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AusKanada:

Good post. You have summarized the problems pretty well.

It is time to end the reserve system, and help these unfortunate Canadians to integrate with the rest of Canadian society.

As a taxpayer, I for one, am tired of watching as tens of millions are pumped into this reserve (not exaggerating) for a new school, or new houses, new vehicles, etc etc...only to watch as the people here wreck them because they have no understanding of responsibility or accountability.

These are things you learn when you have to work to earn everything that you have, and when that is removed, respect is gone...respect for yourself, for others, and for property of same.

None of that gets solved until we wake up and realize that government has created this problem, and the way out is to cut government funding entirely, and force people to move where the jobs are.

greyman,

Welcome to the Board, its nice to have a real First Nation's voice here. While I agree with you regarding the wastefulness of the current federal funding structure on Reserves, I don't agree with doing away with the reserves entirely. The model we have is clearly broken, but I don't think we should throw out the baby with the bathwater. I think its important to retain reserves so Native peoples still have a home base, so to speak. Under the numbered treaties, the reserves were never intended to last forever, they were designed to warehouse the older generations until the younger ones could be assimilated into Canadian society. It didn't work out that way, but one of the few useful things the reserve system accomplished was to allow Native peoples a refuge to keep being Native until such time as they could regain their voice. I think that's important, and that alone is enough reason to retain reserves.

But clearly the fund-the-band-council-and-hope-for-the-best approach doesn't work. If you've read any of my posts here you'll know I'm not big on the 'living treaties' nonsense, but here's one change I would like to see. Replace the $5 annual token per person payment with something real, like $5000. Allow reserve members access to the same social services and health care as all Canadians, regardless of location. Cut funding to band councils and allow Natives to construct their own governanace model on reserves. Let them tax and regulate themselves. As long as the money comes from Ottawa, people will tolerate the Chief in the Big SUV, once its their own money being wasted, accountability will follow. If the reserve can't generate enough funds to support itself, then people will move to town, simple as that. The reserve will still be there as a home base for the Band, but it will no longer be an atificially funded ghetto in the middle of nowhere.

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Me?

Please, msj, spread your secret knowledge of Canada's arcane tax system to the aborginals of Canada.

Surely Canada's aborginals need to understand how to use the tax system to be better/richer/more productive people and contribute to humanity. [/sarcasm]

Not sure why the need for sarcasm here.

I am not going to waste my time trying to explain PSAB (accounting rules NOT tax rules) to a person who is as financially illiterate as you are (based on our discussions in other threads).

I have hardly talked about income taxes and Indians because this thread has been focused on Band's rather than individuals and has been primarily about the degree to which Band spending is corrupt, misspent, and/or incompetent.

As for taxes - taxation for first nations (people, bands, various entities such as corporations, limited partnerships, etc) is also very complex and, once again, I will not waste my time discussing such matters with someone as financially illiterate as you.

When Indians need to understand how to use the tax system to their benefit then they hire lawyers who understand the Indian Act for the simple reason that it is that Act that provides the tax exemption (and not the Income Tax Act or the Excise Tax Act).

Once again, I am not going to waste my time trying to explain such matter to someone as financially illiterate as you.

The would can be an awfully complex place at times.

Some of us navigate it based on knowledge and experience. And when we need the knowledge or experience we know when to pay for it.

Others don't but somehow expect such matters to be explained to them for free on a forum. :lol:

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greyman,

Welcome to the Board, its nice to have a real First Nation's voice here. While I agree with you regarding the wastefulness of the current federal funding structure on Reserves, I don't agree with doing away with the reserves entirely. The model we have is clearly broken, but I don't think we should throw out the baby with the bathwater. I think its important to retain reserves so Native peoples still have a home base, so to speak. Under the numbered treaties, the reserves were never intended to last forever, they were designed to warehouse the older generations until the younger ones could be assimilated into Canadian society. It didn't work out that way, but one of the few useful things the reserve system accomplished was to allow Native peoples a refuge to keep being Native until such time as they could regain their voice. I think that's important, and that alone is enough reason to retain reserves.

But clearly the fund-the-band-council-and-hope-for-the-best approach doesn't work. If you've read any of my posts here you'll know I'm not big on the 'living treaties' nonsense, but here's one change I would like to see. Replace the $5 annual token per person payment with something real, like $5000. Allow reserve members access to the same social services and health care as all Canadians, regardless of location. Cut funding to band councils and allow Natives to construct their own governanace model on reserves. Let them tax and regulate themselves. As long as the money comes from Ottawa, people will tolerate the Chief in the Big SUV, once its their own money being wasted, accountability will follow. If the reserve can't generate enough funds to support itself, then people will move to town, simple as that. The reserve will still be there as a home base for the Band, but it will no longer be an atificially funded ghetto in the middle of nowhere.

Thank you for the welcome. Good to be here.

However, to be clear, I am not aboriginal, but I do live on a remote northern reserve working for a private contractor. This is the second reserve I've lived on in western Canada. I've been on this one for two years, and change.

Now, forgive me for saying so, but I disagree with your reply.

The experiment of allowing aboriginals to "regulate themselves" is the mess we're dealing with now. I understand that to the general public reserve monies supposedly are given to bands with oversight, but that is not my reality.

The band receives a LOT of taxpayer money, and I am telling you, it comes by the boatload, and oversight is minimal. If we had true oversight, the proof would be in the pudding, but I can point to hand-over-fist waste in nearly every corner of this place. Whether it be the money supposedly allocated for school lunches that went up in smoke paying public "works" to "clear land", or federal funds meant to purchase fire-fighting equipment and personnel, when meanwhile there's one antiquated pumper truck, and ONE volunteer firefighter who is usually found conspicuously absent when the walking-zombie drunks that come out of the wood work on a nightly basis set fire to cars, houses, or the forest.

The band recently just spent over $30 million on a new school. It opened in September, its been closed twice since then for gas leaks due to shoddy workmanship, and the gym roof has already sprung a sizable leak. Not to mention, the $300,000 plus they spent on two glass towers at the front of the building that were put there for "aesthetics". Aesthetics, in a place where just a functioning - and intact - building would do. Aesthetics in a place where every standing structure has been used and abused. Just last week we received word 17 new mobile homes are being brought in to replace the other "new" homes that had been torched, or otherwise destroyed.

Where does the bleeding stop?

And you mention having comparable health care to the rest of Canada. I don't know where you live, but I came from Toronto where I was one of the lucky few there that had my own doctor and still had to wait 45 minutes at minimum to see him. Here you get seen after maybe a 20 minute wait, and oh yeah, you pay ZERO dollars for prescription medication...even if you have no health card, or coverage to speak of...just go in, get treated, and if they feel meds are required...here ya go. It was great for my wife who had strep last year, but it is an example where people who do not live in these areas really don't know about the amount of waste, and lack of accountability that actually happens here.

And give $5000 instead $5? Really? You mean on top of the welfare everyone here receives for doing nothing but getting wasted 24/7? That $5000 will buy a lot of booze, or a new video game system, or flat screen TV that will end up at the dump a month later. That $5000 will go to junk food, i.e. the only kind of food anyone eats here. That $5000 will go to new phone or satellite TV hook-ups that then get cut off after months of bills go unpaid.

Or maybe that $5000 can go to post-secondary schooling, except there is that problem of only a handful of people graduating high school each year, and also the fact that anyone here can go to any university in Canada they choose...for free. Oh, and also one vacation a year down south, free. Oh, and can go anywhere in Canada for "medical leave", all expenses paid by "the band"...a.k.a. you and me.

All of this, plus the rampant animal cruelty, the child reckless endangerment, the drunk drivers everywhere.

Yes, the reserve system only needs "tweaking" right?

Give me a break.

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There are some clueless posts in here with regard to reserves.

I live on a reserve in northern Alberta, and I can tell you the financial waste here is staggering. Commenters like "cybercoma" should live in places like this, and then see how "racist" it is to complain about the money we're throwing away here, and on most if not all reserves in this country.

The things you've heard are tame compared to the reality I see everyday. The stories you've seen on the news barely scratch the surface. Attawapiskat is the norm, not the exception.

If all Canadian taxpayers had the opportunity I've had to live on a large reserve for a few years, they'd be singing a far different tune with regard to federal funding, and the reserve system entirely.

Don't confuse what I'm saying as an endorsement of the Reserve system. The relationship between the federal government and reserves is a disaster and needs to be changed. What I take issue with is people saying that it's a one-sided waste of money on the part of the Bands and that Natives on reserves are lazy free-loaders.

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Don't confuse what I'm saying as an endorsement of the Reserve system. The relationship between the federal government and reserves is a disaster and needs to be changed. What I take issue with is people saying that it's a one-sided waste of money on the part of the Bands and that Natives on reserves are lazy free-loaders.

The government wastes money by doling it out to the bands.

The aboriginal people are not "lazy free-loaders", they are human beings whose coping skills have evaporated into a state of complete, and utter dependence because well-intentioned policies meant to "help" have had the inevitable unintended consequences of doing just the opposite.

If the government really wanted to help, the people within it would crack a book and understand that economic growth does not come from robbing Peter to pay Paul.

The state of the aboriginal people in this country is not a source of pride, and its a shame what we the taxpayers have allowed these people to be reduced to, all in the name of some sick game of "father knows best".

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Yet, father knows best is exactly the program you promote. You seem to suggest that they must integrate into our society and we owe them nothing for taking their lands or we don't have to live up to our obligations according to land-exchange agreements. You seem to think they should be "just like every other Canadian" when in fact the history of this country makes them not at all like every other Canadian. They're the Forgotten Third-Party when people talk about the English and French creating this country.

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Yet, father knows best is exactly the program you promote. You seem to suggest that they must integrate into our society and we owe them nothing for taking their lands or we don't have to live up to our obligations according to land-exchange agreements. You seem to think they should be "just like every other Canadian" when in fact the history of this country makes them not at all like every other Canadian. They're the Forgotten Third-Party when people talk about the English and French creating this country.

Father knows best is the opposite of what I promote. I'm saying end the reserve system entirely. No more payments.

It's 2012, not 1812.

Canadians are Canadians. No money should be given to anyone based on their ethnicity.

We have given the First Nations tens of billions of dollars, and for what?

We don't have to compensate anyone for taking their land. Those who had their land "taken" were alive over a century ago. Those people are long gone. We are now generations past that, time to evolve.

Following your logic everyone on the globe should be receiving checks from some ethnicity or another for land confiscation.

We're still following treaties from the 18th, and 19th centuries. Heck, why not go back and compensate all who had their land taken by the Romans, or the Ottomans, or the Persians, etc etc etc.

Humans have evolved, explored, migrated. Yes, it is unfortunate what happened all those years ago, but don't let emotion cloud the issue.

Writing cheques to assuage guilt for past transgressions is a one-way ticket to bankrupting everyone else who lives in the here and now.

You can call the First Nations a "forgotten third party" all you like, but they've been "forgotten" to the tune of -X- Billion dollars, and the state of affairs on the reserves is shameful.

No, they are not forgotten, they are being pandered to by people who think they know better than those who live in this squalor.

The more the central planners continue to throw their guilt money at this issue from afar, the worse this problem will become. It will get to the point where the people on reserves will resort to breeding purely for the increase in federal funds paid per child.

Oh wait, we're already there.

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In my short summary of the problems, I was not necessarily advocating a whole sale abolition of the reserve system, but trying to show in my own limited perspective what I thought the chief hurdles are.

I would say, however, some reserves are not healthy environments and should be ended. The local government is corrupt, it would take millions to make it properly inhabitable and there is virtually no industry in the area. It is extremely expensive and difficult to offer people services when they live away from the majority, where such service is readily available and cheaper. So I'd welcome the government giving some funds to encourage aboriginals who so decide to move into cities with their fellow Canadians.

Also, I think it's dangerous to call for a wholesale abolition of federal support... if the communities are in rough shape are already, they will be infinitely worse otherwise. A long term strategy should be implemented, along with a new federal agency dedicated completely to monitoring and investigating local council activities so as to combat corruption.

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In my short summary of the problems, I was not necessarily advocating a whole sale abolition of the reserve system, but trying to show in my own limited perspective what I thought the chief hurdles are.

I would say, however, some reserves are not healthy environments and should be ended. The local government is corrupt, it would take millions to make it properly inhabitable and there is virtually no industry in the area. It is extremely expensive and difficult to offer people services when they live away from the majority, where such service is readily available and cheaper. So I'd welcome the government giving some funds to encourage aboriginals who so decide to move into cities with their fellow Canadians.

Also, I think it's dangerous to call for a wholesale abolition of federal support... if the communities are in rough shape are already, they will be infinitely worse otherwise. A long term strategy should be implemented, along with a new federal agency dedicated completely to monitoring and investigating local council activities so as to combat corruption.

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In my short summary of the problems, I was not necessarily advocating a whole sale abolition of the reserve system, but trying to show in my own limited perspective what I thought the chief hurdles are.

I would say, however, some reserves are not healthy environments and should be ended. The local government is corrupt, it would take millions to make it properly inhabitable and there is virtually no industry in the area. It is extremely expensive and difficult to offer people services when they live away from the majority, where such service is readily available and cheaper. So I'd welcome the government giving some funds to encourage aboriginals who so decide to move into cities with their fellow Canadians.

Also, I think it's dangerous to call for a wholesale abolition of federal support... if the communities are in rough shape are already, they will be infinitely worse otherwise. A long term strategy should be implemented, along with a new federal agency dedicated completely to monitoring and investigating local council activities so as to combat corruption.

The absolute last thing we the taxpayers need is yet another federal agency. The government is too large as it is.

It's not dangerous to call for wholesale abolition, it is what needs to happen to fix the problem, heal the people, and make things better.

Sure, yes, if you cut off funding cold turkey there would be a lot of pain. I think a short-term phasing out of funding is fine, but you won't be able to do it without those currently dependent suffering in some way or another.

The best we can do is get out of the way, and let the market correct the imbalances caused by decades of federal intervention.

It would sting for a short while, but people would grow, adapt, and we'd all be much better off in the long run.

The alternative is to throw money away year after year...and to what end?

The best way to combat corruption is to completely remove the apparatus that allowed that corruption to happen in the first place.

The quicker we do this, the better...gotta rip that band-aid off...1-2-3.

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The absolute last thing we the taxpayers need is yet another federal agency. The government is too large as it is.

It's not dangerous to call for wholesale abolition, it is what needs to happen to fix the problem, heal the people, and make things better.

Sure, yes, if you cut off funding cold turkey there would be a lot of pain. I think a short-term phasing out of funding is fine, but you won't be able to do it without those currently dependent suffering in some way or another.

The best we can do is get out of the way, and let the market correct the imbalances caused by decades of federal intervention.

It would sting for a short while, but people would grow, adapt, and we'd all be much better off in the long run.

The alternative is to throw money away year after year...and to what end?

The best way to combat corruption is to completely remove the apparatus that allowed that corruption to happen in the first place.

The quicker we do this, the better...gotta rip that band-aid off...1-2-3.

So you're blaming the federal government for the actions of an entire system? That is beyond illogical. God... your faith in the market would make the Pope hug Darwin... ask those in the Third World what unfettered capitalism is like with their 15 hour work days.

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I suggest you brush up on more recent history.

Enlighten me then. Because near as I can tell the inability of the market to regulate itself out of the Depression led to FDR's policies. The New Deal ushered in an era of "advanced capitalism." The result of this is that the failures of the market to this day are no longer blamed on the corporations that cause them with their activities, but we look to the government to correct the market when it is failing. The government's involvement, which continues to this day, certainly shows that the market is not unfettered. If it were, corporations would not have tax credits, job creation incentives, employment standards, health and safety regulations, etc.

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Father knows best is the opposite of what I promote. I'm saying end the reserve system entirely. No more payments.

It's 2012, not 1812.

Good thing. If you talked that way in 1812, we'd all be US citizens today. :lol:

Sometimes history isn't just quaint stories from the past: Sometimes history continues to define our circumstances today, as the Jay Treaty (1794) defines the boundary of Canada, for example.

Canadians are Canadians. No money should be given to anyone based on their ethnicity.

We have given the First Nations tens of billions of dollars, and for what?

We don't have to compensate anyone for taking their land. Those who had their land "taken" were alive over a century ago. Those people are long gone. We are now generations past that, time to evolve.

Following your logic everyone on the globe should be receiving checks from some ethnicity or another for land confiscation.

We're still following treaties from the 18th, and 19th centuries. Heck, why not go back and compensate all who had their land taken by the Romans, or the Ottomans, or the Persians, etc etc etc.

Humans have evolved, explored, migrated. Yes, it is unfortunate what happened all those years ago, but don't let emotion cloud the issue.

Writing cheques to assuage guilt for past transgressions is a one-way ticket to bankrupting everyone else who lives in the here and now.

According to the federal accounts of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development and Canadian Polar Commission, as the Ministry is now called, we taxpayers are paying peanuts on real settlements of our legal obligations - and Treaties are laws upheld by the Supreme Court, like it or not - and we've shelled out TRILLIONS to lawyers, negotiators, researchers, administrators and consultants, ALL trying to avoid our legal fiscal obligations.

It's like paying lawyers to futilely sue your bank to delay paying your mortgage: We could instead just pay down the mortgage for a fraction of the cost, and start paying for the same quality of education on reserves as for every other Canadian kid.

You can call the First Nations a "forgotten third party" all you like, but they've been "forgotten" to the tune of -X- Billion dollars, and the state of affairs on the reserves is shameful.

No, they are not forgotten, they are being pandered to by people who think they know better than those who live in this squalor.

The more the central planners continue to throw their guilt money at this issue from afar, the worse this problem will become. It will get to the point where the people on reserves will resort to breeding purely for the increase in federal funds paid per child.

Oh wait, we're already there.

There is a baby boom in Aboriginal communities, following six generations of population decimation in the residential schools.

There is no increase in education funding for the increased student population, and funding was already lower than for other Canadian children.

Welcome to the board greyman. We've been over this ground here before ... many times.

Extinguishment of Aboriginal rights is not going to happen, legally or otherwise.

I understand that you feel the system is broken, and perhaps we all agree on that.

However the solutions are in self determination, self governance, and cultural continuity, not more attempts at forced assimilation as in the past: THAT is the broken system.

And evading legal settlements is our biggest expense.

http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1321563444598

Edited by jacee
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So you're blaming the federal government for the actions of an entire system? That is beyond illogical. God... your faith in the market would make the Pope hug Darwin... ask those in the Third World what unfettered capitalism is like with their 15 hour work days.

Your blanket statement about unfettered capitalism fails to take into account two realities.

1. There is no such thing as unfettered capitalism in the world today - in the third world, or otherwise.

2. You're only looking at one side of exchange in the third world, i.e. what the alternative for those 15-hour-a-day workers might be were those jobs not available.

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Between the Balfour Declaration in 1927 and the Statute of Westminster in 1931.

The Balfour Declaration wasn't in 1927.
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Your blanket statement about unfettered capitalism fails to take into account two realities.

1. There is no such thing as unfettered capitalism in the world today - in the third world, or otherwise.

2. You're only looking at one side of exchange in the third world, i.e. what the alternative for those 15-hour-a-day workers might be were those jobs not available.

They actually have alternatives, they can farm and exist as they always have. Or they can choose to industrialize however they find best, in a more responsible and egalitarian way, where you don't get Carlos Sims and then hundreds of millions of people working harder than you ever will every day for a shack and enough food to survive.

Actually, I concede. You're right, the governments in the third world typically give tax exemptions, subsidies and low corporate tax rates to entice business, then lower/abolish safety and labour standards to make their costs virtually nothing. It's really just corporate slavery.

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They actually have alternatives, they can farm and exist as they always have. Or they can choose to industrialize however they find best, in a more responsible and egalitarian way, where you don't get Carlos Sims and then hundreds of millions of people working harder than you ever will every day for a shack and enough food to survive.

Actually, I concede. You're right, the governments in the third world typically give tax exemptions, subsidies and low corporate tax rates to entice business, then lower/abolish safety and labour standards to make their costs virtually nothing. It's really just corporate slavery.

Slavery is involuntary.

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