Justin Trudeau made heavy promises to the original peoples when he was coming into the office of Prime Minister. In four years and on the brink of a national election, it is time to look at these promises.
The most telling indicator of Justin Trudeau’s reign is his treatment of Indigenous Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould. Wilson – Raybould was courted to be one of Trudeau’s indigenous “shining stars”. Three years later, Ms. Wilson – Raybould was thrown under the bus, a casualty of Trudeau and his “forward thinking corporate cabinet”.
Trudeau is lucky in that he has found a willing indigenous accomplice in national Assembly of First Nations (AFN) Chief Pipeline Perry Bellegarde.
In 2013, National Chief Shawn Atleo was forced to resign because he made a deal in education. As the head of lobbying organization (AFN), Atleo had no standing as a nation to deal with then-Prime Minister Harper as the head of state. This was not a nation-to-nation process. Yet two years later, the head of AFN is meeting with INAC/DIAND officials and continuing to use the misleading words of nation-to-nation.
Perry Bellegarde is the head of a lobbying group. Naming the head of this office “National Chief” does not make Perry capable of speaking on behalf of 980,000 original people/First Nations/Indians. Yet this is what Trudeau and his team of PR minions would have Canadians believe.
Look at the current milieu in Indian country. In addition to continued Missing and Murdered Indigenous women’s issues, boil water advisories and children affected by untreated water, the taking over of original peoples of their band offices, continued calls to INAC/DIAND over election irregularities and financial mismanagement, protests to stop pipeline or other development – the “Indian problem” has not gone away.
Trudeau is in fact lying to the Canadian public about the strides “his government” has made in respecting the human rights of the first peoples of this land.
Trudeau and his INAC/DIAND team, lead by the machinations of busy public servants in the bureaucracy, have been pulling out “special words and tactics” policies, and legislation that are in the “best interests” of the “indigenous”.
Trudeau’s Liberals took a page from Harper’s playbook in December of 2018, putting changes to the First Nation Land Management Act, Additions to Reserve and Changes in the Land Designation threshold voting number on reserve, and replacing the Governor General in dealings to the Minister of INAC/DIAND/DISC/CIRNA. Further to this, in Budget 2019, Trudeau and his cronies wiped out the Department of Indian affairs creating whole new departments – Indigenous Services Canada and Crown/Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs. Well, what does this mean?
To Canadians, oblivious since the SNC Lavalin scandal, it doesn’t mean much. Basically, “if the Indians are looked after”, it is not Joe Citizen’s concern. It’s only when the Indians are interfering in everyday mainstream or white people economics when suddenly the “Indian issue becomes pertinent”.
Everyday Canadians forget that they live on land that had prior owner/occupants. Whether these Canadians can go on enjoying their “freedoms” on stolen land remains the un-reconciled issue that is NOT discussed. When Canadians go down the rabbit hole to find information, they themselves become concerned “treaty or inherent right” partners that begin questioning federal government agendas.
Trudeau has put on a parade for the Canadian public heralding two Liberal bills; Bill C-91 – the Indigenous Language Bill and Bill C-92 – the Child Welfare Legislation, as his checkmarks for meeting the needs of the original people. But Bill C-91, the Language Bill gives less funding for the original languages born of this land than the federal budget for French as a Second settler Language.
Bill C-92 was to give certainty to stop the genocidal number of First Nation children going into foster care. Bill C-92 is provincial legislation at a national level. Bill C-92 continues to use the paternalistic language of provincial child and family systems including “best interest of the child”. Bill C-92 talks about handing over jurisdiction to First Nations and there is a transition year to do so.
From the Sixties Scoop to the Millennial Scoop, there is half a century of poor practices in place that are disturbing the original children, their education, rights and identity. This cannot be corrected in a one-year changeover. Trudeau has gotten Perry and the Assembly of First Nations to lobby for a bill that gives “jurisdiction” in name but gives liability without prejudice to the First Nations. So after one year, if a child is placed in a bad situation or home, Indian Affairs will no longer be responsible, or the province – the liability will fall on the First Nations who have this “pretend” jurisdiction.
Worse than these two shortsighted legislations, is the splitting of the department of Indian Affairs. DISC will now handle all those things relating to Indian Bands (not NATIONS) that remain under the Indian Act because they have not made an agreement with Canada, or because they are in historic treaty situations (Treaties 1-11).
But IF a nation signs a self-government agreement or goes under the First Nation Land Management Act then they get to pass go and fall under paradise, that is CIRNA, the Crown – Indigenous Relations and Northern Affairs department.
Currently, Bands who fall under DISC are being given a ten-year option to take greater funding but they must sign self-government agreements. What does this mean?
If you are an inherent rights band who never made an agreement with Canada or at the international level with Britain, then you will have to come to an agreement with this stolen state. However, if you are an international treaty rights holder, you will be ceding and surrendering your international standing to fall under Canada’s stolen state regime (domestication).
Bands who are trying to remain under Indian Affairs will be given a one-shot money approach for their treaty standing in the next year. These bands must take self-government under Canada’s terms and capitulate, which is an act of war or force against the original peoples. Is Mr. Trudeau really so different from any other oppressor who tried to break contractual treaty obligations with the original people? Is it any wonder that Trudeau’s attempt to force White Paper 2.0 on the original people will continue to see protests, rallies, strikes and perhaps harder actions until all the rights holders, 980,000 original people are heard?