“... overflowing garbage bins and ramshackle homes and as many people as rez dogs wandering the rutted roads ... homes on the Samson town site are still sad shacks behind their paint...
“... a half-dozen gangs operating now on the Samson reserve and the three others also near Hobbema. ... slaying of a dear little boy as he lay sleeping in his bed ...”Nevertheless:
“... he [RCMP Sgt Jim Lank] believes the band is well-governed....”Sgt Lank is either being exceedingly diplomatic or he’s got his head up where the sun don’t shine.
Christie Blatchford suggests a sign of good-governance is that “92 people ran for 12 council positions, a dozen for the chief ’s job ...”. It’s more likely a “sign” that the chief and council, as on most reserves, get to control how the mountains of cash from Ottawa and/or oil royalties are spread around.
I hope Christie is being ironic in this column because, otherwise, it’s little more than sentimental drivel. The only ray of light is the news that AFN Chief Shawn Atleo is calling for the scrapping of the Indian Act along with the Ottawa Indian bureaucracy.