Who’s in charge in Attawapiskat?

Band leaders are asking a judge to overturn Ottawa’s decision to send in an outside manager

by Alex Ballingall

Even though the issue has somewhat faded from view—what’s all this about an “honour killing” trial?—poverty and substandard housing remain in the northern Ontario First Nations community of Attawapiskat. Community leaders are in court today to fight the federal government’s decision to send a “third party manager” to take control of the First Nation’s finances. The band wants Chief Theresa Spence to regain that power, and accuses the government of trying to redirect attention away from the impoverishment of the community towards the band’s management of the community, which announced a state of emergency last year.

“Never did we think that one party would come to us and say, ‘You cannot deal with this yourself. We are the government here, and step aside, we’re coming in,’ ” said grand chief of northern Ontario Stan Loutitt, quoted by the CBC. “To me, that is morally and legally wrong.”

The decision to send in an outside manager is currently under judicial review. The result isn’t expected until late April.

Meanwhile, the government has promised to deliver 22 new modular homes to Attawapiskat. But their delivery has been delayed as officials wait for the solidification of an ice road, the only land route into the community.

CBC News

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Who’s in charge in Attawapiskat?

  1. These people are rediculous.  They chose to live in the middle of nowhere and they should be grateful that they are being sent aid in the first place.  Things haven’t been working out so well as they have been managing themselves, it’s time for a pair of new eyes and an outside perspective for what needs to be done. 

    • Perhaps you should walk a few lifetimes in their shoes before being so glib Lisa.

    • Does it not embarrass you to put such blithe ignorance of social and cultural history on public display?

  2. Seriously, its about time the government stepped in. We can’t just write a blank cheque over and over again when the same issues occuring. It seems it is a management problem, and it needs to be dealt with.

    • Maybe we should just give them back the land that we stole from them.

      • Gtrplyr055…ur an idiot

        • Thanks for elevating the discussion.

      • We have treaties, even the chief and council have said so. Treaty 9 I believe.
        We did not or have not stole anything, and if you look at the history we have paid over and over again to make this work . Time to try something new, starting with changing attitudes like yours.

  3. The problem is that the “3rd party manager” will be paid 1300/day, and if the band already has money problems, why are they being forced to pay someone 4x the band managers salary?

    • We the taxpayer are paying for all of this, do not think for a second that the actual band members will have to pay anything for any of this.
      The so called chief would love you to believe it, but not one penny will come from any of them…we will pay.

  4. How serious was the Prime Minister when he gave his apology?  If the intention is to improve the relationship between us settlers and the original people, the way this prime minister goes about it, I think hell will freeze over before this is going to happen.  The disrespect and disdain is palpable.

  5.  I find the “Our land” or “We were here first” lines so funny.  The
    Natives should be thankful in some ways.  A lot of other nations or
    empires would have just marched in with their army and say to hell with
    you all and take everything and give nothing.  Do you think China will
    be debating with the people of Tibet over subsidies and protection of
    culture?  How about if the Romans, Ottoman, or Vikings were still
    around?  Think any of them would attempt to offer any treaties?  Or just
    laugh at them, take the land, and enslave or otherwise pacify them?

    So yes, the English/French colonist may have come and taken the land,
    but it could have been far worse.  At least the Natives got some money,
    alcohol, guns, and small pox out of it.
     

  6. I think the Indians lack of respect for their housing comes from a hatred inside them. The Chiefs do not encourage the band members to make a good life for themselves , instead they are told to sit and wait until the white man pays.A reserve Indian is taught that the white man pays for everything, They are not being taught pride in taking care of oneself.

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