...within what passes for leadership among the "first nation" mafia!
Aboriginals report biased, UNimpressiveHow condescending! That was our gut response to United Nations special rapporteur James Anaya’s report on the situation of Canadian Aboriginals.
Raise your hand if you didn’t know housing conditions on many Aboriginal reserves were terrible? Or if you thought health conditions were just peachy?
Or if you didn’t realize there were contentious land claims?
We all know conditions are bad. Canadians genuinely want to see improvements.
But forgive some Canadians if they’re cynical to the suggestion that more money and more consultations with unaccountable leadership are a quick fix answer
Anaya writes: “Canada must take urgent action to address the housing crisis in indigenous communities.”
We’ve taken “urgent action” before. But the problems persist. And along the way we hear of financial misappropriations and a lack of checks and balances.
Our jaws dropped when Anaya criticized what he labels “onerous” financial reporting requirements. Geez. If he asked most Canadians, they’d say there isn’t enough accountability. We do agree that we should “streamline reporting procedures under contribution agreements to alleviate unnecessary or overlapping reporting requirements.”
Anaya recommends, “New laws, policies and programs that affect indigenous peoples should be developed in consultation and true partnership with them.”
We agree — grassroots politics is key.
Which is why you’ll forgive us if we have no interest in taking our stomping orders from the unelected — and increasingly morally bankrupt — United Nations.
Besides, Anaya’s history as a lawyer who made his name representing indigenous groups at court makes him far from an unbiased source.
Here’s an example of where his bias shines through: He criticizes the Canada — United States border patrol arrangement in the Akwesasne reserve, near Cornwall.Without explaining why the arrangement exists, he writes that this has “strained the relationship” between the reserve and the government.
But back in 2011, it was reported that $1 billion worth of drugs and $1 billion worth of illegal cigarettes were being brought in by gangs. In this case, it’s clearly elements within the reserve that created the strained relationship to begin with.
We all want Aboriginal Canadians to be happy, healthy and prosper economically.
So let’s all keep working together to achieve this goal. But sweeping generalizations from the U.N. really don’t help.