Could we not start to undo 137 years of bad history?

Dear editor,

The Idle No More movement sparked nationwide debate and awareness regarding the plight of First Nations citizens.

Dear editor,

Although the Idle No More movement seems to be idle, it sparked nationwide debate and awareness recently regarding the plight of First Nations citizens as well as the difficulties that governments find themselves in, politically and financially.

A month or so ago the promised conflict resolution rhetoric was forefront but where is it now? Most news stories last about three or so weeks and then it is time to move on to something new. Now that it is no longer in the news, are things back to square one?

Since the onset of the 1876 Indian Act, aboriginals and governments have been shackled into an often-dysfunctional relationship, a relationship of government largesse, administrative abuse and a not-so-benevolent overseer.

For aboriginals, this has resulted in dependency, complacency and confusion.

Both sides are locked into the blame game without coming up with any answers and actions.

On the aboriginal side with so many ‘players in the field’ (over 600 reserves), the Idle No More catalyst into nationwide debates has revealed that not everyone can agree on many of the issues and resolutions except on perhaps two — the Indian Act has to go and economic prosperity for aboriginals would certainly go a long way.

On the government side, certain leaders have voiced similar tones.

The Indian Act has marginalized over half a million Canadians into second-class citizens and will limit the economic growth of Canada. Estimates of $500 billion of future resource-related projects may hang in the balance.

Over the next 10 years, some 400,000 aboriginals will be ready to enter the workplace but today there is no evidence that a meaningful number of them can and will be trained to take advantage of the forecast chronic skills shortage.

To meet that need, there is currently a strong focus to look outside the country, to immigrants for much of that skill set. It would be a shame not to take advantage of this opportunity now to start to undo 137 years of bad history.

Ed Zirkwitz,


Just Posted

Comox Valley RCMP looking for suspicious man in Courtenay

Man was frantically waving at vehicles

Comox Valley golfers prepare for another 55+ Games

Competition, camaraderie name of the game

Comox Valley firefighters assist with wildfire effort

Four Courtenay firefighters are in Fort St. James helping with the fight… Continue reading

Woman rescued from Stotan Falls calling for safety measures

3L Developments did not comment on immediate plans to add safety precautions

B.C. declares state of emergency as more than 560 wildfires rage

This is only the fourth state of emergency ever issued during a fire season

Happy birthday Boler: An anniversary gathering of the cutest campers in Winnipeg

Hundreds of the unique trailers in Winnipeg to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Manitoba invention

Court sides with developer in Jumbo ‘substantially started’ dispute

Resort developer successfully argues 2014 decision that halted the project was unfair

Canada’s tax system unfairly favours wealthy, poll of CRA auditors suggests

Four of every five respondents think loopholes and tax credits built into the system benefit the rich

Banff’s Sunshine ski resort upset with proposed guidelines from Parks Canada

The plan would allow for more visitors but wouldn’t let Sunshine build additional facilities

Conditions improve for battling northwest B.C. wildfires, minister says

‘Self-evacuated’ people fleeing smoke advised to go home

UPDATED: B.C. matching Red Cross donations for victims of wildfires

Donations being taken by many organizations, BC Hydro waiving bills

Woodpecker goes out with a bang, starts grassfire in B.C. city

Untimely death of woodpecker causes power outage in Cawston

Communities on evacuation alert in many areas of B.C. as wildfires flare

Warning was issued for 583-square-kilometre blaze that has charred Fraser Lake to Fort St. James

Most Read