Dr. Dawg

Indian agent continues to threaten Attawapiskat

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attawapiskat winter.jpg

The Harper government, through an Indian agent now euphemistically called a “third-party manager,” is hoping to starve the Attawapiskat First Nation into submission.

True, the band will not likely be allowed to die, as the disgraceful tradition of aboriginal treatment by various Great White Fathers might have dictated until not all that long ago. There are simply too many people watching in 2012. But the echoes and resonances will not be lost on the Native residents of this beleaguered area. Submit, says Harper, or no more winter provisions for you:

The First Nation is in the process of filing an injunction with the Federal Court to have the manager removed so it can regain control of its finances. The matter is still before the courts.

In the meantime, Ottawa will not release $1.5 million that the community uses for funding essential areas including education and operations.

In an email late Thursday, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan clarified that funds for Attawapiskat were not frozen but ready to be distributed for payroll and services once the community co-operates with the third-party manager.

This superflous, political installation will cost $20,000 per month—from the band’s own finances.

Readers should be reminded of this excellent article by blogger âpihtawikosisân, which explodes the fallacies of “mismanagement” exploited by the Harper regime. Here’s a more recent one, and here are a couple of invaluable links she incorporates.

From Lawrence Martin:

[The Conservatives] went to auditor-general Sheila Fraser, whereupon Ms. Fraser, sources recall, told them to go jump in a deep river. She would have none of it. There was no need for her department to audit band chiefs, she reasoned, because they were already being audited heavily. They were being audited by municipalities, by provinces, by the private sector, as well as, in some instances, by Ottawa.

Ms. Fraser’s department had done a report before the Tories came to power showing that an average band produces close to 200 reports a year. If the bands didn’t file audited financial statements, their funding was cut off or delayed. The AG’s office thought that for any government to pretend it didn’t know where the money was being spent was foolhardy. There was likely some abuse, but no more or less than most other organizations.

The Conservatives’ motivation in pushing for the band audits was political, the AG’s office suspected. They wanted to score points with their base and the chiefs were an easy target. [emphases added]

A colonialist and frankly racist mentality is on full display at home and around the world. For the yokels presently running the country, however, that’s probably a badge of honour.

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This page contains a single entry by Dr. Dawg published on January 6, 2012 12:06 PM.

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