Canada | Opinion

Opinion: Canadian government ignores AFN vision for the future





"A few days ago in Moncton, Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo spoke about the need to repeal the Indian Act and abolish the Department of Aboriginal Affairs. In the national media, there didn't appear to be much disagreement with his position, which is an understandable reaction when one considers the state of the First Nations relationship with Ottawa and the appalling living conditions on many reserves.

Essentially Atleo took the first step and laid out his vision of the future. Atleo's vision included abolishing the Department of Aboriginal Affairs and replacing it with two smaller entities, one that would support a government to government relationship and the other to provide services to First Nations communities.

The natural tendency of any bureaucracy when ideas such as Atleo's are floated and end up earning major media coverage is to go into defense mode. It would be interesting to know how much time the department, the minister's office and PMO spent working on defensive talk points and looking at what is wrong with Atleo's suggestion as opposed to what are the benefits to both First Nations and the government of his suggestions."

Get the Story:
Keith Beardsley: First Nations Present a Vision for the Future; Does Harper See it Too? (The Huffington Post 7/15)

Related Stories:
Editorial: AFN seeks change to disastrous Indian policy in Canada (7/18