What's wrong with Brazeau and the Congress of Aboriginal Peoples?

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saga saga's picture

zazzo wrote:

Patrick Brazeau has not taken the time to think this through.  His suggestion that there should be less chiefs, and the First Nations be re-nationed into about 70 nations is unclear. What does he mean by the reserve system? Does he mean that the 600+ reserves should no longer exist?  He is a fool if he thinks First Nations would ever give up the small amounts of land they have now.  We are tied to our communities in ways that he obviously does not understand. These pieces of land are also part of the terms of the treaties that we have signed with settler governments, treaties that were signed by the "Crown".

The reserve "system" is not working because we do not have the resources or the authority to make decisions that will be beneficial to our communities. This is what RACP meant when "it recommended
recreating those nations as the foundation of native self-governance, combined with financial control of the resources on their ancestral (read traditional) lands."

I have said elsewhere in these forums, that the price Canada paid for our lands and resources was too low, and the price we paid and (are still paying)was too high.

The federal government and provincial governments would not like to see a nation of first nations united. They like to deal with us on a small band basis, where we do not have to capacity to deal with larger economic, social, and environmental issues.  What would happen if we all decided to work together, and support one another. People like to mention our differences, but I think that our similarities would help to bind us together as a people and make us stronger.

If Patrick Brazueau was a true leader of the off-reserve people, (of which I am one) he would be building bridges, instead of fostering divisions. I could also say the same of the leadership of the AFN.

 

I'm not sure about something: Were the "reserves" created by treaties, or by the 'Indian' Act?

In any case, one thing most Canadians do not understand is that exclusive use of some lands (eg reserves) did and does not 'extinguish' Aboriginal rights (including possible titles) on the rest of the Nations' traditional lands. 'Duty to consult and accommodate' applies to all traditional Indigenous lands, and is generally defined as the right to "A say in development and a share in revenues". There are many examples across the country of agreements based on this. Other communities in Canada, like Caledonia and Brantford, are still trying to use force of police, and force of arms to suppress legitimate Aboriginal rights. (aaarrrgh!!)

I am certain that 'Canada', now and always, fosters divisions among Indigenous Peoples, as you suggest. A common front would indeed be powerful, and perhaps there is yet another organization or leader to emerge who can accomplish that.(?)

Though I am not an Indigenous person, or not of this land anyway (lol), my interest in these issues is both familial and political. Canada needs a big wake up call, imo.

 -edit to add-

Re:

He is a fool if he thinks First Nations would ever give up the small amounts of land they have now.

From the RCAP highlights, which appears to be Brazeau's reference for this ...

We have concluded that the right of self-government cannot reasonably be exercised by small, separate communities, whether First Nations, Inuit or Métis. It should be exercised by groups of a certain size - groups with a claim to the term 'nation'.

The problem is that the historical Aboriginal nations were undermined by disease, relocations and the full array of assimilationist government policies. They were fragmented into bands, reserves and small settlements. Only some operate as collectivities now. They will have to reconstruct themselves as nations.

Self-government is a right they never surrendered and that they want to exercise once more

We believe strongly that membership in Aboriginal nations should not be defined by race. Aboriginal nations are political communities, often comprising people of mixed background and heritage. Their bonds are those of culture and identity, not blood. Their unity comes from their shared history and their strong sense of themselves as peoples.

The work of reconstructing their nations poses great challenges for Aboriginal people. They will need to

- reconnect communities split apart by years of band or settlement administration

- develop constitutions, design structures, and train personnel to make laws and administer decisions

  • - negotiate new relations with the other two orders of government in Canada.

- and much more detail is available here, that may answer your questions about "how" ...

http://www.ainc-inac.gc.ca/ap/rrc-eng.asp

 I will also say that the government appears to be still playing divide and conquer games with nations trying to "reconstitute" themselves. (eg, Six Nations; Algonquins) The recommendations of the RCAP have not really been implemented. Nice words on paper, but it won't be implemented by Canada without 'urging'.

 

zazzo

The reserve to which I belong is mentioned in the Robinson Huron Treaty of 1850. I think people tend to forget that our people have lived in communities, just like the rest of the world. Although we were considered "nomadic" peoples, there were certain areas that were considered to be our traditional lands, even before the coming of the white man. (But don't assume that I mean that these territories did not change from time to time, as people slowly migrated or pushed into or out of territories by war.) 

I believe in later treaties, bands of families chose their reserves, and these were surveyed by the government, and many times the lands were less than what the people considered sufficient to establish a community.

Propaganda

 History 1763

 

Britain ‘owned’ Canada and the United States (until the War of Independence 1775).  With the Treaty of Paris 1763 the French gave the British the largest territory every covered by any treaty. Native people were not even a thought in their minds.

 

Britain’s Royal Proclamation of 1763 acknowledged the existence of aboriginal title. Embedded in our constitution today, the question for many years was whether the Proclamation recognized a native pre-existing title to the land, or the Proclamation simply created a new title.

 

Part 4 of the Proclamation, aptly dubbed ‘Great Frauds and Abuses’ committed to protection for native people. All of Ontario was ‘protected Indian lands’. Natives were not ‘to be molested or disturbed in the possession of their lands, which not having been ceded to or purchased by us are reserved to them…as their hunting grounds.’ But, part 4 also stated that land other than various colonies and the Hudson’s Bay Co. were ‘Our Territories’ - meaning British. This is the double-speak that are Britain’s and, by succession, Canada’s main claim to fame.

 

As the Crown did recognize that land MIGHT be required in the future for settlement or military purposes, native lands could only be ceded through public negotiations and only directly to the Crown.” In other words, only the British government could ‘buy’ the land.  The British simultaneously acknowledged land rights, and a system of treaties to take these land rights away. Double-speak at its best. It reminds me of Harper’s legislation on 4 year elections.

 

 “Persons who had already seated themselves upon any lands within the countries…were to remove themselves.” Some of the land in southern Ontario had already been given away. The British government made no attempt to have these people ‘remove themselves’. This also parallels our present government system today, where laws are written to appease our people and never enforced. One of the best examples is The Clean Drinking Water Act, passed after Walkerton.

 

The British decided to grant absolute power to the Catholic Bishops in Quebec. They had power over not just natives, but all the citizens. The first residential schools were established in Quebec.

 

Most native people were furious that their land was being controlled by the British. Ojibway chief Minweweh or Silver Tongue said, “Although you have conquered the French, you have not conquered us. We are not your slaves. These lakes, these woods and mountains were left us by our ancestors. They are our inheritance, and we will part with them to none.” Quoted from The Ojibwa of Southern Ontario by Peter S. Schmalz.

 

The British hated the Ojibway and Algonquin for fighting on the French side. Captain Simeon Ecuyer gave a Delaware chief two blankets and a handkerchief taken from the small pox hospital. Major Gladwin also believed in ‘chemical’ warfare. He said, “The free sale of rum will destroy them more effectually than fire and sword.”

When the French were running the fur trade, booze was forbidden as a trade item. When the British took over, it was THE main trade item. General Amherst, who did not like Indians, urged every method to be used against them, including distributing smallpox-infected blankets, and drugs.

 

Natives expected, as was done by the French, that yearly payments would continue for fur trade passage through their hunting grounds. This was an ancient tradition with all native groups. Euro-Canadians, to this day, call these payments yearly ‘gifts’. The British stopped these payments and the natives starved. After 10 generations or two hundred years of active trading with Europeans, natives no longer hunted with bows and arrows, but with guns. A large part of the yearly payments were guns and ammunition, always freely given by the French to ensure hunting that benefitted the fur trade.

 

The Supreme Court of Canada finally ruled that the protective status given to natives by the British did not take away their rights, but reinforced their rights as a distinct political society that has both exclusive and share jurisdiction. What exactly does ‘exclusive and shared’ mean? Surely more double-speak is buried within those words.

Joey Ramone

Some reserves are the result of land "set aside" for bands under treaties.  But reserves also exist in areas where there are no treaties.  The Indian Act allows the Minister of INAC to establish reserves at his/her discretion.  In practise, as a result of a freeze policy adopted in the late 80s, it is almost impossible for communities which do not have status as "bands" under the Indian Act to obtain band status or to have any of their lands recognized as "reserve" lands.  With the exception of those bands that have signed self-government agreements, all reserves operate under the Indian Act, whether or not they were created as a result of a treaty.

Only status Indians living on reserve have tax exemptions under the Indian Act.  Non-status people and status Indians living off reserve pay the same taxes as other Canadians.

Lots of Aboriginal people have called for an end to the Indian Act division of people into "bands" and non-bands and "status" and "non-status", but Brazeau's rhetoric is phony.  CAP and its affiliates are no more "traditional" or democratic in their structure than the Indian Act bands.  They have adopted secretive, highly undemocratic corporate structures which guarantee that the grassroots they claim to respresent will never be able to challenge these "leaders".

Both CAP and the elites who run the Indian Act bands and their organizations (the AFN etc...) benefit from these sick, racist divisions as their funding (and there's a LOT of funding) is based on who they claim to represent.  Don't count on the Aboriginal elites, whether status or non-status, to ever seriously challenge the most offensive parts of the Indian Act.

 

 

zazzo

I remember back when I was younger listening to my grandparents who were very politically active in our community. They began to organize just after the law that prohibited us from organizing, was repealed from the Indian Act.

My grandparents and their relatives and friends from reserves across Ontario used to meet, and formed what is now known as the Union of Ontario Indians.

They used to raise their own funds, by holding bake and rummage sales, to put together enough money to send their representatives to Ottawa to talk to Indian Affairs. They held caucus meetings and stayed in each others homes. DIA (Department of Indian Affairs), as it was known back then, had to listen, as many of these were the chiefs and councilors of Ontario reserves.

 

I don’t know when it happened, or how, but DIA began to fund these organizations, and this co-option was the beginning of the end of these effective organizations. Now these organizations employ many people, but to me, there has not been significant improvement in the lives of our people, as there could have if we were free to put forward our positions without the fear of losing funding and thus employment for ourselves and others. We also splintered up into many different organizations where once the Union represented all the reserve bands in Ontario.

 

One thing we must remember, when people talk about abolishing the Indian Act, is that even if reserves operate under the Indian Act, the reserves, who are native bands or communities, are the signatories to the treaties.  There can be no talk about abolishing reserves, because the signatories to the treaties are holding these sacred agreements on behalf of our children. That is their heritage and their birthright.

If it were up to us, as to who has membership or status, there would be a lot more status Indians than there are now.  We should have been, and should still be, the ones to make those decisions.

Propaganda

History: Rights of natives to organize

 

The revised Indian Act of 1951 gave bands some rights for self-governing and allowed them to be incorporated as municipalities. Health, welfare and education were to be turned over to the provinces. Secret ballots were allowed, and for the first time, women could vote in band council elections. Two years later, 263 bands were holding elections. Bands still had no say on how the feds managed and rented out unused reserve lands, nor could they manage their own band funds. The most important change was that bands could spend capital and revenue money. This meant aboriginals, for the first time in Euro-Canadian history, could study the history of land claims. However, while funds could be used for research, they could not be used for litigation without Indian Affairs consent.   

 

One of the drawbacks of the revised Indian Act of 1951 was provincial involvement for health and welfare. Many saw the new legislation as another ‘divide and conquer’ tactic because natives now had to deal with two sets of authority. Provincial governments were antagonistic to say the least, because federal legislation was at the same time being introduced for new health care and national welfare laws - to be paid for by the provinces.

 

By 1958, bands had gained complete control over their funds, and restrictions on political organizations were dropped. Natives could now fund lawsuits, but it would be two more years before they had a right to vote in a federal election.

 

The National Indian Council was formed in 1954 and by 1968 the name was changed to the National Indian Brotherhood or NIB. The Federal government, apprehensive about land claims lawsuits, counter-acted by establishing an ‘Indian Claims Commission’. The NIB was asked to participate, and were given government funding for their organization. 

 

Other native groups formed between 1965 and 1968, and the government funded them all under the National Indian Advisory Board. At the same time, this board was reviewing the Indian Act. Natives discovered that their organization funding was given only to gain approval for abolishing both the Indian Act and all other rights for natives, including rights to reserve lands.

 

The plan, called the White Paper was proposed by Jean Chretien, then Minister of Indian Affairs, and was a response to the Hawthorn Report, a royal commission set up to investigate the ‘Indian Problem’ and concluded that the average income was $600 a year for natives compared to $1,400 a year for whites, school dropout rates were 94%, and that school history texts portrayal of  natives were not only inaccurate, but insulting.

 

The National Indian Brotherhood responded, “We view this as a policy designed to divest us of our aboriginal, residual, and statutory rights. If we accept this policy, and in the process lose our rights and our lands, we become willing partners in culture genocide. This we cannot do.”

 

The White Paper’s attempt to disenfranchise natives had exactly the opposite effect and united natives across the country in their fight for rights against the whites. By 1982, the Assembly of First Nations became the nationalized voice of aboriginal people.

Joey Ramone

Bang on Zazzo.  I've spent more than 20 years as an Aborignial rights activist, both as a volunteer and as a professional, and I've witnessed the slide of organizations like the Union of Ontario Indians (and the AFN, CAP etc...) into the pathetic, well funded collaborators they are today.

Ottawa started core funding national and provincial Aboriginal umbrella organizations in the early 70's.  This policy began under then Minister of INAC Jean Cretin.  It was intended to co-opt Aboriginal "leadership" and suck the life out of grassroots "red power" militancy which had been emerging in the late 60s and early 70s.  It worked like a charm.  Core funding has increased astronomically since then.  Today most of these provincial and federal Aboriginal organizations, and their local affiliates, spend most of their time and energy lobbying and competing for ever increasing funding to support their bloated bureaucracies and maintain the flow of funding to dole out to their cronies. 

Radical rhetoric notwithstanding, not only do these big Aboriginal organizations not support grassroots struggles for control over land and resources, they often actively work to undermine grassroots militancy.  Top priority is keeping the money flowing.  The Union of Ontario Indians is every bit as sleazy as Brazeau and CAP.

saga saga's picture

zazzo wrote:

... 

One thing we must remember, when people talk about abolishing the Indian Act, is that even if reserves operate under the Indian Act, the reserves, who are native bands or communities, are the signatories to the treaties.  There can be no talk about abolishing reserves, because the signatories to the treaties are holding these sacred agreements on behalf of our children. That is their heritage and their birthright.

If it were up to us, as to who has membership or status, there would be a lot more status Indians than there are now.  We should have been, and should still be, the ones to make those decisions.

 I would  think the Traditional Council of the Nation(s) would hold the treaty rights, as they predate Canada's 'Bands' and reserves.

I also think the treaties are tied not just to reserve land, but to all traditional territory of that Nation.

But your point is well taken: The connection to the land canot be broken.

I think that is the objective of reorganizing people into traditional Nations, Confederacies, etc., in association with traditional lands, regardless of where one lives.

I'm neither here nor there on Patrick Brazeau and various organizations and personalities, but I see great merit in this, and it is consistent with the treaties.

 

gnurival

I'm a newbie . I've known many people who have worked with CAP and they gave the impression of being dedicated and industrious. Is there anything positive that CAP has accomplished? If not, why the continuing government support? If yes, what? Thanks.

Unionist

[url=Brazeau">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20090208.wbrazeau0208... says he has been unfairly attacked[/url]

Quote:

Mr. Brazeau rebuffed any suggestion he should give up his seat in the upper chamber because of the recent adverse publicity.

The Senate post, he said, is an opportunity to “educate parliamentarians of all colours and stripes” about aboriginal issues.

Yeah, for the next 41 years.

Fidel

[url=The">http://www.senatehalloffame.ca][b][u]The red chamber[/url] has no place in a modern democracy. Besides, it's a relic of the same two old line parties that created apartheid with the "Indian act" and other repressive policies across this Northern Puerto Rico over the last several decades.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

Brazeau was on CTV's Question Period yesterday defending getting two salaries now - $100,000 from the CAP, and $130,000 from his position as Senator. He said the Senate person in charge of vetting told him there was no conflict of interest in getting the two salaries, but if forced to do so, he will give up his CAP salary and work for CAP for free (I pretty sure that's what he said, but it doesn't sound right). As Unionist points out, he's now set to receive $130,000 per year plus expenses for the next 40 years as a Senator.

Unionist

Plus modest annual wage increases.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I've always suspected that appointments to the Senate are really made to bolster and to advocate for the party that puts them there - thus in effect partisan lobbyists paid by the taxpayer, and a strong reason to abolish it altogether.

saga saga's picture

Boom Boom wrote:
I've always suspected that appointments to the Senate are really made to bolster and to advocate for the party that puts them there - thus in effect partisan lobbyists paid by the taxpayer, and a strong reason to abolish it altogether.

Yeah ... Harper would like to too. Then he'd have complete control, or any other future fascist wannabe that comes along. It's true, dictatorship is the simplest form of government, but sometimes democracy requires a certain amount of complexity.

 

Caissa

I think Senator's tend to have a little more freedom than do MPs.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

One would hope! But I suspect the 18 that Harpoon appointed will all be his obedient flunkies.

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

saga wrote:
  Yeah ... Harper would like to too. Then he'd have complete control, or any other future fascist wannabe that comes along. It's true, dictatorship is the simplest form of government, but sometimes democracy requires a certain amount of complexity.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make - mine is that all members of the Senate simply kowtow to their party lines, thus making the Senate just another lobby group - and on the public payroll, no less.

remind remind's picture

1 comment:"ya  even with all of that money he has got coming in, he still cannot pay child support to his first child"

Okay 2:  "what a good example of a CONservative 'family man'"

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

On QP Sunday Brazeau said in response to a direct question put to him by Jane Tabor that he would abide by the decisions ordering him to pay child support - and that as a resident of Quebec, this will be enforced by the Regie'.

 

ETA: I agree it looks very bad that he had to be hounded by the media into deciding to pay the child support he's been ordered to pay.  As for driving a Porsche SUV, Brazeau said he bought it second hand and before he was appointed a Senator.

ETA: Has Brazeau removed himself from the payroll of the CAP yet?

remind remind's picture

key words "ordering him".

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

I'm not even sure if I quoted him correctly from Sunday's Question Period on CTV - I don't know if he used the words "ordering him" or something else. There must be a Canadian Press article somewhere about this.

Joey Ramone

Metis Mama has the news: http://www.metisbarefacts.blogspot.com/

It seems Brazeau is the subject of a court order requiring him to pay a paltry $100 per month to support the 14 year old son he hasn't seen in 8 years.  This is a shockingly low support requirement considering his 6 figure income.  Presumably the support order dates from a period when Brazeau had a much lower income, but these orders can be varied when the parents' circumstances changed.  If she hasn't already done so, hopefully his son's mom will go after a new support order which reflects his ability to pay much more.  Of course if he wasn't an asshole Brazeau would have done the right thing for his kid years ago.  But if he wasn't such an asshole we probably wouldn't be talking about him, would we?

oldgoat

To what extent does this belong in the Aboriginal isues forum, and to what extent the Canadian politics forum?

If it was just bashing a Conservative politician for being a dead-beat dad, it would be out of here pretty quick, but it kind of touches on both spheres.  I don't really have an answer to that, just sayin...

 

 

remind remind's picture

Personally, i do not think it should be in the aboriginal forum.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

I agree with remind. His character and behaviour are being assessed because he is a Harper lackey and general opportunist. Brazeau and Harper just cashed in on his Aboriginal status for political points, and that ploy has become pretty transparent.

saga saga's picture

Boom Boom wrote:

saga wrote:
  Yeah ... Harper would like to too. Then he'd have complete control, or any other future fascist wannabe that comes along. It's true, dictatorship is the simplest form of government, but sometimes democracy requires a certain amount of complexity.

I'm not sure what point you're trying to make - mine is that all members of the Senate simply kowtow to their party lines, thus making the Senate just another lobby group - and on the public payroll, no less.

I guess I'm not as taken in by the Senate smear jobs as others because it's clear to me that Harper would like to get rid of the Senate ... and the House ... and elections ... and any Canadians who disagree with him ... and just be a simple dictator. That's not a good argument for abolishing the senate, imo.

The cry to abolish the senate is just an undemocratic power grab, imo. We need reform of the House of Commons before the senate. The senate is just a distraction to avoid that more important topic, I think.

 

Unionist

[url=Financial">http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/national/financial-situation-of-nati... situation of CAP called "disturbing"[/url]

Quote:

Delegates of the off-reserve aboriginal organization met in Ottawa Friday to elect a new national chief, but the vote was overshadowed by a report showing the congress posted a major deficit last year after a federal department demanded it pay back hundreds of thousands of dollars in expenses that had been ruled ineligible.

Beyond the mounting debt, delegates expressed concern when told Mr. Brazeau received severance when he left the organization, that he routinely flew first-class on congress business, and that a big-screen television for his office was originally described as a gift from the organization's auditor and then later paid for by the congress as an expense.

Machjo

Michelle wrote:
P.S. The fact that the National Post has a puff piece on the guy doesn't do much for his credibility in my books.

So what specifically in the article are you critical of?

Unionist

How about this:

Quote:
He is 33, fairly new to aboriginal politics and is seen as a rabble-rouser...

Straightforward lie. He has never even posted here!

 

Unionist

The asshole strikes again:

[url=http://news.nationalpost.com/2012/06/26/senator-patrick-brazeau-calls-jo... Patrick Brazeau calls journalist a bitch after she reports his poor attendance record [/url]

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

"Don't mean it but needs saying."

Unionist

Oh, and Catchfire, can we move this thread please out of the Aboriginal forum, as suggested a few years ago? It shouldn't be sullied by Brazeau's name. Maybe "Canadian politics", so that we can see the type of characters being cultivated by the Harpocons?

 

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Moved!

Boom Boom Boom Boom's picture

This was discussed on P&P last night. One of the comments the panel made was that Brazeau is the youngest senator when he was appointed - and has 37 years left in that place. If he watches his own finances carefully, he could be a multi-millionaire when he retires - just from serving as a Senator, not counting the other money he makes elsewhere.

I know this is thread drift, but we are talking about a senator after all - has anyone done a depth analysis of how much money would be saved if the Senate was abolished entirely?

knownothing knownothing's picture
Unionist

Poor Patrick just can't seem to escape the limelight:

[url=http://aptn.ca/pages/news/2012/06/27/bullying-and-frequent-sexual-harass... and “frequent sexual harassment” created “toxic” work environment under Brazeau: court documents allege [/url]

 

Lou Arab Lou Arab's picture

Thanks for bumping this thread.  I have to admit that I only became dimly aware of Breazeau after the boxing match with Justin Trudeau, and more aware of him after this recent Twitter gaffe.  I'm sorry to see my first impressions of him are backed up by history.

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