Parsing the online comments on #IdleNoMore

How Canadians are failing a tolerance test


Attawapiskat chief Theresa Spence. (CP/Sean Kilpatrick)

Canadians are a tolerant people, right? It’s certainly something we pride ourselves on. The Idle No More movement provides an ideal opportunity to test this notion, as Canadians turn to mass media outlets online to express their thoughts about the matter.

Let’s take, for example, the comments on articles about Idle No More from a variety of media outlets:,, and, just as easy examples. By this I mean the comments that have not been removed for being blatantly racist, sexist, homophobic, violent, vulgar, or hateful. The ordinary stuff, in other words. The ideas and opinions that are helping to form and reflect actual public opinion on this important issue.

Now, it would, at first blush, be easy to read some of the comments on those articles as intolerant. But let’s face it: people often misread online communication. So it’s only fair to give these folks the benefit of the doubt, and try to understand where they are coming from. It’s the Canadian way, eh?

Here, then, are examples of several of the most common statements made in comments on these articles, thoughtfully translated so the tolerance really stands out.

What they say: All people are equal, and should be treated the same.

What they must mean: I’m willing to trade situations with any Inuit or First Nations person at any time.

What they say: As a taxpayer I resent my hard-earned money going to support First Nations.

What they must mean: I only want my taxes to go to the traditional stewards of the Canadian environment, like the oil industry, the forestry industry, the airline industry and the automotive industry.

What they say: If First Nations and Inuit people choose to live way out there in the bush, it’s their problem.

What they must mean: I wish a lot more First Nations people lived in my town.

What they say: Aboriginal leaders are corrupt, or incompetent.

What they must mean: Non-aboriginal leaders are the most honest, effective bunch of self-sacrificing saints ever to walk the face of the Earth.

What they say: First Nations and Inuit people need to pull themselves up by their bootstraps.

What they must mean: I never had a single opportunity in my life. My people were downtrodden for a few hundred years, my language was beaten out of me, my family was broken by residential schools, my access to health care was poor, I was economically and socially isolated, I had little opportunity for jobs or education, and yet I became the selfless contributor to society that I am today all by myself.

What they say: Native people need to get with the times and join the rest of Canadian society.

What they must mean: A wasteful, polluting materialist culture for everyone!

What they say: The Indian Act/Treaties should be repealed and special treatment for Native people should end.

What they must mean: I’m totally awesome at economics, politics, anthropology, sociology, spirituality and geography, and I figured out a new system, that no one’s ever thought of, let alone tried to implement in the past. My idea redresses the problems of the past and creates stepping stones toward a new and profitable future together. I’m willing to spend my lifetime helping put it in place for the good of all. So let’s do that instead.

There you have it. Canadians are a tolerant people, if you’ll just take the time to try to understand where they’re coming from.

We can all be grateful for the the Idle No More movement. It has provided the opportunity to see our collective tolerance demonstrated so plainly.


Parsing the online comments on #IdleNoMore

  1. Thank you. Just thank you. You have no idea what this means to many of us. Chi Meegwetch.

  2. This is amazing… Helps us not feel stepped on or alone.

  3. Brilliantly written, with great humour, thank you. This needed to be addressed! It’s hard sometimes to not let the really awful comments get to you.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • That’s pretty funny, I was very sure that people who love making racist comments about indigenous people would be offended by this, since it doesn’t take them seriously at all. Now that’s an NDN burn!

      • You must have read a different article. My grandparents were settlers from Ireland, and I am neither offended nor did I find the article to be the least bit racist.

      • Jack, clearly you don’t know what the term racist actually is.

        As a first nations individual, I’ve endured these comments for awhile, some my entire life. This article was written truthfully, and if you were offended by it, maybe the problem is you.

        With respect,
        Mike D.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • That’s funny, you’re the only one to specify white people. Interesting how your idea of racism apparently goes in one direction, hah.

            Jack Plant, at it again as usual, trolling postings on the internet with the logic of a drunk 1st year philosophy student.

          • Is he drunk right now? RACISM hurts my friends RACISM hurts, ive felt its sting many times.

          • This article alludes to ignorance, so if you assume that means “white” (again, nobody said that but you… which makes it interesting that you put it in quotations, who were you quoting exactly), that speaks for itself.

          • ahh..I see our friend, Jack, is still around, spouting his egotistical Freedom Party BS.

          • No it’s not, the author made NO comment about the race of any speaker.

            He took comments in text, and rephrased them to represent the conclusions implied by the comment in a ridiculous light (a classic argument called reductio ad absurdem).

            There was nothing about race in it at all until you assumed all the comments were made by white people and that the article was therefore an attack on white people.

            An attack on RACISM is an attack on RACISTS. It may be that in Canada most racists are white, and therefore that people like you perceive attack on racists like you as an attack on white people like you, but that is simply a false identity.

          • I think you have trouble interpreting texts, Jack Plant. That’s either due to a lack of development of your intellect (you may well be intelligent but simply didn’t exercise it a whole lot in your life), or you are presumptious, biased and prejudiced and consciously or subconsciouls choose to be blind to what the article is trying to say. There are only two options here. Pick one.

        • – ndnblood u r so right

        • Hear hear, ndnblood!

      • Help me to understand. It is not racist if it is directed at First Nations’ people, but it is if poor attitudes of non-FN people are called out? Have I got that right?
        Thanks for the great article MacLeans.

      • Yes and yet it is the truth.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Speak for yourself,mavri.

        • – agree

          • ah, Mavri is just being really righteously literal and serious. That’s the problem I have with Cons. No sense of humour whatsoever. Too bad.

      • Mavri: “Biggest BS article I’ve ever read…people say exactly what thet mean…unless author was being sarcastis,”

        It’s SARCASTIC. And of course he was. You did not get the humour??

        As in “If they live out in the bush it’s their problem” = means that it would be better if they all lived in town with the speaker.

        of course the speaker is an ignorant racist like you. So they don’t want the indians in town with them. They just are too foolish to realize that when they blame them for NOT living in town, having them all move to town is the logical conclusion of their argument.

        The point is that these ignorant racists are NOT being logical. They “Say exactly what they mean” but what they think and mean and say is ignorant and foolish. Like what you said.

      • Mavri…there are so many things I could say, but I’ll take the high road and actually explain. She is pointing out how arrogant, intolerant and uneducated peoples comments have been. Eg. “They say: Aboriginal leaders are corrupt or incompetent. What they must mean: Non-Aboriginal leaders are the most honest, effect bunch of self sacrificing saints to ever walk the face of the earth.” We ALL know the latter is not the truth, right? So, the fact that it was said only about aboriginals was racist. She’s pointing out the flaws with a little humour. And yes, I agree, people do say what they mean. But I wouldn’t for a second take it as right, gracious, or truthful.

      • Maybe you should practice what you preach, and quit WHINING, geez youre annoying

      • It was sarcasm.

      • There are none so blind as those who do not want to see. I feel sorry for you, mavri.

    • people become expert historians when it come to issues surrounding aboriginals … when they don’t know anything, but word of mouth from the government and their ancestors :|

  4. You must have some First Nations blood in you with all that humour! ;) Hiy hiy. Thank you for this spectacular article!

  5. Great article. It makes my heart warm to know that there are level headed and sensible people left in this country.

  6. Thank you Macleans… my heart needed to feel support from the Country I was born into. #idlenomore should be supported by all Canadians!

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Huh? Your comment makes no sense.

      • Agreed.

      • People always want to cry “communist plot” anytime the “oppressed ” stand up for themselves. Unfortunately there have been times when those with other interests have tried to take advantage of another’s “movement”, but you don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater.This has nothing to do with socialism but with justice for native peoplea

        • This comment was deleted.

          • “Sorry. Standing up on your own counts for a lot.”

            The problem is you go from “counts for a lot” to “counts for EVERYTHING”.

            As if when you got a public education in school you FAILED by not standing up for yourself.

            As if when you turn on the tap you FAIL by not making sure your own water is safe.

            As if when anyone helps you do anything, that thing is then a FAIL.

            As if groups of human beings working together are BAD, and only humans working separately in isolation is good (or working for money,of course, that’s always good).

            ” When a protest movement stands up and says this is for the people and really mean it, then I will be there.”

            But that’s what they’re doing right now, and you aren’t there because you falsely and foolishly pretend this has something to do with unions, and then falsely and irrationally conclude that anything to do with unions is bad and doesn’t deserve your support.

            Take off the ideological blinders.

        • Their “oppression” is self imposed. Nothing more.
          There are many places in the world where there is true oppression, violent, frightening, murderous and continual.
          To use the term to describe aboriginal people in this country is an outrage and an insult to the world wide victims of true oppression, torture, starvation, slavery, and daily violence.

          • Bill, do some research. What you have described is all a part of Canada’s dirty little secret.

          • Do you live in a house with insulation, Bill? Walls even? Can you drink your water or do you have to boil it? Is the river that runs by your community a toxic waste dump? Does your child get 20-40% less per year for education than other children in Canada? Are suicide rates 10 times higher in your community? Have you ever been raped by a nun or a priest? Have you ever signed an agreement and met your side of it but had the other party completely ignore their responsibility? When you answer yes to these questions then talk to me about “self imposed oppression” and I might give you a little more credibility.

          • I agree Bill. I’ve seen their system of self government and community ethos when I was married to an Inuit woman. Let the FN return to their roots, return to being hunter gatherers and after the first winter there will be less whining and more money per person, lol. It’s time to get off the Government teat and earn the respect FN claim they deserve.
            I live in China now and I see oppression daily. But I also see a people who work hard to get what they have by earning it through honest labour.
            Those who fail to adapt will surely perish. FN should learn to adapt better and save their culture for tourists and local fairs.

          • Ever hear of racism? that is something that many First Nations experience on a daily basis. Its a bit like BULLYING, its designed to Degrade, and Demean a race of people perpetrated by people that share your mentality. People with a superiority complex (narcissists), (pshycopaths) etc are famous for this.Again read all of the agreements starting with the indian act. And i would have to ask where you got the legal right, to degrade and demean my CULTURE,(save their culture for tourists and local fairs).I will let you guess what protects our rights, to freedom of religion in canada, my culture and traditions are spiritual in nature and is sacred. P.S. stay in china we dont want you here. Who is paying your TAXES here in Canada, while you live in China?

          • Indian Act boy Indian ACT, read it and learn google it i dare you or would the truth hurt too much.

          • Compare conviction and imprisonment rates for FN and non-FN people. Now tell me that First Nations are not oppressed. You honestly have no idea what you’re talking about.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • could be because unions support equality. thats the point of a union on a larger level.

      • hey, ever checked out the situation in sweden?

      • Yeah, because unions have never ever stood up for the working person, or concerned themselves with social justice or worked together to bring down authoritarian and racist regimes. Your reflexive red-baiting just exposes you as willfully ignorant. And you can hold the bs about supporting OWS – it was formed by anarchists, which, excuse me for speaking for you, I imagine you hate even more than socialists. I also assume you don’t use your healthcare benefits, being so opposed to things that are socialized. People like you are dinosaurs and dying off quickly. I welcome your extinction as a political entity.

        • This comment was deleted.

          • ” they start supporting every movement that comes along, they have ceased
            to be a union and have become a force for socialist revolution.”

            1) they don’t support everything.
            2) what’s wrong with socialism? Works great in Sweden.

            Actually, since our top tax bracket is about 50%, socialism works pretty well here too.

            Would you not mind if they were supporting every capitalist selfish cause? Would you be just as mad if they were out protesting in favour of pipelines and free trade deals?

      • Seeing as how the IdleNoMore movement has gone on record as being a grassroutes movement and has, because of it, outright rejected sponsorship by the AFN chiefs, I find it hard to fathom that they would accept sponsorship from unions or any corporation.

        This is simply people trying to raise awareness that we need change in this country, that the behaviour of the current and past federal governments is unacceptable.

        • I think you will find the lady who formed the movement is a cultural marxist. She will band together with the unions. In fact, she has gone down to Washington to drum up support.

    • We are all treaty people. Idle No More!

  7. I wish you were right Mr. Newland….I really do.

  8. It’s about time someone in the media called out ignorance for what it is. Hopefully FNs folks will realize that the majority of thinking Canadians don’t share these views, but truly wish them well in their struggle for dignity and respect, and to to to recover from acts of injustice done to them ; Injustices that continue to be done even now.

    • Yes, as always, the reasonable majority is silent, while the hateful jerks speak loudest.

  9. You have no idea how long I have been waiting for an article like this to come out. 12 months of anonymous horrendous comments from my fellow Canadians calling me every name in the book. I try not to feel hurt as many Canadians like myself (grew up off reserve) have many ideas of what its like to be an indian. I don’t blame them, it was never taught to us in schools about the complicated relationship between Crown, Government and First Nations. The truth is we share some of these same ideas about ourselves. Thank you MacLeans for pointing these issues out

    -Tax paying Canadian.

    • I’ve been in the same canoe (so to speak) Clifford. I’ve grown tired of reading comments after online articles because I end up getting enraged. CBC, The Star, and basically every other news source we’ve heard the same comments from the public. Ignorance thrives on the internet, and it’s at our expense. It’s nice to see articles like this to help pick us up.

      • The thing is that this country was founded by First Nations, and not by the French, and as long as we believe the lie that Champlain founded Canada, then all this ridiculous prejudice will continue to ensue. It’s a domino effect. The war cry, “We founded Canada!” should be repeated over and over again until everyone has heard it, understood it, and meditated upon it. This is what the chiefs should be screaming out. It’s an undeniable fact, and it will make a big difference.

        • The tide is turning and it’s a strong tide. There is an awful lot of settler support these days. Ignore those who would continue to drag you down, they are becoming evermore insignificant and laughable.

        • the french lol dont pretend to know history you goof

        • What are you talking about? The hundreds of tribes that existed in this land when Europeans arrived were independent. There was no such thing as a country. Europeans founded the country. Furthermore, there is archeological evidence to suggest that Indians came to North America via the Bering Strait land bridge around 10,000 BC. So they came to this land, just like the Europeans. Do you know how many times land has traded hands in Europe over the last 10,000 years? You don’t see the Gauls whining about their “aboriginal” rights.

          • Interesting response. You tried to discredit a comment – one that is proposing an alternative history for Canada – by the use of “evidence”, facts, rhetoric, and poorly reasoned arguments. Here’s a review:

            1. Prior to European arrival, there were hundreds of independent aboriginal tribes, and no country of Canada – That seems right.

            2. Europeans founded the country – A bit imprecise, since I don’t recall Italians, Spanish, Polish, Dutch, or Greek individuals as our founding fathers. More importantly, though, I would highly recommend that you read John Ralston Saul’s book A Fair Country, on Canada, and reconsider whether you think that there was no aboriginal input, cooperation, or collaboration in the founding of Canada.

            3. Archeological evidence of Indian settlement around 10,000 BC – relatively uncontroversial, except the idea that, in 10,000 BC, a bunch of people from India made a HUGE journey across the Bering Strait. I haven’t read any reports that these people were Indians at all.

            4. They came to this land, just like the Europeans – If you were just saying, simply, that there was a time when the aboriginals first put their boots on North American soil and there was a time when Europeans first put their boots on North American soil, then I guess that’s true. But you seem to be implying that the WAY aboriginals came to North America is the SAME as the way that Europeans did. And that is unverified and unjustified. If you can find evidence of aboriginals putting previous inhabitants of North America (if there were any) in residential schools, systematically discriminating against them, or just engaging in ‘conquest’, I will be quiet. Until then, this is an OFFENSIVE claim (to me, at least).

            5. Land has traded hands in Europe [a lot] over the last 10,000 years – Absolutely true. You don’t even have to look back that far. Just modern history. We call them ‘World Wars’. Even more recently, do yourself a favor and google ‘The Balkans’ or Yugoslavia.

            6. You don’t see the Gauls whining about their “Aboriginal” rights – To quote you: “What are you talking about?” The Gauls were conquered by the Romans in 50 BC, and after FIVE HUNDRED YEARS of Roman rule, the lands were taken by the Franks (the modern day French). The Gaulish language went EXTINCT in around the 6th Century AD. I mean, technically, you’re correct, we won’t see a Gaul whining about anything, ever – the Gaulish Nation doesn’t exist anymore, the Gaulish language is extinct, and Gaulish culture is a historical fact, not a present day occurrence. Even wikipedia could have told you that. Instead, try googling the word “Basque” and find an European example of a group of people who are ‘whining’ about their rights to self-determination, governance, and land.

            If you are going to criticize someone for not having their facts straight, it is generally a good idea to have your own facts straight.

          • All of this is beside the point. However First Nations people got to North America, they were here first. Canada as a land with people in it starts with them. That they were never united politically or had regular contact with each other from sea to sea to sea is also beside the point. The first European settlers were no less divided into warring nations- French, English, even Spanish and Russian. So either Canada begins in 1867 when a variety of groups find themselves within the borders of a single “Canada” for the first time (groups that include Aboriginal and Metis people, who may not have had the right to vote in this new nation, but that didn’t make them any less its founders than the women, children, and white men without land, who also couldn’t vote in 1867)- in which case, the War of 1812, the Plains of Abraham, the Underground Railroad, and anything else that happened before 1867 must be permanently removed from the “history of Canada;” OR Canada’s history starts with the people who first lived in Canada. Who were neither French nor English.

            @ kozushi: “First Nations people founded Canada.” I like that. I’m going to use that.

    • Agreed. I’ve learned a lot over the last week about my own history too!

    • I can’t speak for all Canadians, but that complicated relationship wasn’t taught to me either, the atrocities and all are not at all acknowledged as part of our history. It’s shameful. Empathy is heavily lacking from being taught as well, at home and out in the big world.

      • I don’t know where you got your education but I learned about Native American culture from grade 6 to grade 9 and got a pretty thorough understanding of the history not to mention hand’s full of personal accounts with the Native American community and based off of what I know and where I grew up (Alberta) I find these protest’s utterly pointless. It must be nice to live a tax free life with everything handed to you while working class people struggle to makes ends meet. What more do they want? I used to cash cheques for them at the bank and have friends from reserves and they made more money than I used to working 40hrs a week and they had nothing to show for it. It also must be nice for them to get free/discounted post-secondary education while everyone else has to pay with their arms and legs.

        Thanks for great comment though. And thank you MacLeans for an article you wrote probably trying to earn brownie points to make you stand out from the rest of the news population telling the truth.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Did someone say something? i thought i heard some of the same old RACIST rhetoric?. It was probably nothing ( which is what RACISTS are}. may i suggest that you google INDIAN ACT and RESIDENTIAL SCHOOLS . You may learn something of the plight of the First Nations. Since when did the actions of a few first nations make it the reality of all of us. You dont know me at all but youve pre-judged me. Read and learn something, P.S. i dont need to read your racist rants any further, canadian society does not need your kind.

  10. “Canadians are a tolerant people…” Really? From every definition I have seen, tolerance means that you are respectful of opinions and practices that differ from your own. Obviously you are spending NO TIME on any news blogs, including Macleans online if you think any bloggers are tolerant of any practices or opinions that differ from their own. All you have to do is get into a partisan political conversation or a conversation regarding the right of Muslim woman to wear a niqab in public building. In fact head over right now to the blogs about Pat Martin. Show me any displays of tolerance there. If you are going to chastise people for intolerance, please at least pretend to show some of your own once in awhile.

    • Did you even read the article? He was being sarcastic.

      • I hope so, because if he is serious, it’s nothing but shite!

      • Oh I know he is being sarcastic. My point is that Canadians being intolerant is no surprise. They express their intolerance everyday on every blog.

        • Some are even intolerant of Harper. Imagine that.

          • Yes, I have noticed their intolerance of Mr. Harper and the government of the day but somehow no journalists are bothered by that…hmmm……

  11. “A wasteful, polluting materialist culture for everyone!” You think Native people are not wasteful, polluting? Come on, they too drive cars and consume like the rest of us. Don’t put the Native people on a pedestal where they don’t belong.

    • This comment was deleted.

      • Proof?

        • Reserves?

        • Residential schools, forced acculturation i.e. White…Western…Catholic, to name but a few

          • How to explain that some native people do very well while others do not.

          • How to explain some white people do very well, yet millions are white trash and living off welfare and doing drugs and drinking and committing crimes in cities across this country? And I’m a white girl, so you can’t call me racist against my own skin colour. Your question makes no sense. You’re somehow implying that native people should ALL be corporately successful, or otherwise, they are second-class citizens. Why not apply the same standard to white people, who have had every advantage since European contact, and were not forced into residential schools to be beaten and raped and assimilated? All things considered, I’d say aboriginal people are pretty darn resilient compared to white people.

          • Regardless, how many white people live without clean water?

          • is that a serious question? how do you explain that some white people do very well while others do not? what a ridiculous question. I mean, hello? people are individuals who have different personality, characters, weaknesses,.strengths, drive, opportunity, luck, chance etc etc….obviously everyone copes in their own individual way. this is so totally irrelevant anyway.

          • Holy cow, lol, it’s like I’m talking to a brick wall. Did you hear yourself – you called MY question ridiculous about white people, defended them as individuals who have different weaknesses, strengths, drive, opportunity, luck, chance, etc. Yet the EXACT same question was asked of native people, and it wasn’t called ridiculous, with tons of thumbs up, as if you all think they’re all no-good to society, save but for a precious few. The hypocrisy is mind-boggling. Can you defend native people the same way you defended white people by saying native people are all individuals, too, with different personalities, characters, weaknesses, strengths, drive, opportunity, luck, chance, etc. – except in this case, native people were shoved onto remote territories, had generations of children who grew into adults that were beaten and raped and abused at residential schools, yet you expect them all to have superhuman strength to have overcome all that in ONE generation? What did you expect them to do when the government shoved them onto remote reserves with no contact with the outside world – win the Nobel Prize for physics by living in the bush? First Nations people are now caught in a limbo – not really traditionally fine the way they were before contact, and not assimilated, either. They are not in power but yet, they have never given up their sovereignty or been conquered.and they never will be. It’s the limbo situation that they’re in that is NOW being addressed with IdleNoMore.

          • Past sins. Is that all you have?

          • they are not in the past Jack… that past has gone on to this very day , this very hour…and continues to go on.,

    • Right you are Francien.

  12. This comment was deleted.

    • I think you missed the last paragraph:

      “I’m totally awesome at economics, politics, anthropology, sociology, spirituality and geography, and I figured out a new system, that no one’s ever thought of, let alone tried to implement in the past. My idea redresses the problems of the past and creates stepping stones toward a new and profitable future together. I’m willing to spend my lifetime helping put it in place for the good of all. So let’s do that instead.”

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Yes thank youf for proving just what a brilliant and tolerant person you are. You indeed show, as suggested in this article, your true colours. Thank you.

          • If opposing racism and segregation (like what’s in the Indian Act) and speaking out against wastefulness and corruption in government, whether it be in federal, provincial or even in aboriginal government, is considered an act of “intolerance”, well, I think we need to be a bit more “intolerant” in this country.

        • FNs are only exempt from paying taxes if their income is earned on their reserve. It’s part of the original bargain in treaty. Why don’t you educate yourself in areas that don’t merely support you biases?

        • So much flagrant corruption. And that is the system they want to keep?

          • It is all about mineral rights, it is corrupt to take them from Native lands and send the royalties to the capitals. It is the system that the government wants to keep.

          • Do the natives have any plans for the resources?

        • First of all, we need to inform ourselves on what is in the Indian Act.

          This resource might help:

          Then maybe we should have broad consultations with all stakeholders to see what the best solution is, rather than saying “Just repeal the Indian Act” and ignoring all the unresolved issues that would cause.

    • Thank you for demonstrating exactly what this article is about. I guess what you really mean is that the Harper government has been totally transparent and oh so competent. UH huh Uh huh. Thanks again for proving the truth of this article.

      • Nice logical fallacy bro, I have a link for you:
        That another government may not be transparent or competent is irrelevant, the criticism still stands; pointing a finger at someone else doesn’t make it magically disappear. Again, your only defense is to duck and point blame at others.

        • “The myth that aboriginals freeload off the state serves to conceal the real scandal: that most money pays for a sprawling government bureaucracy that keeps aboriginals poor, second-class, and dependent. The widespread notion that First Nations mismanage and squander what funds they do receive is simple prejudice: government reports acknowledge that communities are buried under a mountain of strict accounting; they are no more corrupt than non-native municipalities.”

          • This comment was deleted.

          • $6,500 per person per year? Wow, Attawapiskat is CRIMINALLY underfunded. It costs $4,000 to send one child to school per year in Canada, and $5,400 per person per year for medical spending in Canada.

            It’s also interesting to note that reserves receive exactly $0 per person per year from the provincial governments. Considering the average Canadian municipality recieves funding from a) their own levied taxes, b) the provincial government, and c) the federal government, it looks, BY YOUR OWN NUMBERS, that reserves in Canada are horribly, criminally, extremely underfunded.

          • If what you say is true, then just what is the problem?

        • OH I get it. You didnt actually READ the article you just opened your stupid bigoted mouth and spewed the crap you always do. Thanks for clarifying that.

    • Good for you

    • Because stuff still happening today (like FN making up 20% of the prison population, but only 3% of Canada’s population,) is the “distant past.”

  13. This is quite unhelpful and frankly dishonest. It does nothing to advance the discourse and distorts what people are really saying. First Nations also have negative and mistaken beliefs, but this article glosses that over. Is this Newland a typical white liberal dealing with his own white liberal guilt by pretending FNs are saints and all non-FNs are devils?

    • Perhaps the writer was looking to begin a new dialogue, where we settlers, instead of perpetuating patriarchy by thinking we have the right to find fault in and advise a suffering culture, might stop pointing fingers and with some introspect, begin to find fault in ourselves.

      • We’re not settlers. Come on. How many generations does it take, and the aboriginals were also “settlers”, just longer ago. Give me a number, how many generations until the “settlers” just belong? It’s our land too, get used to it. We’re all in this together.

    • What is a “mistaken belief”?

      • Very good question. Let’s see if he has the courage or the smarts to answer.

    • I do not think it is saying that all one is good and all the other is bad. It is just pointing out the hypocrisy.

      The way I read it is “walk a mile in the others shoes”. I know for sure that I would not like Native culture forced on me and I do not believe mine should be forced on First Nations. We should be able to live side by side in peace and respect each other.

    • Good on you Joseph

    • Lol, of COURSE it distorts what people are actually saying…that is the point of the article. We can read what they actually say pretty much everywhere. Now if you support the ‘real’ racist comments, that’s up to you. If you want to pretend this is about saints and devils, you go hard with your Christian analogies. If you want to pretend anything under the sun…please feel free. You can deny Canadian colonialism and institutionalised racism against indigenous peoples, but your denials don’t change reality.

    • I call smokescreen. This article isn’t about blame, or accusation–it is simply highlighting what is problematic (lack of awareness and education on the root of the relevant issues behind INM) in any “discourse” moving forward. Fact: WE HAVE BEEN ASKING FOR ATTENTION TO THESE ISSUES FOR 40 YEARS. This is not “new”; the same issues were brought to the table in 1972 under NIB, and again, in the late 90’s with the Royal Commission on Indian Affairs. And again, with Harper’s “apology” in 2008…..and again, last year, in Attawapiskat. As a FN individual, I have to say that it is disheartening to read articles that attempt to address issues from our perspective, only to get blindsided by comments and intolerance as this article describes. And yes–it happens EVERY TIME. What bothers me most is that the common theme I hear consistently is that we need to get mobilized; get involved; take responsibility for our communities (and thus, “issues”)……but the MOMENT we come together, when we attempt to speak up, band together (as so many “experts” from outside our communities have kindly [?] “advised” me over the years), we’re met with accusation, criticism, unfounded (and uneducated) assumptions, hate language, racist attacks, broad generalizations, and general “annoyed” opposition. When I see this, I just want to throw up my hands sometimes: Alright then!!! What is it that you want from us? Put up, and shut up? Get out of the way? Just disappear? Because you can’t have it both ways.

      Can any of you imagine what this is like?

  14. 100 million Native North Americans were Slaughtered – The Largest Holocaust in History

    • Source please.

    • Wow, that’s a real whopper! The highest estimates for the pre contact north american population place it around 18 million. (estimates range from 18 – 2 million)


      • It IS a real whopper. So much ignorance and misinformation being spread around. The next thing we will here is that the original populations had flying cars.

      • 1. The consensus numbers are way higher than 2-18 million. Those might be the numbers for the pre-contact United States. Mexico alone had close to 20 million people. 2. They weren’t all killed on the same day. It was a 400 or 500-year long crime. Look up Ninstints, in BC. It’s a world heritage site, and a place that was wiped out in the mid 1800’s. From there (or hell start with the massacres of the Mayans in the 1980’s) back to Columbus, 100 million doesn’t seem that far fetched. One of many sources you coukd have easily found if you really had any doubts about the numbers:

        • 100,000,000 is simply ridiculous.

    • First of all, 100 million is one the most inaccurate, ahistorical, and dishonest claim ever made. 2nd, You need to look up the dictionary to see that “slaughter” and “disease” are different words. The vast majority of native North American deaths came from European diseases.

      • It can’t truly be called disease either (at least I don’t think the way you mean it) since it implies that they simply “happened upon it”…..many FN’s died as a result of disease but the spread occurred due to a calculated and pre-mediated spread by the British….whether or not it was successful, I don’t know but evidence of the discussion about eradication using gifts of items from hospitals infested with smallpox can be found by reading letters written by British officials living in Canada to superiors living in Britain …so it appears to have been a slaughter by disease, but a slaughter nonetheless

  15. Wow, thank you! Now I know what to copy-paste when reading those comments!

  16. When Columbus showed up his ‘man of letters’ was Amerigo Vespucci, who recorded their discoveries and communicated this information with the royal courts of Europe who then firstly held a conference to determine if First Nations were human beings. It was declared they were!! One interesting finding of Vespucci (remembering America was named after this fellow) was that these people’s were “Lords unto themselves”, that each had a voice and was heard, governing by consensus. Much of the governance policies of First Nations inspired the democratic movement in Europe! So let each person speak and be heard. Principles of recognition and respect are fundamental to reaching a meaningful working relationship. Yes it will be a hard road but no harder than the genocide and the residential schooling of assimilation that has preceeded this dialog.

    • Sorry, the Magna Carta was the first with the Declaration of Arbroath being the second UK document promoting democracy. Maybe in Europe this was unique but not in Great Britain. The Anglo Saxons had a purely democratic system until the Norman invasion (European) and then they had to fight to get it back. Also, they have found prehistoric European tools on the eastern seaboard of the US, and the Vikings settled in L’Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland in the 10th century.

      • The Magna Carta doesn’t promote “democracy,” it grants rights to the land owning barons (aristocrats) and curtails the rights of the monarch.

        It was the start of constitutional monarchy, but had little to do with democracy.

        • It was the first time that people other than the king were given rights, the root of democracy.

    • Yes, this is indeed interesting. What then had to happen was the Native peoples became citizens of Spain with rights as Spanish citizens, and the Spanish had to go to Africa to capture non-Spanish-citizens to be slaves in the Americas. Over time, the Native peoples embraced Spanish language and much of the culture, and created the blend of Old and New worlds that is Latin America. Actually English North America is the same – it’s a mix of both. but since we speak English, we can suffer from amnesia regarding our Native roots here. Pocahontas wasn’t the only Indian bride for a newcomer.

    • Amerigo Vespucci NEVER sailed with Columbus. They were both born in Floence, Italy but that is about their only connection. I find no evidence of the writings you speak of. Are you misinformed or have you simply made up a story?
      Hmm… far 26 non-critical thinkers have voted up your B.S. story. Rampant ignorance.

  17. This comment was deleted.

    • Cause of course no Harper government would EVER sell the rights to our resources to lets say the Chinese government Thank you you really prove the truth of this article. You are a brilliant thinker. Thanks.

      • Who would you sell resources to? Nobody? What do you want to do, walk around with them in your pocket? They need to be put to productive use by those who know how.

    • Poor people working for wages to feed their families – how awful of them. In your experience how often did native owned companies pillage and beat the resources to death? How often did they even have a say in what left their traditional lands. I lived for a long time in BC too bud. And i can tell you without native protests and cooperation with environmental groups there would be no Moresby national park on the Queen Charlottes, no Great Bear Rainforest saved at all, no Nahanni park. Given how resource companies have pillaged BC over the years you have some goddamn nerve pointing the finger at FNs, generally the poorest stake holder on the block, with little or no control over their own resources until very recently.

  18. If only you were right, Mr Newland. I am ashamed of some of my fellow Canadians. I am not First Nations but my family has been here a long time. We are all part of the land, and we should all honor the Grandfathers and Grandmothers of the land.

    • I agree. I’m doing my bit by learning Ojibwe and Mohawk. It’s making me feel like I belong here more. I’d encourage others to do the same.

      • why would you learn a dead language with no alphabet? waste of time much?

        • Dead Language!!!… OMG the ignorance… 80% of us, still speak our language… it is alive and wel… the culture is growing and strong.

          • a language with no alphabet spoken by a hundred or two hundred people worldwide
            hmm, sounds pretty ‘lively’
            maybe you should stop deluding yourself

  19. This comment was deleted.

    • Thank you for proving that this article nails it. Because teh Harper government is so totally above board that they keep not ONE set of books but TWO. ANd Chief Spence is SO corrupt that she went to court won and proved IN COURT that no corruption on her part had occurred. You are indeed proof that Canadians are a tolerant people. Thank you.

      • This comment was deleted.

        • Maybe you should inform yourself and educate yourself on the reporting requirements that each First Nation is required to complete on an annual basis!!! Dont worry Attawapiskat has been audited


            Chief Spence’s Band had already past several audit which Indian Affairs had no problem with.

            Harper always attacks to cover up when he has no plan. He blamed the maritimes for the failure of politicians when he had no plan, told them the suffered from a culture of defeatism. He killed the Kelowna Accord which was agreed to by the federal government and all the provinces, than blamed the FN because he had no plan…he convinced a number of Albertans that they were victims of confederation so they would vote for no other party…PQ does the same thing in Quebec…but if you believe the Fed hands over money to anyone with audits than you believe Harper is incompetent.

            Chief Spence had a state of emergency and Harper played politics. There was nothing a third party manager could do other than costs the Band thousands of dollars a day. It was all political spin to make it look like government was doing something.

        • Yes, they have. By an Auditor. But obviously, since it wasn’t by you, I guess it doesn’t count.

        • All First Nations are audited annually under same policies as every other entity under the Crown. In fact, Chief Spence’s Bands financial records are available online, just like every other Band. The corruption rate for First Nations is below 3%. Come to my municipality where are card carrying Conservative Deputy Mayor was fired from the LCBO for stealing money, convicted in court and still gets to sit as Deputy Mayor b/c unlike Federal and Provincial rules, municipal politicians are allowed to have criminal records. Our other card carrying Conservative was just charged for impaired driving. He stepped down as chair of the police services board which he chaired for 9 years and also was a retired OPP but still is on council. Believe me, the mainstream media doesn’t care about this stuff when it isn’t an Aboriginal community. Have you any idea about the meth epidemic in Bruce/Grey and Huron counties? Unprecidented.

        • …which is why the government audits their books every year, right?

          Please stop repeating these dangerous Conservative Party lies.

        • Well I have seen a public record of how much Chief Spence makes and her expense report. Didnt even have to dig for it. Meanwhile Harper kept two sets of books on the F35 But carry on with your racist lies. Thats what make you so common.

    • …which is why 9 different government audits concluded that Attawapiskat was competently run with no more corruption than the average Canadian municipality, right?

  20. Great Well done and sadly way too true.

  21. ˇ I never had a single opportunity in my life. My people were downtrodden for a few hundred years, my language was beaten out of me, my family was broken by residential schools, my access to health care was poor, I was economically and socially isolated, I had little opportunity for jobs or education, and yet I became the selfless contributor to society that I am today all by myself.”

    Sounds like the gaelic nations at one time.(minus the schools, they were’nt allowed an education) They pulled themselves up by their bootstraps =-)

    • This comment was deleted.

      • And how well did those folks pull themselves up by their bootstraps? Most of the original Gaelic or celtic peoples of the British isles are still mirred in poverty and still recovering from English depredations, land theft and cultural genocide…the ones who did best left for North America…where they ran into more prejudice. It’s pretty well been the history of minorities to the Americas…one down trodden group sooner or later finding some else to tread on The last on the ladder to be trodden on were Aboriginals and Africans. The – i made it all on my own in a strange land why can’t natives – is pure bull crap.
        10,000 years or more of occupation and ownership is as good as a deed of property in my book.

    • Aboriginals ARE pulling themselves by their bootstraps, and out of oppression, one generation at a time! Do you have any idea that the current generation of young and middle-aged adults is the FIRST not to have attended residential schools? And this generation IS becoming educated as doctors, lawyers, judges, architects, professors, scientists, etc. so your argument that one race of people was amazing (the gaelic) and the other (aboriginals) are not is null and void. They are resilient and rising up NOW, despite all the oppression and institutionalized racism that is ingrained in the Canadian collective soul, including yours. Making it seem like they are inherently incapable because of RACE alone, yet another race IS capable (the gaelic, as you say) is the absolute definition of racism.

  22. Niawen’kó:wa! These types of comments are common place in ANY article about Native people in Canada – the good, the bad, and the ugly. If that type of stuff was written about African Americans, Jewish People, or any other number of People, it would be considered racist and even a hate crime. Idle No More!

  23. Chi Miigwetch, this couldn’t be any more true. If only the rest of Canada would take the time to inform themselves…

    • Aanii-bozho. Chris ndizhnikaas. Hamiltonoong ndoonjibaa. Some of us non-native Canadians are indeed informing ourselves and we feel ripped off about misunderstanding our nation’s ancient roots. My ancestors left Ireland and the Ukraine because those countries were hell on earth, and came to Canada, founded by First Nations, which was heaven on earth. We should all here be celebrating our land’s ancient languages and traditions and taking pride in our ancient Canadian past that goes back several tens of thousands of years. You know, immigrants used to do this: Alexander Graham Bell for instance was a fluent speaker of Mohawk. Pauline Johnson, Canada’s greatest poet, celebrated our Native roots (her mom was an immigrant from England.) This self-mutilating idiocy modern Canadians harbour about our origins lying only with immigrants speaks to our ignorance and foolishness. (I’m not saying the British and French heritages aren’t ancient and great in their own ways too, of course!) The Mexicans embrace their Aztec origins while also embracing their Spanish language. We should do much the same, but I think we’re intellectual enough to preserve our ancient languages too. We need to get our understanding of what Canada is right.

  24. This comment was deleted.

    • You’ve completely missed the point.

  25. Absolutely wonderful!!

    • Total propagandist crap.

      • It MUST be propaganda because Sun News or Stephen Harper didn’t say it.

        By the way, thank you for proving the point made in this article over and over again. You did more to show the world the author of this article is right than anything else could really.

        • You must be dim.

  26. Miigwetch! From an EDUCATED Anishnabek woman.

  27. Does anyone here actually support the Indian act, the way it’s implemented and the results it has gotten over the generations?

  28. As a person of Palestinian descent, I stand in solidarity with the First Nations and Inuit in this country. Seeing what my people, the Palestinians, go through in their struggle, and how Israel uses tactics similar to the Manifest Destiny doctrine of the European settlers in North America to “cleanse” the land for themselves- being a Canadian honestly tears at me. I recognize that I live on land that is not ultimately Canadian but Algonquin, not mine but manipulated and stolen from others. Don’t get me wrong, I love Canada. It offered my father and mother a place to call home and citizenship. I was born here and so have my children. On this level, I am as Canadian as anyone else, English or French. I don’t care how many generations your family has lived here, we are all settlers on someone else’s land. Therefore, I believe my loyalty and gratitude should go first and foremost to the First Nations peoples. If I am to be a Canadian, then I feel it is only fair that Canada should do its utmost to make peace with its First Nations to THEIR satisfaction, not upon the conditions of what the privileged in Canada seek. We should first seek peace in our own lands before seeking to fix anyone else’s problems. We do not have peace here when people are systematically denied their rights. We are just fortunate that the First Nations have continually chosen peace and dialogue, thought we do not act like they are worth talking to. This is a shame. Therefore, if I am to be Canadian, then this is what I will personally work for, to make Canada a better place for everyone, except for the racists who want to see a Canada where it’s indigenous peoples are second or third class.

    So, as a son of people seeking a safe haven, I offer my deepest gratitude to all members of the First Nations peoples and Inuit, dead or alive, past and present, for their sacrifices and their patience. I know you will overcome. As the Holy Qur’an says “Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.”

    • This comment was deleted.

      • *citation needed. This is rabid nonsense.

      • All you said is bull. Israelis are not the native indigenous people of Palestine. Israel was created in 1948. Jews have been living there for thousands of years, granted, but these are Palestinian Jews, a small fraction of the Jews who live there now. The ones who live there now are Sephardic and Ashkenazi jews from other countries in the Middle East (Yemen, Iraq, Morocco etc) and Europe (Russia, Poland, Germany, Great Britain, etc.), respectively. The people of Palestine who speak Arabic are actually not pure Arabs but a mix of all the people who have lived in Palestine over the course of thousands of years, including the Jews. Genetically, they have more rights to Palestine than the vast majority of Jews who come from other lands to Palestine, because they are also descendant of the Jews and are Semites, only they happen to follow Christianity and Islam now. That’s what it boils down to: Israel is Jewish state for Jews only, much like the Manifest Destiny is for Whites Only, not for Natives or even people with an ounce of Native blood. The “Arabs” of Palestine are Semites like the Jews, but gentile, not jewish. The Arabs who did come to Palestine were not colonizers- they did not drive out the Jews, kill them off or treat them anywhere close to how Europeans treated them for thousands of years. The reason many Jews lived among the Arabs for so long is because compared to Europe, it was a place of sanctity and opportunity- the widely acknowledged Golden Age of Judaism happened with Maimonides, the catalyst, who lived in Moorish (“Arab” North African) Spain in the 12th Century. There is not a single people in the history of “Arab”/Islamic civilization that the Arabs ever ethnically cleansed from anywhere. Rather, people adopted the language, religion and in some cases the culture over a process of hundreds of years, so much so that they call themselves Arabs now, and with few exceptions, are extremely proud of that.

        Tell you what. Don’t believe me. I am a liar. Listen to Moshe Dayan, former defense minister of Israel:

        “We came to this country which was already populated by Arabs, and we are establishing a Hebrew, that is a Jewish state here… Jewish villages were built in the place of Arab villages. You do not even know the names of these Arab villages, and I do not blame you, because these geography books no longer exist; not only do the books not exist, the Arab villages are not there either. Nahalal arose in the place of Mahalul, Gevat — in the place of Jibta, Sarid — in the place of Haneifs and Kefar Yehoshua — in the place of Tell Shaman. There is no one place built in this country that did not have a former Arab population.”

        Sounds like Manifest Destiny to me. Also, don’t believe that. Go read “Arabs and Israel for Beginners” because you are clearly a beginner by Ron David, a Jew.

        • What boldassertion is saying, I think, is that it’s okay if Jews are assimilated into Arab culture (or else given a racist dhimmi status), but the reverse would be perverse.

      • This is simply not the case NoMoreBull. Palestinians are the indigenous people of the region known as Palestine/Israel. Most European Jewish settlers to this land are Ashkenazim who are from Ukraine and were originally a tribe from the Caucasus region called the Khazars. They converted to Judaism around the 8th century CE in what is now Ukraine and then migrated throughout the world. The Palestinian people have been there for thousands of years and were originally Jews who were converted to Christianity/Islam or some of the other cultural groups like Druze. Genetic analysis proves this. Most Jews in Israel are European colonizers so the parallels between this and North American colonization are significant. The sad irony is that a lot of the right wing Israelis and their supporters keep repeating the mantra that the Palestinians are an “invented” people. Fact are facts.

        • Cite your facts please. This is the most ridiculous story I’ve ever heard. Where do you get your information?

          • Probably not from a Jewish perspective!

      • Excuse me?
        Your little lie is refuted by observable reality.
        The zionist invaders in Palestine are EUROPEANS … They are WHITE invaders of brown mens lands.
        The native arabs (muslim, christian, and jew) were there LONG before zionist troops swarmed in with tanks, planes, and machineguns.

        • “Zionist invaders” were a persecuted minority who fled for their own safety and hoped they might have been welcomed in their ancestral homeland by the occupants. Sadly they still live in fear of those around them who have repeatedly treated them with brutal violence….but back to Canada, svp, there is no valid comparison.

    • Those “racists” you so deplore typically just want to see First Nations succeed and stand on their own two feet. The culture of dependency perpetrated onto the First Nations by so-called “progressives” has failed to work for over a century. At what point can First Nations be held responsible for their own actions?

    • “Canada should do its utmost to make peace with its First Nations to THEIR satisfaction…”

      Canada did.

      Now their descendants are demanding more out of the deal.

      • The Government of Canada has not stood behind the treaties… 300 hundred years and it’s still going on… how many promises that the Native people broken NONE…how promises has the Government kept… NONE…!!! thats a true fact

    • Welcome to this land that the Creator loan to us, we wish to share it and all its prosperity with you. This land that a great country was established on with a name derived from a Cree word, “KANATA” , meaning the place of cleanliness! We wish to keep it as so for the enjoyment of ours and your unborn children. That is why we will, “IDLE NO MORE”!

  29. This comment was deleted.

    • NONE of us are claiming to be “spiritually or morally superior”. i have NEVER heard any of my indigenous mentors, leaders or Elders claim this. I don’t claim this. your comment, in light of this article, is ironic.

    • they are the “entitled” group…because we constantly cave in to all their demands

    • You….expected thanks for living on reserve? And could you please cite where it is written that indigenous people are superhuman saint-like creatures? You’ve constructed a nice little strawman argument.

    • Have you ever considered that the people on the reserve acted hostile towards you because you’re an entitled white person who is ignorant of their own privilege and expects gratitude from them like it’s your birth right?

  30. This comment was deleted.

    • I want to know where you get this whole idea that these big checks are just handed over to every native. That is a seriously deluded assumption.

      I work for every penny. I pay taxes, I pay for benefits at work because no not everything is free in health care.
      I live ON reserve and aside from my schooling being paid for, I have never been cut a check from the government to support me or my two kids.
      We OWN (in about 15 years of more payments) our home, we OWN two cars (after 4 more years of payments)

      Life as a native person is not free. If you want to see the “free” housing, you’re free to come on over and live there. How many non natives are sitting there collecting welfare? How many immigrants are getting their healthcare paid for by the government??

      You didn’t get the point of this article at all. Live a week in the life of a native person supposedly living this free lavish lifestyle and I can guarantee you’ll be preaching to a different choir.

      Disgusting how this article is trying to show how intolerant Canadians are because of their own ignorance yet people are still not getting the point.

      Fact is, everything is controlled by the government. Every single program, school, bank, small business, media, etc relies on some type of government funding,

      • OK, so it looks like you have the same what i have, so what else do you want? A medal for paying taxes and supporting your own children? Isn’t that what we are all supposed to do? You have a job, a mortgage, your education was paid for – so what is the need in all these treaties? You are a living proof that as a native you can build you own destiny, be responsible for yourself and your family, manage your financial responsibilities JUST LIKE EVERYONE ELSE. This is exactly what needs to be done on a grand scale – this is the actual integration into a modern society and lifestyle. Am I missing something?

      • Cry me a river. If everything relies on government funding, that’s because they’ve been whining and complaining and begging for government funding for years, and they got it. Now what? They want some more, of course.

        Like firedancer says, if you’re gonna own your own house in 15 years and you own two cars, and you have two kids in your nice family, then what the heck is the problem?

    • Thanks for proving the point of this article. You failed the test btw.

    • Lazy bastards? See, you too proved this article is true! Wow, I love how people come on here complaining about this article and then without even realizing it, are shooting themselves in the foot by making the article even more true, lol. And they DON’T get free housing, dental or education, or glasses – just the health care, same as you and I. Here on Six Nations, everyone has to pay for their own house and mortgage and YET the Indian Act prevents them from using a home or land for collateral for a loan, but YOU can, as a Canadian off the reserve. How fair is that? These are details that the majority of Canadian people don’t know about life on reserves and what the Indian Act does to oppress aboriginals. I could write a whole book about those “details” in the Indian Act and how it directly affects their lives, but there is no room here to do that, so I suggest if you people really want to be the know-it-alls you all so obviously are, read the Indian Act in its entirety, live on a reserve for 10 years and THEN come back and tell me how “easy” they have it.

  31. And of course there’s no prejudice in these interpretations — right??

  32. How about following the treaties?

    Cancel the non treaty payments, and give them $5 a person like in the treaties, plus some of the other little incidentals.

    Then use the billions to settle all the land claims.

  33. Well this of course is done racist an was directed at First Nations…by Media…paid for by Ottawa….who lives off the backs of First Nations…but that’s okay…I just feel sorry for those who believe the government….who as President Obama said talk out the back of their ASS. A government who couldn’t tell the truth because they have lied so much that they believe their own lies…

  34. We either move forward, united and equal, or we continue this insanity. Full integration, equal rights and responsibilities for everyone. Land belongs to those who works on it. As simple as that. Start building your own future in the reality of 21st century. First generation immigrants who came into this country empty handed live now much better than FNs. They have good houses, their kids go to (and graduate from) schools. Many of these newcomers had so much suffering, wars, hardships in their own countries that one would think it is impossible to heal and move one. And yet, many of these new immigrants manage to do this, to build new life without help from relatives, friends or any handouts from the government. Ask yourself why. Maybe its time to move on?

    • native leaders dont want to be equal to Canadians; they believe they can hold society generally hostage indefinetly and we will pay for everything
      not gonna happen

  35. Excellent satirical article – however I would take issue with the concept that most and I mean most canadians are not racist BUT just don’t get it anymore and every poll shows this – how much as taxpayers do we have to pay at what point do the First Nations people stop the incessant and constant self victimization – maybe just maybe if the constant drone of give us more stuff – because let’s face it folks that’s what it is – it always comes down to give us more stuff and leave us alone .. sure give them a few million and how dare we ask for accountability – ! maybe if they started saying – wait a sec – we are going to step up to the plate and start building up our own nations and making them more self sufficient and cooperating with the gov’t and the rest of canada like maybe saying we don’t need the tax write offs anymore or welfare and we will build our own houses and develop our own lands – they could at any time gov’ts have made it clear that if they want to step up the plate the gov’t willl help them- but it will never happen as long as they victimize themlleves because it isn’t canada that is victimizing them anymore!

    • Victimizing? No, how about we are missing your head start. For example in the high-tech fields in Manitoba there’s an abysmal hiring rate for Natives, and due to the hidden job market trends of hiring relatives and friends, that’s going to continue until government intervention corrects it. If Winnipeg Natives are going to represent 20% of the working population by 2020, then the employment rates should start reflecting that, but instead there’s between 1% and 2% in this sector.

      • hmm, so free university education, and you don’t have a head start? give your head a shake

    • They don’t want more “STUFF”! They want treaties honoured and to be self-governing as they were before contact. They were never conquered or assimilated as you like to believe – they have been fighting against colonization SINCE 1492 and will continue to do so until the Canadian government recognizes their sovereignty. The two-row wampum treaty clearly delineated the relationship between aboriginals and settles – settlers stay in their ship and aboriginal people stay in the canoe, and they travel side by side on the same river of life, but never interfering or trying to steer the other’s vessel. Looks like settlers broke that treaty a long time ago. Treaties are international LAW and need to be honoured around the world.

  36. What an awful collection of non sequiturs and strawmen. Reading this made me cringe.

  37. I still don’t see why I can’t have free tuition and books. That’s what I get for being born White. If I were native I’d have a free ride. Instead I have debt

    • I’m of first nation descent and live in a city. I wish I could have a free ride too. I’d love to get free tuition and books. I’d love to get free prescription glasses. I’d love to get…. Where’s the line-up?

      • If you’re a status indian, you can get free prescription glasses, look up the non-insured health benefits. You’re probably non-status though and trying to muddy things by implying others don’t get these benefits, when they do.

        • I am status (Mathias Colomb Band-Treaty 6), and I am not trying to muddy things (I know my own feelings and intentions).
          As for free prescription glasses, years ago, I decided that for once in my life, I would go for one of these freebies. All they allowed was $40 towards the total cost of $400. It didn’t matter because I could pay for my own, as do many off-reserve, status, professionals.

          • yes it helps when you dont pay full taxes, doesnt it

            every purchase you make off reserve you can keep the receipt and be credited the tax difference at the end of the year

    • Except you would have little concept of higher education having not had clean water your entire life. Survival needs dictate priorities. Different baselines to start off from.

  38. Clearly New Zealand and Canadian citizens, politicians and media share notes frequently. This is such a mirror image of what we endure here in Aoteroa

  39. All of a sudden, there’s a flood of Native bloggers, posters, news stories, etc. interesting. Is it a few very active Natives or is it genuine?

    • In the past 5 years FN have taken to the internet more and more.

  40. Here’s another two cents… Enable individual property rights on the reserve. Give them a fair shot like their “colonial oppressors ” and borrow against an asset, build a credit history and operate in a capitalist society…. Or remain status quo and argue oral history promises over 100 years old that aren’t being fulfilled

  41. So what the PC media are saying is that we must give in to every special interest group that throws a temper tantrum and give them all they demand and more. Then wait until they come back with more demands. Enough is enough.

  42. Well said. The fact news agencies were more interested in American gun statistics than Canadian issues speaks volumes as well

  43. Love! Love! Love!

  44. What a bunch of distortions!

  45. I understand what this is attempting to do, but really, it isn`t fair or accurate to put words in people’s mouths. Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar, you know.

    And some of the criticisms are very true, there is a lot of corruption within our community and we are just as materialistic as other Canadians. And I`ve seen a lot of guys just go out and throw their garbage out in the forests. We pollute too you know! It is as ridiculous to assume that we are always better than our critics as it is for them to assume they are always better than us.

    • Thank you! We’re all in this together.

  46. Straw man after straw man. What a bullshit article.

    • Good point, that’s a fair assessment of it.

  47. Most Canadian are too ignorant to get the satire in this article. It would be more effective if you just call a spade a spade. Systemic racism is rampant in Canada, and as this article points out, one of the best places to see just how racist Canadians are is in the online comments sections of mainstream media outlets.

    Even the CBC is guilty of publishing anti-Indigenous racist comments, despite having a legislated obligation to reflect the circumstances and aspirations and special place of Indigenous peoples in society. On that site, the moderators remove most of the blatantly racist comments, but seem unable to recognize bigotry and racism when it is expressed more subtly. For example, it is very unlikely you would ever see on the CBC site this overtly racist comment below from Brightsage: “how much cash should we give these lazy bastards…” But you could find subtle racist comments there similar to this one below from Brad: “I still don’t see why I can’t have free tuition and books. That’s what I get for being born White. If I were native I’d have a free ride. Instead I have debt” That comment is just as ignorantly racist as the previous one, but harder for people who have never experienced racism to recognize.

    I wrote several letters to the CBC President and Board of Directors (all of them are white) about this problem with anti-Indigenous racism, but they completely ignored my complaints, dismissing them as a matter of opinion. I have sent copies of all my correspondence with CBC management to the Truth & Reconciliation Commission, to be added to the historical record, demonstrating just how entrenched anti-Indigenous bigotry is in Canada, and how difficult it is to get the mainstream, settler culture to recognize and understand that racism in order to eradicate it.

    • You don’t find the words “settler culture” to be subtle racism, but anyone who disagrees with your viewpoint is showing subtle racism? That’s just silly.

    • I enviously held the same beliefs about native “handouts,” having grown up among four Ontario reservations, until someone clarified just how few Canadians qualify for support. That was a long time ago and I don’t have the numbers, if someone on here does, that would be helpful….and better than the sarcastic approach Macleans chose.

    • “Most Canadian are too ignorant to get the satire in this article” – Well thank goodness we’ve got your brilliant mind here to enlighten us, oh bastion of wisdom! What would we do without intelligent people like you explaining to us how everything is racist, as long as it’s coming from a white person.

      • Oh my goodness, nobody said WHITE anywhere in the article – this is about NON-NATIVE people, that is anyone who is not indigenous who lacks understanding of their collective experience. It says a lot that you defensively and automatically interpreted this to be about “white” people only.

    • Some comments here are racist to some extent or at least crass generalizations. However, most criticisms of this idle no more movement are not, in any way shape or form, racist. Be careful with throwing out the term racist without defining it. And be careful, when defining, not to create a definition that is so PC, that anything could be called racist, like “settler culture”.

  48. These guys founded Canada, so why are they so beaten down? It makes no sense. Quebec gets everything, why not these guys? Also, why can’t they speak the languages anymore? Quebec still speaks French, so what happened to Mohawk and Ojibwe? Also, why don’t we see our country as starting with these guys, since it actually did, instead of with Champlain. I love the French, but I think they pulled a number on us making us think they founded Canada and the Indians didn’t. 1603 is a long time ago but 16,000 B.C. is a lot longer time ago! thank goodness for the Iroquois or we wouldn’t even be here – we’d be a run down North US state of some kind, like Michigan. Thank God for the Iroquois, and the French should thank God for the Algonquins. Without these guys there would have been no Canada at all.

    • We don’t “get everything”. We pay equalization, it goes into the pot. PEI, NS and NB get more equalization per capita that Quebec (second largest province with 8 million people, in case you don’t know) who is #4. We also pay the highest taxes in North America. We paid 23% of federal infrastructures in Canada, but we only have 17% of them on our terrotory. So we are also subsidizing you.

  49. Very nice! A good reminder that statements carry implied weight – see also “The War Prayer” by Mark Twain.

  50. This has got to be the best article i have ever read. Bravo! Kichi Meegwetch,

  51. The government gets billions of dollars from the resources of canada. like gold, diamonds, oil gas and so on. Thats what people dont realize too. They think their money goes to the reserves pffft. yeah right. on top all of that attawapiskat sits next to a diamond mine when they should’nt be suffering. that should belong to us and the government should share the revenue with the First Nations. hiy hiy cherie****** idle no more******

    • i suppose maybe they could get jobs at the diamond mine?

    • The indians at Attawapiskat have all the opportunity they need to benefit from the diamond mine. They can go get a job there, receive training that will allow them to escape from the ‘first nation’ and apply themselves elsewhere.

  52. The issue at hand has more to do with two things; The improper reporting and lack of backstory within the media, and with an increase in TV shows revolving around people laughing at other’s misfortunes we seem to have lost our empathy toward other people.

    If the media properly reported what’s going on, and gave the history leading up to the ‘reported event,’ we might be better able to comment in an educated manner.

    If we stopped broadcasting or watching shows whose sole purpose is to create a space without empathy, we might be better able to relate to other groups of people.

    First Nations have been marginalized simply because they were in the Americas first and didn’t have the same ideas of personal property as those arriving from Europe. There were millions of people living across the continent, with amazingly complex civilizations (language, religion, hierarchies, agriculture, art, song and dance, to name a few) whose impact on the land was minimal.

    This is in stark contrast to what was going on in Europe at the time. Europeans arrived, realized First Nations didn’t have a piece of paper that ‘proved’ they owned the land, so documents were drafted and considered legal under a system imported from Europe.

    Now that Canada’s population is so diverse, it’s time we let go of this 500 year old rhetoric and started to listen to all who live here and work together to protect our environment and resources, ensure basic human rights have been met for all, education and health care are accessible to all and stop this heavy consumerist attitude that pervades Canadian culture.

  53. I think your “What they must mean” shows your own biases, and what you wish mainstreamers were thinking, way more than what we actually think. Examine your own biases, we’re not the evil you think we are, and you actually are part of us. We’re all full Canadians, and nobody is holding aboriginals back. You ask if I’d trade places – you bet I’d take the extra benefits aboriginals get, and I would spend them wisely and put them to great use, too. If you want to trade, I will trade.

  54. Harper is drowsy with peace..
    Nastrodamus said this,..and also our their souls..
    Harper wishes war upon the ppl that made this country exist..
    …what happened to the last white guy that tried to fck wit us…i know my history… egwah.. wake up from your slumber and renew our land..fck this guy!

    • These problems existed long before Harper was PM. Most of them are of the natives’ own making. They should smarten up and learn how to run their own affairs. I resent my money being sucked down that black hole, and natives acting like they are entitled to it, and blaming every one but themselves for their problems.


      • Just exactly HOW did native people colonize themselves? I thought it took an outsider to colonize a people. I didn’t know people can colonize and abuse themselves. Before contact, they were living in a normal, complex, civilized society with a government, culture, just like other peoples across the world, had never seen or known what booze was, and no widespread disease or filth existed. Yes, they had wars with each other, just like European nations did, but when the colonizers came, what did you expect them to do? Bow down and say, ‘thank you for coming to show me how to live your way. I will do it right now. As you say, sir.” Eff that. Would you accept a foreign invader coming to Canada now to tell you how to live? I don’t think so. They were never conquered and still aren’t. You seem to think the conquering and assimilation should have happened a long time ago, when in fact, they’ve been fighting it since 1492 and continue to do so. Advocating the conquering and assimilation of a nation isn’t very Canadian or tolerant of you, is it?

        • Native “chiefs” and their band council cadres abscond with the bands’ money, while the rest of the reserve live in abject poverty. That’s what I’m talking about….”colonizing themselves” is a childish and useless comment.

    • Harper has only had a majority government for the last two years. Who is responsible for the last two hundred?

  55. I don’t get the name. “Idle no more” Were they idle before?

  56. In the Idle No More movement, Indians say they are fighting for their treaty rights.

    But, in the treaties, the Indians ceded land to the British Crown but reserved land for the Indian bands.

    The 1850 Robinson Huron and Robinson Superior treaties say the Indians did “surrender, cede, grant and convey forever all their right, title, and interest” in the land they ceded to the Crown.

    Treaty 1 says the Indians did “cede, release, surrender and yield up forever” the land they ceded to Crown.

    Treaties 2 to 11 say the Indians did “cede, release, surrender and yield up forever all their right, title and privileges whatsoever” to the land they ceded to the Crown.

    The 1923 Williams Chippewa and Williams Mississauga treaties say the Indians did “cede, release, surrender and yield up all their right, title, interest, claim, demand and privileges” to the land they ceded to the Crown.

    The Crown did promise Indians could hunt and fish in the areas the Indians ceded to the Crown but that was only until the Crown needed the land.

    In the 1850 Robinson Huron and Robinson Superior treaties, it says the following.

    “and further to allow the said Chiefs and their Tribes the full and free privilege to hunt over the Territory now ceded by them, and to fish in the waters thereof, as they have heretofore been in the habit of doing; saving and excepting such portions of the said Territory as may from time to time be sold or leased to individuals or companies of individuals, and occupied by them with the consent of the Provincial Government”.

    In the numbered treaties 1 and 2, the Crown did not give Indians the right or the privilege to hunt and fish on the land those Indians ceded to the Crown.

    In the numbered treaties 3 to 11, it says the following or something very similar.

    “Her Majesty further agrees with Her said Indians that they, the said Indians, shall have right to pursue their avocations of hunting and fishing throughout the tract surrendered as hereinbefore described, subject to such regulations as may from time to time be made by Her Government of Her Dominion of Canada, and saving and excepting such tracts as may, from time to time, be required or taken up for settlement, mining, lumbering or other purposes by Her said Government of the Dominion of Canada, or by any of the subjects thereof duly authorized therefor by the said Government”.

    The Crown promised a school and/or a teacher on each reserve only in the 11 numbered treaties across western Canada but not in other treaties.

    Perhaps two of the 11 numbered treaties call for a medicine bag on each reserve but other treaties do not call for medicine or healthcare for Indians.

    None of treaties say the Indians would get a share of the money from development of resources on land the Indians ceded to the Crown.

    So, what exactly are the treaty rights the Indians think they should get?

  57. You forgot to mention Pierre Poilièvre thinks First Nations are immigrants. Hey, they came on the Bering ice bridge, so they are immigrants, right? But of course Earth was created 6000 years ago, hey Pierre?

    Who said Champlain founded Canada? That’s not what I learned (I am from Quebec). I learned he founded Quebec City in 1608. Neither did Cartier found Canada. I learned in school there were people here when the French colonizers or, to be politically correct “explorers”, arrived, a long time before the English BTW. The French founded New France. Period.

    I guess some people would be happy if everyone spoke English. No First Nations, no Inuit, no French, no Metis.

    • They are immigrants. DNA studies have found First Nations to be a combination of Mongolian and Australasian with, believe it or not, a small Basque mix.

      • So what? Even if you believe they came here via Beringia they were still here first living peacefully and didn’t deserve to be oppressed by colonialsm! Look at it this way: you bought your home you live in right now but you weren’t there since the beginning of time. It’s still yours. Now, someone comes along and says “get the eff out and move into the basement – I’M living upstairs now and I’m telling you what to do from now on! I own the entire house and the property, but out of courtesy, I’ve set aside this basement for you to enjoy forever. Be grateful for it. I will put a lock on the door to the upstairs and if you want to get out, you must find a way to do that yourself. I’ll be generous by giving you free heat and hydro while you live down there. If you don’t find a way out of the basement, I will continually taunt you and call you names about how stupid you are and how lazy you are for not figuring out how to open the lock. If you try to break the door down to get the lock open, I will call you violent and send in my security guards to push you back down the stairs. I’ll send food down a chute going into the basement. If you go on a hunger strike while you’re down there, I don’t care. I’m having a great time up here and I don’t want to be bothered with what’s going on down there because I’m having a great time up here and you should be thankful for the scraps of food I give you, you ungrateful bastard. If you ask for more, I will tell everyone upstairs you’re asking for handouts again. And if you can’t manage one loaf of bread a week between the five of you to keep from going hungry, well then, you simply don’t know how to ration food. Have fun and remember: pull yourself up by your bootstraps and get out of this situation YOU put yourself in, but don’t forget, I will try to stop you if you do.” Sincerely, your oppressor.

        • They didn’t own the land, sweetie. They were nomads. They had territorial spheres of influence which were subject to constant change as the tribes fought over prime hunting grounds. It is more akin to someone crossing my front lawn and saying they own it because they cross there every day.

          • Territorial rights, just like we Canadians have territorial rights to this country from outsiders. Nobody from another country can come in and take us over, can they? Would you let them and become one of them if they did?

  58. What the “first nations” need to be is “corrupt no more.”

    They get many millions of dollars of our hard earned tax dollars that is absconded with, confiscated, by corrupt chiefs and their band council cadres, while the rest of the reserve lives in squalor. This is a home-grown corruption issue, not a federal relations issue.

    This system is so stupid, the whole reserve system should be abolished. It has clearly been an abject failure.

  59. Some people are so fortunate to grow up privileged – but there’s not many of those fortunate people. Most of us have been desperately poor, beaten, raped, traumatized by war or abused, and it is time for us to speak up and protect each other in our healing. As my friend Linda says -” we don’t have to do it that way anymore”. It is time to live our truth – and our lives might be less than perfect, but each of us is rising up in compassion. We are survivors. There is a reason why we survived. I am from a middle class white family, I am traumatized from war, I have been raped – I have survived – and I am valued in my society for having a big heart and compassion.

  60. I find the negative and insulting comments against native people very discouraging on the one hand, but also see the desire for solutions to an ongoing tragedy. We immigrated to Canada 60 years ago, were not well educated and were poor. We went to night school while working in basic jobs (like janitor). After some learning we got better jobs. We never became rich but did live a decent life. I am positive that if my parents moved to an isolated town, like a reserve, our chances for that decent life would be greatly diminished. Does our experience demonstrate one way out of poverty for native people. I think so. And that should not be insulting to native people or their leaders who appear to have a vested interest in maintaining the government funded gravy train to nowhere.

  61. Let me get this straight:

    After years of mismanagement – not all reserves, but most – and corruption, a bill is coming which will force bands to have a third-party auditor, like most corporations, in order to ensure that money is not diverted into the hands of the band council illegally.

    Because of this, natives are blocking train lines – illegally – and the chief of a remote northern reserve is on a ‘hunger strike’ – a hunger strike that includes eating fish broth.

    The ‘movement’ is entirely illogical, and illegal actions are not going to win over the support of the Canadian public.

    The accountability act must stay; its long overdue. Too many reserves, including the ones I am intimately familiar with – have the band council is beautful homes and brand new cars while the rest of the band goes without.

    Time to end the corruption.

    Canadians are failing a tolerance test – ? No, ‘first nations’ are failing to deal with the fiscal malfeasance in their own communities. This is tax payer money, and there need to be controls.
    I suppose Macleans has already seen how little support this ‘movement’ has in the general body politic.

  62. clever! the best laugh is watching comments from the biggots who dont understand the sarcasm. they validate the point of the article, that ignroance fuels hatred… read on everybody and check yourself cuz if you arent giggling, guess what… you’re the asshole. CHEERS!

  63. Please don’t discount the possibility that many serial negative commenters may be trolls hired by PR firms acting for political parties or resource companies.

  64. I think many non native Canadians are getting very tired with the culture of victim, the dysfunctional families, the drug and alcohol dependency, the outrageous financial scams of the “aboriginal Industry” from land claims, groups of lawyers paid hundreds of millions by public taxes, and never ending abuse claims from three generations and more ago, the corrupt band leaders, the claims of being good stewards of the land when most are nothing of the kind, the billion- many billions- of dollars going to perpetuate a failed system of our version of apartheid, the blockades, the violence, the occupations, the horrific incompetence of native social services with regards to vulnerable children, and the special treatment, in the courts, based on race, that they demand.

    What’s the answer? Damned if I know, and damned if they know. Certainly no politician of any stripe wants to touch it, for fear of being branded racist, for saying what needs to be said. We need to have an open frank discussion of this, without being P.C., and no doubt some very ugly things will come out. And need to. It won’t happen, instead, the “problem” simmers just below boil.

    But as the aboriginal/First Nations/Indians whatever they are called in today’s P.C., jargon, is the fastest growing demographic, the situation can only get worse.

    • You Live in their land as a 3rd party to the Crown and their Treaties. Its time for First Nations to enforce them treaties once and for all. A’ho.

  65. The above is a set of what are called ‘strawman arguments’, claiming that ones opponents think or believe some idea, chosen not because the opponents have any connection with it, but because it’s easy to generate a counter argument.

  66. Blah blah blah. All white people are racists. If you don’t support simply cutting a blank check to unaccountable corrupt chiefs, you’re racist. If you don’t think Canadian society is a cesspool of greedy racist bigots, you’re a racist. If you think the problems on reserves are deeper than the size of the government checks cut, you’re racist. If you don’t ascribe to the notion that First Nations people are “different” and need “special” treatment, you’re racist.

    Blah blah blah, whatever. The writer comes off as far more racist than any of the comments he quotes.

    • Every penny sent to Nations by INAC is accounted for, every cent, Otherwise the next year there is no funding. So research what you preach.

      • How about monies received from unions, environmentalists, trust funds, foreign governments? This is what is behind all this sturm and drang. We are going to find out exactly who is sending money to the FN and it isn’t going to be pretty.

    • Where in the article is the word “white” written? Lol. You said it. Not me, not the writer, not anyone.

  67. What most taxpayers seem to not get is, IF your govt is using taxpayers money to honor the treaties then they are robbing you. Take that issue up with Canada Revenue. Our Treaties are signed long before taxes were implemented on societies.

    Our Treaties are guaranteed by the resources of our lands. That why it is important to fight bills such as C-45 and the racist bills against First Nations coming down the pipe lines. If you do not stand with the People and their Treaties, the lands will be destroyed for all ethnicity of people who live there.

    Your hatred is projected by a govt who dummies down their society with lies in their own history and education. Raise above the lies and educate the truth so the true meaning of sharing these lands is honored, equally.

    • “… guaranteed by the resources of our lands”

      Hardly. They are promoted by the government and in particular by the Courts, which have for reasons obscure decided to exacerbate the divisive nature of those treaties rather than mitigate the problems they create… most of which problems fall upon the indians who are ostensibly supposed to be favoured.

      • Actually your political system is a 3rd party to My Treaties and you or your govt have the right to change or alter them. They are not yours to do so. Canada is a Colony and always will be, a 3rd Party to the Agreement to share the land with the Crown.

        Treaties are the last chance to stop the destruction corporation have in plans for you, as they dangle the golden egg of jobs. Jobs that destroy the very lands you live on. Treaties stop that destruction.

        Id call Canada Revenue and have them assure you, they are not stealing your taxes for their obligations.

        Walk gently on our Mother, for she is sacred.

        • * Have no right (typo) :)

          • You can click on “edit” to fix those (though I read between the lines, as it were, and knew what you were trying to say).

  68. The above is a set of what are called ‘strawman arguments’, claiming that ones opponents think or believe some idea, chosen not because the opponents have any connection with it, but because it’s easy to generate a counter argument.

    The intellectual poverty this represents is depressing.

    On a lighter note, Todd Rundgren here performs what should be the theme song of the protest movement:

    (Also applicable to the Occupy movement, which has fizzled as this one eventually will)

  69. I think it important to note that this internet is a GLOBAL community .. so .. many of the comments and hating that happens on these walls come from far outside our borders.
    Just as our Jobs are Outsourced.. so are our trolls.

  70. Nice of you to articulate your thoughts and then transfer them onto Canadians, you don’t speak for the people of this nation and if you “Feel the above thoughts” own up to them as yours instead of pretending you are the thought police. The bigotry of no to low expectations for natives via the political left goes beyond contemptable into the rhelm of aiding and abetting them.

  71. I needed to see this! The ignorance and racism out there is shocking.

  72. Thank you. That was great. There are quite a few issues that show a really ugly side of Canadians/privileged people, their intolerance and bigotry like any report about the First Nations. The lack of empathy in the limited, self centered view of ‘others’ and the arrogance of claiming that everything that is not ‘our’ culture, that is different, is obviously lacking something and inferior …its so ridiculous and frankly, embarrassing and shameful.

    It’s very similar to topics concerning anyone who’s Muslim and/or Arab. It’s especially depressing to read comments online when this happens because it always seems to be the majority and most vitriolic comments – which, I suppose, is because people who don’t feel that way are turned off and simply don’t comment. That’s what I hope anyway. I often wonder how some of these comments can possibly come from adults and not just teenaged trolls…but clearly most of these seem to really be written by adults.

    Anyway, so this made feel a little better about the crappy world we live in…thank you!

  73. Communicating online on facebook is a challenge, for every single cause or interest under the sun. There are agenda driven people who have been online for years and there are people with a personal mandate to find new innovative ways to be helpful. How do you choose who is valid if casting a wide net over everyone and judging them all the same way? Please be mindful, and inclusive.

  74. This comment was deleted.

    • Wow! I thought you were a critical thinker. 13 months ago, Spence was pilloried and attacked in the press by the Conservative Government who deployed exactly the same (false) accusations you repeat here. They forced an auditor on the band, then sent the bill to them, but to what end? Absolutely nothing was uncovered.The apperarance is that the auditor was punishment for going to the press about Indian Affairs failure to rerspond to emergency conditions. The bands audited financial statements are online for all to see. The vast amounts of money you seem to think are flowing into swiss bank accounts are actually pretty small dollars on a per capita basis, and the spending is largely not discretionary for the band. Roughly 50% of their funding is spent on Ottawa beaurocrats, and a chunk of what actually gets to the band is wasted generating the paperwork required by Indian Affairs, I do not think that you have any information that I do not have access to, and there has been no credible evidence of `corruption, or mis-appropriation`, the audited statements for the band are posted online, so your contention that Spence is hiding something is a flat out lie. Clearly your attacks on the integrity of Spence are unfounded, and probably meet the legal definition of slander. Just FYI, critical thinking means analysing and critically evaluating what you are told. You have swallowed every casual assertion about Attawaspikat whole.

  75. Brilliant! I love the translations.

  76. I am from a native background and I must say that this article only focuses on the negative, rather than the positive support from Idle No More. I have a few hundred friends on facebook, and I can honestly say that I have NOT seen a single negative comment regarding either Idle No More or natives in general! And before you ask, no, my friends are not primarily native on facebook! Why not add a paragraph to your article about the hundreds of thousands of supporters from over a hundred countries around the world who DO stand with us?? If you are only surrounded by negative people, you aren’t trying hard enough to make a change in your own surroundings.You cant effect positive change in people by pointing out only the negative!

  77. I am so glad someone had the foresight and courage to write an article that goes against what every other news or media outlet chooses to focus on. Thank you .

  78. Truth as comedy. I love it.
    (such a breath of fresh air from a mainstream media outlet :o)

  79. What Idle No More Says: Large industry has ruined our environment.
    What they mean: Pay us some more money for not good reason and make sure we all have hydro, running water, gas for our cars. But an pollution caused is your fault.

  80. Thank you for writing this, it means more than you know. I don’t think I can recall ever reading anything from mainstream media that didn’t promote ignorance against First Nation People.

  81. On behalf of those of us who still act like human beings….I’d like to apologize to the Native nations in Canada for what has been done to them. I have incredible gratitude that this woman is standing up for the resources of ‘everyone’ (clean water, air, and more). It is shameful that so many of you sit here and banter back and forth about nit picking little issues and a history you clearly don’t understand very well. Meanwhile totally missing the bigger picture of what “Idle No More” is really about.
    As a white person who has been concerned for as long as I can remember about the way this planet has been mistreated and disrespected in more ways than can be counted, I thank this woman for standing up on behalf of everyone. I’m not so sure than many modern people even deserve being stood up for quite honestly. Respect is earned, and modern society has done little to earn the respect of the Natives since arriving here. Perhaps if you think she is so wrong, you should go back where you came from. Which by the way….would not be Canada.

  82. I for one support a fair and open dialogue with the native peoples of Canada. First lets have Theresa explain exactly what happened to the missing millions on her reserve and then we can talk about rights.

  83. Reading what this article means to people really touched my heart. I feel so terrible about what people say. Canadians need a lot more education on aboriginal history and issues.

    Thanks Macleans for writing a supportive article. Ignorance should always be put in its place. I wish for aboriginal Canadians that Idle No More makes a difference. Know that there are many other non-aboriginals, like myself, in support of this.

  84. lol. I think that’s the most sarcasm I have ever read in an article.
    I would just say that the Indian Act is really a scapegoat that allows polticians to blame Aboriginal “self-governance” for their corruption problems, rather than dealing with the issue head on.

  85. Tolerance is a ridiculous concept when it comes to ‘Canadians’, who is tolerating who? First Nations have been tolerating the illegal and abusive practices of the descendants of European settlers for way too long. This article has great responses to the racist comments all over the internet directed to First Nations people. Wake up Canada, we live in an APARTHEID nation.

  86. Personally, I think that if Natives want to be “heard” regarding their concerns then they should step up and start paying taxes. They want roads, education, healthcare, infrastructure etc…but expect non-Natives to pay for all that stuff. They perpetuate their situation by refusing to get with the times and acknowledge that if they want to have the ammenities of modern society they need to pay their share and forget about treaties that were signed in the pioneer days. That was a totally different time, the world has changed and what made sense back then simply does not apply anymore. As far as the myth that Natives respect the earth more than non-Natives because of their culture and heritage, I believe that was true at one time but again this mostly does not apply anymore. I have personally witnessed Natives fishing for spawning fish (totally out of season and when fish populations are at their most vulnerable) with ZERO regard to the health of the fishery. Their only concern was catching as many fish as possible. I’d be all for Natives having higher possession limits than non-Natives but the fishing seasons are their for a reason and that is to protect the fishery and ensure that it thrives.

  87. Some of us just don’t agree with your points of view, this makes us intolerant apparently, pot calling the kettle black

  88. Great satire – thanks ;-)

    A username such as “sickofindians” is inherently racist & I wonder if the editors would publish other posters if they used names like “sickof___” with different racial groups substituted for the word “indians”.

    I find myself wondering if one of the reasons we are seeing such a flood of offensive, intolerant comments about Chief Spence and Idle No More is because the federal government is afraid of what is happening, so they have insructed their shills and trolls to work overtime to discourage and divide Canadians with ignorance and hate.

    • unfortunately I think that the flood of racism is too big to be orchestrated that way. It is more the case that anonymity allows people to say outrageous things without fear of their neighbours knowing what they have to say. Maybe there has actually been a change in Canadians, that we are turning into a nation of proudly racists Aryan Nations types?

  89. Another useless piece of drivel written by some libretard.

  90. So just how does one disagree with the subsidized native commune system now in place without being called a racist by you lefties? This column is as PC as a collage campus FGS.

  91. It all seems simple enough….people don’t want to support old treaties or Native peoples or equal rights, then go back to your country of origin and give back to these people what was taken from them.

  92. Racism is a two way street folks, I’ve been on the receiving end of it at hands of Natives on several occasions. If we can’t respect each other’s cultural differences and have an open and honest conversation about concerns of all parties we are not going to get anywhere!

  93. thank you for saying

  94. Hai Hai and many many blessings for you and your children. Finally, some honest media!

  95. Don’t put words in our mouths David. Sometimes a spade is really just a spade!
    And this is why I no longer bother with Macleans.

    Idle Forever More bros!!!

  96. AWESOME!!!!!

  97. this article is truth. I’ve had an ongoing dialogue with the Free Press in Winnipeg about online comments. They display our ignorance and racism as a society. Thanks for writing this.

  98. This article is shameful. I do not agree with the notion of a divided Canada where one group gets special treatment under a system that is broken. One Canada. One people.

  99. I think we are all getting a little caught up in emotion. I do see quite a few critical and disrespectful comments on the boards. But I view these comments sections as kind of therapeutic – people are free to spew their unacceptable comments, so they can be more tolerant and reasonable in real life. What we really need to do is vote them down, and point out exactly how they are wrong, in fine detail. The issue is a complicated one, and a “with us, or against us” stance is far too simplistic an approach. We must agree that change is wanted and necessary, then work hard – together- through thick and thin – to find solutions. Personally, I would rather be able to read my critics views, rather than have them go underground. That way, I can be aware, take them to heart when they speak the truth and prepare my arguments accordingly. We need real, detailed discussion and debate – not blind acceptance of “right” or “wrong”.

  100. Unless people are being sarcastic, satirical or speaking figuratively, they generally say what they mean. This author article is presumptuous at best, and downright misleading at worse.

  101. Unless people are being sarcastic, satirical or speaking figuratively, they generally say what they mean. The author of this article is being presumptuous at best, and downright misleading at worst.

    People often argue that one’s racial background should not give you special status but rather the person’s need. Few people ever argue that everyone is equal.

    Some comments are racist but most are not. Being critical of the Idle No More protest doesn’t make you a racist, in of itself. Asking for special treatment based on race is racist. I’m not arguing that FN’s shouldn’t get extra help but it should be because they need it not because they are FNs. And, of course, many do need that extra help.

  102. Brilliant! Thank you, every Canadian should read this.

  103. That’s a lotta whinning.


  105. What David Newland says: “Here is what these people said”
    What David Newland means: “They don’t know how to speak so let me interpret for you in the worst way possible because if they don’t agree with me they’re wrong”. I support the idle no more cause but I don’t support people spreading around their own interpretation of events and pretending like it’s fact.

  106. What a load of pure crap.

  107. Tuesday, 8 January 2013
    “5277 Days Later” – Preserving Knowledge – Why We Write Things Down!
    I have been watching the news as of late, and noticed a little something about the Native People’s of Canada. They talk about agreements with the British and Canadian Governments. Promises not kept.

    I, in turn, thought of my own situation reference agreements with the British and Canadian Governments and how those documents have gone missing. How I am unable to bring them forward to use as promised, as stated, within them.

    The Native People’s of Canada have their documents, I think they should use them as intended. I wish them good fortune in their renewed efforts and hope that soon, my documents will re-appear so that I might use them, as intended.

    It was said. It was written. The substance of the documents is / was; “Agreement”.not,”Unresolved Dispute.”

    This is not “Animal Farm” – the book. Within this book the individuals that took charge, wrote rules down so everybody could see and refer back to them. This is kind of like the US Constitution. In the book, the ones in charge erased the rules they didn’t like and re-wrote them. Since the general population was too busy or could not read, no one noticed until it was too late and there was no protected permanent copy to refer back to for reference.

    You just can’t erase the written rules and then change them as you like. They were written so we could remember. Not to lose and then forget, or in some cases, re-interpret as to benefit one side or the other. These agreements were made as “Agreements” not disputes unresolved.

    Posted by DHILR at 09:08 No comments:
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  108. Truth will prevail…and pray the whole country wakes up, and understands
    we are fighting for everyones future….

  109. Never heard of the concept of a strawman argument I guess?
    Wow, minimum wage doesn’t hire very good thinkers, maybe Macleans should up the rate by 25 or 30 cents..

  110. More leftwing dinosaurs trapped in the past and calling everyone who disagrees with them a racist.
    How boring and small.
    How does supporting incompetent fools like Spence help the average native people whose roofs are leaking as a reuslt of her incompetence?
    Why not show some support fo the people who are actually trying to improve things on the reserves?
    Put down the lattes and try thinking for yourselves for a change instead of acting like a bunch of Pavlov’s dogs.
    Try life ouside your pathetic politically correct box.
    Maybe read an auditors report or something…..

  111. I have never seen such vicious comments online as I have seen responding to articles on Idle No More, yet if you asked Canadians whether they thought they were honest people who respected their commitments, they would say “yes”. The Canadian Constitution, Treaties, the Human Rights Code, Environmental Protection Bills– these are the underpinnings of our democracy, and they are being undercut by the Omnibus Bills. Thank you for this article.

  112. Humour is the best medicine. THANK YOU. Miguetch.

  113. Brilliant!!

  114. Dear editor, please inform Mr. Newland that it is custom to finish such a post with /sarc off. This helps to clarify that the previous posting was intended as sarcasm to be enjoyed for its humour value. Hope this helps

  115. Don’t speak for me, please, Mr. Newland. I mean what I say, and say what I mean. I call a spade a spade.

    The reserve system is completely disfunctional, open to corruption and waste and worse, completely out of date – even Ateleo wants it scrapped. I work with several aboriginals and they have left the reserves for freedom. Some tribes hate other tribes (this is right out of the horse’s mouth – and my friend has every right to have a bad attitude towards “whitey” – but he knows how screwed up the system is and voluntarily opted out. He is much happier – so he tells me. No wonder agreement amongst bands is so difficult to achieve.

    For example: “if they want to live in the bush – its their problem”. Question: why would anyone want to live in a community where despair, hopelessness, drug addiction, rape, incest are “tolerated” or assumed to be a “given” by the band membership? Further, unless there is some sort of economic base, such reserves will continue to be sink holes for money.

    Other reserves (Oosoyoos, Westbank, Capaliano, for example), have accomplished a lot.

    If they are financial sink holes – buy them out, move them, but get on with it.

  116. I agree that many of the comments are simplistic and sound utterly terrible, but the interpretations in this article seem dangerously close to being guilty of the straw man fallacy. For example, IF (big if) federal funds are being mismanaged and misappropriated by aboriginal leaders, it does not follow that criticism of these abuses implies that the speaker believes that non-aboriginal politicians are perfect. I understand the point of the article, but it could have been handled much more tactfully.

  117. My parents were born and raised here in Canada; I also was also born and raised here in Canada so I am not a native to Canada? Is it not prejudice for the government to treat one person different than another because of the color of his skin or because of their heritage?

    Still if the spoiled “native” brats don’t get what they want and decide to block a road/ railroad track or bridge the police should do as they would for a normal Canadian and arrest them and throw them in jail without any fear of being called a racist. After all if I block the road into one of the Native Casinos because I am protesting them stealing all my money I’d be hauled off by the police and thrown into jail very quickly.

  118. There were enough Non-sequiturs in this I became offended

  119. Epic amounts of butthurt, racism due to ignorance (on both sides), and misinformation. Holy crap.

    Are the treaties outdated? Of course they are. Should they have been honoured this whole time? Of course. Should they be revised and updated to become appropriate for the modern age? Of course.

    Many non-Aboriginal people have a problem understanding the whole notion of being entitled to something simply based on the race you were born into. Aboriginals have a problem understanding why white people have a problem with understanding….you know what I’m getting at. It’s a cycle of not being able to view the other as one’s own. It’s not universal, by any means, but it’s more common than most seem to realize.

    I’ll be honest, I don’t fully understand what the Idle No More movement is about. I generally don’t concern myself with most current affairs, as they seldom affect my day-to-day life. I know I should be more up to date, but I’m not. From what little I’ve read about Idle No More, it is a movement that ultimately seeks to pressure the government to honour the plethora of things included in the treaties that they have been lacking on, and to repeal the environmental policies (or raping thereof) of C-45 (that drastically slashes regulations surrounding land and water protection).

    I’ve heard a slew of varying reports about Chief Spence and the apparent misappropriation of funds at her reserve. I’ve also read articles that claim there was no mismanagement, rather, this whole thing is a smear campaign to discredit the Idle No More movement. Honestly, I don’t know which is true. Is it possible that funds were misappropriated? Yep. Is it likely? No idea. I do know, however, that some supporters of the Idle No More (judging by some posts on my Facebook feed) movement seem to hold Spence as a Christ-like figure who can do no wrong. Hell, she might be that righteous. I don’t know.

    All this said, I’m a white 30 year old living in Saskatchewan. I see an abundance of poverty and ruined lives due to poor decisions and people being products of their environment and upbringing. These people are of all colours of skin. There is no specific race that is more prone to poverty, alcoholism, violent crime, or becoming dependent on welfare (traits many people believe are inherent in Aboriginal culture) than any other.

    I saw someone comment saying that Europeans settled Canada. I saw everyone jump on him, calling him a racist in a creative number of ways, both direct and otherwise. I think what he meant to say was “that which is the current culture of Canada – western, modern, capitalist, materialistic, etc – was brought here by the European settlement.” If this is what he mean, then yes, he’s right..I guess. Who knows? Maybe if Europeans hadn’t settled in Canada, maybe everything would have turned out roughly the same with a solely Aboriginal population.

    Everyone calm down. The article is obnoxious, but it addresses an underlying culture of ignorance and borderline racism (full-on racism, I’ve found, is usually kept to discussions with certain circles, not public forums…usually – anonymity is a dangerous catalyst).

    • It’s also important to note that the current government won’t be the one to improve anything, if the past however many years are an indication.

    • “… non-Aboriginal people have a problem understanding the whole notion of being entitled to something simply based on the race you were born into…”

      No, we understand full well. We are simply opposed to racism.

      We’ve been taught for decades that racism is a Bad Thing, that racism is Evil, that racism leads to poor outcomes for everyone involved with it, that racism should be avoided, and especially to be avoided is institutionalized racism.

  120. People going on and on about how Canadians are all intolerant. People of every race, tribe, culture are racist or ignorant in their own way. Singling out an ENTIRE country over a few tweets is what’s really stupid about all of this. If you don’t like the drama DON’T TAKE PART IN THE DRAMA.

  121. Fascinating.

  122. Thank you MacLeans for labelling me racist because I believe that THROWING AWAY CANADA’S MONEY is bad.

    Used to have respect for you, but this article… No longer will I read this trite publication.

  123. May be it is not just a Canadian
    Thing altogether. Canadians hate Americans. Whether you agree with me or not believe
    me, the typical Joe in Canada hates the United States. (By the way, vice versa
    is not the case, Americans do not exercise hate over Canadians). Not that I am
    defending the United States however, I am saying the double moral is entrenched
    in the Canadian society. There is a double moral issue in Canada. On one side
    we want to help First Nations, however, on the other side the Politics is very unsupportive.
    We want to be friend with the USA officially and business wise, however,
    reality is that we hate Americans. We want Muslims to settle down, however, we
    hate them. We want to be environmental friendly, however, we open up to
    European Businesses to exploit the environment in a very bad way. I have no
    idea what Canadians are, however I know that this is a very young nation with
    lots of segregation and self-centered behavior.

  124. Wow – so awesome you have decided to take the EXACT polar opposite of the stances, without adding anything USEFUL to the conversation.

    Like Martin Luther King Jr. said, “the only way to fight prejudice and racism is with MORE prejudice and racism!”

    …oh….oh WAIT

  125. This is absolutely amazing but comes as a shock considering the horrible, discriminatory, unenlightened, conservative stance you took towards the Quebec tuition strike. New ed. staff??