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Old 11-04-2005, 01:57 AM   #1
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Canada has done enough for its Aboriginals!

Subject: look at what they print in the UWO university newspaper
Date: Wed, 02 Nov 2005 10:11:43 -0500



http://www.gazette.uwo.ca/article.cfm?section=Opinions&articleID=632&month=11&day=1&year=2005

Canada has done enough for its Aboriginals



By: James Hayes

Whether youíre in your history tutorial or drunkenly yelling at your friends, one topic that often stirs controversy is Aboriginal Canadiansí rights.

To an extent this is deservedly so. Many of us believe European-Canadians, and later Canadian immigrants, have manipulated the rights of Canadaís native peoples. But my take is a little different.

European immigrants who first inhabited Canada treated native peoples unfairly. Aboriginals were driven off their land and racked with disease because Europeans felt it was their right to monopolize lands that Aboriginals had inhabited for thousands of years.

Having said that, the current Canadian government cannot erase the past or what happened in the formation of our country. Even an apology, although a nice gesture, is questionable as to its usefulness. The injustices under consideration didnít involve the people apologizing or the people being apologized to.

What the federal government can do (and has done) is provide concessions to Aboriginals. Aboriginals donít have to deal with many taxes (most notably income taxes and sales taxes) and have subsidized post-secondary education.

After all these years, the Canadian government has done enough, providing numerous financial boosts for Aboriginals to succeed in contemporary Canada. These exemptions are entirely called for because the Aboriginal person does face disadvantages compared to other Canadian citizens in terms of where they live, how they make a living and ingrained discrimination in the workplace.

Now, though, when an Aboriginal person truly utilizes all the exceptions afforded to him, he can have an enormous advantage over another Canadian citizen. Current Canadian immigrants also have it tough in this country, for many of the same reasons as Aboriginals ó blue-collar job opportunties, discrimination, et cetera ó and they donít receive the perks Aboriginals enjoy. If Aboriginals are going to continue to live on reserves and not utilize many of these government grants, that is their prerogative. I do not think, however, that any non-Aboriginal Canadian citizen needs to feel guilt for the situation of Canadian native peoples. We, as Canadians, have done enough for this group already.
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Old 11-04-2005, 03:19 AM   #2
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That's BS. They havn't done enough!
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Old 11-04-2005, 10:23 PM   #3
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It is unfortunate to see the level of ignorance that can exist at a university in Canada. That such ignorance can exist in a journalistic publication is even more shameful. The author, James Hayes should never have been allowed to write on a topic about which he is so woefully uninformed. Isnít the purpose of a university newspaper to inform and to educate?

While he, as any other citizen, should be allowed freedom of opinion, a newspaper has an obligation to fact-checking. Mr. Hayes is operating under the assumption that Native people in Canada are receiving benefits from their status based on the need of those benefits. How is it possible that a university-educated person is unaware that a government-to-government relationship exists between the country of Canada and the Sovereign First Nations? This relationship was established in order to allow the Europeans to live side by side with the First Nations people, sharing in the benefits of living in Canada. These treaties promised health care, education, housing and freedom from taxes and subscription into the army. Even the most passive observer can see that these promises have not been kept. On the issue of taxes, every individual pays all taxes while not on the small confines of the reserve. So since most purchases are made off the reserve, and most of the jobs are off the reserve, then Native people are paying most of the taxes everyone else pays. Many Native people, while not forced to join the armed services, did serve proudly to protect the only homeland that they have. These veterans were denied all the benefits that non-Native veterans received upon the completion of their service. Even a person with Mr. Hayes faulty sense of logic can see that this is not fair and should be rectified. Other programs that are present on the reserve are the same programs available to non-native people off the reserve. It is just a matter of jurisdiction of program dollars. A lot of these programs are to segments of society such as the disabled, elderly or poverty stricken. Is Mr. Hayes tired of delivering services to these segments of society also?

According to the very Treaties that helped to shape the country of Canada, the government-to-government relationship between the First Nations people is a relationship that will exist into perpetuity, or until the visitors return home, or all the Natives are gone. And there have been many attempts to eradicate the Natives including genocide, starvation, residential schoolís form of assimilation by brain-washing/abuse and finally legislation. Mr. Hayes article is an example of the justification of these practices.

If this is what passes for journalism in Canada, then maybe we should go study in the United States. As for Mr. Hayes perhaps he should at least take a course in cultural sensitivity, or maybe even a history course before he attempts another article.

Tim Eashappie, Sr.
Carry the Kettle Reserve, SK
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Old 11-05-2005, 08:25 PM   #4
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When I lived in Canada I was appalled by my treatment by whites there. Its amazing sometimes I wonder if its currently worse in Canada then US.
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Old 11-06-2005, 01:04 AM   #5
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Very well written response!! Please let us know if they respond back allright?
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