Victory for Accountability on Reserves?

Relax, We Know What’s Best for You

Here we go again, another “non native” solution to another native problem. 

Apparently, the Canadian Taxpayer’s Federation (CTF) has claimed VICTORY on behalf of grassroots aboriginal people.   I am not sure I am ready to celebrate just yet.  On the one hand, there really isn’t much transparency regarding finances in my own community, on the other hand I don’t remember putting my trust in a CTF based solution to this issue.  Particularly when it appears that there was no proper consultation on this bill before drafting or introduction to the House of Commons. 

Here are just a couple of tidbits from the good folks at CTF...

  • They want an end to reserves.   Hey why not? No more reserves, no more “Native Problem” right?  No more chiefs, no more “Tax Free Lands reserved for Indians”.  Its assimil – tastic!
  • They are fairly upset that 30 of 600 chiefs earn more than the prime minister

 Interesting agenda.  So yet again, the Canadian government along with the CTF are going to attempt to impose another one of their solutions on our communities whether we like it or not.  The CTF seems to love pointing out the waste of “Taxpayer” money, while in this instance blissfully ignoring the track record of similarly intentioned, “one size fits all” federal legislation that failed to incorporate the interests of the indigenous people it purported to serve.  Anyone remember these gems?

  • Indian Act Modification Act (1996)
  • Governance Act (2003)
  • Matrimonial Property (Currently in its 4th iteration, 2011)

 Why hasn’t anyone done a study on how much money is wasted on a futile legislative process that doesn’t even involve the input, support and consent of the people it will apply to?

Paternalism 2.0

For Communities that already provide basic information to their members, bill C-27 really isn’t a big deal, as it is my understanding that they won’t really have to be forced to do anything they aren’t already doing.   Accountability and transparency absolutely should form a requisite part of any governance responsibility back to the citizens it represents.   However, what gives the Government of Canada and the CTF the right to deny Indigenous communities self determination in this regard?

I understand that Whitecap Dakota has publicly supported bill C-27.   This Chief’s position still might not be sufficient to get this bill through parliament without at least the support of AFN.  Seems like a gamble, with taxpayer money no less.  Shame, shame!

Normally a treaty relationship demands a modicum of respect between nations. “Imposition” rarely, if ever seems to fit this definition no matter how well intentioned.  I had thought there were lines of communication open between our National Aboriginal Organizations and the Department of Aboriginal Affairs?  Where did things go wrong?  (Commence finger pointing, I’m out)



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