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Harper Govt Marks National Aboriginal Day – But What Have They Done Lately?

Harper Govt Marks National Aboriginal Day – But What Have They Done Lately?

The Harper government marked National Aboriginal Day June 21 with an announcement about funding for Aboriginal health research. This money, which will come out of the Canadian Institutes for Health Research (CIHR) budget, is meant to help researchers apply their findings to small groups in Aboriginal communities, combating health issues that are prevalent in First Nations’ communities, like tuberculosis and diabetes.

CIHR researchers will also work on suicide prevention.

It has been said that Canada’s First Nations youth is our greatest asset in building the future. That with support and proper training, this large population could fill jobs in industries that are currently understaffed.

This government was applauded after the apology to Residential School survivors, but what came next?

If the current government believes that this country’s future lies in our First Nations, Mιtis and Inuit communities, it’s not doing much to show it.

The Assembly of First Nations had to go to court to ensure their children are treated fairly when compared to other Canadian children.

After a state of emergency in Attawapiskat last year, many Canadians learned for the first time that many First Nations reserves are without proper housing, running water, proper school facilities and that our First Nations peoples live in Third World conditions. Even in the midst of the crisis, the Prime Minister and the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs refused to visit the community.

The Canadian public let it be known that there was outrage over the situation in Attawapiskat and the federal budget set out money for schools and improving water quality.

Later this year, the UN Special Rapporteur came to Canada on a standing invitation and exposed the fact that Aboriginal communities are food insecure, with food in the North costing more than double or triple the cost in larger communities. The government minister sent to respond to the rapporteur, Health Minister Leona Aglukkaq, ignored what the man was trying to tell them and instead attacked him for the European Union’s fight against the annual seal hunt.

It seems clear that Mr. Harper does not look favorably on the country’s First Nations, Inuit and Mιtis. His base is not fond of them and as a group they don’t tend to vote. In the Harper government, you ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for the Conservatives.

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35 comments

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7:48PM PDT on Aug 21, 2012

I am being disabused of my perception of Canada as being a more humane place than the U.S.A., phooey!

10:49PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

The looting era

10:47PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

The looting era

12:12PM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

thanks.

11:09AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

Much must be done, to make reparation for the dreadful way the indigenous population of Australia has been treated, and neglected.

5:21AM PDT on Jun 25, 2012

talk is cheap

8:13PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

CONTINUATION . . .

I think Harper and his harlots are a buch of misanthropes only interested in their own power and wealth, not unlike the Republican/Teabaggers in the US. Harper is trying to change Canada by stealth, making it into his image of Canada. But on the matter of dealing with First Nations people, all governments have been woefully inadequate, verging on useless. And our citizenry, myself included, are equally culpable by our silence.

8:09PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

This country has a long list of actions "for" the First Nations people and I can only list a few --- Attawapiskat (not enough and years in the making, it only happened after some political pressure and some exposure in the media); Davis Bay, Labrador (the death of a community from addictions and inattention to the needs of the people); Ahousaht on the west coast (third world conditions --- I hope it is better now); residential schools with all their abuses by the various churches who ran them under federal government auspices). It doesn't matter what government was in power, what year it was, First Nations people have been humoured, not respected.

It is time that the equal rights guaranteed in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms be for ALL. Part of the problem is that First Nations people are starting from a deficit position. Education, healthcare and economic advancement are the first areas to tackle. Government needs to work with First Nations people as equals, not with a paternalistic 'I know what's best for you' attitude. And yes, some First Nations communities will be in more isolated parts of the country, but many are not --- this is a big country.

I think Harper and his harlots are a buch of misanthropes only interested in their own power and wealth, not unlike the Republican/Teabaggers in the US. Harper is trying to change Canada by stealth, making it into his image of Canada. But on the matter of dealing with First Nations people, all governments have bee

5:41PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

OMG enough of the paperwork that has been around since the 70s. How many children have died since then. How many girls and women have disappeared? get a life Botox face or get off the throne. DO SOMETHING NOW!

4:15PM PDT on Jun 24, 2012

Steven Harper has done nothing for our first nations people and nothing for Canada in general he has taken away our rights with his 450 page repressive Bill C-38 omnibus bill including restrictions on environmentalists to speak out against the destruction of our environment.Our first Nations people own much of the land that has oil that is what the Harper government wants! He couldn't care less about our first nations or any other Canadians! It's all about greed an power! Not unlike the republicans!

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