February 27, 2004

Frost Hits the Rhubarb

Canada's Aboriginals: Another Idea

Killing natives with good intentions editorial, Feb. 27, 2004

On Tuesday, bureaucrats announced $10-billion in additional federal spending. Among the increases: $800-million for aboriginal programs, bringing the total native allocation to $8-billion.

Given that almost all of this money is earmarked for the 400,000 aboriginals living on Canada's reserves, that is an astounding figure. It works out to $80,000 per reserve-resident household. Put another way, about 4.3% of the $186-billion federal budget will be going to 1.3% of Canadians. As we have argued in this space before, this country's natives are arguably the most lavishly subsidized ethnic constituency in the entire Western world.

[. . . .]The problem, it must be emphasized, is not an issue of resource ownership. For years, it has been argued that giving Indian bands control of wealth-generating assets such as mines and forests would spur an aboriginal economic boom. It hasn't -- because most reserve-resident aboriginals don't have the education and skills necessary to run large-scale entrepreneurial operations. (And the few who do are the ones who flee to the cities.) Thus, the real economic work of engineering, management and resource extraction is done by whites brought in on contract. Royalties are paid to the bands, which then distribute them to members. But from the recipients' point of view, it is just another species of handout.

For another view on natives and Canada's North, link to This Really Gets My Blood Boiling - My Commentary!, a previous post on a Canadian chief, one out of the North, Kakfwi a rough diamond, by Peter Foster

Canadians must face the truth: A policy that encourages natives to remain on reserves is misguided and unsustainable. In every society in modern human history, from Industrial Age Britain to Communist China, people have become wealthy by fleeing their farms and villages for the economic opportunities of the cities. But where natives are concerned, Canadians eschew this policy for fear it will break the cultural eggshell that keeps what remains of aboriginal culture protected from Western civilization. It is a recipe for poverty: If natives are ever to have the economic and health outcomes they deserve, we must bring them to our urban job centres and universities, and integrate them into Canadian society.

We believe most politicians in Ottawa secretly know this -- but refuse to admit as much lest they be accused of advocating "cultural genocide" or the like. [. . . .] This country desperately needs a leader with the courage to champion a bold policy to assimilate reserve-resident natives into urban Canadian society. Until then, our native communities are destined to remain disgraceful testaments to this nation's collective cowardice.

My Commentary:

The National Post continues to be a voice of reason in many areas and to present ideas for discussion. The Aspers who support the Liberal Party and presumably, the government of Paul Martin, are to be praised for allowing such as the editorial writer a voice -- for adding to the discussion with the articles from other writers and researchers. They are contributing to debate and to democracy in Canada.; I just hope political correctness doesn't get to them as it has certain other media outlets -- particularly the one we are all forced to support through taxation -- the one which sneers at all but Liberal/Red Tory/NDP ideas.

Some links to other posts on Canada's natives and native issues follow:

1. Just Say No to Race-based Tax Exemptions Feb. 24, 04

2. May I have a word with you? -- First Nations Feb. 24, 04

3. Victimology 101 Feb. 21, 04

4. This System is Not Working: What is the Solution? Feb. 14, 04

There are probably others in the archives if you care to look. NJC


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