A study made last summer by Nanos Research and the Institute for Research on Public Policy ranks aboriginal issues as the least important concern among Canadians. I was recently delayed at Union Station for four hours due to an Idle No More blockade. An attendant announced in a surly tone that the train had been stopped due to "une manifestation d'Indiens." Contrary to news reports, my fellow passengers weren't "taking it in stride." Many groaned but didn't speak; I wrote down some of the comments others shared about "the lazy Indians."
What we have here is a woman who bemoans the impoverished nature of her reserve while she is partly to blame for it; a woman who has the ability to make things better, but won't because not everyone has RSVP'd to her invitation. What was once a justified pursuit to better the pitiful lives of the disenfranchised in First Nations communities has become a circus in which there is no possibility of dialogue unless every single demand is met. Spence is not a symbol to be admired. She is but one of the myriad reasons why First Nation communities exist in the sad way that they do, and it's time for her to go.
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.
The UN Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food recently toured Canada and reported, "very desperate conditions, and people who are in extremely dire straits" in terms of hunger. The Conservative response was to deny the problem and to attack the credibility of the Rapporteur. The government is turning its back on almost three million Canadians who are struggling to meet their nutrition needs.