Tag Archives: Aboriginal Affairs

Canadians Need to Understand Before It’s too Late

Idle No More

IT’S BEEN ONE YEAR since the Attawapiskat First Nation housing crisis became a widely deliberated point, and perhaps that Attawapiskat itself became a known point on the map of Canada. It thus happens that the current hunger strike of Chief Theresa Spence is among other things an anniversary marker of a sort.

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Canada’s Eighth Step to Roseau River

IF YOU’VE lived among Anishinabe, you’ve heard the phrase “too many chiefs and not enough indians.” It refers to the familiar spectacle of an environment which is rich in big ideas and big talk, but rather poor in the getting of things done. At the Roseau River Anishinabe First Nation in southern Manitoba, near the U.S. border, two chiefs have been elected within the last year, and the community is now facing a February referendum to sort out a bit of a jurisdictional mess. I advise you to put on your seatbelt as I rehearse a fascinating story which tells us quite a bit about how things work in the world of Indian Country.

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Doing the Math in Attawapiskat

EARLY IN THE week, during an interview whose topic was the relationship in Canada between aboriginal and non-aboriginal people, I was asked what I would hope for “in an ideal world.” My answer was an alteration of political will, and more specific a beyond-mere-rhetoric commitment to a renewal of the relationship on the principle of mutual respect. I then felt it necessary to argue, along the lines of Theodor Herzl’s “If you will …” , that the only impediment to progress in Canada is the absence of political will.

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