From John Ivison's column today:
Another area where the government is attempting to make structural changes that could end the cycle of poverty and despair is by creating a First Nations Education Act, aimed at dragging native education into the 21st century. Currently, reserve schools have no regular reporting system, there is no dispensation for kids who fall behind, there is no way to certify, regulate or discipline teachers and there is no way to monitor attendance. A panel on native education last year said 100 schools are “unsafe learning
In response, a few bullet points from a talk by Dr. Pam Palmater:
First Nation Education Act
(TIME STAMP: Video Part 3, 4:40-7:20)
•Incorporates and imposes Provincial Laws into First Nation Education on Reserves.
•Violation of Treaty Right to Education.
•The Feds wish to take the Treaty Right to Education - Nationalize it, Control it, Legislate it.
•Does not account for Education being chronically underfunded, even in comparison to the Province.
•The Feds will vacate jurisdiction to the Province – not just stepping away from Treaty Obligations – but Funding Obligations (“Want to apply for Post-Secondary? Go Apply for Provincial Scholarships” is the vision for the future).
• Once they legislate a treaty right, they will say it is outside of Section 35 and there’s no way to undo it.
Part 3 of Ms. Palamater's talk, where she discusses the FN Education act (from about 4:40 to 7:20 in on the tape):
The other parts can be found by going through the vid to the original youtube upload.
Its worth noting that Ezra Levant was accused by Ms. Palmater of jeopardizing her safety when he flashed a Google-map image of her Ajax, Ont., neighbourhood during a recent episode of his talk-show. I suppose that was just part of the "rational debate" on these matters that John Ivison feels is slipping away.
Imagine if the government happened to, oh, legally define what it means to be Chinese, created a department of Chinese affairs, created Chinese rights, reserved land for Chinese so defined and exempted Chinese living on reserve land from paying property taxes, sales taxes and in some cases taxes of any kind. No one would doubt that is a recipe for disastrous social relations. Yet when it comes native peoples many intelligent and well intentioned people are willing to perform all kinds of mental gymnastics in a futile to attempt pretend the situation is somehow different for them.
The reserve system, premised as it is on the notion of native rights, is a bureaucratic, fiscal, jurisdictional, legal, intellectual and sociological abortion that does nothing save waste mountains of money, breed corruption, black marketeering and poverty, encourage tax evasion (e.g., cigarettes), instill in the native community a vile sense of identity based on “blood” and breed racism in the Canadian society at large. If politicians, bloggers and the media want to accept this as Canada's historical cross to bear, so be it. However, it is high time all acknowledge that the problem is intractable so long as the only possible solution, viz., the abolition of native rights and Indian Act and privatization of reserve lands, remains legally untenable thanks to section 35.
Yada yada yada. The CPoC can't be trusted to change the Indian ACT in ways that will benefit the FNs. Don't pretend they are even trying.
"The Feds will vacate jurisdiction to the Province – not just stepping away from Treaty Obligations – but Funding Obligations"
Wow that would be terrible just awful. I mean the funding shortfall would instantly be erased. The Ghost of White paper rears its ugly head!
"('Want to apply for Post-Secondary? Go Apply for Provincial Scholarships' is the vision for the future)."
Just like everyone else. Terrible.
"Don't pretend they are even trying."
I could care less what their intentions are. What matters is that the rotten edifice comes crashing down. Look Big City Lib, the incomes natives leaving off reserves is growing in leaps and bounds since the mid 90s. Meanwhile, incomes for those living on reserves have been frozen in time and even declined slightly. One reason is that having half the reserves in the country on economic life support does nothing except condemn ever increasing numbers to be born into abject poverty. In the vast majority communities there is a relationship between unemployment and population, but on native reserves that relationship does not hold. There is a long waiting for housing in Attawapiskat for Christ sakes.
That some liberals are arguing that the state should again maintain a paternalistic pose with regard to certain groups after a century of progressives seeking to reveal the oppressive nature of state sanctioned paternalism is indeed ironic. Residential schools and separate but equal may be part of an inglorious past, but "Afro-centric" schools and native "self" government are what is needed.
"I could care less what their intentions are. What matters is that the rotten edifice comes crashing down."
Wow. A Nihilist.
Ivison has really let his mask slip on this one. So has Coyne, for that matter.
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