With all the attention paid to the Idle No More movement and the off-again on-again talks between some native chiefs and the Prime Minister, one basic fact about boriginal life in Canada has been forgotten: Most aboriginals do not live on reserve and seem to be better for it. In 2006, on-reserve Indians had a median income of $29,014. In contrast, off-reserve Indians had a median income of $37,477. In other words, First Nations people/Indians who live off-reserve have a median income that is almost $8,500 higher than their counterparts on-reserve.
The recent decision by the Assembly of First Nations to reject Ottawa's musings about reforming on-reserve education was an example of a react-first, ask-questions later approach. It was unhelpful, most of all to First Nations kids.
Whenever the possibility of mixing more First Nations kids with non-native kids is brought up, some immediately have concerns over possible forced assimilation given past attempts to such an end. But integration (attending class with non-natives) is not assimilation. One can be Jewish in a public school without losing one's heritage and faith.
Leonard Peltier, now 68, has been in prison for 35 years. Since 1977, petitions and pleas on his behalf have been ignored; appeals by the Arhbshiop of Canterbury, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, Nelson Mandela, 55 U.S. Congressmen, and Canadian Parliamentarians, and members of the European Parliament Union. But the FBI is adamant that he killed two of their agents.