I hope Mark Rushton is right in thinking that First Nations people are rousing from their lethargy and likely to become a significant force to reckon with in the Federal election….(Abbotsford News, Aug. 28/15    http://www.abbynews.com/opinion/323247571.html )  

 
Mark writes, “From what I can gather, the current government is not held in the highest regard by First Nations leadership, while both Mulcair and Trudeau have commited to improving relationships should either form government.”
 
Well good for Chief Perry Bellegarde for, “urging all indigenous people to get out and cast a ballot.”  The freedom of every adult citizen to chose who will govern their country is a precious aspect of democracy,  and something that is either only an empty pretence,…… or simply denied to many other countries around the world.
 
But why would First Nations prefer Liberals or NDP over the present Conservative leadership?  Could it be because Mulcair and Trudeau promise to reverse the long-overdue First Nations Financial Transparency Act?  If so the First Nations voters would do well to reject these men and their parties.
 
For too long aboriginal people have been ill-served by chiefs who siphoned off monies for themselves, their relatives and friends while their villages sank into decay around them.  The litany of chiefs who live high on tax dollars, while public utilities malfunction from lack of upkeep and schools run out of money, is a disgusting travesty.
 
If our mayor got a sweet $800,000. for the sale of city land, we would in no uncertain terms call him a thief, but that happened in Coquitlam’s sale of Burke Mountain land, the chief got away with it.  Just another collective shrug from most of us.  –  http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/british-columbia/band-backs-chief-who-made-914219/article20055876/
 
Theresa Spence of ‘Idle No More’ fame, while chief of remote Attawapiskat,  had $250,000. flow through her household.  The salary posted for chiefs like Spence is usually quite reasonable, but only through financial audits do all the other figures emerge, like the $221,000. her partner and reserve co-manager pulled in, or the millions tucked away in reserves not disclosed to band members while Spence’s community lived in third-world conditions.  The pot was kept sweet enough for other council members not to complain. They were paid over $100,000/yr. while many people there lived without plumbing or heating in makeshift shacks, and tents.
 
Handing anyone millions of dollars to run a village, then assuring that leader they don’t have to give an account as to where money is spent is naive at best, but certainly invites abuse of those monies.  To Mulcair and Trudeau, on their election campaign, First Nations across Canada should demand that Ottawa require financial transparency from chiefs and band councils, so that all their people can enjoy the benefits of the millions that currently stick to too few hands.
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