A matter of logic

By Ken Waddell
Recently, the Department of Defense suggested they would start charging municipalities for emergency assistance such as flood fighting and helping with other natural disasters. The government apparently has since backtracked on that one. While it’s understandable that the military might want to generate some funds, nobody asked the question as to what funds they had in mind. It would make sense maybe to compensate for gas and wear and tear on equipment used in fighting a flood for example, but as far as I know, the staff were getting paid anyway.
•Idle no more. It didn’t take long for rogue signs to be stuck here and there across Canada. The hand-painted signs said “Idle no more-get a job”. That there are problems in communities and that there are more then the usual problems in some First Nation communities is without question. However, if an able bodied person doesn’t have job, then they need to move to another community. It’s a time-honoured method of surviving and getting ahead. If my grandfather hadn’t moved, if my dad hadn’t moved, if I hadn’t moved, if hundreds of Filipino people hadn’t moved, then we might all be sitting at home waiting for the next job.
•Here’s a great quote from Sun Media:
“Some chiefs have suggested that Atleo’s future as national chief of the Assembly of First Nations could now be in jeopardy for failing to adhere to the demands of many chiefs that he boycott the meeting with Harper.
“The AFN was set up to represent the decisions of the chiefs,” Pam Palmater said Thursday evening. Palmater, a Ryerson University professor, ran unsuccessfully against Atleo last summer and has sharply criticized him for being too close to the Harper government.
“If the AFN decided to go to that meeting against the will and decision of the chiefs, then the AFN would no longer be a valid and representative organization of the chiefs.”
How about representing the needs and wishes of the people not the chiefs? That would be a good start. Protesting and hunger striking, Chief Spence is getting well paid to sit in a teepee in a phony hunger strike by day when the cameras are running, all the while spending some, if not all, nights in a nice hotel. How about she and all these other chiefs go home and run their communities?”
The hard line First Nations chiefs and the multitude of spokespersons seem to think that they are nations equal with Canada and England. They think that negotiations need to take place nation-to-nation. They are wrong. There’s a difference between a clan and a nation. There’s a difference between a tribe and nation, there’s a difference between the Scottish society and a nation. There are nations and then there are groups, sometimes some very small groups, who have lived in a relatively small area, even if it’s for centuries — but they still don’t make a nation.
Some aboriginal people, including Theresa Spence, have said they have gotten nothing from Canada. I beg to differ. That’s way over the top. Spence apparently can’t count the millions and the audit of her reserve would seem to prove the point. Every Canadian gets a lot from Canada, some more than others. We get health care, education, social security, military and police protection and the list goes on. Some communities seem to benefit more than others but it has nothing to do with money. If money and large numbers meant a successful community, then why is Winnipeg the murder capital of Canada?
It doesn’t matter if it’s an aboriginal community, a small reserve, a small town or village or large city, there needs to be a lot more truth and logic applied to our funding, our decisions and to our administration. 
Protesting, hunger strikes, placard waving, name calling, racial prejudice (and that’s a two-way street), more money; none of these things solve problems. Good use of money, good administration and good decisions solve problems, whether it be individually, as a family, as a community, as a province or as a country. That’s the logical way to solve problems.

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kwaddell@kenwaddell.ca This is a Sunrize Group internet solution (204)226-2247