The Shotgun Blog
Friday, March 24, 2006
Eaten by Animals
Raskolnikov on recent Phoenix Sinclair developments:
It’s usually about here, in these by-rote, cue-card diatribes from Indianville, that my blood pressure increases and I began to breathe heavily, not out of anger from the words so much as that now I have to waste time and energy pointing out the obvious absurdity of that comment, which makes me appear to be nothing more than a negative, cynical Indian-basher.
And then the storm.
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Dynamite article, Darcey. The future looks dark for Indians. Unfortunately not many Indians cand read what you write, Darcey.
Posted by: Speller | 2006-03-24 3:30:16 PM
What a sad story to read on any day. I don't want to even try and imagine what little Phoenix went through before they finally murdered her. What punishment does such monsters warrant for such a heinous crime?
Posted by: Lemmytowner | 2006-03-24 4:17:04 PM
The likes of Darcey and Rasko ARE examples of the future of Indians, Inuit and Metis. This article is an example. A turning point in how a bunch of people see themselves and the world. And the strength of taking that stand - nothing like that in the Montreal Gazette. This whole country was transforming itself into a million reservations, separate government programs for poetry-reading lesbian bikers or Jamaican drug dealers or Sharia law enforcers or French or fishermen - all demanding and receiving government money and special status, which inevitably means government control. If you want to see how NOT to run a society, study Canada's history of apartheid, the history of the Indian Act, which, until recently, stated that for the purposes of all the laws of Canada, a person is defined as being anyone except an Indian. They were wards of the state, too child-like to decide for themselves. And then the white man wanted equal rights. Make us wards of the Nanny-state too. Mark out the boundaries of our own reservations, give us government money, and tell us how to live, and we will all blame somebody else when we fail.
There is an Indian revolt going on, and it is in the direction of self-reliance, pride and faith. This is a great time. The future looks great. Everything gonna be alright. Freedom works.
And just a note from history: it was a conservative Westerner, John Diefenbaker, who first allowed Indians to vote in federal elections, in 1958. Before that, it was illegal for them to vote, because they were not persons. Conservatives put an end to that. Liberals did not.
Just as it was a conservative country boy, Abraham Lincoln, who freed the slaves. Conservatives. Country boys. Hard work and freedom. Equality of opportunity. And it was another conservative Westerner, Ronald Reagan, who opened the doors to freeing the people on welfare. He said, we do not judge our success as a government by the number of people we send welfare cheques to. We judge our success by the number of people we get off welfare.
Besides which, it's Friday night, and it's blues and beer night out here in the woods. Blues is the healer. Everything gonna be alright.
Posted by: Bob & Ulli | 2006-03-24 4:21:42 PM
I try and have positive hopes like you Bob, but all I have to do is go home and they go away.
The future is a distant one.
Posted by: Darcey | 2006-03-24 5:12:15 PM
There is an elephant in the room. Time to address it without flinching. Lives are at stake.
The debris of the socialist model applied to the conquered "First Nations" is evident to anyone who cares to look. The implied racism of a bureuacracy (DIAND, INAC)accreted around the premise that individual Indians are incapable of minding their own business has consistently resulted in a failure to either assimilate these citizens or raise their standards of living (especially on far too many reserves) to reach or better the level of other average citizens. Political correctness has denied the truth, consistently, that the "First Nations" were invaded and conquered. The price of being conquered is to lose everything; in the old days that included your life, or at the very least, slavery. Still the reserve system and the INAC keep the Indians enthralled. The individuals are faced with the choice of surviving in their current state of socialist 'equality', or striking out into the greater world on their own, abandoning the failed ways and embracing the 'white mans way' to build success of their own.
Call me a racist if you like. Maybe my wife would have an opinion on that, seeing as she is a 'Status' Indian, as are our children.
I have been to her reserve; since attending the funeral of her grandmother she will never return there, for all sorts of reasons, not the least of which is her despising some of the people, (some of them relatives), who live there.
Posted by: Dana | 2006-03-24 5:54:32 PM
On the bright side, people like Darcey, Dana's wife and some of my friends who happen to be native Indian and Metis give me some hope for change.
It can't come soon enough.
The socialist model that Dana refers to, just leads to the economic and social horrors that reserve life is full of.
I still can't quite wrap my head around why we treat people so differently, creating a caste system, where there is no need for it, and stuffing people on reserves, using financial incentives like the welfare rolls that keep them there.
Let's face it, healthy people move to where the jobs are in a 21st century economy no matter what tribe or colour they are.
Money is green. It brings the freedom to choose your own adventure to quote the title of a favourite book series of my kids.
Unhealthy people continue to suck off the govt's tax funded free ride and worry about legislated poverty because it's never ever enough money.
Healthy people take responsibility for their lives, and get out and provide for themselves.
We could "end legislated poverty" to borrow that dreadfully stupid rallying cry of the leftist activists simply by making it all a level playing field and encouraging self starters to get up, get moving and get working in the 21st century economy.
Realistically, it will take some bridging methods, probably by improving education in reserve schools and by enforcing current laws against child abuse.
Posted by: Canadian freedoms fan | 2006-03-24 6:29:54 PM
Darcy , You are a fantastic writter. The problem with 'rez' buisness, IMO, is that it even EXISTS. The Native Indian People in Canada should not be governed by a Totalitarian, outdated top down government funded by the 'other' people who live in the same country. ALL people in Canada should have the same social and political rights - economic clout should be up to the individual. The Big Chief in cahoots with beaurocrates in the 'other' government make the people on reservations 'slaves' to the bigshots (titled 'Chief and Council') who get the money handed to them to distribute. The bureaocrates and the Chief etc. funnel off all they want for themselves and friends before they 'distribute'. They only 'give ' to those who support them. Keep writting Darcy, this whole situation needs to be shown to all the people of this nation.
Posted by: jema54j | 2006-03-24 6:56:23 PM
Darcey, the future comes real fast sometimes. I am a very old dude. I was very young, but I remember when Inuit starved to death, with a life expectancy of 27 years, much lower than countries we were sending foreign aide to. So there was an uproar - South Africa pointed the finger at Canada in U.N. debates about apartheid. The ones who starved were semi-nomadic, and in a series of winter blizzards, their luck ran out. Life Magazine published photos of the starving Canadians. The response of Canada was to take them off the land and settle them down on Reservations. The last Inuit igloos were in 1963. We moved them into prefab bungalows, like some sort of wilderness suburbia, where there were no jobs, no future. And we paid for their houses and their heating and their food, and like good Liberals, considered ourselves to be generous. The generation of native leaders that arose were almost always on the government payroll. Taxpayers paid to have themselves sued; everyone was awash in guilt and cowardice and shame. Thereby requiring more government hand-holding. And then came a more radical generation of radical leaders, CBC-injuns, who, when the cameras were rolling, wore feathers in their hair, pounded on drums they bought at Wal-Mart, and demanded socialist compensation. They go so far as to talk about joining with Islamic terrorists to shake down the money tree.
But, all over the place, we see successful and magnificent Indians, Eskimos and Metis. The ones who take care of themselves. And suddenly, the internet has given voice to many of them, such as Darcey and Rasko and others, and what they say penetrates rapidly, because it is what everybody actually already knows, but did not dare to say. The future arrives fast, because it was already here.
And the First Nations of Canada, originally, were the First Conservatives. Independent, self-reliant, and free. And now they have cellular phones and computers, internet connections around the world. The old reservations, the old apartheid parks, are much, much too small to emprison such fine and free people.
As Ray Kurzweil says, the singularity is near. History and evolution suddenly tip, in a singular event. Enjoy the ride.
Posted by: Bob & Ulli | 2006-03-24 8:02:15 PM
And then the internet broke open the conversation. It's going to be a fun ride.
Posted by: Dana | 2006-03-24 9:27:11 PM
Things do change. Which is good, because no matter who's to blame, we've reached a point where, in the Canadian context, it's forbidden speech to publicly connect the violence, hardship and horrifying abuse existing within certain aboriginal communities with the problems of that community.
If that makes no sense, that's because it doesn't. But that's the official version: that there are problems IN the community, but that those problems are not problems WITH the community.
They're evidence of problems which lay elsewhere, geographically and across time. It's an utterly addled lie which is required of politicians and journalists, who must above all avoid ever being accused of racism if they hope to escape censure.
The proscription against blaming the victim is a good one, but it's gone out of bounds, out of the arena and into another time zone. The dumb reflexivity of accusations or racism and colonialism is now a preemptory strike againt mere observation and truthtelling. That no way to live, it's just not tenable.
I met a Kurdish cab driver in Vancouver who said with an eloquence I can't reprise here that the act of blaming others for the state of one's life, even when justified, doesn't even begin to suggest the first step of any solution. I think that's really true.
BTW, I just want to add that Raskolnikov is, how you say in ze English, a force, and the best writer I've read on aboriginal issues. You realize when you read him that truth is at war against lies. In the linked-to essay here the guy manages to outweigh in significance any twenty MSM columns on the topic. He really should be getting some printed column inches somewhere.
Posted by: EBD | 2006-03-24 10:39:51 PM
The bitter irony is that, half a century ago, very few native people fitted today's stereotype of drug and booze addled, violent misfits. I worked with a lot of them in the bush, and they were mostly proud, versatile, ingenious people who worked hard to support their families. When not working in the cash economy they hunted, fished, trapped and built their own log houses. Then "benevolent" governments started to give them substantial monthly cheques, free housing and a sense of entitlement that grew steadily more pernicious.
In our name, Canadian governments destroyed a way of life and damned near destroyed a people, not by the traditional methods of subjugation and abuse but by stealing their self-worth.
By the early 1980s, the destruction was nearly complete. For me, the moment of revellation came about 20 years ago when I hired a few young men from a rez to cut survey lines. On the first (and last) day on the job I discovered that most of them were virtually innumerate and that not one of them could use an axe properly. They lived in the middle of a vast forest, but they had never even cut firewood. To heat their houses, they simply called the band office to have fuel oil delivered as needed.
There are a couple of lost generations out there now, and I have no idea what the solution is. How do you salvage people with big chips on their shoulders, no marketable skills and serious substance abuse problems? How do you prevent such people from passing their own hopelessness on to their children. Whitey's current practice of feeling guilty and "investing" huge amounts of money in the Indian industry sure as hell hasn't worked. Can the Indians and Metis who have risen above the dependency situation provide a cure, and can society at large reasonably expect them to take that responsibility?
Raskolnikov, Darcey and Dana: Please comment.
Posted by: Zog | 2006-03-25 12:57:05 AM
Well put.There is no simple solution.Rascism is an ongoing problem in the native culture and now is state sanctioned throughout most of Canada. It was only about twenty years ago that a native woman was stripped of her native rights for marrying outside her race. Nowadays it is not official but she does suffer scorn and in most cases outright ostracization from her'people'. Unfortunately, I have first-hand experience with this process.The native leaders preach acceptance,tolerance etc.,but once the cameras are gone it is back to hate and contempt for "whitey".A small step forward would be to end the legalized racism that allows a band to veto any adoption application from prospective parents outside thier tribe.The native population of Alberta is approx.10%,but they make up approx.50% of the children living in foster care. It is almost impossible for a white couple to adopt a native child unless that child is severely handicapped. This stops the adoptee from ever returning to the reservation and being traumatized by the difference in lifestyles.Also they cannot tell others that life doesn't have to be that way and that whitey is not evil.The bands have decided that it is easier to hide thier problems than fix them.Much easier.I have been threatened numerous times by my woman,s extended family,insults aplenty by some as young as six,all for the crime of being'whitey' with a native. The young have to be educated and shown the real world.I have always found that those who cry racism and discrimination are usually those who practise it the most.The next time you encounter a bleeding heart who has been taken in by the image of the brave noble indian who is one with the earth,ask them if they would ever consider taking a stroll through a reserve after dark.Actually,even daylight would be pretty scary.
Posted by: wallyj | 2006-03-25 7:46:43 AM
and face it with all this guff free speech is still only for the Alberta rednecks here.
Posted by: Duked | 2006-03-25 10:03:51 AM
Did most of your post get lost in transit? If not, maybe you could translate the 2 lines into English.
Posted by: Zog | 2006-03-25 1:24:04 PM
One possibility in devolution of the failed system may be that it leaks. Some of those supposedly spoken for by the system break away, they do well for themselves, and as they join the middle class they are in a position to reflect and comment on the situation with some authority.
Thomas Sowell, one of my favourite writers in the Western Standard, comments on this from time to time from the perspecive of the leaky black victimhood industry in the United States, and of course about a year ago Bill Cosby let loose his now famous rant at the NAACP.
Oh and Zog, Duked is Paul; the lights are on but no one's home, so don't bother trying to interact.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-25 3:02:26 PM
On a related note.In the early seventies the U.S.A. started a program called Aid for Dependent Children.Good intentions,providing money to low-income families to raise thier children properly.Twenty years later and we have ghettoes exploding with angry unraised children killing each other,no hope for the future except have more babies to collect more gov't money.Children in the ghetto become commerce much like on our reservations.A woman with many children is prized because of the financial benefits.More milk money means more malt liquor money.
Posted by: wallyj | 2006-03-25 3:13:45 PM
The indian industry has been claiming that they have been demanding self-determination, in reality they are demanding collective-determination, with non-volitional association rules. This is commonly called communism, and as you can see it is working about that well.
The only viable solution to the problem is to actually instill in indians a desire for real self-determination, in the libertarian sense. That is what we should be trying to do, if we are trying to help.
Call for Pierre Lemiux, red courtesy telephone please. Yeah, that's it, Thomas Sowell and Pierre Lemiux. Within a generation, they could solve the problem.
Posted by: Vitruvius | 2006-03-25 3:54:35 PM
Does anyone have an update on Davis Inlet? I understand that it is (predictably to a conservative) at the same level of drug-addled dysfunction at its new location as it was five miles away at the old location. All the liberal solutions were applied to this community. It got the new housing, the new schools and community centres, the social workers, the welfare cheques, the government money; there are no oppressive traditional family values; criminal behaviour is treated with kid gloves; the liberal values, which as best I can gather equate with "sex, drugs and rock and roll" are alive and well; and I presume the people there have "all their rights" -- everything. So why the high suicide rate?
Posted by: DrD | 2006-03-26 2:22:05 PM
And the dismantling of the legislated racism embodied in the Department of Indian and Northern Affairs.
Posted by: Mad Mike | 2006-03-27 7:52:14 AM
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