By: Doug Whitlow (BA, First Nations Studies)
On June 08, 2018 Conservative Party Leader (Doug Ford) took over the reins of Political Power in the province of Ontario. While this passing of power from the now defunct Liberal Party of Ontario to the new Conservative Party of Ontario may signal much in the way of political change for a majority of Ontarionites; the Native Canadian population of Ontario, (Status Indians; Non Status Indians; and Metis) can and probably should expect to see little or no change in their everyday lives for the foreseeable future. History has shown that a Conservative Party in Power in Ontario or in Ottawa has never been friendly to Native Canadians and with a Trump loving Doug Ford in Queens Park, Native Canadians in this province will no doubt soon see and feel the unfriendly effects of the Ford Experience in their daily lives.
Back in the early 2000’s while the author of this essay was undertaking First Nations Studies and Political Science Studies at the University of British Columbia; the author and his fellow Native Canadians had Dr. Paul Tennant as their Political Science Instructor. Dr. Tennant claimed to be an Expert in Native Canadian Studies and on one occasion informed his class that all Canadian Politicians and Political Scientists were “Naturally Devious people” and most people in general and Native Canadians in particular should endeavour to avoid these types of people whenever possible.
For more than a decade the Liberal Party of Ontario has ran roughshod over the Native Canadian population with little or no regard for the feelings of Native Canadians and the sometimes horrendous societal situations and terrible living conditions which many thousands of Native Canadians living in the Northern Part of the province have had to endure for many past decades. Looking at these and other oppressive situations of everyday life, it is highly unlikely that a Ford Government will attempt to change anything for Native Canadians as whenever a new government is elected, only the top few positions in the Premiere’s Office and in the House of Commons change as all the lower ranking government officials such as Department Heads; Office Managers; Clerks; Researchers; etal must remain at their posts or the whole newly elected mechanism (s) will fall apart.
For Native Canadians living “on reserve” or “on the Rez”, the election of a new provincial Premiere doesn’t amount to all that much as we Native Canadians on the Rez are essentially governed by the Federal Government through the governments two Indian Affairs Departments. Shortly after Prime Minister Trudeau was elected a few years ago; Trudeau felt that the Original Department of Indian Affairs was too small an organization to properly mismanage the growing number of Native Canadians and so Mr. Trudeau and his nefarious colleagues on Capital Hill decided to set up a second Department of Indian Affairs to assist the first department in its quest for the dealing out of Injustice (s) among the Native Canadian population of Canada. Now; when you throw a man like Doug Ford who in all likelihood has almost zero experience when it comes to dealing with Native Canadians living “on the rez” one could probably surmise and rightly so; that there is going to be “trouble in them thar hills” for the next four years.
Fortunately for those of us living on “the big 6”, we shouldn’t expect to see much in the way of change politically now that a Trumpette is running the province as the “big 6” and the Iroquois population here is well known throughout Canada as a whole and we do not rely on the Proprietors of Queens Park for our daily sustenance. However; the Ontario Ministry Of Aboriginal Affairs which is just a weaker sister of the Department of Indian Affairs does supply the Elected Council with operating dollars to run some social programs and from time to time gives the HDI and supposedly the Iroquois Confederacy Chiefs Council some pocket money to spend as they please; the Six Nations of the Grand River will survive as it always has ever since our forefathers had the good common sense to bring in an Elected Council in 1924.