Federal Govt in conflict with First Nations

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It could get even worse

Federal Govt in conflict with First Nations

Harper on the warpath against the Indians

The bad blood between the Prime Minister Stephen Harper and Aboriginal Canadians could get worse yet.

It began last winter when Harper left dozens of Cree families freezing in the cold and in cardboard houses on the Attawapiskat reserve on James Bay. It took months for some temporary trailer homes that that Harper bought in New Brunswick to finally end up at up at the reserve.

Last month a group of First Nations leaders meeting in Gatineau across the Ottawa River went across to Parliament Hill to give Harper a piece of their mind on the floor of the House of Commons. It took quick action by two level-headed security guards to prevent an otherwise ugly scene.

The chiefs were led to believe Harper would meet with them and negotiate personally, equal to equal - First Nations versus White Nations.

Harper had nothing of the sort in mind, and instead sent flunkies to try to talk them out of their demands. It didn't work. Since then they have been blocking highways and VIA-Rail lines that run through their reserves.

Chief Theresa Spence of the Attawapiskat Cree reserve, who has never forgiven Harper for what he did to her people last winter, began a hunger strike last month to force Harper to negotiate with First Nations leaders. . He still refuses. Her hunger strike entered its 23th day this week, making it the longest political hunger strike in Canadian history.

Last year Harper accused Spence and her Band Council of wasting $ 89 million in government money. It wasn't true.

In the end it turned out that more than half that amount, $ 50 million, went to federal government departments. Harper forgot to include Jacques Marion, a $ 12,000 a month white man he sent in to take over and run the Attawapiskat reserve. Adding insult to injury he forced Spence and her Band Council to pay Marion's salary until they ran him off the reserve and took over their own affairs.

Rather than make peace with the First Nations people, the Conservatives went on the attack this winter. They mobilized an army of conservative bloggers of all ages and from all regions of the country who swamped newspapers with letters to the editor, radio open line shows, Facebook and Twitter and other social media to denounce the First Nations peoples with the same venom they had spat out last year.

Spence is still one of their favorite targets. They like spreading around the rumor that Spence's hunger strike will help her lose some weight.

Sun TV, Pierre-Karl Peladeau's nasty-flavored TV station, is back in the game with another smear campaign against Spence and other Aboriginal leaders.

Harper had a lot of fun with his $ 82 million re-enactment of the War of 1812, but this latest war against First Nations people easily beats it.

I may well continue unabated through the winter and into the spring and could easily end up as another Oka.



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