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PostPosted: January 17th, 2013, 3:17 pm 
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I came across this quote from Paul Martin in a CBC interview:

"A: Idle No More, while not unique – there have been other historic examples of it – is nonetheless a very different approach. It’s not violent. This is a huge grassroots movement in which a lot of non-aboriginals are participating. It arose from an issue that all Canadians should be outraged about – which was the slipping into budget bills [of] pieces of legislation that would gut, as an example, environmental assessments on freshwater rivers and lakes. I think what’s happening here is that aboriginals of all kinds are saying, “We’re not going to take this any longer.” And Canadians who understand the issues are saying, “You’re right, and we want to join with you.” If this isn’t unique, it’s certainly welcome."

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/paul-martin-sa ... 07877.html

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2013, 9:38 am 
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Quote:
"...Canadians who understand the issues are saying, “You’re right, and we want to join with you.” If this isn’t unique, it’s certainly welcome."



I dunno... there's some possibility of backlash here.



Quote:
Spence lacks support of most Canadians: poll

Most Canadians believe First Nations receive too much federal funding, and Aboriginals' problems are 'brought on by themselves'

Global News : Tuesday, January 15, 2013 7:41 PM



More than a month into her much-publicized protest, Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence is not garnering much support from Canadians, according to a new survey.

The chief received an approval rating of 29 per cent in a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted exclusively for Global News and Postmedia News.

The survey suggests the Idle No More movement hasn't garnered much sympathy for Canada's First Nations, but rather, raised awareness about financial accountability on the reserves.

Nearly two-thirds (64 per cent) of poll respondents believe Canada's First Nations receive too much federal funding. About the same number (62 per cent) believe Ottawa treats Aboriginals well.

But Aboriginals are also creating problems for themselves, according to more than half (60 per cent) of respondents. Idle No More spokesperson Pam Palmater insists that simply isn't the case.

In an interview over the phone with Global News, she puts the blame squarely on Ottawa. "First Nations are not to blame for the situation they're in. Indian Affairs controls every single aspect of our lives."

"Our problem is we have more kids in care today because of government policies than we ever did in residential schools. So nothing's changed for us, they just use different policies to accomplish the same thing."

Until auditors are appointed to ensure financial accountability, Ottawa should not hand out additional taxpayer dollars to any reserve, according to most Canadians (81 per cent).

Twenty-seven per cent of Canadians believe much of the federal money is managed well by First Nations leaders. Out of all Canadian provinces, Quebec agreed the most with this (36 per cent), while Saskatchewan and Manitoba agreed the least (8 per cent).

The question was asked just days after an independent audit of Attawapiskat First Nation, commissioned by Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, detailed how the band council had not properly tracked how it spent $104 million earmarked for housing, sewage, and education.

Deloitte and Touche LLP's study showed 81 per cent of the 505 financial transactions reviewed lacked proper documentation. Sixty per cent had no documentation for the reason for payment, the auditors noted.

Chief Lloyd Phillips of the Mohawk Council of Kahnawà:ke says one reserve's bad audit reflects poorly on all the reserves. "By far, 90 per cent-plus of the communities are above board in terms – they've always been accounted for. The audit reports are requirements of the federal government every year."

"The vast majority are more than adequate in what they provide. You know, it's unfortunate there are a few – and no one will deny that – that are mismanaging, but those are the ones who make the headlines."

Global National Ottawa Bureau Chief Jacques Bourbeau approached Spence on Tuesday for her reaction to the poll, but she refused to comment, deferring Bourbeau to her spokesperson, Danny Metatawabin.

Metatawabin says many Canadians just don't understand the issues facing First Nations. "We are not money-grabbers. We just get limited funding."


Approval

While Spence suffered relatively low approval ratings, First Nations national leaders scored the highest, at 51 per cent.

Harper came in second at 46 per cent. Ipsos Reid points out that when the Conservatives were elected to a majority government in 2011, the party received 40 per cent of the vote.

The Idle No More movement placed third, at 38 per cent, ahead of Spence. But only 51 per cent of Canadians say they've been paying "close attention" to details of the recent First Nations protests.

A lack of knowledge is contributing to Aboriginals' negative reputation, according to Palmater. "These people participating in polls – for the most part – don't have that historical, legal, political, social, factual context. They're giving opinions based on what they hear in the media – and not based on fact."

Phillips echoes Palmater's sentiment. "The movement certainly needs to send a much clearer message to the Canadian public through the media... (I'm) not being critical of (all) the media, but I've witnessed some media outlets who have not shown the best light on the whole issue."

To Phillips, the message is simple: First Nations want a better life in Canada. "We want to assert our jurisdictions, and have a new relationship – you know, respective of our historical relationship with Canada."

Palmater is urging Canadians to give the Idle No More movement "a chance. Ask questions. Self-educate. Start understanding what are the root causes of these problems."

In the meantime, Spence insists she will remain on a liquids-only diet until she is granted a meeting with Prime Minister Stephen Harper, Gov. Gen. David Johnston, and other First Nations leaders.


'Legitimate protest' and cooperation

The views on what constitutes a "legitimate protest" varied across Canada. Nationally, 31 per cent believed shutting down roads and railways was appropriate. Forty-three per cent of Atlantic Canadians agreed, but only 21 per cent in Saskatchewan and Manitoba concurred.

As for cooperation, a majority (56 per cent) of Canadians believe neither Canada's First Nations nor the Harper government is being fair. When the results were dissected by political party support, 56 per cent of Conservative supporters thought the Harper government has been reasonable during this dispute. Twenty-eight per cent of Bloc Quebecois supporters believed First Nations were more fair.

An equal number of NDP and Liberal supporters (58 per cent) agreed that neither side was more reasonable.

Almost two-thirds (63 per cent) of Canadians believe Ottawa should be helping to raise the quality of life for Aboriginal Canadians. Support on this issue was the greatest in Atlantic Canada (68 per cent), while less than half (49 per cent) of respondents in Saskatchewan and Manitoba agreed.

From Friday to Monday, 1,023 Canadian adults were interviewed online for this survey, which was weighted to bring it in line with Canadian demographics, and has a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points.



Read it on Global News: Spence lacks support of most Canadians: poll


Read it on Global News: Spence lacks support of most Canadians: poll



http://www.globalnews.ca/spence+lacks+s ... story.html

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2013, 10:45 am 
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Having a long time friend, who is an active member in the Idle No More movement,
and is the director of art at the First Nations University of Canada, in Regina, I have definitely heard lots of propaganda from their side of the fence. A lot of it is well based, while much of it is not. Like any movement, there are the ones that truly want change for good reasons, while others that get involved want nothing more than to protest, and yet others who are looking for personal gain. The latter is where Paul Martin fits in, who is just doing some political posturing, otherwise why the heck did his government not institute initiatives to make this change. The issues were there, just not as much in the media and public eye,

I am very much in favour of major revisions to the Indian Act, and that a lot of issues these people face being faced with are addressed properly. Something most definitely needs to be done. However, the country should not be held hostage in dealing with these needs. The past is the past, and although there were some definite atrocities, there is nothing that can undo these things, and instead of looking back, we need to look forward on these issues. I am not too keen on some of their latest exploits in promoting their cause, like the blockades. All they are doing is aggravating people that they want to back them up. I am all for protests, and most of them are doing proper, peaceful and not disruptive ones, with is within their rights to do.



Quote:
In an interview over the phone with Global News, she puts the blame squarely on Ottawa. "First Nations are not to blame for the situation they're in. Indian Affairs controls every single aspect of our lives."


This line I most definitely do not agree with. While there is definitely blame that should be borne by Ottawa, Indian Affairs definitely does not control every single aspect of their life, only they do. Yes, they do control too much, but that does not mean that the Indians can do nothing to better their own lives. There are a few bands that have taken the strides to become more economically viable without handouts from the government.

Here is an interesting interview with Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos Indian Band, who rather than wasting time complaining, is taking the bull by the horns, and has built up a good business base for their band. I have stayed in the campground of theirs a few times, and have visited their wineries. A class act, for sure.

http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/8thfire/2012/ ... uie-1.html

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2013, 12:46 pm 
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I was actually more interested in the reference to Idle No More and environmental issues as this interview was the first that I heard of any environmental focus to the movement.

As far as federal funding for First Nations goes, Paul gave a good outline of the targeted $5 billion plan that was being put in place at the time the Liberals lost power. One of those targeted areas was accounting and financial training and education which continues to be a weakness.

As for overall spending, be aware that for First Nations the federal spending covers all the roles of municipal, regional/county, provincial and federal spending elsewhere. Whether well managed or not, the totals look much different when compared that way.

Anyway, have you heard anything elsewhere about the Idle No More movement focusing on environmental issues?

Quote:
Edited to fix a couple of typos only.

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Last edited by Splake on January 19th, 2013, 4:38 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2013, 1:10 pm 
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My understanding has been that environmental issues are a primary focus. Environmental issues and the government's legal requirement to consult with Aboriginal peoples if any legislative changes may impact their Aboriginal rights. Many Aboriginal rights are linked to the stewardship of ecosystems, so if the government wants to change enenvironmental legislation, there is a Constitutional duty for a meaningful consultation process, which this government has chosen to ignore.

FNs are upset about it because it disregards rights and processes they have fought hard to negotiate or win (through many court decisions). Other Canadians may also be upset for similar reasons, even without the legal rigths to consultation, because slipping all these environmental changes into an omnibus budegt doesn't seem very cool democracy-wise.

I think the government had Idle No More coming. Their actions have been a slap in the face to Aboriginal rights (and environmental protection). I find it really frustrating that one party will work really hard on some progress with Aboriginal issues, and then a new party gets elected and immediately throws out all that planning & commitment, only to get themselves into this mess. The relationship today between government and Aboriginal peoples is obviously a mess, and that was avoidable, it's really unfortunate.

Pat.

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2013, 3:32 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
I think the government had Idle No More coming. Their actions have been a slap in the face to Aboriginal rights (and environmental protection). I find it really frustrating that one party will work really hard on some progress with Aboriginal issues, and then a new party gets elected and immediately throws out all that planning & commitment, only to get themselves into this mess. The relationship today between government and Aboriginal peoples is obviously a mess, and that was avoidable, it's really unfortunate.

Pat.

Absolutely correct. The lack of action to deal with the whole encompassing issue of relations between natives and government is decades overdue. This initiative of the native Indians is well founded, and well needed. One of their toughest issues in the past has been a true unanimous voice, and hopefully they can bring this nation (and to some degree worldwide) movement into effect as a unified voice of reason.

As far a their protection of the environment, I think there views are multi-faceted. I have no doubt there are some that are truly concerned, but this is far from a unanimous view. I have firsthand witnessed their raping of their land in the foothills west of here to make as much as they can pocket from logging. They have absolutely no plans in place reforesting, or any other form of cleaning up the mess (at least they never at the time of logging). A good friend had a log loader he ran there. His stepson (a teenager at the time) proposed to them to clean up the rubble of unusable wood along the road that they would never use, to make a little pocket money on selling it for firewood. Their reply was they wanted to get paid for this wood, even though otherwise it would be left as a mess, and just rot away. Also out there, there was battles amongst each other whose logs were whose, and who would get the money for them.

I am sure this is not the case with all Indians across the country, but I have heard of lots of stores elsewhere of them over hunting and fishing areas with no regard to sustaining the populations.

For most of them, this is about money, and getting more for themselves, just as it is for many politicians and other citizens of the country. Yes, there is genuine concern for the environment, but not at a cost to them. No different than those who oppose so many other projects that affect the environment in a negative way, who still use the roads/vehicles/energy that these projects are used to fund and operate.

It may be hard to tell from what I am saying, but I am 100% behind the natives to reach a new deal. One that is beneficial for them, and the whole of the country. We should not forget the past but put it behind us, and should live and plan for now and into the future.

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PostPosted: January 19th, 2013, 9:53 pm 
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Until we're all equal there will be no end.
This world is constantly changing. To expect it not to is absurd.
What's happening now obviously is not working.

This is Canada. Let's just all be Canadians. Equal rights Canadians.


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PostPosted: January 20th, 2013, 6:56 pm 
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One thing will never change: there will always be priveleged and underprivielged. To expect equality is absurd. We should, however, try to do better at managing the inequalities.

Having equal rights and being equal aren't the same thing. In the big picture who technically has what rights doesn't have much bearing on how the inequality plays out and who is underprivileged, so I wouldn't get too worked up about the fact that "all Canadians don't have the same rights."

Aboriginal peoples might have more rights than other Canadians when it comes to processes with government and even access to resources (debatable), but guess what, most Canadians wouldn't change places with most Indians, so what's your point about their rights?

I'm don't mind that some Canadians (those from societies who already lived here before Europeans arrived) have a Constitutional right to be engaged in decision making that impacts the enviornment. And if people don't like it, well, we're kinda stuck with it anyway - although the world changes, changes to Constitutional rights don't come easily or quickly, so we just need to get over that.

In my mind, when Aboriginal peoples stand up to a government that tries to ram through a whole bunch changes to environmental legislation, it benefits Canada as a whole. Obviously those who stand to profit in the short term from resource extraction don't agree, but on the whole, a consultation process with Aboriginal peoples isn't a bad check on a government that wants to steam roll a confusing bunch of changes in a hurry.

For example, because of their legal right to consultation, they are doing more for the protection of rivers than, say, canoeists are able to. Sign all the petitions you want and write your MP all you want, but Aboriginal peoples have a better voice for slowing and correcting decisions that harm the environment.

In my mind, Idle No More is posing a lot of valid questions at a good time, and I'm glad that the government has some legal accountability to listen.

Pat.

p.s. A lot of the rights that Aboriginal peoples now have are recent change, not something old to be undone. Although the concept/commitment to respect Aboriginal ways of life is almost 300 years old, until the last generation Aborinal peoples were not equal in other ways, like only being allowed citizenship and voting in 1960! Couldn't practice their cultures, speak their languages or hire lawyers, etc. So it's not like they've long-enjoyed extra rights. The rights they have now to consultation & accommodation on things that impact their Aboriginal rights have only been detailed by the courts in the last decade or so.

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Last edited by yarnellboat on January 22nd, 2013, 7:34 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: January 21st, 2013, 10:20 am 
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According to Wikipedia, environmental protection appears to be a dominant value:

Quote:
Vision and goals

The founders of Idle No More have outlined the vision and goals of the movement in a January 10, 2013 press release as follows:

The Vision revolves around Indigenous Ways of Knowing rooted in Indigenous Sovereignty to protect water, air, land and all creation for future generations.

The Conservative government bills beginning with Bill C-45 threaten Treaties and this Indigenous Vision of Sovereignty.

The Goal of the movement is education and the revitalization of Indigenous peoples through Awareness and Empowerment. IDLE NO MORE has successfully encouraged knowledge sharing of Indigenous Sovereignty and Environmental Protections.


Something I'm reminded of recently is the closure of mountain bike trails on a hill in Toronto's High Park, where years and years of biking had worn down the hill to something beginning to resemble a gravel pit. Wimpy efforts of city park staff and NGOs could not close the trails but one day, aboriginals took over the site and closed it for good. Now the city is putting up fencing and signs banning mountain bikes.

Maybe something similar may happen at other places, natives taking over and occupying a site until something is changed... the non-native Occupy Movement protests that happened in 2011 may be similar.

In somewhat surprising news, the National Post reported today that 52% of polled individuals with native ancestry do not support Idle No More. The sample size was not given, and knowing the NP's conservative leanings, perhaps that number isn't meaningful. OTOH, it might reflect urban vs rural native sentiment.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2013, 4:34 am 
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dunkin' wrote:
.... and yet others who are looking for personal gain. The latter is where Paul Martin fits in, who is just doing some political posturing, otherwise why the heck did his government not institute initiatives to make this change. The issues were there, just not as much in the media and public eye,

Yeah Dunkin', as Splake pointed out, Martin DID institute initiatives. It was Harper that effectively killed the Kelowna Accord.
And Martin isn't "just posturing". He has/is investing his time and money:
http://mai-iam.ca/


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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2013, 4:53 pm 
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yarnellboat wrote:
One thing will never change: there will always be priveleged and underprivielged. To expect equality is absurd. We should, however, try to do better at managing the inequalities.

Having equal rights and being equal aren't the same thing. In the big picture who technically has what rights doesn't have much bearing on how the inequality plays out and who is underprivileged, so I wouldn't get too worked up about the fact that "all Canadians don't have the same rights."

Aboriginal peoples might have more rights than other Canadians when it comes to processes with government and even access to resources (debatable), but guess what, most Canadians wouldn't change places with most Indians, so what's your point about their rights?

I'm don't mind that some Canadians (those from societies who already lived here before Europeans arrived) have a Constitutional right to be engaged in decision making that impacts the enviornment. And if people don't like it, well, we're kinda stuck with it anyway - although the world changes, changes to Constitutional rights don't come easily or quickly, so we just need to get over that.

In my mind, when Aboriginal peoples stand up to a government that tries to ram through a whole bunch changes to environmental legislation, it benefits Canada as a whole. Obviously those who stand to profit in the short term from resource extraction don't agree, but on the whole, a consultation process with Aboriginal peoples isn't a bad check on a government that wants to steam roll a confusing bunch of changes in a hurry.

For example, because of their legal right to consultation, they are doing more for the protection of rivers than, say, canoeists are able to. Sign all the petitions you want and write your MP all you want, but Aboriginal peoples have a better voice for slowing and correcting decisions that harm the environment.

In my mind, Idle No More is posing a lot of valid questions at a good time, and I'm glad that the government has some legal accountability to listen.

Pat.



Well said Pat.

I don't agree with much of the Idle No More Movement but that being said I think it is raising the most attention regarding our environmental issues at hand and it must be given credit for that.

I'm sick of this conservative government and it's about time somebody stood up to them. Out of all the letters I have wrote to MP's nothing positive has come out of it...seems NONE of them have any interest in representing concerns of the everyday Canadian. Peaceful demonstrations? Petitions? Letters to MP's? Whats the point when the government officials just ignore it all? Time for a new government IMHO.

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PostPosted: January 22nd, 2013, 8:37 pm 
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Quote:
I'm sick of this conservative government and it's about time somebody stood up to them.


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PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 10:17 am 
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This was an interesting article that someone else pointed me to:

http://fullcomment.nationalpost.com/201 ... -equality/

There is a bunch that I like in the article, but this part might be the most important:
"It’s no secret that our Canadian economy is driven by the oil and gas industry. Yes, there have been some awful environmental blunders due to a plethora of different reasons. I heartily agree that we need to protect our natural areas that support wildlife, but I also know that there is aggressive legislation, and powerful government offices in place, that already have that very same mission at heart. Millions of Canadians support green technology and research, as well as lobbying for stronger federal policy. So if that’s what this is all about, there’s no need to blockade anything; a majority of people would already agree with you."

This paragraph captures the biggest environmental risk of all - trust. I expect Anthony Sowan is correct, most Canadians probably do agree that protecting the environment is important. I also expect that most people believe that environmental protections are already in place. This is directly contrasted with the total lack of awareness that those protections are being dismantled through back doors like the budget which avoid the rules intended to prevent such action.

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PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 10:19 am 
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I've been attempting to follow the whole "Idle No More" movement, and have come up with the following observations:

In my opinion, there doesn't seem to be a clear direction for the movement. We keep hearing things like "respect Native rights" and "respect the environment" but I'm not hearing any concrete demands or specifics on the issues.

If there have been concrete demands or specific issues raised, the organizers of Idle No More need to improve their media relations in order to get their clear message out.


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PostPosted: January 25th, 2013, 11:06 am 
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I agree Mike. I hadn't been hearing any clear message or objective for the Idle No More movement which is why when I stumbled on the Paul Martin comment, it caught my attention. I've been learning a bit more through this thread but the movement definitely needs to improve its messaging and probably its focus.

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