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1st. Nations

Transparency Act.


Canada, the nation of my birth almost 80 years ago has been good to me and my family and friends. Most everyone in my circle of acquaintances has done pretty well in this country of opportunity.  Most of us started out with good health, a desire to do well and a longing for success in whatever field we happened to fall into or had the good fortune to choose. Not much was given to us in those days and government was hardly ever there to catch us if misfortune happened upon our young lives. We had well meaning service clubs that took on certain pet projects and of course the church or religious groups. Many fell between these very wide cracks and had to fend for themselves.

Our native population was the exception to all of these difficulties as they were cared for by the federal government. As long as they remained on their allotted lands they were pretty much taken care of from the cradle to the grave. If they went out on their own, they rejected many of the perks of living on reserve land. In either case, our native population with few exceptions performed  poorly socially.

Billions of tax payers’ dollars have been thrown at this small group of citizens, and yet most live in poverty.  A government cheque starts at birth, no taxes are ever expected and illegitimate and illegal businesses that are started by a few opportunists are mostly ignored by our law enforcement.  Politicians are in fear of reprisals from a few young rebels and many have broken laws that were put in place for all citizens.  That’s the rub, many Indians do not feel they are Canadian citizens, they are First Nation citizens.  A band could be a few hundred or half dozen families. There are no more than 600 bands all together and they total about 700,000 people.  

First Nations Indians is probably a suitable name for this group as it is estimated they have been wandering our lands since 40,000 to 10,000 BC.  When the Europeans arrived 500 years ago there was very little progress to show for the length of time they had been here. And sadly, with a few exceptions where some forward thinking chiefs are starting to develop their vast opportunities with oil, land development and small business, progress has been stagnant for far too long. Here lies the problem “Band chiefs” and lack of government control over the chiefs’ income and spending.

There has always been an undercurrent of rumors where chiefs were thought to be taking sums of government money to line their pockets along with family and close friends, leaving the rest of the community they were entrusted to manage with little or nothing, not having even running water or sanitary facilities. Deplorable and disgusting as it sounds it is still going on to-day.

Our current Federal government under the leadership of Stephen Harper decided something needed to be done; we now have legislation called, 1st. Nations Transparency Act. This is a simple act that allows full disclosure of the moneys being transferred to the 600 band chiefs and there families. Up until now, only the chiefs seemed to know how much was transferred to them. This has come about in spite of the resistance of the NDP and the Liberal parties. We are seeing now just a small glimpse of the deceit and criminal acts these band chiefs have perpetrated on their own people and the citizens of Canada. Until now we have had no idea where our money was going through the Indian act. Now we do.

As an example--- The Shuswap Band in BC is made up of about 26 families, 87 members. Their chief,  receives

                $440,000 tax free or about $870,000 per year. His  X wife gets

                 $223,000 tax free or about $370,000 per year. His son gets {mng. fees}

                 $536,000 tax free or about $950,000 per year for band administration 

                 One other band member receives about $100,000 a year but had no idea what his associates were taking in.

Blame has to be laid on the Indian Affairs bureauocrats that have allowed this sacking of the Canadian purse for so many years. A total revue must be made of every chief and an accounting for their handling of our money, and then heads should roll.  I feel that when everything has been brought to light, we will demand a total re vamp of how we handle our native friends.

First and foremost, all band members should be given title to their homes to start them on a program of pride of ownership.   




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