12.30.2015 09:49 AM

Things you should know about “Indian” status

As (the incredibly proud) father to a citizen of the Carcross-Tagish First Nation, and as someone who has tried to navigate the relevant Ottawa bureaucracy (Conservative and Liberal), I encourage you to read this.

There’s no First Nations free lunch. And there’s no government that hasn’t treated First Nations peoples like they’re citizens of the Third World. 

4 Comments

  1. Mark says:

    Good post and good reminders. I work in the “Indian” business in BC, but I’m a Caucasian. I’m often having to remind friends and family, and others who should know better, about the realities facing First Nation Canadians.

  2. Aongasha says:

    The article is dead on. However, there is also another reality. I have lived and worked in first nation communities, although a non-native myself. Some of these folks are among the hardest working, caring people I know. They raise their families in love and with a respect for their people’s traditions. Others are among the worst I have ever met. Like their non-native counterparts they are crooks, thieves, criminals in the extreme and the scum of the earth. In other words they model exactly every community in Canada or the world for that matter, ‘Indian’ or non-Indian. Some of them, as in any system, rise to the top politically and thus are able to prey on their fellow citizens on behalf of themselves, their families and friends. Fortunately in many communities good laws, open government, accountability legislation and good policing, sometimes at least, catch up with these folks. That is why Carolyn Bennett’s refusal to make first nations chiefs and band councils accountable for the spending of taxpayers monies is wrong. Having seen what abuses can happen in first nations and the demands of the people themselves for fiscal openness and honest reporting, Bennett’s decision can only be seen as pandering. It’s also worth noting that this step has not been well received by many, who have fought long and hard for the right to hold their leaders to account.

  3. W. Whyte says:

    If Canada became a ‘republic’, Indian status would vanish because all citizens are equal and without distinction in a republic.
    Also, all the treaties with the Queen would lapse and aboriginal ‘reserves’ would melt into the national republican pot.

    A PR electoral system is the first step to a republican form of government. What say you?

  4. e.a.f. says:

    nice post.

    it serves some people well to think First NATIONS people “get a free pass” and all that government money. They don’t have to think or take responsibility for the mess we have in this country when it comes to First Nations living conditions or the high rate of unsolved murders.

    Harper only made things worse, but that served him well also. People in this country who think First Nations have it “SO good” ought to try and living the life one of these days for a few months, like the dead of winter.

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