On a very serious note regarding the Idle No More movement, I offer the following. Over the years we have all listened and watched as successive Canadian governments have tried to deal with the residue of our colonial past.
On the evidence, a wide range of policies and a huge amount of our money, has failed to solve a seemingly insolvable problem of abortive aboriginal treaties, perceived entitlements, and social disasters. Many good people on both sides of the fence have spent lives of frustration using different administrative models to no lasting effect.
The only consistent result of over 100 years of wasted time, money and lives is the fact that, for many, being aboriginal has become a business in and of itself.
"Aboriginal Incorporated" has become a way of life, a leadership management philosophy, a negotiating tool, a public spectacle, and a very lucrative business model, at least for a few. The latest public display of Chief Theresa Spence and her handlers backfired and with the release of the audit report on her financial management of millions of tax dollars, we see what really the issue is - misappropriation of funds intended to help the social ills of an important but socially failing segment of the Canadian population.
This has to stop. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over while expecting a different result.
A failed policy approach is a failed policy approach and over more than 100 years should be sufficient evidence that enough is enough. We need to start from first principles, including:
* No one in Canada is above the law of the land,
* Your economic well-being is your responsibility,
* Employment rules apply to everyone. If you can't get a job where you live - move. Be Idle No More at your expense!
* If you receive public funds; you are accountable. Penalties apply.
* If the funds are badly spent or the recipients do not care for the infrastructure and benefits provided, the funds will not be replaced.
* Treaties will be respected in the context of the date of the treaty and the standards of the day.
* Your administrative costs and the pay of your local leadership will be set by the people that fund your operation.
* As our municipalities are governed by provincial rules, so the reserves will be governed by federal rules.
I believe this list is a good start but is clearly a work in progress. I further believe that a valid counter to the Idle No More movement needs to be a strong "Enough Is Enough" movement. Plainly said - we have had enough! I truly hope the government gets the picture and puts its foot down once and for all.
If enough Canadians repeat this message then perhaps the abusive power of Aboriginal Inc. will be lessened and the real needs of the thousands of aboriginal Canadians in need can be met.
Enough is enough!
© Kamloops Daily News