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Author Topic: Time to abolish Indian Affairs department?
swallow
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 2659

posted 21 April 2004 03:22 PM      Profile for swallow     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
In this article, Derek Rasmussen argues that it's time to abolish the dysfunctional bureaucracy of the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs, and give the job to the Foreign Affairs department instead.
From: fast-tracked for excommunication | Registered: May 2002  |  IP: Logged
DrConway
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 490

posted 21 April 2004 04:33 PM      Profile for DrConway     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
*giggle*

What I don't understand is that everybody, Aboriginals and non-, agrees that the Dept. of Indian Affairs is the worst grab-ass operation in the history of this country, and should be done away with.

Yet, whenever it is suggested that the DIA be gotten rid of, there is a hue and cry from someone and it never gets killed dead.

The only people who benefit from the DIA being around are the band chiefs who have not secured the popular support of their bands, and who need the federal money coming in order to have something on which to base their power and privilege.


From: You shall not side with the great against the powerless. | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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Babbler # 3336

posted 21 April 2004 04:52 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
The only people who benefit from the DIA being around are the band chiefs . . . (

And the civil servants who work for DIA. There is a host of people living off this bureaucracy, only a fraction of whom are supposed to be beneficiaries.

I object to any law that discriminates by race, religion, language, culture, skin colour, gender (did I miss any?) etc. The Indian Act offends on all of these. Get rid of it.


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
verbatim
rabble-rouser
Babbler # 569

posted 21 April 2004 04:58 PM      Profile for verbatim   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
My understanding of DINA is that it is largely charged with delaying the advance of First Nations and the costly measures that settlement will require. The department is in place to maintain the status quo as long as possible, because political and economic finality is such a huge and expensive proposition that no government has wanted to address it. It is better to buy off leaders with half-measures, and continue to keep the individual communities weakened so they can't mount an effective counter.

It would be interesting to put DFAIT in charge, if only because it would suddenly reveal to many Canadians that the relationship of the Canadian state and First Nations was one of international law, and that as part of the legacy of british colonial maneuvering, the First Nations of Canada were never conquered or fully assimilated, and are in fact still distinct societies.

Of course, DFAIT can't handle domestic issues, so it's a fantasy.


From: The People's Republic of Cook Street | Registered: May 2001  |  IP: Logged
N.Beltov
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posted 21 April 2004 05:13 PM      Profile for N.Beltov   Author's Homepage     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
The way the Federal Government administers matters relating to the First Nations can get bewilderingly complex. But there would also be serious problems with just "shutting down" Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC). As usual, in such complicated situations, there has to be goodwill all around to reach a negotiated solution to a complex set of problems. (Most job postings, e.g., in FNIHB at Health Canada, now have caveats that state, "the applicant should be aware that the current position may, in the future, be under First Nation administration," etc., etc.

INAC is not the only department of the Federal Government that deals with First Nations. For example, the First Nations and Inuit Health Branch (FNIHB) of Health Canada deals with health matters as the Federal Government is responsible for the health and well being of First Nations Canadians living on reserve. Further: on a particular reserve, the administration of aspects of health care service delivery, or the administration of other aspects of community development may be in a transitional stage, somewhere between total Federal control and total community control.

Imagine swarms of hornets, wasps, bees and locusts all going at you at the same time...The negotiations of complex legal agreements between the Crown and First Nation communities, where different services are in different stages of development, where the parties are in conflict over the degree of administrative oversight, where recent events and revelations have put additional pressure on the parties to keep their house in order, where a variety of electoral mechanisms are in place, where outside players would like nothing better than to pillage First Nation communities even more, and take their land away altogether, where you are recognized as an Indian in Canada only in the government says you are, etc., etc. ... all of these swirling, swarming, buzzing difficulties and problems going on at the same time...is it any wonder that these things are difficult to disentangle?

If, on top of that, the political will is not there to disentangle and solve these problems, in the best interest of Canadians in general and First Nations people in particular, well, then...the whole wriggling can of worms will continue to...wriggle. What Canada needs is some genuinely genius administrators and the political will, all around, to move forward. It is a daunting task.


From: Vancouver Island | Registered: May 2003  |  IP: Logged
Shane
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posted 21 April 2004 05:28 PM      Profile for Shane     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
Yes, it's time to abolish the Department of Indian Affairs, and it's time for Native self-government.

Let's give Aboriginal peoples representation in the Senate and the Supreme Court.


From: Ontario | Registered: Aug 2003  |  IP: Logged
Cougyr
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Babbler # 3336

posted 21 April 2004 07:14 PM      Profile for Cougyr     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
There are huge problems that derive from treating people as somehow different. There are problems with jurisdiction of services in everything from snow plows to fire trucks, from schools to medical centres. The confusion is nuts. Even converting reserves to municipalities would solve so very many problems because the Provinces would be forced to deal with them. (For those who don't know, the Provinces avoid providing basic services by simply assigning them to the Feds.)

[ 21 April 2004: Message edited by: Cougyr ]


From: over the mountain | Registered: Nov 2002  |  IP: Logged
Gir Draxon
leftist-rightie and rightist-leftie
Babbler # 3804

posted 21 April 2004 07:20 PM      Profile for Gir Draxon     Send New Private Message      Edit/Delete Post
quote:
Originally posted by DrConway:
*giggle*

What I don't understand is that everybody, Aboriginals and non-, agrees that the Dept. of Indian Affairs is the worst grab-ass operation in the history of this country, and should be done away with.

Yet, whenever it is suggested that the DIA be gotten rid of, there is a hue and cry from someone and it never gets killed dead.

The only people who benefit from the DIA being around are the band chiefs who have not secured the popular support of their bands, and who need the federal money coming in order to have something on which to base their power and privilege.


It's not often the Doc and I see eye-to-eye, but I think he hit the nail on the head here.


From: Arkham Asylum | Registered: Feb 2003  |  IP: Logged

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