Saturday, July 16, 2011

Indians' "Dysfunctional governance"

It's nice to see Christie Blatchford redeem herself today after her article last Wednesday:

I said once this week that the competition for seats on the Samson council (a dozen people ran for Chief, 92 for 12 council positions) was surely a sign of a healthy community, I was dead wrong.
... on reserves, it usually means just the opposite: The reason such jobs as so hotly contested is because residents are desperate to get a piece of a highly politicized pie, not to mention the jobs for family members.
She goes on to identify the real problem on reserves, namely:

... the degree of dysfunction in First Nations governance ... "unmatched in any other jurisdiction in Canada."
And the "dysfunction" is primarily due to corruption and incompetence. It's something that everyone, including most Indians, have known for decades but have been unable to change. It's a wonder that rank and file Indians haven't haven't taken matters into their own hands and, like certain Arabs with their "Arab Spring", set about "dealing with" their crooked, incompetent so-called leaders.

Update: There's a decent comment thread at Christie's article in the Digital Post.  This comment from one Robert Reynolds makes a a good point in response to an aboriginal commenter.  I've not seen it made in a long while:
Weird, you say your people are denied the resources. How is that? Look behind the curtains and what you see is that Native peoples receive money and special status at the expense of everyone else in the country and have otherwise exactly the same rights as everyone else. There is absolutely nothing stopping any of you from integrating into the mainstream (and many have). This isn't apartheid with walls keeping you in as so many would like us to believe. All this business about treaties and ownership and rent are just a fiction. Unless a band member is politically connected and able to plug into the gravy train at the top, it's a hopeless grind of substance abuse and poverty with a small monthly cheque. No future in that for the individual band member struggling to make something of his life. Welfare dependency comes in many forms but they all boil down to the same thing in the end.
In life you get out what you put in and there is no free lunch.
Very true.  Not counting special treatment and benefits paid for by taxpayers, Aboriginals have exactly the same rights and opportunities, including access to off-reserve resources, as every other Canadian.  If they want to live on-reserve with all its limitations - decrepit housing, unemployment, gangs, violence and crappy, corrupt government - then it's strictly up to them.  No one's FORCING them into this  life. If it's "apartheid" as so many loony-leftists (and Indians) like to claim, then it's self-inflicted "apartheid".  But I won't deny that Indian industry players, including (especially?) Chiefs and Councils, have gone out of their way to induce Indians to remain in a state of welfare dependency to keep the gravy flowing.


hunter said...

That would be a good thing, "Aboriginal Spring", clear out the dead wood and spruce up the house.

JR said...

Heh. "Aboriginal spring" has a nice ring to it. But, on second think, if they cleared out the deadwood the place would be near empty.