Saturday, January 21, 2017

Let's talk, because this is awkward

Trudeau did the right thing by meeting with indigenous leaders after the suicides of two children earlier this month, but read the piece in The Star. This band asked for funding for what they knew was an impending crisis ... existing crisis ... and the answer they got from Health Canada was, sorry, no, because the timing for their budget was 'awkward'.

You know what's awkward? That two little girls chose death over life in Canada. That's pretty awkward.

The not quite $400k in funding might not have saved those girls, but seriously??? A Canadian community makes a plea for help -- and we ALL KNOW they need it. We pay it lip service and ink and clicks -- but from our government, the answer is no, and yet "Between 2012 and 2017, the Aga Khan Foundation Canada received $75 million from Global Affairs Canada to fund the Partnership for Advancing Human Development in Africa and Asia".

That's pretty awkward, eh? We have millions to shovel over across the ocean and not a pittance for some little girls here at home.

Don't get me wrong. I know we fund the reserves and I know that in many cases monies are handled abysmally by the leaders who live high while their people suffer.

You know, the only thing Pierre Trudeau was ever right on was his White Paper on "Indian Policy". Some of his more lamentable and ruinous ideas were born and festered for generations, but this idea never got off the ground -- that native peoples deserve true equality instead of the never ending paternalistic head-patting they're still getting in the name of preserving their culture. I think we should be asking their children instead of their Chiefs -- they're showing us they're not happy and let's not pretend that the squalor they live in is anything like the cultures that existed before Canada was Canada.

We've done some real damage to our First Nations people through attempted assimilation in the wrong way, and then by apartheid via the reserve system. There has to be a better way. Forget worrying about a cultural genocide where you might not remember the languages or stories or old ways of life ... a real genocide of despair is going on here and we can't even shell out a few hundred thousand dollars to feign concern.

We have to talk. Mental health is a huge issue in all communities and it's laudable what Bell does yearly, reminding us. Maybe, since our government has failed this Indigenous community, maybe @Bell_LetsTalk will consider using some of the money it raises on January 25th to support the mental health initiative requested by this community last summer.

How many more little kids have to kill themselves before this becomes more than just a talking point.