Letter: Neo-colonial corporate priorities versus Indigenous values

Time for non-Indigenous voters to wake up

To the Expositor:

It’s about time non-Indigenous voters woke up to the fact that, like their Indigenous kin, they’ve been royally screwed by both the Liberal and Conservative federal and provincial governments for a long time. Self-evident to me that both the lack of support for educational, healthcare institutions, search and rescue, affordable housing, small businesses and transportation infrastructure has much in common with the continuing neo-colonial government efforts to perpetuate genocide or assimilation and endless breaking of promises to First Nations people. The current lack of government support for Sudbury’s Laurentian University is a prime example. “It’s a failure of government in the long term to provide stable public funding for post-secondary institutions, especially those in the North, who face some extra challenges.”

There’s great irony in the recent letter to the editor by the Sudbury lawyer Peter Best, in the April 21 issue, as he spends most of his rant explaining the federal government’s acquiescence to the reasonable Restoule decision by the Ontario Superior Court of Justice to cough up the long disputed outstanding revenue to the 21 Robinson-Huron Treaty bands, retroactive to 1850. “The Court concluded that Canada and Ontario acted dishonourably by in effect short-changing the Treaties bands of entitlements owed to them.”

Seems Mr. Best is outraged the Feds aren’t continuing to fight this decision, like Doug Ford’s Conservative government, as if the First Nations had been militarily conquered, rather than simply agree to share the land and be partners in Confederation. Such a nerve these many Northern Ontario First Nations, who’s original territory includes “the entire Lake Superior and Lake Huron watershed,” should want to finally collect what they’ve been promised, apparently, “to the harm of Crown sovereignty, Canadian social unity and the Canadian taxpayer.” I am at a loss that this conscientious lawyer has no problem with the billions the Ontario government yearly squanders on propping up banks and foreign corporations, rather than maintaining stewardship of the land and its people. If the Ontario government is actually so insolvent, might be time to toss Doug Ford and his corrupt cronies out of office for mismanagement. Too many have drunk the Kool-Aid about the evils of socialism and accepted the capitalist propaganda that corporate profit at the world’s expense must be the ultimate priority. 

D.S. McPhail