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Justice and equality for all

While Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence concludes the 11th day of her hunger strike, Stephen Harper tweets, “@HomerJSimpson Mmm... bacon.”

Whether his tweet is, considering the timing, intentionally a mockery, we’ll never know. Either way, it is unacceptable that our prime minister refuses to give aboriginal leaders, such as Chief Spence, a few hours of discussion. No wonder the Idle No More movement has gained so much momentum.

As a privileged white male, I acknowledge that we live in an inherently racist society. I’ve noticed that it is more acceptable, among privileged individuals, to make derogatory statements about aboriginals than it is to state the opposite: colonization continues today.

All of us, no matter what ethnicity, are colonized from birth, but, through the eyes of the privileged, it’s difficult to understand what marginalized life would be like, and, because of this, most of us privileged individuals throw our support behind continued colonization without question.

I want to see the conditions of aboriginals improve, but nothing positive can happen unless aboriginals have a voice in Parliament.

The Idle No More movement, as I understand it, is not only concerned with aboriginal issues. To speak very generally, it is for the protection of the land and human rights.

I refuse to recognize Canada as a nation until there is justice and equality for all and I call upon everyone to do the same. It is time to curve our attention and listen to the original inhabitants of this land.

Graham Janz

Brandon

Republished from the Brandon Sun print edition December 27, 2012

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Many individuals would argue that if you mean equality for all that First Nations should pay income tax like everyone else.

I think that what many individuals are fed up with are the grotesque sums of tax dollars which are repeatedly being forwarded to the First Nations with little or no results, improvement shown for this money.

Many Cdns. would argue that it is largely the Chiefs, their relatives and friends who perpetually benefit from the money that is meant for all of their people.

Other Cdns. would argue that it is time to do away with the Indian Act.

The reserve system, as we have known it to be, doesn't appear to be working too well.

Chief Theresa Spence has not accounted for over 90 million dollars which was forwarded to her reserve.

Spence's hunger strike could be seen as a distraction to draw attention away from her own mismanagement of funds, to draw attention away from her own unaccountability of millions of dollars, etc.

I think that change is required now and finally we have a Fed. Govt. with the gonads to demand that these changes must finally occur.

Spence can pout about these changes, she can use her hunger strike to try to manipulate the Fed. Govt. and detract from this reality.

Does she have the most to hide?

The Cdn. taxpayer pays as much on the Aboriginal Affairs file, per annum, as it does on national defence.

Too many of us have witnessed, first hand, the corruption that exists on many of these reserves and we have asked for these changes.

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While Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence concludes the 11th day of her hunger strike, Stephen Harper tweets, “@HomerJSimpson Mmm... bacon.”

Whether his tweet is, considering the timing, intentionally a mockery, we’ll never know. Either way, it is unacceptable that our prime minister refuses to give aboriginal leaders, such as Chief Spence, a few hours of discussion. No wonder the Idle No More movement has gained so much momentum.

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While Attawapiskat Chief Theresa Spence concludes the 11th day of her hunger strike, Stephen Harper tweets, “@HomerJSimpson Mmm... bacon.”

Whether his tweet is, considering the timing, intentionally a mockery, we’ll never know. Either way, it is unacceptable that our prime minister refuses to give aboriginal leaders, such as Chief Spence, a few hours of discussion. No wonder the Idle No More movement has gained so much momentum.

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