‘A journey with a clear destination’

by Aaron Wherry

Shawn Atleo, chief of the Assembly of First Nations, says it’s time to move toward scrapping the Indian Act and dumping the recently renamed Department of Aboriginal Affairs. Here is his speech to AFN’s general assembly in Moncton yesterday.

Advancing the First Nation Crown relationship means progress through steps like the First Nation-Crown Gathering, First Ministers meetings with First Nations and a potential First Nation-Crown agreement that advances and affirms our rights. We need new fiscal relationships built on common, mutually acceptable principles that guarantee and deliver sustainable, equitable services based on mutually agreed-to standards. We must implement our governments through building our institutions, planning and accountability mechanisms and finally we must drive structural change.

This is change that must first affirm First Nation jurisdiction, must include careful legal review and analysis and then advance structural changes to the machinery of the federal government. Right now, the bureaucracy and its policies are failing miserably. We need new structures that affirm the relationship and uphold the responsibility.

The AFN report that sets out this vision is here.




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‘A journey with a clear destination’

  1. I am 40 years old and you will be able to knock me over with feather if Natives are freed from tyranny in my lifetime.

    While Canada routinely ranks in the top ten of the United Nations Human Development Index (HDI) – a quality of life indicator based on income, education and life expectancy applying the same criteria to Canada’s aboriginal population reveals some striking figures. Registered Indians living on reserves are ranked approximately 68th, somewhere between Bosnia and Venezuela, while off-reserve Indians are ranked 36th.

    http://www.mapleleafweb.com/old/features/native/social-issues/index.html

    “Gary Becker showed that discrimination will be less pervasive in more competitive industries because companies that discriminate will lose market share to companies that do not. He also presented evidence that discrimination is more pervasive in more-regulated, and therefore less-competitive, industries.”

    http://www.econlib.org/library/Enc/bios/Becker.html

    • Nice to see you using some stats but I swear to God (figuretively speaking) if  you quote Becker one more time I am going  to search out some sort of curse that makes your balls turn into dust.  Enough already.

  2. “Canada’s first nations are potentially wealthy landlords, with land reserves totalling nearly three million hectares. Dozens of reserves are near major cities  … Indeed, there has been an explosion of entrepreneurship on Indian reserves …. But such developments are often impeded by an inadequate framework of property rights …. Defects in first nations property rights exist at two levels. The first level of difficulty is that most first nations do not own their lands; the federal Crown has legislative jurisdiction over Indian reserves and manages them for the use and benefit of their residents …. ”

    http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/first-nations-property-rights-going-beyond-the-indian-act/article1508574/

    Ronald Reagan ~ The nine most terrifying words in the English language are, ‘I’m from the government and I’m here to help.’

  3. So as I understand it Atleo wants to get rid of Aborigianl Affairs and create two new bureaucracies. One to manage treaties and one to manage services. As well he wants nation to nation talks. Well we already have that with Quebec and it is not working out very well for the rest of Canada. The fact is we live in the 21st century and a reserve system cannot work any longer. There is no PM who wants to see the aboriginal community live in squalor. However, the Aboriginal leadership needs to face the facts. They are getting approx. $8 billion in taxpayer funding every year. Without elimination of cronism, corruption and instituting a system that is transparent and accountable the aboriginal community will not get the support of the majority of Canadians.

    • Au contraire, Quebec is doing very well by the current conflict between it and  especially the current Federal government. The Aboriginal governments should look to Quebec for inspiration. How would you suggested the treaty settlements be settled?

      • Yes blackmail does work but eventually we will get a federal government that is prepared to exercise tough love on a greedy province that thinks its wants and needs come above the best interest of the country and the other provinces and territories. Tell me why is the second largest provinces in the country is always designated as a have not province when they have social programs that other provinces can only dream about.
        As for the aboriginal community it has not had the leadership that it sorely needs. Maybe Atleo will bring that leadership. However,  until that leadership understands they need to be fully transparent and accountable for the money now being poured into the aboriginal communities there will not be much support from the majority of Canadians. I don’t think there is any way to solve the land claims. Many of them are undocumented and really what is the answer. Turn Vancouver over to the aboriginals?  

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