Archive for September, 2011

Paul Martin’s Aboriginal Initiative Program

Former Canadian Prime Minister Paul Martin was a great champion of First Nations issues during his time in office from 2003-2006. Since leaving politics he has been actively involved with several non-profit endeavors including the Martin Aboriginal Educational Initiative which he established to benefit native youth in Canada. Log on to this site to see all the good work that is being done by this organization and find out how you can get involved.

BC Government and First Nations on the Right Track

Today’s announcements by Premier Christy Clark of large private partnership infrastructure projects in Prince Rupert and Kitimat, created a lot of buzz because of the long term employment opportunities that they will bring to northern British Columbia. However the most exciting thing about these initiatives is that the government has included First Nations communities in the process right from the get-go. Local First Nations leaders are firmly on board with these plans since this time their people will not be excluded from all the social and economic benefits these projects will bring in the future.

What a positive change from the exclusionist policies of the past and another example of how the BC Liberals are continuing with the wise policies instituted by former premier Gordon Campbell in this regard.

Aboriginal youth in BC have a bright future in front of them, and now is the time to buckle down and get the education necessary to attain and hold down these good paying jobs. Spread the word to all your friends and don’t let this once in a lifetime opportunity slip from your grasp.

Aboriginal education being held hostage by Self Serving Chiefs

The elders and chiefs that run the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) finally found a flimsy reason to get revenge on their chairperson Guy Lonechild by firing him for allegedly covering up a drinking and driving charge in 2009. Troubling though this may be, the real reason appears to be pay-back for the fact that Lonechild uncovered a financial mess at the First Nations University in Regina and fired the board, embarrasing many of the same incompetant people who run the Federation. Lonechild took his case to court, where a judge overturned their attempt to cashier him, but when Lonechild returned to work he found that the keys to his office had been changed and he couldn’t get in. Several days later he accepted a $500,000.00 severance package and walked. Who knows what threats may have been uttered behind closed doors. It’s also shocking how these guys just throw taxpayers’ money around, as if they’d earned it themselves.

The chiefs of Ontario, Saskatchewan and Quebec have recently also refused to work with a panel set up by AFN chief Shaun Atleo and John Duncan, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs which will recommend ways to improve the nation’s 500 on-reserve schools. Why would they refuse to even work with the panel to find solutions to a 60% drop out rate? Because it serves them fine when most aboriginal youth are illiterate and unable to challenge their self serving ways. Here’s hoping guys like Shaun Atleo and Guy Lonechild find support within the larger aboriginal community becauase they are the ones who are trying to arrive at realistic solutions for aboriginal youth rather than just feathering their own nests.