the prime minister or his cabinet ministers at the Jan. 24 meeting.

The issues on the agenda are huge, and it is still unclear how exactly the discussions will proceed, how many regional chiefs will be able to make presentations, which of them will be able to address the prime minister directly, which cabinet members will be in attendance or even how long the prime minister will actually be at the meeting.


laine lowe
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I heard a soundbite from PMSH more or less saying not to expect much from this summit. He treats everything as a foregone conclusion. He is the antithesis of a negotiator.


Boom Boom
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I wonder how much of the summit - if any - will be televised?

Shawn Atleo was on CTV's QP today but I'd have to watch it again at 5 pm to report accurately - he was asked about the Northern Gateway pipeline, and his response* caught me off guard a bit. Maybe someone else can comment if they watched QP today?

1/3 of the Harper cabinet will be there for the whole day, and Harper will be there only half the day, if that much.

 

*I'm not entirely positive of this, but it seemed to me that on QP Atleo has brought into the government's claim that a good chunk of  the Fed's $600billion from tar sands (of $3trillion total sales) over the life of the project (50 - 100 years) will be used for First Nations employment, education, and housing. I need confirmation from others that I heard this correctly.

 

ETA: Just watched QP a second time - he said $400billion, not $600billion. And he raised a figure of $115billion - not sure what that was in reference to.


Boom Boom
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The GG will be present, to represent the Crown.


Boom Boom
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First Nations economies need 'urgent' action, Atleo says

 

First Nations to raise 'bread and butter issues' with Crown

 

Mishkeegogamang Chief Connie Gray-McKay said she only wants one thing out of the chiefs' meeting with Stephen Harper this week - for basic human rights to be met on First Nations reserves.

and:

 

Historic First Nations summit may not yield concrete outcomes

 

excerpt:

The government has shown no inclination to earmark the billions of dollars First Nations say is needed for immediate crises. Chiefs will be watching the next federal budget closely to see how serious Harper really is.


Catchfire
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Robert Lovelace: A most important gathering: Determining the future for us all

Quote:
Only a cursory analysis of the Harper Plan shows that it is doomed to further debilitate all Canadians and particularly Aboriginal young people. The "New Aboriginal Education Plan" rests on inviting Aboriginal people into an education system that has neither the capacity nor willingness to understand where these students are coming from or which values of their cultures and homelands they may want to keep.

The potential for history to repeat itself is obvious. Indeed, the prospect of Aboriginal youth migrating from reserve dependency to take up residency in the dwindling Canadian middle-class is horrific. Just spend a few days and nights in the real north end of Winnipeg. The hope that the youngest population in Canada is going to succeed in an economy increasingly dependent on the export of primary resources and progressively less capable of supporting social equity in wages, health care, education and social services has to be wishful thinking at best. As sure as the security of lottery tickets, people on Federal Indian reserves will be offered the chance to convert their ancestral titles to private property. The Reform Parties' proposals will be staged so as not to confuse twisting the arm with breaking it. The only thing in the Harper Plan that makes any sense is the expansion of prisons and fortification of the criminal justice system. He's going to need it.

The real potential for the gathering on January 24 is to challenge the preconceived notions of our shared relationship. Aboriginal people and settler Canadians have come to depend on policies that were established in the 18th and 19th centuries during times when Indigenous economies were most threatened and colonial corporations wielded the military power of imperial nations. This dependence on a transitory and unjust reality has even led the Supreme Court of Canada to declare (against all moral rationality) that the Indigenous Nations are inferior. No matter what the courts say, in practice you cannot have equitable relations when one party can only consult and the other party has license to dominate.

A relationship built upon such a context is doomed to failure. Failure will ensure the continuation of at least cold violence and most certainly will lead to the moral decay of both societies. The colonial government of Canada cannot just apologize. Great leaders must take up the cause and work of de-institutionalizing colonial policy and practice and give equal recognition and authority to those upon whose homelands Canada was founded. Anything less will be movement in the wrong direction.

 


Boom Boom
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Remember how Harper and Flaherty dealt with the provinces on health care by giving them a deal and saying in effect "take it or leave it"? I wonder if that will be Harper's tactic tomorrow.


Boom Boom
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Conservative FN senator Patrick Brazeau was just on P&P praising the Harper government for their handling of First Nations issues - and was roundly criticized by the other two  FN panelists who were pretty outraged at his comment. Evan Solomon joined in because he looked as if he couldn't believe his ears. Brazeau went on to say the best thing Harper could do for FN is scrap the Indian Act entirely. Brazeau - if I remember correctly - co-authored a book with Tom Flanagan on scrapping the Indian Act - but also giving First Nations full property rights. Which is interesting because 'property rights' are not a part of our Charter or Constitution. Brazeau is pretty right wing, probably the only FN person I've ever seen sing the praises of Harper. I think we had a conversation on this in the 'Property Rights' thread.


Unionist
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Boom Boom, much as I hate to quote myself, here is what I said about this asshole Brazeau three years ago:

Quote:

Patrick Brazeau is an ambitious pal of Harper and his policies. He attacks mainstream Aboriginal organizations. He calls for federal funding of Aboriginals to be frozen until "accountability" can be established - just like any neo-con would do. He condemns the Kelowna Accord because it was going to hand out money without "accountability". He likes Harper's approach better. When the "coalition" was formed this month, he asked so-called "rhetorical" questions, such as:

"Does the formation of a coalition government take away from one's right to vote?"

"Does the fact that the Bloc Quebecois (a separatist party) would hold the balance of power ridicule our parliamentary system and democracy?"

He wants Harper to pass legislation on "accountability", and wants funding to bypass the chiefs and go to the "grassroots" people.

If he didn't self-identify as Aboriginal, he would be condemned as a typical neo-con splitter of Aboriginal peoples and ally of the worst elements in the Harper ranks.

Of course, he was appointed "Senator" for his treason to indigenous people. Hope he chokes on his salary.

ETA: There's lots more about that crooked character in the thread from 2008-9.

 


NDPP
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Harper's Indian Meet-and-Greet  - by Dan David

http://www.mediacoop.ca/story/harpers-indian-meet-and-greet/9686

"One thing is certain though. The abuse will continue. Indians don't matter. That's it. That's all..."


Boom Boom
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Wow. Thanks for the reminder, U. I'll have to go and read through that thread.


laine lowe
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Brazeau is a self serving traitor.

As for Harper, I'm sure he's going to break arms as Robert Lovelace predicts. Shawn Atleo is nowhere near as forthright as Mathew Coom Come unfortunately.


Boom Boom
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Atleo-bureaucrat summit: How bad does it have to get?

 

excerpt:

 

This First Nation-Crown Summit has now been reduced to an Atleo-bureaucrat summit where most of the time will be taken in fluffy, empty speeches to make Harper look good, some gift-giving and ceremony and then Harper leaves before anyone has a chance to talk about the hard issues. If Atleo would stand for this on behalf of all the Chiefs, this makes me wonder -- how bad does it have to get? What would it take for Atleo to say enough?

His lack of action and bizarre defence of Harper makes me wonder if Atleo is the new Brazeau? No progress has been made, yet Atleo is always defending the Conservatives. That may have got Brazeau a Senate seat, but it didn't improve the lives of First Nations people.

I guess I'll get my answer when Atleo responds to this latest development. If he defends Harper's no-show at the upcoming meeting -- I guess there is nothing more I can say about it. We'll see on the news tonight or tomorrow if he stands up for us or supports Harper.


M. Spector
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Good column at rabble.ca:

[oops. Boom Boom beat me to it!]


sknguy II
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Boom Boom wrote:

...Evan Solomon joined in because he looked as if he couldn't believe his ears. Brazeau went on to say the best thing Harper could do for FN is scrap the Indian Act entirely. Brazeau - if I remember correctly - co-authored a book with Tom Flanagan on scrapping the Indian Act - but also giving First Nations full property rights...

I don't know Brazeau, but I've watched some of Solomon's shows and I cringe when Flanigan is given his soap box appearance on it. Now there's a man with a poisinous attitude towards Indigneous cultures. To the right audience he could be very compeling in his dismisal of us.

Quote:

...His lack of action and bizarre defence of Harper makes me wonder if Atleo is the new Brazeau?...

I'd have to agree with Ms Palmater's uncertainty. Atleo had been on a bit of a Chambers of Commerce tour and at one particullar meeting, in I believe Toronto, he announced that First Nations communities were "open for business". I was disappointed hearing this said, not only because I see such a pronouncement as the purview of individual communities, but it places our hands in a system that has sustained and caused much of our problems. I don't know what to hope for from this gathering. Harper isn't someone Indigenous people can count on. Arrgh... I hate to be that negative for something that should be hopeful.


writer
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Unionist
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A full-dress RCMP corporal "performing" the "national" anthem. This is a great start.

The G-G looked as if he was watching an anthropology lecture.

The PM looked as if he was watching a kindergarten class at play.

I'm sick already.

 


Boom Boom
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It's on CPAC. #512 on Bell ExpressVu (satellite) here.


writer
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The Crown's gift: a *reproduction* of a painting of the battle of Queenston Heights.


Boom Boom
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Greg Rickford is speaking - he was called a liar last night on P&P because he said there is no disparity in education funding between aboriginal children and non-aboriginal children.


Unionist
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The G-G just hailed the "cooperation" of Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal soldiers in the war of 1812 as being the nation-building moment. Weren't both fighting for colonial Britain against the newly-independent states - or did I miss something?

He was introduced, in glowing terms, by a member of the AFN youth council.

Photo-ops and propaganda for Harper.

 


Boom Boom
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Harper just blamed minority parliaments for standing in his way!


Unionist
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Now the cold-blooded overlord Harper, cynically praising Aboriginal people for being cannon fodder not only in the War of 1812, but in all the wars since - fighting to defend freedom and democracy. Keep dying for the realm, and we'll throw you some crumbs. Maybe.

 


Boom Boom
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This should be interesting - Harper has just promised to replace elements of the Indian Act with modern legislation.


Unionist
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Atleo recalls the "sacred alliance of our native ancestors with the British Crown". Hope I got that right. Actually, maybe not.

 


Unionist
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Atleo honours the military skills of Aboriginal warriors in the War of 1812.

He condemns the legacy of the Indian Act - says it's long past time to change it.

 


Boom Boom
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Yes - Atleo is not holding back - he blames the Indian Act for all the pain First Nations have suffered for so long.


NDPP
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Against the Assembly of First Nations

http://warriorpublications.wordpress.com/2011/02/11/resist-the-assimilat...

"The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) was first established in 1980 in Ottawa. It claims to be the national representative of Indigenous people across Canada, one that fights for our title and rights. In reality, it is a state-funded organization comprised of Indian Act band council chiefs, who act as neo-colonial agents in the interests of governments and corporations..."


Boom Boom
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