People trying to ride on tails of Idle No More

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To the editor,

Have you ever seen so much jumping on the band-wagon as with the Idle No More movement?  Out are coming political "wannabes" trying to horn in on the action to serve themselves.

AFN Chief Atleo, other Indian leaders and wannabes sat on their behinds and/or ran all over the place for years having so-called "meetings" and "conferences" and living it up on lavish salaries and expense accounts while grassroots Indians starved. Now they are trying to take over the movement. They're looking for anything that they can use in order to further themselves, even if it means using Chief Spence and the "Idle-No-More" movement.

Chief Spence is doing very well without them.  She has credibility. Idle-No-More has credibility. But if the rats get involved they will taint and possibly ruin what Spence and her supporters nationwide – Indian and non-Indian alike – have accomplished so far. The rats need to be kept out in order to keep the movement pure.

Dennis Hall

Saskatoon

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  • bob in ns
    January 11, 2013 - 13:25

    well Krista FYI , I work two jobs to support my family and I especially resent the fact that my tax dollars go to support the life style of someone wether they are native or not. It must be you who is the "lazy one" because I did not say the native population should not get anything,if you really read my comment you would realize my message was to settle this issue for once and for all and get it over with no matter how much it costs". Hundreds of millions of dollars has been thrown at this issue over the years and all they want is more. chief spence stated earlier today that the crown be at the meeting because it was England who imposed the treaties on them. Well if that is the case let the Queen look after them!

    • just sayin
      January 12, 2013 - 20:16

      Well the fact remains their ancestors were here first and technically we (europeans) invaded their land. They didn't have currency (that i know of), and had the whole place to themselves to live off of. We changed their way of life whether they wanted it or not. I think Krista took the Indian comment too serious, because they are protected by the "Indian Act". Who ever said calling them Indians was offensive? I guess your a Happy Holidays type of person too. I think non-natives (as it says on my receipts from Milbrook gas station) are just jealous/frustrated we have to pay sales tax on the same Luxuries Natives buy. As a child playing hockey i remember all too well complimenting a native on his nice $200 Composite hockey stick only to have him reply " Yeah, your dad paid for it". It didn't change my outlook on Indians, just that one.

  • bob in ns
    January 11, 2013 - 07:15

    Here we go again! I fully agree to keep the rats out of this process,but this time lets do it properly. A one time payout should be utilized to put an end to this ongoing theft of hard working taxpayer's money. You can say poor Indians till the cows come home but the fact is the majority of them do not want to work.This is the 21st century and there are more important things to consider than the welfare of a band of people who want things that I must pay for but I cant afford to do for myself. I've had enough of this constant poormouthing. "get a job"

    • Krista
      January 11, 2013 - 12:46

      "the fact is the majority of them don't want to work" What you are saying is out and out racist for so many reasons. First, it indicates you have NO IDEA what this movement is about. For example, Bill C-45 has nothing to do with anyone not wanting to work. Second, to claim that the majority of First Nations people do not want to work makes me wonder how many First Nations peoples you know personally. Is there some sort of factbook on the desire of First Nations people to work that people don't know about? Third, Indian's are from India, I'm pretty sure that I haven't seen many people from India involved with the Idle No More movement. Fourth, you are suggesting that most First Nations peoples are without jobs, which tells me that you are the lazy one, as you are clearly to quick to spew your uninfored opinion (if it can even be called an opinion) before you pick up a book or try to get informed on the issue at hand.

  • Will R.
    January 10, 2013 - 15:45

    Very true. I would like to add some facts that the media won't tell you because there's no story in hysteria chicken little movement of the pied piper Chief Spence: The Misconceptions In Bill C45 That Sparked ‘Idle No More". Navigable Water Protection Act: Bill C-45 It is an act that is strictly about navigation on waterways in Canada. The act protects the rights of commercial and recreational boaters to the unimpeded access through waterways. The act does not protect the waterways; it protects the right to navigate through them. The Environmental Protection Act protects the waterways themselves. When the NWPA was written, all lakes, rivers and streams that could be navigated by a vessel were made part of the legislation; this was defined as all watercraft, large and small including things like canoes. Any shoreline change to any navigable waterway required a federal permit to build a boathouse or dock to ensure that no such structure would impede the flow of watercraft. It had nothing to do with protecting the natural environment, the legislation is solely written to protect navigation on Canadian waterways. The most minor change on a little used river required a federal permit in addition to environmental assessments, provincial approvals, local building permits and all the other permits from many different governing bodies that our society requires when a property owner wants to do anything. Every level of government including, in many cases, conservation authorities would often be involved. The federal government came to the conclusion that a permit for a cottage dock or boathouse on little used waterways should not require a federal permit and determined to remove the requirement from certain waterways. To determine which, all waterways were first divided into two categories. One category is for waterways that have significant vessel traffic and which interconnect to other lakes and waterways. They include systems like the Great Lakes, the Trent Canal, the three large lakes in Muskoka, The Rideau Canal system and many other waterways in Canada that people use commercially, as well as, for pleasure boating. These are the ‘protected’ waterways also called Category 1. The second category is comprised of small lakes that do not connect to other lakes, seldom used rivers or portions thereof and other waterways that for a variety of reasons have little vessel traffic. These are the ‘unprotected’ waterways that are labeled Category 2. The changes to the Navigable Water Protection Act included in Bill C45 removes the requirement for a federal permit for small shoreline projects like docks and boathouses on Category 2 waters. That’s it. That’s all it does. It removes a requirement for yet one more permit to build things like a dock in Category 2 waterways. It does not remove federal or provincial environmental protection legislation nor does it strip municipal or First Nations’ band authorities to approve or disapprove building permits. It does not change legislation restrictions on bridges and other major projects with the exception of small pedestrian bridges which it leaves to the discretion of local authorities like band councils and municipalities. It had nothing to do with protecting the natural environment, the legislation is solely written to protect navigation on Canadian waterways. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> All Government of Canada legislation is readily available to the public despite claims by the opposition parties and many in the media that Omnibus bills are attempt to hide things from Canadians. >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> The BC bands requested that the government, through the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, amend the Indian Act to allow a simple majority of votes cast on leasing referendums. Those changes were included in Bill C45 and that is what started all this Idle No More. Note that NO band is forced to lease any land. NO lands on any reserve can be sold. No reserve lands will be sold off. The Conservative government is honouring treaty rights and actually providing bands with more control over their own lands. The accusation that the government should have consulted with First Nations before making any changes is simply absurd considering that the changes to the Indian Act were made at the request of a number of First Nations reserves and the government was merely responding to that request. First nations pursuing economic development have complained for years that the slowness of these procedures caused extra expense and sometimes even the loss of lucrative projects to competing jurisdictions able to move more quickly. Bill C-45 responded to these long-standing concerns by making two changes: (1) replacing approval by order-in-council by approval of the Minister of Aboriginal Affairs; and (2) replacing the requirement for a majority of a majority with simple majority rule – the same way the chiefs of first nations are elected. These amendments do not force first nations to do anything. They only make it easier for those who want to lease land to do so. And only leasing is involved; the rules governing sales of reserve land remain unchanged. The House of Commons standing committee on aboriginal affairs considered these amendments on Nov. 19, and several prominent aboriginal leaders gave evidence. All agreed that the changes would streamline the designation process. Some wanted to dispense with community referendums and federal approval altogether, thus giving first nations the same power to manage their lands that Canadian municipal governments enjoy. Even the lawyer representing the Assembly of First Nations cautiously endorsed the substance of the amendments while opposing their passage, saying there hadn’t been adequate consultation with first nations. Now, let's get on with the real issue, and that is the missing hundreds of millions of Chief Spence and crew, and other similar cases across the country. Between government money and money pouring in from the nearby diamond mine, it works out to $250,000.00 each family each year, tax free. Some facts: Chief Spence makes just under $70,000 a year tax free; Chief Spence's boyfriend, Clayton Kennedy, is the reserve's town manager earning $850 a day tax free; The Reserve purchased an Olympia ice resurfacer for $96,000 during the so-called housing crisis; Attawapiskat has 21 full-time paid politicians for a town of 300, its own health authority, school board, power corporation, development corporation and a corporation to run the hockey rink; In 2007, Band Manager George Lanouette earned $173,000 tax free while technical services manager, Mike Gull, made $126,000 tax free; $450,000 a month pours into the reserve in welfare payments; Attawapiskat First Nation owns $9 million worth of stocks in Apple, Disney and Chinese cell phone companies; In 2011 they spent $200,000 on 'gifts' and $36,000 on 'goose hunting'; In 2011, acting manager Wayne Turner ran up more than $68,000 in travel expenses in just two months; Algonquin First Nation and Conservative Senator Parick Brazeau has received death threas for speaking out against "Idle No More"; Attawapiskat made $2,738,339 profit in 2010 and $3,140,041 in 2011. Attawapiskat has received $90 million from the current government since 2006. Aboriginal Affairs spending is up under the Harper government - $7.9 Billion last year from $6.1 Billion in 2006/07;