08 August 2007

The usual suspects

Calling all restless, unemployed troublemakers...

Supporters for local Mohawk activist Shawn Brant will rally at the Napanee courthouse Friday when Brant faces a bail review.

Poverty and aboriginal activists will gather at the Superior Court of Justice court house on Thomas Street East to support Brant and demonstrate on Prisoner Justice Day, say messages sent out on aboriginal and anti-poverty mailing lists.
Isn't the internet wonderful?

And how is being a "poverty or aboriginal activist" now considered to be a job?

Closing down public venues, seizing private property and screaming at bystanders... has to rank somewhere close to "squeegee kid" on any self-respecting adult's resume.

One last small jurisprudential note...
Brant was already out on bail during the aboriginal day of action.

Remember Shawn Brant's sad tale...

Of how his wife miscarried, fetching water from a contaminated well?

Well, why aren't the Mohawks dealing with that problem, before pounding money into recreation?
Funding for the Tyendinaga Fitness Centre includes $92,000 from the Ontario Trillium Foundation, a grant officially announced at the new fitness centre Tuesday.

It is the largest Trillium grant for the area, said MPP Leona Dombrowsky. The province recently increased the Trillium Foundation total grant amount from $100 million to $120 million.
Heck, I guess it's not that big a deal... if you don't have have uncontaminated water, you can always stock up on Coca-Cola, right?
The fitness centre contributes to a solution to the diabetes epidemic in native communities, where an estimated 27 per cent of people have it, said Carol Loft, a regional diabetes worker with the Southern Ontario Aboriginal Diabetes Initiative.
Newsflash folks... playing ping-pong doesn't cure diabetes.


FROM THE COMMENTS: Daniel Erasmus replies...
As a member of Canada's First Nation, I find it disturbing that you are willing to paint us all with one brush.
Geez, Daniel... you mean like Shawn Brant blaming all his problems on "racist white society."

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Anonymous said...

As a member of Canada's First Nation, I find it disturbing that you are willing to paint us all with one brush.

Poverty, poor health, and 3rd world living conditions are realities for many native children.

While many of us who choose to demonsrtate are well-educated and gainfully employed, we feel we have a responsibility to our brothers and sisters to raise public awareness on their behalf. Your suggestion that those participating in this demonstration are all unemployed is short-sighted and hateful.

Furthermore, native children have every right to hope for both clean water and good physical health. Your position that money from the Trillium Foundation is wasted on fitness centres for our youth is mean-spirited and misguided. We can work towards a number of solutions in concert. We need not only hope to solve each problem in isolation.

Perhaps your dealings with native peoples has been limited to the unfortunate brothers living in horrible conditions in big cities like Toronto. In any case, the picture you portray of my people is not only offensive but also incorrect.

- Daniel Erasmus, Mohawks of the Bay of Quinte.

KURSK said...


I, like most Canadians are appalled
at the conditions that some of our aboriginal peoples live in.

I am also shocked at the poverty industry that has grown around this issue, where it is to the benefit of some that conditions remain status quo in order that the money keeps flowing.

I also find it sad that there are some of your own people who would deny you the very right to safe resources and good health in order to keep power.

I think it also does disservice to your goals when you associate yourself with people such as Mr. Brandt.

Continuing to do so will only erode the goodwill that exists between non natives and will truly set relations back decades.

It is not a wise move to strike at the people (through days of action etc..) who have sympathy for the plight of certain disadvantaged people.Remember, it is our tax dollars that support these initiatives from the govt.

If that capital, both political and financial, runs dry, who is really better off?

Anonymous said...

Of course, what Erasmus fails to mention is that the large majority of the problems facing Indians today are the direct result of what the native leadership of today do themselves.

By playing the left-wing politics of race, class, and envy while building personal empires, Indian leaders propagate the miseries of their own constituents, all the while deflecting attention from themselves.

This classic socialist construct divides, rather than unites, and enables the victim mentality, rather than inviting progress, freedom, and personal accomplishment. Sure does help to accumulate ever larger payments of "mattress money" though.

It is well past time for Indians to join the real world, take responsibility for their own situation, and begin to reap the benefits available to all who choose to work towards personal development.

Numerous examples show that this can be done, but of course remaining as cultural anachronisms in a modern economy while demanding ever larger handouts, gained by terrorist style tactics is always easier.

The money is already being provided in extremely generous amounts by taxpayers. Erasmus elects to shoot the messenger, but I guess you can only lead the horse to water.


Neo Conservative said...

"Daniel Erasmus said... As a member of Canada's First Nation, I find it disturbing that you are willing to paint us all with one brush."

daniel... thank you for your comments.

if you imagine that it is simply myself painting aboriginals with this brush... then you are sadly mistaken.

statistics canada, the media at large and simple observation (i live in hastings cty.) demonstrate that aboriginal communities are disproportionately populated with dysfunctional and troubled individuals.

this isn't, as people like shawn brant and his merry band of criminals would have you believe, because of racist white society.

billions of taxpayer dollars go into propping up the irretrievably broken reserve system. the problem is that this money siphoned off by aboriginal leaders for themselves and their friends... which takes a horrendous toll on the rest of the populace.

not that a welfare state is any sort of sane answer anyway.

"native children have every right to hope for both clean water and good physical health."

too true. but if you don't have potable water, or indoor plumbing... you aren't gonna have good physical health... ever.

fix the freakin' water first... then build whatever your heart desires.

"Poverty, poor health, and 3rd world living conditions are realities for many native children."

the system is broken from within and that is why there are outrageous numbers of native people with health issues, criminal records and substance abuse problems.

i am glad that you seem to have escaped this death spiral... but i think even you have to admit there are too many individuals on reserves who haven't... and more importantly, never will.

the problem won't be solved by pretending it doesn't exist.


Unknown said...

Daniel I wish I could find common ground with you. The dollars spent and the degree of poverty etc simply do not add up. As a white man I will not accept responsibilty for the dire conditions many natives find themselves in.

Anonymous said...

'Indian' Chiefs, Band Councils, their lawyers, bureaucrats, 'social agencies', 'activists', etc. etc.

All get paid to ensure ordinary aboriginals live in poverty - they know very well that if they didn't warehouse ordinary aboriginals on Reserves in deplorable conditions - there's no way they could draw the billions of dollars they take from Canadians every year.

That's why they're fighting against the Conservative government for trying to include on-Reserve aboriginals under human rights legislation - the Chiefs don't want ordinary aboriginals to have human rights, if they did then Chiefs couldn't exploit them.