Editorial: Try a new solution for the First Nations
"Since the late 1960s, aboriginal leaders have asked for more money and less accountability, and politically correct politicians have been only too willing to oblige. Less than $500-million in federal spending on aboriginals in 1969 has become nearly $10-billion today, and the problems of foul water, poor housing and inadequate education have grown worse. The formula has been: Pour billions of tax dollars at native problems, grant native leaders control of that money with little oversight, then when the money's run out, but the problems persist, repeat.

From the Royal Commission on Aboriginal People to the national "healing fund," the finger of blame for the plight of aboriginals has always been pointed at nonnative society and the solution has always been more handouts.

Couple this with the myths about their peoples' rights that current native leaders have grown up with-- that their bands are really "nations," that these nations are entitled to a "third order of government" within Canada, that treaties and land claims create entitlements and grant sovereignty out of all proportion to their original intent --and we are left with a situation in which no expectation can be challenged.

The Gitxsan proposal is not a surrender, but a realization. The Gitxsan's chief negotiator says his people no longer wish to be a burden to the Crown, but at the same time they do not want the Crown to be a burden on them.

It is about time we tried such a new solution."

Get the Story:
Editorial: A pioneering proposal (The National Post 11/10)

Also Today:
Heed Gitxsan proposal, says head of B.C. treaty commission (The Globe and Mail 11/10)

Related Stories:
Gitxsan treaty team calls for end of Indian status (11/9)