It’s posted over at the National Post. The NP is not a paper I frequent and I have no idea how I originally found this story/comment but I did. I was drawn to the comment because I agreed with the broader statement John Reilly writes (people make big money off the misery of the First People) and in fact just finished ranting over at Non-Status Indian my views on the “Indian Industry” .
But.................I hate it when I learn that I disagree with everything else but that statement. And that sucks cause the statement itself is easy to hate along with and will easily draw attention but say something new or intelligent afterward or why say anything at all...unless its to make some quick cash.
It’s easy to develop policies when all you have to do is draw a straight line between A and B. My friend Balbulican is always reminding people of this over at StageLeft. It’s a little more complex if you want to design policies that work. Similarly, it’s easy to sell book and make a big profit if you write a book about misery, blame government, choose easy to spot villains, and then throw out new titles and new offices like new recipes created on some Chef TV show. It’s a formula designed to make profits otherwise publishers wouldn’t touch it. The reality is solutions are complex, take time, effort, work, patience, trust, and more hard work, and more effort than most people want to give.
The reality is that the former Judge John Reilly is still just sucking at the teat of misery and only too happy to make a profit while he pontificates from an “I know best” attitude.
His simplistic statement to “dissolve INAC and repeal the Indian Act” says it all for me. It was here I began to loose interest. I mean seriously don’t we all love to hate a government office? But when answering what he would do if he had the power he said would :
“...terminate funding to the Assembly of First Nations. In my view, the AFN is a chiefs club that looks after chiefs, many of whom just look after themselves and do very little for the poor and the children of their reserves.
Then I would enact a Canadian First Peoples Enhancement Act, to preserve and maintain the cultures of the descendants of Canada’s original inhabitants, to ensure their health and well-being and foster the independence and sustainability of their communities. I would create a Department of First Peoples Services. Non-natives and former employees of INAC should be ineligible for employment in this department. INAC was created for the assimilation of Canada’s First Peoples and the eventual elimination of their communities. That purpose lives on in the corporate memory of the department and must be changed.
I would spend the $7-billion on doctors and healthcare workers, addictions counsellors and healing lodges, teachers and improved schools, so that our First Peoples could become a healthy and happy part of Canadian society....”
It’s just such an easy target but really – what is or has John Reilly doing – on the ground to improve or make comfortable the lives of people around him. Sounds to me like he like many people worked hard, payed their bills, maybe raised children.....read newspapers, formed opinions voted in elections and now in his stately years can tell us what he has learned and how it should be done.
It’s ok for him but wrong for “non-Aboriginal employees former and present at Indian and Northern Affairs Canada” to make a living off misery (he was a lawyer first, then a judge in the system, and now writes a book) – WTF? I’m all for taking to task wasted time and effort but it’s simplistic and so talk radio to blame the bureaucrats (this time "non-Aborignal" bureaucrats like it's racial or something) and the Chiefs.
And his solution is to enact a “Canadian First Peoples Enhancement Act and a Department of First Peoples Services... so he can spend the $7-billion on doctors and healthcare workers, addictions counsellors and healing lodges, teachers and improved schools, so that our First Peoples could become a healthy and happy part of Canadian society....”
I’m the first to admit I believe in faeries and I love long tales but is anybody else shaking their heads in wonder?