Bloggers more informed and articulate than I are already cutting through the smoke and mirrors generated by Stephen Harper to justify his government’s seizure of control in Attawapiskat. If you want to see just how dishonest the Conservative spin has been (and of course that of the liars who recycle their propaganda), then I urge you to read Apihtawikosisân’s post, and follow her links.
The government’s action raises too many issues (and frankly, at this point, a little too much anger) to do justice to in a single post. But it is interesting to link this most recent step to the Conservative’s real Aboriginal agenda, which hasn’t wavered since it was first described in Tom Flanagan’s treatise First Nations, Second Thoughts - a wondrous tome that defined Aboriginal cultures as inherently inferior, denied the existence of Metis as a people, and set the course for our current government.
The goal is assimilation. The strategies are denial of any government-to-government agreements, relegation of First Nations to the status of villages, and dissolution of Aboriginal title.
Renege on your commitments, including fiscal agreements intended to help Aboriginal communities achieve sustainable economies. Starve ‘em into failure.
Generalize local problems into racial stereotypes.
Exploit public concern and indignation to impose solutions from outside that maximize your control, while killing off initiatives that promised real, long term changes in governance and local capacity. All for the good of the natives, of course.
There IS corruption, nepotism, and incompetence on some reserves. And in some corporate boardrooms, town councils,government departments, parishes - in fact, in every sector on the planet. Lasting solutions will, and HAVE, come from within a community - not from an outside agency committed to your cultural annihilation and the seizure of your land.
UPDATE: [added by DD] Alison weighs in. Funds for housing in Attawapiskat: $5 million. Funds to tart up Tony Clement’s riding with gazebos: $50 million.