In the linked video, a man I have many issues with nonetheless lays out a very accurate, compelling, and factual description of the other half of the root problem on Canada’s most infamous Indian Reserve, Attawapiskat.
Further, we can extrapolate the information in the clip to gain insights into the problems plaguing other Reserves across the country.
I will not rehash what is in the video, and instead, simply say that if you are a Canadian, and concerned about Indian Affairs, you need to watch it. The corruption, waste, and largess being supported, not only by the Canadian taxpayer, but also on the backs of the poorest members of many bands, is endemic, and it is tragic that we ignore the whole truth in favor of a partial truth that serves our idealistic ideologies.
I think its safe to say most of us feel a collective guilt, and an obligation, to Native Canadians. There is a continued legacy. A legacy that demands we preserve, and restore, as much as possible, a culture all but destroyed in the settling of our country.
We are an older country now, wiser than we were in our wild, younger days, and we can now look back and realize the wrong done.
The blood in my own veins makes me a legal Indian, thanks to the Supreme Court, and though I do not claim my blood rights (I likely never will), my heritage, shared as it is with Native culture, is of immense, non-material, value to me. It is worth honoring and preserving.
Many Reserves in Canada, like those geographically nearest me, have strong, ongoing, cultural restoration projects. People who work hard within their communities to honor the past by having one foot in it, while the other foot is standing in the current reality of Canada, abound.
I love reading about their efforts. More broadly, I derive pleasure from seeing ancient traditions re-animated, and followed, in many places around the country. It does my heart good, both philosophically, and maybe even from somewhere within the memory of my blood, to see the Indian part of the Canadian story celebrated.
But that is not what is happening in Attawapiskat.
The National Media, and many opportunistic bleeding hearts, along with Theresa Spence, and all her sycophants, spit on the legacy of all that was lost, dispersed, or destroyed.
All that we’re killed by smallpox. All that was stolen in land, resources, wealth, and even innocence. All the efforts to save what little remains, are made mock by the corruption, and deliberate ignorance, inherent in the current narrative as regards Indian affairs.
She, and her followers, lived high on the hog at the taxpayers expense. They lied, they cheated, they stole, and they behaved like thugs. The consequences of their actions, their greed, and their mismanagement, are still developing.
Attawapiskat lost it’s way.
Traditions were only hauled out and given the spotlight when more money was needed, or when it was politically expedient to do so. This process is ongoing, and not just there, but also on other reserves across the country.
The silence of those who know better, but will not say anything due to it being a perceived political, social, or economic disadvantage to offer criticism where it is due, are cowards doing no one any favors. Their silence is responsible for the flooded basements, the third world living conditions, and the continued suffering of all those living in a state of perpetual punishment simply because they weren’t “in good” with Teresa Spence then, and are still being forgotten today.
When you bought the fake hunger strike, swallowing, and/or regurgitating, the same old sob stories sold to you by a wealthy, perpetual victim, along with a willing media, and cunning politicians taking full advantage of it, you dishonored those who truly suffered.
Now you continue to aid and abet their suffering by not talking about the other half of the problem on reserves in 2016: Corruption. There is no shame in truth, folks. We need to start getting real, and using our heads, rather than our hearts, to find policy solutions that actually fix problems.
Your silence is consent, and Ezra hit the nail right on the head with this report from 2013.
P.S. Theresa Spence’ Wikipedia page proves to be interesting (and infuriating) reading. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theresa_Spence