E-mail correspondence on first nations dilemma:

Definitely madness, and I don’t think the problem is “mental health” as they keep saying–the other thing that might help is that the Supreme Court just ruled that non-Status/Metis have the same “rights” as Status–that might help families relocate if they need to.

Also, education:  ….. a local Sumas elder talked about being sent to Residential School.  It was hell.  They were all fed rotten food.  He came home 2 years laterwith his brother in a casket who had died from food poisoning.  After that, when he grew up, he passed on a negative view of education to his children (understandably).  He was afraid his children would have to go to residential school.  He regrets passing on that view of education to them.  But that will continue to improve now too–there are more supports in place for education in the public schools.

Also, on reserves, education and health are funded by the Department of Indian Affairs (or whatever it is called now).  So, education/health, etc. get different levels of funding, and not the same expertise as down here.

I think that’s something else that needs fixing–they are dumping in $, but does the $ accompany the same experts we have off-reserve?  For example, down here the Ministry of Education funds/plans schools.  On reserves, the Department of Indian Affairs funds/plans schools.  You can see how silly that is.

Anyway, it is unbearably heartbreaking, that part is a fact.  And I think the best is to pray.

So, writing letters and asking the Gov of Canada to fund education to the same level as off-reserve can be tremendously helpful.

The other thing to consider is how the teenagers all have to go “south”, often to Thunder Bay, where numerous teens have died due to racism (and lack of family supports), for high school.  Imagine sending your 13 year old off to school days away?  And in Thunder Bay they face immense racism:



Anyway, I guess the positive thing is that there is beginning to be more understanding.