Dan Green

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Posts by Dan Green

Aboriginal Education: The KISS Rule

The KISS Rule aka Keep It Simple Stupid, is mostly ignored by bureaucrats and politicians of all stripes who tend to propose overly complex, less achievable solutions to problems as a way of promoting their own agendas or careers rather than solving the basic problems on the ground.

The deplorable state of Aboriginal Housing is a perfect example. Rather than building well equipped workshops to train and pay young people in the community to build and maintain their community housing, Government and First Nations beaurucrats point fingers of blame at each other while clamoring for more meetings that solve nothing. It’s time to wake up people! Keep It Simple and get something done.

The crisis in Attawapiskat didn’t happen overnight. It was manufactured over many years by negligent and incompetant First Nations and Government employees , who refused to take the small simple steps which would have gradually improved the situation over the long term.

By default, they are proposing another band-aid solution of sending up fifteen prefabricated modular homes that I guarantee will start falling apart next spring because nobody in the community has the knowledge or the vested interest to maintain them.

When I propose a simple achievable solution like building all-weather construction sheds in these communities where young people could learn the tools of all the practical trades as well as earn a good living by actively building and maintaining their community shelters, I’m ignored by elitest media outlets, First Nations Councils and Government employees because its not a sexy enough solution. Give me a break!

Aboriginal Education and the Shame of Attawapiskat

Aboriginal leaders can talk all they want about getting rid of the Indian Act, being given more respect by government and taking control of their own destiny, but what they should do is roll up their sleeves, solve some real problems and earn that respect. The housing situation in Attawapiskat is deplorable and disgusting but it has been like that for years like so many other reserves in Canada. Why haven’t aboriginal leaders put the millions of dollars they have been given towards educating their young men and women to become carpenters, plumbers and electricians to build and maintain the housing in their communities? This is the realistic on-the-ground answer to this basic problem but I fear that the continuing inept responses of aboriginal leadership is going to lead to another lost generation. Shame.

Can One Government Agency Solve a Problem Created by Another Government Agency?

Vancouver, BC: Noted aboriginal issues blogger Dan Green (www.dangreen.ca), had this to say about a Montreal Gazette article regarding the $60 million Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s recent statements. The agency issued a statement advocating for more cash to complete its mission of facilitating the healing and reconciliation process for survivors of the system residential school system: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Residential+school+commission+struggling+complete+mission/5745909/story.html

Where has all the money gone?

“Certainly not to improve the welfare of the people to which it was originally intended,” says Green. “It has been gobbled up by the unconscionable actions of bureaucrats within various church, government and native agencies where a general lack of trust and cooperation between the parties has resulted in unnecessary road-blocks and a waste of taxpayer’s money. What else is new?”

“The goals of the Commission are laudable,” says Green, “but in these difficult economic times this kind of nonsense without accountability should not be tolerated by working Canadians or their parliamentary representatives. No more funding should be forthcoming for this project until an independent audit of all expenditures is completed and sustainable budgets are put in place.”

Dan’s Green’s new novel, Blue Saltwater, addresses the dysfunctional philosophy behind the residential school system, a system whose effects continue to reverberate within First Nations communities to this day. It can be purchased online or in stores acrossCanada.

To learn more about Dan and his book Blue Saltwater visit: www.dangreen.ca

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Aboriginal Education and Habitat for Humanity

AFN Chief Shawn Atleo just announced a partnership with Habitat for Humanity  to work towards building decent, affordable housing in aboriginal communities across Canada. The goal here should not be just housing but also construction training and housing maintenance  for aboriginal youth. One without the other is just a continuation of the same old paternalistic dependency joke that has been going on for over a century.

For every house built there should be a core of aboriginal youth who emerge more knowledgeable and capable in housing construction and maintainance so that they can continue this work when Habitat has moved on to other more pressing projects. .

Kindle Store and TWS Reading Series

Generating buzz about self-published titles is what it’s all about and in view of this, The Kindle Store ebook price of Blue Saltwater is now 0.99 US. As well, I have been invited to be Guest Reader at Simon Fraser University’s TWS Reading Series on December 8 from 7:00-9:00 pm at the Rhizome Cafe, 317 East Broadway at Kingsway in Vancouver, British Columbia. Everyone is welcome.

Aboriginal Education and the Power of Parents

Recent studies by the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development have concluded that parental involvement in their children’s education is the single most important factor in predicting educational success.http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/20/opinion/sunday/friedman-how-about-better-parents.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Thomas+L+Friedman&st=nyt

The Assembly of First Nations along with many other Canadian Aboriginal organizations continue to harp on increased government funding as the only answer to the appalling aboriginal drop-out rates from high school. Certainly there is no substitute for good teachers and decent educational facilities but regardless of a family’s socioeconomic background the results are crystal clear; parental involvement such as reading to their young children on a regular basis, getting them to school on time, rested and fed, and rewarding their efforts, are the most important determinants for future success in school and in life beyond. Money alone is not the answer. The ball is in your court mom and dad.

Winnipeg Aboriginal Fim Festival

For anyone living near Winnipeg, November 16-20 figures to be an exciting and informative time with the annual exposition of the Winnipeg Aboriginal Film Festival. (www.waff.ca)  This year’s keynote speaker is Mr. Chris Eyre who directed the film Smoke Signals starring Adam Beach. The award winning screenplay for this film was done by aboriginal author Sherman Alexie based upon his collection of short stories entitled The Lone Ranger and Tonto Fist Fight in Heaven. See http://www.winnipegfreepress.com/arts-and-life/entertainment/movies/aboriginal-film-festival-honours-past-present-future-133864123.html for more information.

Blue and Sarah

The Oscar Season has begun and one of the movies getting buzz this year is the WW II holocaust drama, Sarah’s Key. http://weinsteinco.com/sites/sarahs-key/ . This is another story about Nazi’s killing Jews but what makes it unique is that it is told through the eyes of a young Jewish girl, depicting what happened in a more compelling way than what the usual historical and journalistic accounts are capable of presenting.

Blue Saltwater was written with the same goal in mind; to relate the truth about the trauma experienced by countless aboriginal kids within the Indian Residential School System through the eyes of one teenage boy, Blue Saltwater, taking readers on an emotional journey which enhances their ourstanding of what really happened. A movie based upon this book will someday inform an even broader audience. .

Aboriginal Smoke Shops and Health Responsibilities

The Great Buffalo Nation Dakota, an alliance of 10 Dakota Nations in the Prairie Provinces has decided to flout Canadian tobacco control regulations by opening up a smoke shop and VLT gaming centre that defies Manitoba laws regarding tobacco sales. The Dakota say they just want to exercise their “sovereignty rights” but the real plan is to make easy money by selling cheap smokes and ripping off the rest of their customers’ money with the gambling.  http://www.vancouversun.com/health/Authorities+urge+crackdown+Manitoba+smoke+outlet/5692442/story.html

Although the combined voices of the tobacco industry and Canadian law authorities have urged the Manitoba government to crack down on this operation, we haven’t heard a word from the Assembly of First Nations on this issue.

If Chief Shawn Atleo and the Assembly’s leaders are serious about taking full responsiblity for aboriginal health care through organizations like the newly established BC Aboriginal Health Authority (See blog October 14,2011, Aboriginal Education and BC Health Authority), they must immediately take the lead in standing against this initiative which will promote smoking and subsequent health problems especially among aboriginal youth in the area. If this challenge isn’t met head on by Chief Atleo and his executive team, how confident can Canadian taxpayers be that their hard earned dollars will be able to effectively administered to promote positive aboriginal health outcomes in the future.

Welcome to Dan Green.ca!

I’d like to welcome you to my website. My newest book Blue Saltwater is available now and I’m looking forward to all the exciting opportunities that might come my way as this journey continues.
I hope you check back often to see the latest news from me.
All the best,
Dan