Tag Archives: Idle No More

As Silly as Occupy?

Idle No More, Chief Spence and the assorted professional Indians trying to meet with the Prime Minister are not, quite, as silly as the Occupy people. There is, underneath the appeals to feminine logic and the great God of sustainability and eco responsibility, a genuine grievance in that the whole thrust of Indian policy in Canada for the past few decades has been wrong headed and clack handed.

It is not hard to make the case that Canada’s Indians would be far better off if the Indian Act was repealed and the Department of Indian Affairs shut down. Or, at least, no worse off. Billions of dollars have been spent with less than nothing to show for it. Uneconomic reserves have acted as money magnets and, as Chief Spence’s own reserve accounts seem to show, a good deal of that money has flowed without anything like proper accountability.

More to the point, the mere fact a slogan like “Idle No More” can be adopted by the Indians without a trace of irony, tells a great deal about a culture (or, rather, cultures) in shambles.

While the media party tried to make a cause out of Chief Spence and Idle No More Harper was perfectly capable of seeing off the attack. One solid audit and an unwillingness to be bullied by the fattest hunger striker in recent memory was sufficient to rout this particular assault.

Today’s meeting with professional Indians, which may actually be derailed by amateur Indians, might be a start to a comprehensive revision of the failed Indian policy of the last few decades. But it will be a start untainted with feminine logic, sustainability, colonialist theory and all the other lunacies of the radical left which have hampered progress for both the Indians and the rest of Canadians.

You have to have a heart of stone to think that a continuation of the present failed Indian policies is either compassionate or economically sensible. Stein’s Law, “What can’t go on, won’t.” seems correct here.

The Occupy nitwits left a legacy of precisely nothing save for the certainty that they and their supporters were very dim indeed. Chief Spence, while offering plenty of scope for ridicule, may achieve a bit more than that. “Idle No More” could also represent a back channel to get around the professional Indians (though that is a faint hope given the blockade antics).
However, the last month’s activities also represent an opportunity for Harper and the CPC to look beyond the posturing and begin to propose tentative but real Indian policy. To do that they are going to have to get beyond the illusion of Indian self government, at least as that has come to be understood. And they are going to have to create the sorts of incentives which puts some meat on the bones of the “Idle No More” slogan.

Tagged , ,

Reality Check

Terry Glavin notes the ineffectuality of the Idle No More people and the not noticeably thinner showboating chief on her little island.

Empathy, I get. If I were a 14-year-old boy living in Pikangikum with no prospect of getting out, I’d probably want to kill myself too. What is far more difficult to get one’s head around is just what possible good might come from Idle No More, the recently erupted viral craze that has attached itself to Chief Spence specifically, and to aboriginal grievances in Canada more amorphously.

So far, it’s shaping up to look a lot like last year’s Occupy Wall Street conniption, the thing the activist avant-garde insisted was going to be the great anti-corporate insurrection that counterculture icon Naomi Klein always wanted. Our very own Arab Spring! It ended up more like the Tanganyika Laughter Epidemic of 1962, and so far, Idle No More appears headed in exactly the same direction. ottawa citizen

It is not difficult to note that the current situation vis a vis Canadian Indians is awful. But what to do about it is elusive. Keeping the Reserve “system” alive means that a whole bunch of awful communities with no economic justification are forced to chug along no matter how dreadful the conditions. The Indian Act, in its hundred year run, has not seemed to have helped Indians so terribly much.

For all the billions spent there is virtually nothing to show for Canada’s earnest efforts on behalf of its Indians.

My own sense is that we should get out of the Indian business altogether. Do a systematic payout over several years and wish our Indians all the luck in the world as Canadians. I very much doubt the Indians will be any worse off without the neglectful paternalism of white do-gooders.

Tagged , ,
%d bloggers like this: