Attawapiskat Nightmare

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6079_Smith_W

Boom Boom wrote:

John Duncan was just on CBC saying the co-manager in Attawapiskat is First Nation and has no connection to the government whatsoever.

That may be so. All it means is that the federal government (which is ultimately responsible) would have had plenty of prior warning about the situation there.

This latest reaction of theirs - seizing power while they leave it to others to provide relief - is clearly just a ploy to cast blame at anyone but themselves.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Yes, absolutely. Harper and Duncan are playing the 'blame game' to the hilt.

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

A Plains Cree-speaking Métis woman in Montreal explains the issues in her [url=http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/dealing-with-comments-ab....

Unionist

M. Spector wrote:

A Plains Cree-speaking Métis woman in Montreal explains the issues in her [url=http://apihtawikosisan.wordpress.com/2011/11/30/dealing-with-comments-ab....

Boom Boom already linked there in post #43 - but it definitely deserves being linked to twice or more.

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Kimkimkim, please frequent other sites if you want to post anti-aboriginal slurs. They are not welcome here, and neither are you. We don't waste time with Harper's disgraceful talking points (soundly refuted by the blog posted at #43 and #54) and we don't waste time on diversionary lies. We see a humanitarian crisis like the one in Attawapiskat and we talk about how to solve it. Not about how the people there deserve what they get. Ciao.

 

milo204

or better yet, kim could inform herself about why these issues exist as opposed to simply going somehwere else to spout nonsense claims about this issue revolving around the salaries of band officials.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC reporting that 1) the Opposition has called John Duncan"incompetent", and, 2) that Harper has just finished his meeting with Shawn Atleo, and has called a Crown - Frst Nations summit for January 24, 2012 to discuss long term  solutions.

6079_Smith_W

Boom Boom wrote:

CBC reporting that 1) the Opposition has called John Duncan"incompetent", and, 2) that Harper has just finished his meeting with Shawn Atleo, and has called a Crown - Frst Nations summit for January 24, 2012 to discuss long term  solutions.

A long-term solution like this? 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kelowna_Accord  

More likely a long-term delaying tactic.

 

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..great video
Attawapiskat: When Duncan met Angus on the stairs...

December 1, 2011 2:50 PM

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2011/12/attawapiska...

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

epaulo13 wrote:

..great video
Attawapiskat: When Duncan met Angus on the stairs...

December 1, 2011 2:50 PM

http://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/inside-politics-blog/2011/12/attawapiska...

I came to this thread because I just thought I heard on CBC that Duncan was blaming Angus for not telling him sooner. I was sure that had to be a mistake, this video confirms that it wasn't.

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Oh, and Charlie's hat is cool.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Charlie is my hero, if he was running for leadership, I think he'd win hands down.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

On P&P tonight Manny Jules and Bernd Christmas are calling for 'property rights' for all First Nations in Canada - not sure if they mean the same as is generally the case***. Manny Jules co-wrote Beyond The Indian Act with Tom Flanagan. They're saying that DeBeers (near Attawapiskat) needs to answer to First Nations and not to the provincial and federal governments. They are saying First Nations, with property rights, need to control resources in their territory, to give a firm foundation to contribute to the Canadian and global economies.

***We have had several threads on Property Rights and, correct me if I am wrong, we don't have "property rights" in Canada.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

I can't agree about Charlie's hat, but his work on this issue has been impeccable. And Duncan is a fucking disgrace.

By the way, Âpihtawikosisân's blog about Attawapiskat facts is now up on rabble.ca's front page.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I was just over at rabble.ca - good move!

6079_Smith_W

She was also interviewed on As it Happens tonight. 

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I wonder if this will be the excuse Harper needs to try to bring in 'property rights' in the Charter or Constitution or whatever it's called Undecided?

Fidel

$18 million a year? Sounds like a lot of money to me!

How many people live there, 1800? Even if that money was handed to everyone equally, which it can not nor should be, that would be $18M divided by 1800 people equals $10,000 plus provincial funding for another $2400 each - that's $12.4k each person a year. Wow! That's poverty level even here in a northern city and cost of living surely less than Attawapiskat. I've worked in the North and have observed how the department stores and grocery chains rip them off for everything from inadequate and lightweight winter clothing to overpriced groceries. The one town near a reserve I was at ran out of milk at least once a week.

Back in 1990 or so I worked for a US-based mineral exploration company in Northern Ontario and Manitoba. It cost them $25 bucks a day to house each of us in luxurious insulated tents with one oil stove in each, and groceries that we cooked ourselves. For anyone who knows, that's called a skeleton camp with no extras. There was no camp setup beforehand, like unionzed Longyear diamond drillers demand and receive without any haggling over the matter. We had to dig through six feet of snow to find our stuff from the summer before, and then set everything up ourselves. $25 bucks a day ... 20 years ago! And that was not any kind of environment for family living or community. We were only there temporary. Do the job and get the hell out by spring thaw.

And so I became angrier and angrier watching news repeats of Harper's most forgetable do-nothing colonial administrator of the month, whatsisname, who actually said they need to find out where "[u]ALL[/u] of the money was spent". And the newz reporter Malewski repeated the same, that the government needs to know or find out "...where all of the money was spent." They might as well say something like, We know that what Canadian Governments spend on Attawapiskat is a pittance, and we've seen that they are living in poverty. But we are still absolutely clueless as to why they are living in poverty! It's like go and live there for a month, you fools! I thought the Harpers were stupid bastards before, and this only confirms it for me.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

P&P just showed a document that shows just $4.3million has been allocated to housing in Attawapiskat since 2006. Not a lot of money when it costs $250,000 to build a  house there.

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

..i've been watching APTN news lately. it's got some of the best reporting around. APTN Investigates is especially well done.
Third-party management: “Imposed solutions don’t work”
Attawapiskat isn’t the only First Nation in Canada under third-party management. A total of twelve First Nations are under third-party management, with another 67 under co-management (Attawapiskat’s former status) and 63 under recipient management....

Tommy_Paine

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/story/2011/12/02/f-first-nations-housing.h...

Mike Holmes on Attawapiskat:  "We need to stop building crap. It's as simple as that."

I haven't been watching a lot of T.V. coverage on this, because I can't afford to replace a T.V. I've thrown a shoe through.

But it struck me, exposing myself to a few minutes of Evan Soloman's infomercial on P&P, and a quick peak through my fingers at the CTV equivelant, that for some reason, P.R. company spokesliars suddenly became experts at building construction, Indian Affairs, Northern climate and geology.

I MEAN WHAT THE FUCK IS UP WITH THIS SHIT!!!!!!!!!!!!!?????????????????

I really wish I had paid close attention to who said what about Attawapiskat on P&P this week.  I'd like to lift that Evan Soloman up by his greasy lapels and scream into his face.  Anything.

 

Unionist

epaulo13 wrote:

A total of twelve First Nations are under third-party management, with another 67 under co-management (Attawapiskat’s former status) and 63 under recipient management....

Richard Wagamese was on As It Happens this evening. Very interesting interview. Here's one topic he touched on (my attempt at transcription):

Quote:
Wagamese: My concern is that Mr. Atleo ... refers to 100 other communities in the northern part of Canada that suffer from the same crisis situations as Attawapiskat, [snip]

Q: What's wrong with him alluding to 100 other communities?

A: Nothing - as long as he names them! If they exist, and they're part of this country, then Canadians deserve to know that some of our citizens are living in Third Country [sic] conditions, and suffering abuses. They need to know that.

Q: Why do think that when he's public, and he's talking about the situation being endemic, that he's not willing to go out there and name these communities?

A: One of the biggest issues is that the funding for the Assembly comes right from the government, and I think that the cozy nature of the relationship, in order to maintain economic survival, and the future of the Assembly of First Nations, depends on a certain tendency to not ruffle the tail-feathers of the federal government.

I actually kind of wondered about that when Atleo spoke - why we didn't hear names, see a list - what's the downside? Anyway, the rest of what Wagamese says is quite interesting and in no way apologetic for the government - quite the contrary, he pokes holes into the whole "3rd party management" thing by quoting chapter and verse of the Indian Act saying that the minister already controls, by law and Constitution, all funds and all spending.

The interview is [url=http://www.cbc.ca/asithappens/episode/2011/12/02/the-friday-edition-5/]h..., in Hour 1, about 9 minutes in.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Actually, Solomon has been attacking Duncan and his deputy relentlessly for two weeks now (and, this week, Peter Mackay).

6079_Smith_W

Boom Boom wrote:

Actually, Solomon has been attacking Duncan and his deputy relentlessly for two weeks now (and, this week, Peter Mackay).

His coverage on The House this morning wasn't nearly as bad as I thought it might be. He missed a good opportunity when the assistant minister he interviewed said he didn't want to talk about funding levels, and in the very next interview former minister Chuck Strahl admitted that First Nations were being forced to allocate scarce resources.

And of course they touched on the issue of private ownership, which seems to be playing into Harper's hands, and the fact that much of this country's mineral resources are on FN land - something which cannot be pointed out enough.

 

 

Fidel

6079_Smith_W wrote:
And of course they touched on the issue of private ownership, which seems to be playing into Harper's hands, and the fact that much of this country's mineral resources are on FN land - something which cannot be pointed out enough.
 

As far as I know FNs own about one percent of the land in the province of Ontario. Most of FN land was stolen from them long time ago. Their current land ownership rates are not even proportional with the percentage of FN population. But I don't doubt that what little land they do have is mineral and resource-rich and even inconveniently situated adjacent to significant diamond and other valuable mineral deposits.

zazzo

First Nation people do not conceive of ownership of the land in the same way that Western European peoples do.  First Nation people believe that the land is the source of life for all living beings, the land should be protected, and preserved because the land is there for the children yet unborn.

Western people see land ownership and the protection of the right to own land and property as paramount, and their laws are designed to uphold those rights.

When treaties were signed between these nations, this fundamental difference was not completely understood by both sides. Nevertheless, our people have held to their promise to share the land with the newcomers.  We have also held to the right to continue our livelihoods of hunting and fishing in our traditional territories, which were not limited to the little pieces of land now called reserves. This right to a livelihood on the land means that companies cannot just go in and tear up the land to obtain minerals or trees.  Especially considering the modern methods of mining and forestry, there has been an even greater impact on the land by the resource extraction industries. Indian people have begun to uphold our responsibilities as stewards of the land, by using the Canadian judicial system to protect not only our rights, but the land and waters, and the living beings that depend on these also. The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld our position that these companies cannot just go in and develop, and that there must be proper consultation with the First Nations.

First Nations take their responsibilities to the land seriously.

In the white sense of it, First Nations may only “own” 1% of the land (as Fidel notes), the other 99% is not owned by the white government either, if we are talking about the First Nation perspective.  Land cannot be owned, and should not be owned, just as the air and water should not be owned. The land, air, and waters are there for the benefit of all, and not just including human beings.

Now I know that some of you are going to say, well what about the poverty that is so evident in First Nations, Attawapiskat being the current example. If we were allowed even a small percentage of the resources that have been extracted on our lands, we would not be poor, we would have managed them properly for the benefit of all. We had been doing that for thousands of years before the arrival of the white man. We are not against development as some would say, only we are concerned about how that development proceeds.  And the events now happening around the world only serve to support the rightness and sensibleness, if I can use the term, of how we used the land as indigenous peoples.  So if we were given the opportunity to say how development proceeds, I am sure we would have come up with solutions/decisions/ opportunities that would have benefitted all, and not just  those companies who are now exceedingly rich because they do not care about community.

But that was not allowed, and under the Indian Act, we were not even allowed to make those decisions that other communities take for granted. So now here we are, in the process of regaining those lost skills of self-governance, and our belief in ourselves as nations.

And I would hope that the white, western, European peoples, who have been in charge to this point, to take a good look around at all that you have accomplished, and see if it has resulted in the betterment of the lives of the people and the protection of lands and waters that we depend on and that are held in trust for generations not yet born.

Fidel

Excellent post, zazzo. I agree. 

And we will hear all kinds of arguments for property ownership for FNs in the near future. I think much of it will sound a lot like Peruvian neoliberal economist Hernando de Soto's argument for private property rights for native people in that country. It's all lies - a ruse for separating aboriginal people from the land by legal maneuvering in the end. Much will always have more as a rule.

Maysie Maysie's picture

Thank you thank you thank you for your post zazzo! 

Tommy_Paine

Boom Boom wrote:

Actually, Solomon has been attacking Duncan and his deputy relentlessly for two weeks now (and, this week, Peter Mackay).

It's who Soloman is giving a podium to. The bit I caught had some P.R. company hack saying how her brother built housing for natives, and how it was "trashed" a year or two later. (God, I wish I could remember her name)

I doubt he'll have her back on to face questions about the kind of shoddy work her brother did, and how here stupid comments conducts the racist choir.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Fidel wrote:

Excellent post, zazzo. I agree. 

And we will hear all kinds of arguments for property ownership for FNs in the near future. I think much of it will sound a lot like Peruvian neoliberal economist Hernando de Soto's argument for private property rights for native people in that country. It's all lies - a ruse for separating aboriginal people from the land by legal maneuvering in the end. Much will always have more as a rule.

 

I posted this in the new property rights thread: Harper pushes property rights - September 29, 2011

 

Note John Duncan's name in the article.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

zazzo wrote:

First Nation people do not conceive of ownership of the land in the same way that Western European peoples do.  First Nation people believe that the land is the source of life for all living beings, the land should be protected, and preserved because the land is there for the children yet unborn.

Western people see land ownership and the protection of the right to own land and property as paramount, and their laws are designed to uphold those rights.

When treaties were signed between these nations, this fundamental difference was not completely understood by both sides. Nevertheless, our people have held to their promise to share the land with the newcomers.  We have also held to the right to continue our livelihoods of hunting and fishing in our traditional territories, which were not limited to the little pieces of land now called reserves. This right to a livelihood on the land means that companies cannot just go in and tear up the land to obtain minerals or trees.  Especially considering the modern methods of mining and forestry, there has been an even greater impact on the land by the resource extraction industries. Indian people have begun to uphold our responsibilities as stewards of the land, by using the Canadian judicial system to protect not only our rights, but the land and waters, and the living beings that depend on these also. The Supreme Court of Canada has upheld our position that these companies cannot just go in and develop, and that there must be proper consultation with the First Nations.

First Nations take their responsibilities to the land seriously.

In the white sense of it, First Nations may only “own” 1% of the land (as Fidel notes), the other 99% is not owned by the white government either, if we are talking about the First Nation perspective.  Land cannot be owned, and should not be owned, just as the air and water should not be owned. The land, air, and waters are there for the benefit of all, and not just including human beings.

Now I know that some of you are going to say, well what about the poverty that is so evident in First Nations, Attawapiskat being the current example. If we were allowed even a small percentage of the resources that have been extracted on our lands, we would not be poor, we would have managed them properly for the benefit of all. We had been doing that for thousands of years before the arrival of the white man. We are not against development as some would say, only we are concerned about how that development proceeds.  And the events now happening around the world only serve to support the rightness and sensibleness, if I can use the term, of how we used the land as indigenous peoples.  So if we were given the opportunity to say how development proceeds, I am sure we would have come up with solutions/decisions/ opportunities that would have benefitted all, and not just  those companies who are now exceedingly rich because they do not care about community.

But that was not allowed, and under the Indian Act, we were not even allowed to make those decisions that other communities take for granted. So now here we are, in the process of regaining those lost skills of self-governance, and our belief in ourselves as nations.

And I would hope that the white, western, European peoples, who have been in charge to this point, to take a good look around at all that you have accomplished, and see if it has resulted in the betterment of the lives of the people and the protection of lands and waters that we depend on and that are held in trust for generations not yet born.

 

Beautifully put, zazzo and worthy of reapeating over and over again.

Harper has aligned himself with the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples (CAP) and rewarded their last treacherous leader with a seat in the Senate. Brazeau did not hold dear the goals of the organization's predecessors under the Native Council of Canada. He seems adept at creating division, making him a useful tool for Harper.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Oh, so perfectly put zazzo. Thank you.

It's also worth pointing out that the liberalist, capitalist strategy of dealing with land claims as property--with economic rather than ontological value; with resources that can be rented, purchased or hired rather than shared, honoured and sustained; as divisible, circumscribable, partitionable--has sought, somewhat successfully, to undermine this understanding of land as inextricable from culture, from language, from a way of life.

None of this will change until the land is returned not to the people who own it, but to the people to whom it belongs.

Tommy_Paine

I caught a bit of Mansbridge this evening. Shawn Atleo says that out of about 625 aboriginal communities, about a hundred are in similar circumstances as Attawapiskat.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture
Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I don't remember a Joan Crawford on P&P, and I watch the show almost every day.

Tommy_Paine

Thank you, Pookie. 

I will say more on P&P, now, and have done with it as there are bigger fish to fry on this thread. 

But think about it, for a minute, like this.  We go on about the "1%" and power and all that, but have you ever wondered what those avenues of power-- conduits of power are?  Whether we are talking about an orchestrated removal of the Occupy protestors, or manufacturing consent for a war with brown people, or, well, anything where the public is tricked into serving the interests of the 1% over the 99%-- one of the principle conduits of power are P.R. companies.  People don't hire P.R. companies to tell the truth.  People can do that for themselves for free.  They are hired liars, and they are the scum of the earth.  And Solomon is an eager fasciliator of that conduit.  That's why this poster gets upset.

On to the subject at hand; Romeo Saganash on the crisis:

http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/romeo-saganash/attawapiskat-emergency_b_112...

"The plan is that the reserves will fail and people will have to move away. Those who don't die first.

That plan is what John Duncan is hinting at when he talks about "unviable reserves." They're pressing to close them down and send people into the cities as they tried with Kashechewan. They are introducing legislation to privatize reserve lands so that they can be sold or taken in default of loans. The fact that this will make resources, like the diamonds around Attawapiskat, more readily and cheaply available to developers is pure coincidence, I'm sure."   Italics mine.

So, it seems I was on to something after all. 

It struck me that Canadian diamonds enjoy a marketing advantage because they are not "Blood Diamonds".   This plan obviously puts that marketing advantage at risk.

Particularly if we write to Canadian jewelry companies and point that out, how a negative rebranding of our diamonds would have an unfortunate consequence with their business. 

I trust thier lobbying abilities more than ours.

What think ye?

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I think we have to start protecting First Nations from the Harper Government that, according to Saganash, is going to try to drive them off their lands. That's pretty fucking scary.

 

Tommy_Paine

Well, maybe we shouldn't think about it in partizan terms so much... I do believe these problems stretch back to Liberal administrations and the Liberal government in Ontario is similarly 'asleep at the switch'. 

I think we have to remove the incentive for such a plan, and create incentives for the government to do things right. 

And if diamonds are at the bottom of this, then that's where pressure has to be brought.

 

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

The diamonds may be a part of it, but also First Nations in BC trying to prevent the Northern Gateway tar sands pipeline from going through may be another. I do believe the Harper Government sees First Nations as an obstacle to selling out the country entirely to private business interests.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Oh boy, this is the topic of discussion on "Cross Country Check-up".

pookie

Tommy_Paine wrote:

Boom Boom wrote:

Actually, Solomon has been attacking Duncan and his deputy relentlessly for two weeks now (and, this week, Peter Mackay).

It's who Soloman is giving a podium to. The bit I caught had some P.R. company hack saying how her brother built housing for natives, and how it was "trashed" a year or two later. (God, I wish I could remember her name)

I doubt he'll have her back on to face questions about the kind of shoddy work her brother did, and how here stupid comments conducts the racist choir.

 

Her name is Joan Crockett (not Crawford) and she's a regular, Tommy, on every week.  As I recall she was sort of dancing around the issue and Evan then pressed her to speak plainly.  And, as I recall, John Ivison of all people then said "Sure - houses tend to get damaged when lived in by non-owners.  That's pretty common with everyone - not just native persons."

ETA: Mixed up the name.

toaster

Did anybody see this?  I'm embarassed that this type of "News" is alive in Canada.  It's disgusting.  It's actually made me very angry. 

 

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1305119208001#.Ttvnxej-4RQ.facebook

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

That clip took me fifteen seconds to turn off.

6079_Smith_W

laine lowe wrote:

Oh boy, this is the topic of discussion on "Cross Country Check-up".

I am listening to it right now. 

If you can resist the urge to throw your radio against the wall during some parts, there are other opinions which are very insightful, and absolutely true.

And I am getting a message that the Ezra clip is unavailable. I'll try again.

 

Fidel

toaster wrote:

Did anybody see this?  I'm embarassed that this type of "News" is alive in Canada.  It's disgusting.  It's actually made me very angry. 

 

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1305119208001#.Ttvnxej-4RQ.facebook

Levant is a moron. Ottawa and Ontario combined do not give anything close to $34 million a year to Attawapiskat.

And besides attacking the feds for being derelict of their funding obligations to native people in general over the years, Angus' riding of James Bay-Timmins is huge and somewhere close to as large as all of the conservative ridings in the Southern half of that corrupt petro state of Alberta combined.

Levant is a good candidate for a Soviet style re-education program to learn basic arithmetic and how not to be so offensive to the public and living things in general.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Catherine from Mining Watch just gave the CBC a smackdown for not researching the DeBeers angle enough.

Good, another smack down from a Member of the Mohawk Nation, accusing some Canadians of still operating in that paternalistic POV. He telling Rex how the FNs should be the ones directing the exploitation of their lands and that Canada needs to recognize that it doesn't have the right to keep taking and taking from the indigenous peoples' lands. He reminded Rex that the structure already exists for how the feds should relate to the sovereign indigenous peoples. "We are not Canada's people".

ETA: Bravo Seth Laforet.

Gaian

toaster wrote:

Did anybody see this?  I'm embarassed that this type of "News" is alive in Canada.  It's disgusting.  It's actually made me very angry. 

 

http://www.sunnewsnetwork.ca/video/1305119208001#.Ttvnxej-4RQ.facebook

Just wait until the crtitics of CBC see what else Pierre Karl Peladeau has in "mind" for the Canadian public...after he and Steve have eliminated public broadcasting. Matter of fact, who will be going into the north to bring out the stories when the CBC is gone? Not Ezra.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Catchfire wrote:
By the way, Âpihtawikosisân's blog about Attawapiskat facts is now up on rabble.ca's front page.

Âpihtawikosisân used to post on babble under the handle Yiwah. It's a shame she no longer does!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

CBC reporting that the 'thrid party manager' has been kicked out of the community by Chief and Council. John Duncan says the situation is "volatile".

epaulo13 epaulo13's picture

APTN National News
OTTAWA–
Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence says the outside consultant appointed by Aboriginal Affairs to take over the band’s finances has been kicked out of the community and won’t be allowed back in.

Spence, who is currently in Ottawa, met with Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan in his Parliament Hill precinct office for about an hour late Monday afternoon.

Spence said she told Duncan the community planned to fight his decision to put a third-party manager in charge of the band’s finances.

“I told him I don’t want to see a third-party on my reserve,” said Spence. “He is not coming to the community. He did this morning, we sent him out of there.”....

http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2011/12/05/attawapiskat-chief-spence-says-depa...

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