Author Topic: Canada's First Nations - CF help, protests, solutions, etc. (merged)  (Read 600542 times)

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Offline UberCree

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Excellent article on the whole Kesheshewan story.  It hits rez life square on the nose!

http://www.canada.com/ottawa/ottawacitizen/news/story.html?id=d45d2afe-86e6-48de-8a72-cdc8bb6a3b12

Offline GO!!!

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #1 on: November 07, 2005, 20:32:15 »
One thing about the whole Kashechewan thing still makes me wonder.

Why, during the whole period during which the community was under a boil water advisory, did the Band not act to fix the water treatment plant? I understand it is INA responsibility, but when people are getting sick and dying, where are the local leaders?

The guy who eventually fixed the plant stated that it could be done for 3000$ - where was the Chief? Why did he not use his discretion (and budget) to remedy the situation a long time ago?
No leader was ever hated for being too hard, but a great many were for attempting to appear that way.

Offline kincanucks

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #2 on: November 07, 2005, 20:42:16 »
A very good question perhaps it wasn't done to bring attention to other problems such as not getting enough gas for the trucks.  I saw a photo in the National Post a couple of weeks that showed a woman and her son in their laundry room and the floor was covered in garbage with an empty garbage pail against the wall.  Perhaps they need the government to pick it up too.
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Offline UberCree

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #3 on: November 08, 2005, 13:54:07 »
One thing about the whole Kashechewan thing still makes me wonder.

Why, during the whole period during which the community was under a boil water advisory, did the Band not act to fix the water treatment plant? I understand it is INA responsibility, but when people are getting sick and dying, where are the local leaders?

The guy who eventually fixed the plant stated that it could be done for 3000$ - where was the Chief? Why did he not use his discretion (and budget) to remedy the situation a long time ago?
It was $30 to fix the part not 3000.00


Offline GO!!!

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #4 on: November 08, 2005, 14:34:30 »
It was $30 to fix the part not 3000.00



That was with labour transport etc included.

It just seems to me ( I grew up a white kid on a res) that everyone who lives on reservations is so willing to point fingers and demand solutions, but they never take a proactive approach to solving their own problems.

From this article - "graffiti scrawled walls" who put it there? People from outside the community?

"broken windows... garbage strewn about" I suppose that the members of the "tightly knit" community would'nt do these types of things to their own homes - so who was it?

Why is it always the government's responsibility to solve all of the problems of aboriginals?

I'm not trying to be a jerk here - I really want to know!?
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Offline Thucydides

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #5 on: November 08, 2005, 15:37:08 »
GO!!!!!! makes a valid obsergvation, and I will add one of my own:

Way back when I was with One Brigade, we would often go for road moves into the more obscure corners of Alberta. Often, we would end up driving down some road with the horrifying third world looking "Res" on one side, and beautiful ranches or farms on the other. Weirdly enough, when we got to a town or villiage and asked about this, we would be told the farms and ranches were owned by natives who had moved off the reservation, and no longer had anything to do with it.

The corrosive living conditions on the Res are due in a very large part to the idea that "someone else" is responsible to do things, provide things or generally make things better. BZ to the people who took it upon themselves to get off the "Res" and take responsibility for their own lives. Until we get the parts to pull the plug on the welfare ghettos we created on the reservations (which will probably require a "cold turkey" withdrawl of all welfare and special privilages) stories like Kashechewan will continue to happen.
Dagny, this is not a battle over material goods. It's a moral crisis, the greatest the world has ever faced and the last. Our age is the climax of centuries of evil. We must put an end to it, once and for all, or perish - we, the men of the mind. It was our own guilt. We produced the wealth of the world - but we let our enemies write its moral code.

Offline UberCree

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #6 on: November 09, 2005, 10:22:33 »
It's too easy to say the problems could be solved by any one approach.  As the article above implies, there are many factors involved.  You gotta remember as well that there are many many First Nations communities that do not make the news, because things are going well.  My community is one of them.  We have a thriving economy, growing economic development, people buy their own houses through an agreement with BMO (Otherwise you cannot finance your own house on reserve, if you do the terms are severely punishing), and we have a large number of vets in the community.  We take responsibility for where we are.
Now other communities, I'll name Garden Hill Manitoba as one (effectionately known as Garbage Hill) the complete opposite is true.  Dependance is encouraged.  The newly elected chief, every two years, picks a house he likes and takes it over.  Incest is rampant.  No one owns anything, the band owns everything.  No one takes responsibility for anything, even miniscule things like changing lightbulbs and doorhandles. 
The newly elected Grand Chief of the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs (Ron Evans) says pretty much the same thing a_majoor says.  He is telling the feds to stop putting more money into social assistance and more into economic dev.  Ron Evans is a liberal party member, as is Phil Fontaine.  These guys regularly donate money from band coffers to the liberal party so you would think that they may have some influence... we'll see at the first ministers conference comming up I suppose.  My guess is it is no coincidence that the Aboriginal leaders are invited to this one, but that their long term payments to the liberal party are finally paying off.

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #7 on: November 09, 2005, 10:37:47 »
  These guys regularly donate money from band coffers to the liberal party so you would think that they may have some influence... we'll see at the first ministers conference comming up I suppose.   My guess is it is no coincidence that the Aboriginal leaders are invited to this one, but that their long term payments to the liberal party are finally paying off.

Anyone else see a problem with those statements or is it just me ?  Didnt we just go trough a "small situation" about money going to the liberal party ?

Offline kincanucks

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #8 on: November 09, 2005, 11:00:55 »
Anyone else see a problem with those statements or is it just me ?   Didnt we just go trough a "small situation" about money going to the liberal party ?

Unless the monies are from band generated revenues oil and gas for example) and not from federally allocated funds there shouldn't be an issue but you never know.
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Offline Bruce Monkhouse

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #9 on: November 09, 2005, 14:16:10 »
This is a topic I wanted to start long ago but thought it would just be a flame war, well done so far for a good discussion.
I must admit I was rather sickened by a picture I saw where blame was being tossed around at everyone else while just above in the photo a stream, or culvert, was shown FILLED with household garbage and stuff.......IMO, its hard to cry foul if you won't swing a bat.
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Offline ArmyVern

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2005, 03:26:26 »
Very very interesting Article in the Globe and Mail yesterday:

By MARGARET WENTE

Tuesday, November 15, 2005 Page A27

 "What caused the water crisis at Kashechewan? In the official version of the story, the one the politicians and the band endorse, the crisis was caused by years of underfunding and neglect of water treatment plants on remote reserves. Only billions of dollars in new government spending can bring the water systems up to scratch and prevent the native population from being poisoned.

There's another version of the story. In this version, the water crisis at Kashechewan was caused by a broken $30 part.

The man who fixed it was Chris LeBlanc. He works for Northern Waterworks, a small firm in Red Lake, three hours away by air. He flew to Kashechewan on Oct. 15 -- one day after federal health officials discovered E. coli in the water. It didn't take him long to find the problem. The chlorine dosing pump was stuck. He couldn't fix the broken part, so he got the spare pump working and hooked it up to the chlorinator. Meantime, he dumped a lot of chlorine bleach into the reservoir to kill the germs.

It took him six hours to fix the problem. Within a few days, the water was clean again.

 Everything that happened after that -- the barrage of hysterical publicity from the band leaders' media team, the dramatic evacuation, the airlift of a 20,000-pound water purifier by Hercules transport planes, and the army detachment that went with it -- was mere political theatre. By the time the Rangers got their water unit up and running, the local water had been safe for two weeks.

Before Mr. LeBlanc was summoned by the feds, the water plant had been run by two local men. "Nobody really trained us," one of them complained. But that wasn't the real problem. The real problem was their failure to follow a few simple procedures that would have prevented the water from being contaminated in the first place.

Remember the sewage lagoon? The one that overflowed into the water supply and turned it brown? As the Toronto Star found in a damning report, the problem wasn't caused by faulty engineering. The problem was caused by beaver dams, which blocked the sewage discharge outlet and forced the sewage back up into the creek. Three years ago, an engineering firm told the band to destroy the beaver dams. It did. But the beavers built new dams, and no one bothered to get rid of them again.

There was also an alarm system that was supposed to go off when the water was bad. But it didn't work properly. It went off all the time, and annoyed people. So five years ago, said one of the water operators, "we just shut it off." After the chlorination pump broke down, the operators started guessing how much chlorine to add manually. When people complained they'd added too much, they cut back. "The community doesn't like the smell of chlorine in the water," said Chris LeBlanc.

It's easy to say that local water operators need better equipment and more training. Indeed they do. But not all the training in the world will help if they can't follow instructions, and don't know how to problem-solve, and can't get the beaver dams cleared away, and aren't held accountable for their job performance.

Not everyone in Kashechewan is mad at the water operators, who are among the tiny handful of those on the reserve with salaried jobs. Also, a lot of people are related to them. "They are incredible people," said a member of the band executive. When things go wrong at the reserve, well, it's easier to blame Ottawa.

Nobody can guess the final cost of the broken $30 part. The government spent $500,000 to fly people out; it's costing another $10,000 or so a day to put them up. Paul Martin has pledged to move the whole community upstream, at a possible cost of $100-million. He has also promised $3-billion or $4-billion more to bring all 600 first nations water systems up to scratch, on top of the $2-billion we've already spent in the past decade.

Meantime, back in Kashechewan, the Rangers have produced 300,000 litres of drinking water no one needs. They have entered into protracted negotiations with the band about where to store the stuff."


http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/ArticleNews/TPStory/LAC/20051115/COWENT15/TPComment/TopStories
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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2005, 04:33:59 »
What did the people of Kashechewan do before European government came?  I'm seriously asking, since Native self-government is considered the "Third Order" or something - how is it that they are totally dependent on somebody else to provide them with drinking water?  ???
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Offline UberCree

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2005, 10:21:00 »
In that region they probably dispursed in the winter months out to family areas (later traplines) then gathered in settlements in the summer near a fishing / food source. 
Back in the day you could drink the water in most of the rivers in Canada remember.  I don't think I would now.  The whole decline culturally and economically IMO began with settlements that could not support populations.  This was encouraged because the gov't of the day wanted Native people to assimilate and it was thought we would assimilate faster in communities (access to churches and schools etc.).  The catch was people had to give up their traditional means of land based subsistance to do this and ended up losing the skills in many cases.  Welfare was encouraged because it made people stay in one area.  Up north the gov't / RCMP went so far as to kill off dog teams so that people couldn't move around on the land.
These are background factors... not excuses for what is happeneing in this community and others today.

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2005, 21:35:49 »
The Rangers are running a ROWPU? Really? Sure it isn't the water supply troop from 2 CER?

I'm afraid that Wente's article only scratches the surface of the sad tale of mismanagement in too many band administrations. I believe that many aboriginal people would like to see their governance system overhauled, and their officials made more accountable, but I suspect that there are too many vested interests, both Govt and aboriginal, who do not want that to happen. Until our First Nations can get governance in place that approximates the bare minimum standards of  competence and capability that we would expect from the average Canadian municipality, there will be more Kashechawans, all on the backs of native people.

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #14 on: November 16, 2005, 21:52:14 »
There are good bands and bad bands.  In a bad band, even if the guys did their jobs at the water plant, once a new chief gets elected, he could fire them, hire his relatives, use the trauining and upgrading money to build his relatives new houses, sit back, and blame Ottawa.  And the feds and the media don't dare rock the boat by figuring out the truth - that you can't trust semi-litterate drunken hillbillies in Walkerton to run a water plant, so you might want to take some HR precautions elsewhere as well.

Tom
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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #15 on: November 19, 2005, 11:25:10 »
"City officials in both Peterborough and Sudbury say the federal government's offer was clear: provide a home for some of the displaced Kashechewan residents and we'll pay all the bills.
So why did Ottawa later send around an agreement that would have municipalities sharing some costs?
And why are the cities involved still negotiating a deal for 100 per cent funding nearly a month after that commitment was made?
The answer, unfortunately, is that governments do this all the time. They say yes, they support the program and the money will flow. But the final agreement always seems to take more time, become more complicated and â “ in many cases â “ deliver less than was promised. "
----
The Feds still won't pay up.
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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #16 on: November 19, 2005, 12:55:13 »
The answer, unfortunately, is that governments do this all the time. They say yes, they support the program and the money will flow. But the final agreement always seems to take more time, become more complicated and â “ in many cases â “ deliver less than was promised. "
----
The Feds still won't pay up.
Which is also the reason that the Feds must themselves, be overhauled.
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Offline UberCree

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #17 on: November 19, 2005, 16:27:59 »
News is now saying that the feds plan a 4 billion package to address Native poverty issues.  Let's see if they have listened to the Native leaders and direct this at economic development and NOT social assistance.  We can only hope.

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #18 on: November 19, 2005, 16:48:51 »
Which is also the reason that the Feds must themselves, be overhauled.

I'd personally prefer KEEL-HAULED as oppose to overhauled...But that's just me.
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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #19 on: November 24, 2005, 09:48:10 »
Here is an interesting piece by John  Ibbitson in today's Globe and Mail.  It is reproduced below under the Fair Dealings provisions of the Copyright Act.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20051124.IBBITSON24/TPStory
Quote
Third World rules will gauge success of native summit

By JOHN IBBITSON

Thursday, November 24, 2005 Posted at 9:27 AM EST

KELOWNA, B.C. -- The optimists hope for reforms that will reverse generations of stagnation and decline; the pessimists fear deadlock or empty promises that perpetuate the status quo. How are you going to know who is right?

Federal, provincial and native leaders have congregated in Kelowna, B.C., hoping to craft an agreement to improve the wealth and wellbeing of Canada's native population. Many of the measures have already been decided, but internal divisions among native leaders and the lame-duck status of a Prime Minister facing an imminent election have cast a pall over the gathering. Alberta Premier Ralph Klein, never grouchier than when dragged to a first ministers meeting, has already predicted failure.

So how will we know whether tomorrow's communiqué is the harbinger of true reform or simply a collection of empty promises backed by taxpayer money that is doomed, once again, to be wasted? Here is one way: Think of aboriginal Canada as a Third World country.

As native leaders love to point out, comparative indexes of national wealth invariably find that aboriginal Canadians, especially Inuit and Indians on reserves, live in poverty comparable to that found in developing nations. But many once-poor countries, particularly in Asia and Latin America, are approaching First World status. Common sense suggests that what worked for them will work for native Canadians. So what works and what doesn't?

Obsessing over sovereignty emphatically does not work at all. Breaking free of colonial masters did not bring peace and wealth to most Third World nations. Yes, colonization was largely a curse for indigenous societies. But in Africa, especially, independence led to a depressing slide in wealth and personal security. Hong Kong and Taiwan, on the other hand, prospered by focusing on creating wealth. The obsession with self-governance is as misguided among first nations here as it is in sub-Saharan Africa.

Failing Third World nations also suffer from corrupt governing elites. Too often, we see the same thing here. Whether it's the bloated bureaucracy of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, the warring factions within the Assembly of First Nations or petty corruption among some band chiefs, native Canadians are too often cursed with leaders who waste or pocket wealth intended for individual aboriginal citizens.

Successful developing nations have managed to curb the avarice of governing elites by promoting the rule of law. They have moved to limit the power of the state to abscond with or excessively tax individual wealth. Societies based on communal ownership of wealth always fail. They benefit only the leaders who exploit the people in the people's name.

Workers on marginal, unproductive land in Third World societies are increasingly migrating to cities. Yes, those cities are overcrowded and polluted. But there are schools there, and hospitals, and economic opportunities not available in remote hinterlands. The 70 per cent of aboriginal Canadians living outside reserves or aboriginal communities have reached the same conclusion.

Most of all, successful governments in developing societies ignore abstractions and focus on the basics: providing high-quality education, reliable health care, physical infrastructure, security. Within that framework, they leave each individual free to make their own way. You'll find the results in Singapore, Slovenia, South Korea, Chile and a score of other successes. Think China, India, Thailand and elsewhere.

Native Canada is Egypt, Mexico, Vietnam: blessed with considerable human and natural resources, but challenged by a colonial legacy and inner demons.

When you read about the agreements reached here, ask yourself: Would these measures help lift a promising but struggling Third World nation out of poverty, or would they perpetuate the status quo, or even make things worse?

If we can answer that question honestly, we'll know whether this aboriginal summit was a failure or a success.

jibbitson@globeandmail.ca

© Copyright 2005 Bell Globemedia Publishing Inc. All Rights Reserved.

I would argue that the key problem is leadership or, more precisely, lack of leadership.

I suggest that the blame for the lack of leadership problem lies about 2/3 with aboriginals themselves and 1/3 with the federal government - which consists of politicians devoid of ideas, ever since Trudeau's failed attempt at assimilation (again), and an inept and often corrupt bureaucracy - which is too often excused for both failings because it has an aboriginal preference affirmative action programme.  (Giving preference to aboriginals is not a problem - not holding them to the same high standard which ought to be required of all public servants is.  Such a policy infantilizes aboriginals and perpetuates the myth that, somehow or other, aboriginals are not quite as good as us white folks.  The policy is, in fact, racist because it assumes that aboriginals cannot or will not adhere to the high standards we ought to expect but we must not blame them for that.)

In fairness to aboriginals we - Canadian society at large, the values of which are, and have been for 135 years, reflected in the laws and policies our elected 'leaders' enact - have trained them to fail.  Our policies have actually rewarded venality, corruption, paternalism and nepotism.  Why are we surprised that some - and some is too many in this case - aboriginal 'leaders' reflect back what we have indicated is right?  Our federal government has, consistently, rewarded failure and ignored or even punished success - is it so surprising that many aboriginal communities have endured generations of inept, venal 'leadership'?

I do not pretend to have any, much less some or all, of the answers to the aboriginal communities' problems - they are many and varied and not, I suspect, amenable to simple, one-size-fits-all solutions.  I am certain that nothing much is possible until the leadership void is filled: in Ottawa and in some (many?) of the communities.



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Offline TCBF

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #20 on: November 24, 2005, 20:17:54 »
Mr. Campbell,

I think your post makes a lot more sense than the pap that passes for high-priced editorial comment in Canada today.

Tom
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Offline geo

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Re: The contradiction that is Kashechewan
« Reply #21 on: November 24, 2005, 21:08:49 »
Kash....
Uhhh... shudder, remember the place from my days with the HBC northern stores.
The place was always a little bit crazy. Locals taking pot shots at the Staff house in broad daylight... chopping up the store's wooden sidewalks, all sorts of other sillyness.

glad I left that area a long, long time ago & no one ever made me go back.
Chimo!

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Canada's First Nations - CF help, protests, solutions, etc. (merged)
« Reply #22 on: June 15, 2007, 12:41:37 »
Shared with all the normal disclaimers.

http://www.canada.com/vancouversun/columnists/story.html?id=3f4a7d6f-6646-4a47-a8ed-4053e5269058

Quote
This week, a Cree living on the Pooundmaker Reserve in Saskatchewan, Floyd Favel, wrote an article published in a Toronto-based newspaper calling for "a Buckskin Revolution."

"Within first nations communities, we need a re-evaluation of where we are going as a people and how we can further contribute to this great country."

Favel laments that the aboriginal leadership lives so indulgently, "driving their big trucks and collecting huge salaries." He complains of "unaccountable leadership that administers its people without any rules and leaves no avenues with which to protest unjust leadership."

Canada as a nation and Canadians as a people fret about such injustices in the world (the highlighted portion) .  We collectively believe in democratic principals and assisting emerging democracies but somehow we find it impossible to enforce a modicum of democracy right in our very own backyards?

In contrast to the articles author I say that there is one more thing that the Canadian Government must do... 

This evolving trainwreck that is Canada's aboriginal experiment should be stopped forthwith and modern liberal democratic ideals must not only be established on reserves but must be enforced and respected uniformly. 

No more useless quasi-tribal regressive historical governance but open, free and fair elections with transparent decision making processes, accountable officials, modern financial accounting practices and legitimacy at all levels of aboriginal government.

How ironic that we currently have people in Afghanistan teaching the principals of democracy but we don't even adhere to those same principals on native reserves here in Canada.

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Offline Yrys

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Good point, but I'm not sure that the canadian government has the legal right to ask
for certains rules and way of doing  thinks in reserves. But they could ask for the leaders to clarified on paper
theirs rules, budget, how they spend money etc, and let the first nations people vote accordingly .
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Offline GAP

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Yeah, they do have the right under the Indian Act....in addition they supply 9-10 Billion $ per year in funding....if they had the gonads to enforce the rules, they could.
Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I´m not so sure about the universe