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novabird
Lover of Life, Radical Centrist
05:32 AM on 12/18/2012
That is good!
Changes need to be made. Full transparency and accountability is needed regarding how band leadership is spending money.

There are small bands all over the country in which the leaders are making 250,000 a year and more while people on their reserves live in poverty.
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TwoZeroOZ
12:24 PM on 12/18/2012
Indeed.

Attawapiskat spent $17 million on "administration", and (coincidentally...) has poor record keeping practices that prevent anyone from knowing exactly where that money went.
02:16 PM on 12/19/2012
Was that $17 million for the year or several years? Lets pretend it for the year, divide that by the population of Attawapiskat 1,800. Who do you know lives off $9,444/year? Then take into account living in a Northern Community were food and hydro is much more expensive than living in the city. Then think about having to hire someone just to take you to town to buy food, now you have to pay your taxi and your food.
02:17 PM on 12/19/2012
Have you actually looked over the financial report?
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Dr Hicks
Best fictional story ever written, the bible.
03:57 AM on 12/18/2012
Get off the picket line and get jobs to help contribute to Canada.

Stop take take taking.
05:18 AM on 12/18/2012
http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/chelsea-vowel/first-nations-taxation-ex_b_1127893.html Have you read other articles on this subject?
11:16 AM on 12/18/2012
Thanks for posting this!
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TwoZeroOZ
12:37 PM on 12/18/2012
In regards specifically to that article:

"The Indian Act First Nations tax exemption is very narrow and applies only to personal property and income located on a reserve."
That isn't narrow at all. Since the subject being discussed is RESERVE RESIDENTS, this exemption applies to the vast majority of all income. That's like saying if I had income exempt if I earned it in my City, that it's not a big deal - ridiculous.
"First Nations pay all other taxes not covered by the narrow exemption."
Translation: Reserves pay the HST on outside transactions. Whoop-de-doo.

"The tax exemption only involves about 272,000 First Nations people when you subtract the number of children aged 0-14 from the potential tax paying base."
Similar rationality to the people in America who say "We don't need to tax the wealthy because there's really not that many of them". Following similar logic, it would be okay if the government gave tax exemptions to red heads - because there's just not that many of them so its no big deal.

"That number is actually even lower because a number of First Nations have exchanged tax exemption for other benefits in self-governing Final Agreements."
The fact that nobody else can do that is the singular problem that the article is *attempting* to reconcile.

In the end, her argument comes down to "Aboriginals should get extra benefits because that's the way its always been".
06:36 AM on 12/18/2012
Dear Dr Hicks,
Set your prejudices and stereotypes aside and then join the conversation. You might just learn something. That won't happen with a closed mind.
Read the article. There are many good points that deserves serious thought and consideration. My favorite is the last sentence.
Love,
Sherwood
"Go Gandhi!"
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ThinkinPerson
03:12 AM on 12/18/2012
Thank you for this excellent post, to better understand how INM started.
I was shocked to learn of the 1850 mentality of these laws.
I think all these 'Carbon' Credit plans are the same. Take the land and who cares what happens.
Canada had inspired with their lead of an apology.
In typical fashion, that should have been the sign instead they were coming for the land?
I stand with you. Noso-n Ka.
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Gabriel Oakes
02:50 AM on 12/18/2012
Reserve land are being (or could be) surrendered to someone other than the tribes? Gonna say I don't like that. It's what the word "reserve" means isn't it? reserved for the use of natives. It's the least (pretty much the very least) we can do.
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12:06 AM on 12/20/2012
a lot of land has already been taken from us and not by other tribes, by the government to companies to rape the resources on our land, look at Attawapiskat and that land that De Beers is mining.
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Gabriel Oakes
01:58 AM on 12/20/2012
Exactly what I was saying. Essentially, the point as I saw it was that the tribe keeps the land forever- and cannot go to a third party. For the government to give or sell it away is wrong. For the tribe to sell it is rather short sighted (and of course in part how they wound up with so little land in the first place)
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01:34 AM on 12/18/2012
Pre 17th century Chinese/Mongolian immigrants to Canada who should be required to face the reality of their existance in the 21st century. The world cannot afford to subsidize a hunter-gather lifestyle that is not independently sustainable either financially or morally. Our taxes should not facilitate a lifestyle that has not existed in any noticeable scale in the rest of the world for thousands of years. These first immigrants in this land led miserable lives and, as a matter of shame to the rest of us, still do live miserable lives. As for being custodians of the land, the reality the reason that they did not kill off all the wildlife was because they did not have the means to do so 300 years ago. The reason that they didn't develop towns is that they had either killed everything edible in the area or, rather than cleaning up an area for a continued stay, they simply moved on. These people lived a hand-to mouth existance because they had not yet evolved to anything better. Anyone who is aware of conditions on most reserves knows that no amount of money or sympathy for their unsustainable lifestyle will do them any good in the modern world..For their own sakes these guys need to be forced into the 21st century so they can live the good life like the rest of us. It is time for some "tough- love" folks to give these people back the pride they once had.
09:37 PM on 12/18/2012
Hello Tom Flanagan.....
01:57 AM on 12/20/2012
if what you say is true it wasn't a problem until you guys came along....
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Faniel Darmer
01:31 AM on 12/18/2012
I fully support and offer prayers for Canada's first nation people
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01:30 AM on 12/18/2012
I know how the natives work and i am not buying it. I lived in first nation land, one of the richest and most prosperous first nations band in Canada; and do you know what I was considered by Canada? A foreigner in my own Country! I was told that because I lived on Native land, i was considered a foreigner because i paid taxes to the Band and the Band did not forward any of their taxes towards the library;; i had to pay $75 per person in my family to get a library card...I told them that my son had a reading problem, how could he correct this with no access to the library as a canadian citizen? I was Canadian and I was broke and could not afford $75 X 5 and even though my taxes were paid to the Natives; I had no say since i was not a member; which was prejudicial, why was I a foreigner in my own country? how could that be?..I wrote to Stockwell Day and since then I believe all First Nations receive a free library card!yeh
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09:29 AM on 12/18/2012
Yes they have lots of time to read.
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11:09 PM on 12/18/2012
what is your comment meant to convey?
11:31 AM on 12/19/2012
Well there you go, now you see how hard it is for on reserve Natives everyday of their entire lives
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01:17 AM on 12/20/2012
wth are you talking about?
12:28 AM on 12/18/2012
I posted this before lets open up roads and highways, bridges, airports... for all those living in northern Canada, it must be so lonely and miserable living up there depending on the government for handouts
02:15 PM on 12/18/2012
They should be paying us for making money off our land, not a hand out. The Crown has been renting off us for 100 years as you know you must have had a birthday for it a while ago. The richest minerals are where we are situated and the green monster wants it why the bill has passed without the first nation leaders being in the discussion. Which is in the book, anything that affects the environment is to be discussed with the first nation leaders. Which wasn't done. Harper's greed!
12:13 AM on 12/18/2012
As long as it leads to either of two scenarios:
1) Removal of the Right Wing party from our Federal Government;
2) It leads to a better system of democracy whereby the House of Commons might actually mean something.

The Harper Government has trashed a once respectable institution. Only a united centre/left/green party, or a whole new electoral system, will change the troubled system presently in place.
11:57 AM on 12/18/2012
Thank-you Dr Hicks, may I have another... Some day when I grow up, I too want to be a Doctor just like you.

Please know, myself, and others I am sure, all want further enlightenment from your deep ideological well of knowledge, don't stop now we are waiting for more...
11:37 PM on 12/17/2012
what's the problem with "First Nations to disclose their financial statements and the salaries of chiefs and councillors".
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Dr Hicks
Best fictional story ever written, the bible.
04:00 AM on 12/18/2012
They want to keep pulling the wool over their members eyes and tax payers eyes.
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Kapjam
08:46 AM on 12/18/2012
The salaries are just the starting point. By the time they include payments received for various boards, consulting, per diems, travel, expenses - the amounts are staggering. Even here in Manitoba, we have chiefs exceeding the half million mark in yearly payments.
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north of 60
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
11:01 PM on 12/17/2012
Aboriginals are not taking care of their own people. It's not a lack of resources, but rather how those resources are allocated within aboriginal communities. Chiefs, Councillors, and their relations live like kings while the rest live like serfs. Nobody wants to address this because it's not politically correct and any criticism of native community governments is quickly labelled as 'racist'.
I live in the north, I've seen it time after time in nearly every native community.

I'll be surprised if this comment even gets posted, and that's the crux of the problem. Nobody wants to discuss the real issues.
11:48 PM on 12/17/2012
You are definitely overgeneralizing an issue that is a relic of colonialism. Aboriginal governance is dictated by the Indian Act, although the chief and band council are elected by their community, the band council is answerable to the minister of Indian Affairs... Ottawa! Colonialism is still alive although it wasn't even acknowledged in Harper's "apology". You speak of a lack of resources as not being the issue. Maybe you should read up on the case currently in front of the the Canadian Human Rights Tribunal where it is clear that the Canadian government is not funding on-reserve child and family programs as much as off reserve programs. For a more specific case regarding resources check out the case of Shawanaga First Nation and the funding for education (students there receive $5-6.000 vs 11-12000 for off-reserve students). There are issues but to claim that it is the fault of the Aboriginal community is ignorant and irresponsible.
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agsterino
Less stuff . . . more meaning
02:46 AM on 12/18/2012
What a second, are the benefits the people on the reserve get per person, more than the benefits paid to the people off the reserve? Do people personally make more money from reservation benefits if they live off the reserve?
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SeanMartin
Everything in moderation.
10:51 PM on 12/17/2012
Yet more proof that the people whose ancestors have lived on the land for countless generations know far more about it than a bunch of old white guys back in Ottawa.

I wish you luck, but looking back at Canada's history, it will be quite the battle for all of us to convince these clowns that they're just screwing things up.
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agsterino
Less stuff . . . more meaning
02:52 AM on 12/18/2012
He who controls the, money controls the power over the people that want that money. If you don't have money, you starve no matter who you are. It is about poverty, and opportunity. No matter who who are, poverty needs a helping hand to get started on the right track
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north of 60
Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
05:39 AM on 12/18/2012
Tell that to the Chief living in a mansion while others on the reserve live in squalor.
08:53 PM on 12/17/2012
I don't know what our first nations people really want and I don't think they've ever been asked the question and if they have I don't think we've ever really listened to their answer.
01:02 AM on 12/18/2012
I agree. Our government dictates to them and does not listen.
03:44 AM on 12/18/2012
Ahhhhhhhh someone who actually raises a important question. First Nations are very clear on what they want but those who do try to listen and understand get drowned out the by the bigots and racists like some commenting here today. You have to make the effort but it is not difficult but along the way you maybe less than happy by what you learn, not because of First Nations but because of the truth about how Canada and its government have treated First Nations without a word of support from Canadians. Start simply, ask yourself how many signed treaties have been honored by Canada then work your way from there. Good luck.
09:37 AM on 12/18/2012
I hear you Charlie, but I think there's a lot different requests or demands coming from the First Nation side. A more urban band seems to have different wants and needs than an isolated band.
Do they want their land and be totally isolated from the rest of Canada? Do they want their land and be part Canada? I dont understand what they want, and I believe the great majority of people in this country don't know either. If the First Nations people want to get the rest of Canada on side they must let us know what they want. Quit telling the government what they want and tell the citizens.
They need to start up an honest PR campaign to let the rest of know the possitives because all we get from our government and the media is the negatives.
I think I understand the importance of history to the First Nations people but they must start to live in the present in order to ensure a prosperous future.