Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Attawapiskat: could economic sanctions against Canada work?

Recently the James Anaya, the UN special rapporteur on the rights of indigenous peoples, issued a statement Tuesday saying he wrote to the Harper government Canada to express my deep concern about the dire social and economic condition of the Attawapiskat First Nation, which exemplifies the conditions of many aboriginal communities in the country." More

NDP MP Charlie Angus has urged that Anaya visit Attawapiskat to view the living conditions there for himself. In an open letter to Anaya, he urges the rapporteur to visit some First Nations communities personally. Angus goes on to outline a long list of inequities and human rights violations that have plagued not only Attawapiskat, but other First Nations communities, everything from tainted water to chemical spills to inequities in access to education. His letter also outlines how differently the government responds to these crises in First Nations communities compared to how it has responded to similar crises in non-native communities.

But ultimately – even if Anaya visits, he cannot force sovereign governments to enact or change policies, and can only issue reports to publicly shame the government before the international community.

And the Harper government has so far dismissed Anaya’s letter as a publicity stunt.
The Harper government will never move on human rights issues for the sake of human rights.
In my fantasy world, I would love for the UN Security Council or even individual states to impose economic sanctions against Canada, targeting those resources extracted from First Nations traditional territory where no resource revenue sharing agreement is implemented. Diamonds, lumber products, oil all resources commonly extracted from traditional lands. Every year multinationals, provinces and federal governments earn millions of dollars, through revenues or tax revenues, while First Nations land claims remain unsettled, and the communities fall further into poverty and dependence.

It's only through settling these economic agreements that have cut First Nations from their traditional source of wealth, the land, and kept them from participating in the transition to the modern methods of extracting wealth that First Nations can ever escape poverty and dependance. First Nations know this. ANd to some extent they have gained support among some industries. Industries want certainty about thier ability to conduct business and do not want to be embarrassed or have people panning their products for human rights abuses. But it's not happeneing quickly enough, and the process gets little support from governments who seem determined to get the best deals for industry regardless of whose rights or what social/environmental concerns they must step on to get deals for thier buddies and their own take of the revenues.

It’s true that sanctions don’t always lead to a quick resolution of issues, but they do create internal and diplomatic pressures on governments. Whether it’s South Africa, the former Yugoslavia, Libya, Haiti, or Iraq, sanctions may not bring about immediate compliance but they have been a first step in forcing dialogue and convincing governments to come to the negotiating table. Besides what else can you do with a government like Harpers that governs without a social or moral conscience besides hit its pocket books and those of its corporate friends?


Friday, December 16, 2011

Is there a precedent for an Attawpiskat win in court?

A few people have asked us if a First Nation has ever successfully used the courts to kick out a Third Party Manager before. The answer is yes.

In 2001 a First Nation in Ontario, the Pikangikum First Nation, asked for a judicial review after Indian Affairs refused to provide funding to the community unless it’s chief and council surrendered control to a Third Party Manager. It took two years, but in December 2002 a federal court ruled that Indian Affairs acted improperly when they assigned an outside financial manager for Pikangikum.

In that case Pikangikium had submitted audits which had passed for the two previous years. Justice O'Keefe called Nault's decision requiring Pikangikum to enter into a co-management agreement, "patently unreasonable." He overturned the Department’s decision to install a Third Party manager saying that the Department did not follow its own directives which say they must give notice - written or oral reasons - describing the difficulty or default before imposing co-management, and therefore did not allow for meaningful discussion.

The scenarios sound similar. We'll see how the arguments play out in court.


Canadian Democracy and willful blindness

It was the Liberals who proposed as part of their attack ads that Harper was a man with a “secret agenda.”

I considered these attack ads (as I consider all attack ads) pure trash. Harper was upfront about both his policies and politics, from mega-prisons and the elimination of the gun registry to his contempt for the press and his intention to push policy through the house as quickly as possible. I didn’t like it. But a majority of voters did. That’s democracy. So I just have to suck it up for four more years.

Howls from the both the centre, the left - and that includes myself - have helped me develop sympathy and compassion for fellow Canadians on the right. Now we know how it feels to be steamrolled by a majority government whose values we despise – this must be how right-wingers felt through all the years of Liberal government. (Not that I haven’t been steamrolled by the occasional Liberal policy, but I didn’t wake up every day knowing I would hate every single thing they would ever do). I never knew how those on the right side of politics felt. I get it now. Mea culpa for my past arrogance. It’s your turn to gloat my right-winged friends.

But while those on the right, cheerfully celebrate their policy wins – everything from putting the “royal” back in Navy to cancelling Kyoto (and while those on the left seethe) we have become so separated by the debate over political values, that we seem no longer able to intelligibly discuss the serious erosion of our democratic rights.

I am not talking about gazebos and the type of disgusting pork-barreling that is contemptuous, but that all parties engage in, to the point that we see it with a level of eye-rolling cynicism that we ave learned to accept such things as ‘politics as usual.” Rather I am talking about the unprecedented and serious erosion of our democratic rights: consistently limiting debate on bills, withholding information from the opposition and the public, and the proposal to hold Parliamentary committees in camera. These infringements on our rights as citizens in a democracy need serious examination by all Canadians regardless of political stripe.

I am beginning to wonder where we are going with all of this. It’s certainly a slippery slope.(I am not quite ready to join the tinfoil hat club that equates greater internet policing powers and mega prisons as a sign that blogging dissidents like me will find ourselves in jail.) An attempt by any government to entrench itself in power, not by the good government, but by eroding elements of democracy that typically inform the public is wrong. If this is what this government has done after sitting in power for four months, what will be the case in four years?

Conservatives cheering on their political wins have a right to do so, while people like me shake in anger. Sure. Make me suffer. Consider it payback time.

But if you equally cheer on the Harper government’s erosion of our democratic rights and principals, you are just being willfully blind. I wish I could find a more intellectual source to quote, but alas it was best said in Revenge of the Sith by Padmé as she watched Emperor Palpatine tell a cheering Senate that he had taken all power away from them to form a Galactic Empire “So this is how liberty dies... with thunderous applause.”

And we too, on the centre and the left, are willfully blind if we trust that some future Liberal or NDP government will willing reverse changes that insolate their parties from public scrutiny.


Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Welfare Indians vs over subsidized urban dwellers

A friend of mine posted this on Face Book when I saw it and thought it should be shared with Crazy Bitches R Us. It puts a little perspective to all those who accuse First Nations people who want to believe that Indians got it good. ....I new about a study like this conducted many many moons ago so it's nice to read an updated study.

Status update
By Occupy Saskatoon

Combined, our three levels of government (federal, provincial, municipal) spend about $24,000 a year for programs and infrastructure for each person living in Toronto.

Attawapiskat, on the other hand, which is only funded by one level of government - federal - received $17.6 million in this fiscal year, for all of the programs and infrastructure for its 1,550 residents. That works out to about $11,355 per capita. And of course, food, gas, construction materials, teachers' salaries, etc., are all much more expensive in isolated, northern communities like Attawapiskat.

People often forget, when talking about costs of delivering programs and services to First Nations, that almost all those costs are paid from one pot: Aboriginal Affairs. By contrast, non-Aboriginal Canadians receive services from at least three levels of government.

Here are the total expenditures per level of government for Toronto residents. The first figure applies across the country, the second applies across Ontario, and the third applies across Toronto:
* The 2010 federal budget expenditures were $280 billion or about $9,300 for each Canadian (including Torontonians)
* The 2010 Ontario budget is $123 billion in expenditures or about $9,500 for each Ontario resident (including Torontonians)
* The 2010 Toronto budget is $13 billion, or $5,200 for each Toronto resident

Some additional points to consider:
Indian Affairs (now Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, or AANDC) has capped expenditure increases for First Nations at two percent a year since 1996. Yet:
* The Aboriginal population has been growing at a rate closer to four percent a year, so per-capita support is falling behind.
* In that same period, the number of staff employed at AANDC has grown from 3,300 in 1995 to 5,150 in 2010, an increase of 156 percent. (Source: Indian Affairs)
* Those salaries, plus consultants fees for people like third-party managers, come from the program dollars that should go to First Nations.
* Consultants (including lawyers and accountants) receive 1,500 contracts per year from AANDC, worth about $125 million. (This does not include fees that First Nations pay directly using sources other than AANDC funding). (Source: Toronto Star)
* One of these sets of fees, taken away from other AANDC budgeting and provided instead to consultants, is the payment for third-party managers.
* Another recent and publicly disclosed example of third-party-manager fees is those being paid for Barriere Lake. When the community took political action on some of its issues, Canada imposed third-party management. The accounting firm is paid $600,000 per year, according to Indian Affairs Records. (Source: Toronto Star).
* Almost every time a First Nation goes into third-party management, it comes out with as much debt as it had going in - or more. This is a good indicator that the problem is not fiscal mismanagement, it's the insufficiency of resources to deliver the programs needed. (Source: what we hear and see from our own clients)
* Each First Nation has to file, on average, 160 reports per year to AANDC. The Auditor General says the problem is not under-reporting, its over-reporting -- because of the resources and administration needed to service AANDC's bureaucratic requirements. (Source: Federal Auditor General)

Lorraine Y. Land is a partner with OLTHUIS, KLEER, TOWNSHEND, L.L.P., in Toronto


Tuesday, December 13, 2011

De Beers decision to dump sewage into Attawapiskat played role in current housing crisis

In case you missed it, see the full APTN story here.

I just note I think it's an important story because of all the haters on the Globe and Mail and CBC sites that have posted ugly, racist and totally unsubstantiated claims in the comments section, blaming the Attawapiskat residents about the condition of their homes.

Of course true racists never let the facts in in the way of hating, do they?


Attawapiskat: Minister Dum-dum the Red Cross won't swallow your spin.

A quick observation.

In the media Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Dumdum wanted to convince reporters that he and his staff - who were so incompetent that they didn’t know there was a disaster at Attawapiskat in the first place – had the matter well in hand. (I guess the spinners had to make the choice: do we tell the public didn’t care if people died, or do we play dumb?) He said they had sent staff and supplies up to Attawapiskat.

According to Chief Spence, the only help Indian Affairs sent was two bureaucrats who showed up with a box of donuts.

Glad to see the Red Cross speak up – as a neutral party in between. According to John Saunders most of the supplies and help that’s gone to Attawapiskat comes from the $30,000 donated by Canadians. However, Indian Affairs did let the Red Cross take a few roll away cots and some sleeping bags out of a storage they have in Timmins.

Thus I have given the Minister a new middle name to go with his nickname. He shall henceforth be known as Minister John “Big Help” Dumdum.


Monday, December 12, 2011

Thoughts on the political circus around Attawapiskat

Sometimes you have to laugh, or cry. Today I did a bit of both.

Minister Duncan's (aka Minister Dum-dum's)performance and lack of knowledge about his file meant his press secretary had to rescue him from a press conference. Liberal Aboriginal Affairs Critic Carolyn Bennett said he was in so far over his head that she “almost felt sorry for the Minister who seemed “unable to act, unable to make a decision.”

CTV veteran reporter Craig Oliver said the Minister looked like he was “at the end of his rope.” He went on to say the Minister’s aides were interrupting, and whispering answers in his ears. Check out APTN’s report here.

Perhaps this is another occasion where Mr. Duncan can blame NDPer Charlie Angus for not whispering the answers in his ear.

But this scenario calls for more than just pointing fingers at the Conservatives.

The Liberal Party – in defending Attawapiskat looks absolutely two-faced. Today in Question Period Bob Rae questioned why the government allowed Attawapiskat to go under 3rd Party Management when the Auditor General pointed out as early as 2003 that the system was expensive and problematic. Wideye and I happened to catch it together and we nearly fell over laughing. Really Mr. Rae - you just found the 2003 report now?

I guess the Liberals were too busy to read it whilst they were in power, and steam-rolling First Nations communities with Third Party Managers. Now that the Liberals are the third party and have a little more time on their hands they finally got around to it.

Hey Mr. Rae the Liberals also put a 2 % cap on First Nations education. To quote NDP Charlie Angus (who is quickly becoming my favourite politician ever) “I wouldn’t want you to get caught flat-footed.”

Just saying.


Monday, August 22, 2011

Jack Layton

Even in his death he has left a message of hope.
Jack and his party really stood up for our people. Pat Martin, Charlie Angus, Jean Crowder have all been champions of clean water, justice for families of missing and murdered aboriginal women, residential school survivors, equal eduction opportunities and so much more.

I have been crying all morning. We'll miss you Jack.


Sunday, August 21, 2011

New TV show - for "bloggers, tweebs and political junkies"

I've been watching tweets go around this week for a new show that says it's for "bloggers, tweebs and political junkies." Apparently, starting viewers do an vote online to decide which politicians get interviewed on the show, and they interview the politician later using questions viewers send in. Not sure if they will be interviewing Senators or just MPs, but you know who we'd vote for at Crazy Bitches R US. lol. And BOY OH BOY do we have questions! Anyways here's a video for anyone curious to check it out.

The idea reminds me a little of that show What's Trending which only airs online at the CBS site.


Thursday, August 4, 2011

Madjashin nin dada, William Commanda

First Nations grieve loss of William Commanda
William Commanda, Elder, role model, and spiritual leader to Aboriginal people, died August 2 in his home in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation reserve near Maniwaki, Quebec. More...
Kit anamikon Mani mweeckineckagoian kitcitwa onciciiwewin kije Manito ki mamawiitim, kakina endatciwatc ikwewak kin awacamenj ki kitcitwawinigo, gaie kitcitwawina Jesos ka anicinabewiitsotc kiiaiwing. Kitcitwa Mani , kije Manito wekwisisimatc gaganotmawicinam neta patatiagn, nongom gaie wi nipoiang gaganotamawicinam. Kekona ki ingi.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Dreaming big: Canadian self-government must be preceded by reforms.

The Calgary Herald’s idea that international governments should negotiate with Canada as one government to another, rather than returning Canada to colonial status where the country can benefit from the benevolent direction of a more transparent, fiscally responsible mother country, suffers from the twin flaws of naïveté and vagueness.

The Herald’s yearning to see Canada maintain sovereignty is understandable. It is even justified.

But so far sovereignty has been bogged down in an elephantine bureaucracy in which fiscal accountability often appears to be ephemeral. Individual initiative gets smothered under the leaden weight of policies, procedures and dust-covered rules.

Many admit that the Constitution also needs revamping, updating and streamlining –whether that means scrapping the Senate, or finally sending these partisan appointees to the people for election.

However, with all due respect to, and sympathy for, the Calgary Herald’s position that Canadians should continue to be self-governing, long-standing problems in Canadian politics must be resolved before Canadians are ready to assume the mantle of an equal-status governance with other democracies.

Foremost among those sticky issues is accountability. Too many instances of corruption among elected leaders has been well-documented – for example the sponsorship scandal, the Conservative in- and-out election funding scheme, and breaches of the MPs’ ethic code. Or how about with rampant nepotism – the federal government refusing to release documents to Parliament, twice shutting down Parliament when it was politically inconvenient to the governing party, and impeding its citizens ability to find information through the access-to-information system.

There’s also evidence of resulting intimidation in the hierarchies governing system, both within the party and government departments – such as communications becoming so centralized in the PMO that one needs permission to put out a press release on wildlife.

Such intimidation is used vis-à-vis elements of the public that are out of favour with the government – for example recent back-to-work legislation saw a crown corporation lock out its employees so that federal politicians could screw with their salaries before legislating the lockouts back to work.

There has been a lack of transparency and accountability for the use of public money, not only as expressed in the examples above but visible in the situations in which MPs and senators maintain perks like sumptuous pensions benefits at the tax payer’s expense, all the while arguing that ordinary Joe Taxpayer does not deserve the same. MPs make $157,000 a year, Minister’s earn $233,247 a salary paid through the taxes of constituents, most of who earn less than their political leaders. Some constituents are even living in overcrowded, bed-bug ridden houses.

In the case of Minister John Duncan, the First Nations people he’s hired to benefit live under boil-water advisories or with no running water at all. Despite having thousands of bureaucrats with offices in every province and territory in Canada sucking at the public teat to solve problems like these, Duncan seems all to content to shrug and pass the buck onto chiefs, while few people outside the aboriginal community ever question just how much cash all those bureaucrats are sucking up to maintain a broken system.

Moreover, individual Canadians have not been successful in dealing with the political problems in their system. They re-elected the Liberals in 2004 after the Auditor General released evidence of corruption under the sponsorship program, and more recently Canadians returned a Conservative government to power, this time with majority power, after the party was found in contempt of Parliament.

Nor are Canadians effective at dealing with social problems in their own towns either: we see instances of substance abuse, and domestic violence, and recessions and seasonal cycles of unemployment that dampen entrepreneurial opportunities and job creation. Let’s remember that not every province enjoys the geographical luck of Ontario, which has enabled it to get into the business of manufacturing, sales. There are still parts of the country where people can only find work half the year and spend the other have on the dole. When will we admit that “have not” provinces are simply a drain on Canada’s purse strings and not sustainable or viable?

Furthermore, the federal government parties do not truly represent Canadian Citizens, for party leaders are elected only by party members; ordinary citizens do not directly elect a Prime Minister.

Also, the diverse needs of Canadians, scattered across this vast land, do not make for a comfortable one-size-fits-all model of governance. This is why we’ve seen cries for separatism and inclusion in the form of regionalized federal parties from both Quebec and the Prairies.

The Calgary Herald is a dreamer, and without dreams, nothing would happen. But the Calgary Herald must first address the staggering number of problems in the federal political system, and seek aid from other countries who know better than to re-elect leaders that have been caught playing hard and fast with the rules of democracy. The Calgary Herald must as well as clarify what a workable governance model looks like, addressing issues like Senate reform, Quebec separatism and western alienation, before Canada can become a government on par with other democracies.

The above is a tongue-in-cheek parody of very condescending commentary that appeared in the Calgary Herald. For fun your can read their original article about First Nations Self Government here.


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Thoughts on Specific Land Claims

A few points about specific land claims in light of the “take-it-or leave it offers” the federal government is planning to offer 60+ First Nations.
Minister John Duncan released a statement saying that “Negotiations continue to be Canada's first choice for resolving specific claims and we are working with First Nations to that end.” He added “However, First Nations can now opt to refer their claims to the Tribunal for a binding decision if three years of negotiations do not result in a final settlement.”

It’s that last statement that’s troublesome. One can hardly call going to the tribunal an option when the feds have walked away from the table. I’m wondering how many of the 60 plus claims are over the Tribunal’s $150 million dollar limit. Of course there is still the option to go to court. At least the lawyers will be happy.

Liberal Indian Affairs Critic Carolyn Bennett has called on the government to negotiate in good faith with First Nations, proving that moral clarity comes easier to those in opposition.

When in power under Chretien, the Liberals pulled the rug out from under the Assembly of First Nations on specific claims. INAC and the AFN had a joint working group and agreed to set up an independent tribunal, which could evaluate the value of a claim and compel the government to pay within specific deadlines. However, the bill the Liberals put forward held to none of these principles. The legislation let the Minister of Indian Affairs appoint and remove commissioners, had no timelines (meaning claims could be delayed indefinitely) and capped compensation at $7 million. The legislation passed, despite outcries from First Nations citizens across Canada.

To give Paul Martin his due, he never enabled the legislation. Of course he never fixed it either. That was left to Jim Prentice.

Politics are full of fickle friends and shifting (or shifty) ethics.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

An anonymous poster wrote to CrazyBitchesRus the following: “…no seems to have noticed that NWAC has laid off all the Sisters In Spirit staff. The NWAC SIS department is closed with only an acting director there to write the final report.” Apologies. We have noticed. You're right, we should have posted. Here's what's been happening and how folks can continue to support families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, who have been abandoned by government as well as native leaders.

Background: Since the 1980s more than 500 Indigenous women in Canada have gone missing or been murdered, half of these cases have never been solved. The issue was first raised by Amnesty International in 2004, and for a time the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) championed the issue, under their Sister’s in Spirit campaign.

In the 2010 budget the federal government promised 10 million dollars would be set aside to address violence against Indigenous women. Precious little of that money is actually going where it can help. The lion’s share of the $10M went to the RCMP to set up a national police support centre for missing persons and unidentified remains by 2013. The centre will become the third branch of the Canadian Police Centre for Missing and Exploited Children, but it will NOT have a separate section dedicated for Aboriginal women.

$1.8 M over three years went to NWAC for “public education” – essentially to teach Indigenous women how to avoid violence (blaming the victims are we?). But it was a deal signed with the devil, because in order to get the cash NWAC had to agree never to dump the term “Sister’s in Spirit" and promise to stay away from vigils and advocacy. They also have to dump the database they had been keeping to collect the names and other information about missing and murdered Indigenous women. There is no other database like it. No one else in Canada collects this information, and as we can see from the RCMP they don't plan to. All evidence points to the fact that Indigenous women are at higher risk, no one is addressing the factors that put them at high risk of violence, and the families that NWAC once brought together for their past campaigns have been abandoned.

Despite government attempts to squash the Sisters in spirit movement, families of missing and murdered women have bound together and have continued to hold vigils. They have a fund-raising event coming up in Ottawa on Friday April 29. Details are below, including contact info and they also have a site on facebook. It shoudl be a good event. If your in Ottawa turn out to do what you can.


Saturday, March 26, 2011

Not much for attack ads but I love this.


Too funny - Who really had a hidden agenda on Coalition - Stephen Harper.

1) Coalition governments are legit. in Canada, we've had them before and it's a political reality in most other parliamentary democracies.
2) Coalition governments offer the best option for stability in our post 1993 5 party system.
3) Parties who form governments with less than 50 percent of the popular vote do not have the moral authority to govern as if they are majority governments. Coalitions ensure cooperation among parties who more accurately reflect the popular vote.

I was happy to discover, that despite what he may have said this morning that Harper, deep in his heart, agrees with me that coalition governments can be a good thing.

Here's Block leader Gilles Duceppe on Harper's attempt to form a coalition in 2004.


Sunday, March 20, 2011

Whose Chief is it anyways

I often find myself at odds with folks like PacificGatePost who recently posted online at an APTN forum. Pacific argues that all chiefs and councils are corrupt, and thinks Canada and Canadians are responsible for fixing governance issues in First Nations communities. I'd argue that relatively few communities have governance problems and that when they arise it's our responsibility to solve them. Is that not in the end what self-government is about? I thought I’d share the exchange. My last post on the APTN site is still being “moderated” but I have gone ahead and posted it here.
PacificGatePost 21 hours ago

Why is it that Canada and Canadians stand by as First Nations People get abused their First Nation Chiefs and Councils ? ? ? Dictatorships have been allowed to flourish across Canada and abuse of power is rampant. Membership in the bands is in fear of speaking out against the abuse of power or else they won't get the crumbs thrown their way. Is it because it serves the purpose of bureaucrats? The Memberships is held down under the thumbs of their Chiefs? What a sad and pathetic situation, the bureaucrats have enabled.

WardoftheState 8 hours ago in reply to PacificGatePost

Pacific, I wish you wouldn't generalize. I come from an awesome FN community. Our people are very active culturally socially and politically, our books are tight. If we had elected a corrupt chief we'd simply remove him. It's not rocket science. My community is not alone- there are hundreds like mine. You ask why is it that Canada and Canadians stand by and let troubled communities like yours continue? It's not their responsibility. It's yours. Time to put on your big boy pants and stop saying you are too frightened to do anything about it. What would your ancestors think if they heard that? So stop blaming whitey, and stop expecting Canadians to solve all your problems for you. How the heck is some poor urban-living Canadian (some of them quite new to Canada) supposed to know what needs fixing in your community anyway? Besides many of them are busy fixing their own problems.

Still if you do want the government to step back into its "great white father" role (which by the way caused most of the problems we face today in our communities) and run things for you, fine - but please don't generalize and lump us all into this madness. Our community is quite happy to see less and less of the Canadian government interfering in our decisions as we happily sail toward self-government. You sound like a member of Canadian Tax Payers Federation....

And by the way - this whole conversation seems random and unrelated to the above article. It was Carson, from the Great white father's office that started this unfortunate scandal. (really think you want somone like him stepping into your community)

PacificGatePost 1 hour ago in reply to WardoftheState

@ WardoftheState, For you to claim that "there are hundreds like mine," flies in the face of a seriously countervailing wind. Please provide ONE single evidence of a band anywhere in Canada where there has been established a system of Checks and Balances. Just one. The Government of Canada sure doesn't seem to care if any is constituted.

First Nations' circling vultures dressed as advisors, councillors, lawyers, developers, gladhanders, don't want their systems to change. Just like the Immigration Industry, the "First Nations" is growth industry, and a gift that keeps on giving to those who know how to abuse and have the connections. . . And while there may be a rare band led by a benevolent dictator, the system of governance historically and currently exercised is not one that provides equal opportunity for its members nor does it provide oversight or transparency. . . The result is self evident from Victoria to Halifax.
. . . The result is self evident from Victoria to Halifax.

Ward of the State @ Pacific who wrote "Please provide ONE single evidence of a band anywhere in Canada where there has been established a system of Checks and Balances. Just one."

Many First Nations have established measures such as: conflict of interest codes, process for community redress,portfolio systems that identify roles and responsibilities of both Chief and Council vs the band administration. You asked for names and details, at the bottom of this post are links to a few dozen of them. You'll find many more examples online in the government archives.

However my point is that at the end of the day, even with all the checks and balances on paper we, like Canadians, have to hold politicians accountable with our votes. The Canadian system is not at all like the American system where the leader's power is limited. When Canadians elect a majority government, that government pretty much has carte blanche for 4 years. It's not like Canadians don't suffer their own share of scandals and cultures of entitlement in their system. The government imposed band council system certainly has similar flaws, but we have the power to vote them out and the responsibility to keep them accountable to us. Calling on Canadians to take that responsibility for us is lazy, and suggesting that they are at fault when we elect poor leaders is ridiculous. Further, it is absolutely untrue to say that no FN leaders have tried to improve democracy and accountability, as evidenced below.

BC – 45 First Nations develop governance codes – details at:

Saskatchewan – 17 First Nations develop governance codes – details at:

Ontario – 12 First Nations develop new governance codes – details at:

Alberta 8 Projects -

Manitoba – 4 Projects


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