Today my story is to be told.
Listen if you are young or old.
My name is Shannen. I have a dream
The government forgot us or so it seems.
We live in the traditions of Attawapiskat.
It's a wonderful life, no doubt about that.
Just as it seemed that everything we needed
Was within our reach; never defeated
The world decided to change our fate
Trouble after trouble piled on our slates.
Going to high school took a while.
We had to drive over 300 miles!
There were holes in our hearts
So many, so deep
It was then when I thought,
"We will no longer weep."
Then my dream was set. No more fuss
The government must remember us.
So with two companions I went to confront
The government like a peaceful hunt.
Like a hungry predator finds his prey
We arrived at our destination, not a thought in disarray.
We spoke with passion, like a sword dance.
Words furiously slashing, we had a good chance.But often I thought, "There is no fight."
This really just is one of our rights.
Then the government looked at it from our point of view
And knew exactly what to do.
But who knows if they were right or wrong
Unfortunately I died. There was no mystery.
But my dreams went way down in history.
By Nilaya Pappu, Erin Centre Middle School. Grade six.
Keeping Shannen's Dream Alive
If you believe
In something with all of your might
Give it your all
And for it fight
Everyone deserves equal rights.
Have your voice heard
From far and wide
Have your dreams live
With the help of you and I
Take the opportunity
Help make a dream
Into a reality
by Tanvi,grade six, Erin Centre Middle School
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Great article in the Star by Jim Foulds.http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/1108609--after-attawapiskat-what
When Canadians first saw the news about Attawapiskat they knew that no matter who is at fault, nobody in Canada should be using a plastic bucket for a toilet and have to dump it outside on a regular basis. Nobody should be calling a shack with mould on the walls home. And nobody in Ontario should be paying $23.50 for six apples and four small bottles of juice.
With little evidence, Prime Minister Stephen Harper charged that the funds that the federal government had transferred to the reserve over several years had been mismanaged. With no consultation he put the band under third party management.
(Earlier this year several flooded towns along the Assiniboine River called for provincial and federal help. Think how the municipalities would have reacted if, immediately after asking for aid, they had been placed under third party management.)
The Harper message to Attawapiskat was clear. Blame the victims; discredit the messenger; and sow doubt in the minds of Canadians.
No one’s hands are clean on this issue. The federal government has woefully underfunded the housing, educational and health needs of First Nations for years. The First Nations leadership has not been aggressive and honest enough about the conditions on many reserves. The provincial government has not ensured that the economic benefits from development on traditional lands flowed more equitably to First Nations. And the news media have ignored the reality of Third World conditions in Canada for far too long.
The media take an interest in Ontario’s northern reserves only when there is a crisis. Then they flood into the community, become instant experts and retreat to the comfort of their big city newsrooms until the next crisis. That’s been the unfortunate pattern since the early 1970s when the mercury poisoning of the English-Wabigoon River system resulted in the crisis of Minamata disease at Grassy Narrows.
Catholics have the concept of “sins of omission” — when you fail to do something that you should. In the parable of the Good Samaritan, the priest and the Levite who pass by the man “beaten by robbers and left to die” are guilty of sins of omission. The Good Samaritan, who assists him, is not. Let’s not kid ourselves. Most of us knew of the need on many reserves. But because Attawapiskat is hundreds of kilometres even further into the bush than Thunder Bay or Timmins, we pretended that problems did not exist.
This is not the first time there has been a crisis at Attawapiskat.
• In 1979, 30,000 gallons of diesel fuel (the largest spill in Northern Ontario) leaked under the elementary school. The school was finally closed in 2001 because of ongoing health problems suffered by students and teachers. Ten years later, the federal government pledged (for the third time) to fund a new school. Meantime, the children remain in inadequate portables.
• In May 2008, hundreds of people were evacuated from the community because of flooding caused by ice jams in the Attawapiskat River.
• In July 2009, a massive sewage flood dumped waste into eight buildings that housed 90 people. As a stopgap measure, De Beers (the diamond mine is 60 kilometres away) donated and retrofitted two construction trailers to house 90 people until the damaged homes could be fixed or replaced. Two years later, this “short-term solution” still houses the 90 people — who share six washrooms and four stoves.
• When the present state of emergency was declared on Oct. 28, Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan claimed his officials were unaware of Attawapiskat’s housing crisis. My question is, “Where the devil have they been all these years?”
Some may ask, “Why don’t the people of Attawapiskat just move?” That’s like asking: Why don’t the people of Vancouver, Los Angeles and San Francisco move out of the San Andreas/Queen Charlotte Fault zone where earthquakes can occur? Why don’t people in the Caribbean move out of the hurricane zones?
The people of Attawapiskat happen to live on inhospitable land on the fault line between advancing western civilization in pursuit of mineral wealth (mainly diamonds and chromite) and their own hunter/gatherer civilization. Many do not live in Third World conditions. About a third of them do actually get a real living and cultural identity from trapping and harvesting caribou, geese and fish. Another hundred work at the nearby De Beers diamond mine. Many still live on the land, coming into the settlement only at Christmas or other “gathering times.”
They don’t move because it’s their land. It’s home.
The federal government has bought 22 modular homes for the settlement to solve the immediate crisis, and the band has agreed to a full audit. However, after Chief Theresa Spence and Duncan met in Thunder Bay recently, a standoff continues over the imposition of the third party manager. The federal government must find a way to climb down and, in return, the band could agree to the appointment of some kind of “housing czar” to get the much-needed homes there fast and fully functioning.
Meanwhile 100 other Attawapiskats exist. Canadians must insist that federal and provincial governments, aboriginal leaders and the media keep the spotlight firmly on Canada’s dirty little secret. Far too many of our aboriginal people live in Third World conditions. We cannot ignore them; they are our neighbours. Otherwise — like the priest and the Levite in Christ’s parable — we’ll all be guilty of a massive sin of omission.
Jim Foulds is a freelance writer in Thunder Bay. He was the MPP for Port Arthur from 1971 to 1987.
Here's another good article about numbers. The most common comment I heard over the holidays was, "What happened to the 92 million?" http://www.oktlaw.com/blog/taking-a-second-look-at-those-attawapiskat-numbers/ Lorraine Land December 13, 2011 5:32 pm
Should Toronto be put under third party management? That community has been running a deficit for years, and the combined total of all government spending (federal, provincial and municipal) is $24,000 a year for each Torontonian.
Attawapiskat, on the other hand, which is only funded by one level of government — federal – received $17.6 million in this fiscal year, for all of the programs and infrastructure for its 1,550 residents. That works out to about $11,355 per capita in Attawapiskat.
People often forget, when talking about costs of delivering programs and services to First Nations, that almost all those costs are paid from one pot: Aboriginal Affairs. By contrast, non-Aboriginal Canadians receive services from at least three levels of government.
Here are the total expenditures per capita per level of government for Toronto residents:
· The 2010 federal budget expenditures were $280 billion or about $9,300 for each Canadian
· The 2010 Ontario budget is $123 billion in expenditures or about $9,500 for each Ontario resident
· The 2010 Toronto budget is $13 billion, or $5,200 for each Toronto resident
· That’s a grand total of $24,000 per Torontonian.
Some additional points to consider:
Indian Affairs (now Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, or AANDC) has capped expenditure increases for First Nations at two percent a year since 1996. Yet:
· The Aboriginal population has been growing at a rate closer to four percent a year, so per capita support is falling behind.
· In that same period, the number of staff hired at AANDC has almost doubled, from 3,300 in 1995 to 5,150 in 2010. (Source: Indian Affairs)
· Those salaries plus consultants fees for people like third-party managers come from the program dollars that should go to First Nations.
· Consultants (including lawyers and accountants) receive 1,500 contracts per year from AANDC, worth about $125 million. (This does not include fees that First Nations pay directly using sources other than AANDC funding). (Source: Toronto Star)
· One of these sets of fees, taken away from other AANDC budgeting and provided instead to consultants, is the payment for third-party managers.
· Another recent and publicly disclosed example of third-party-manager fees is those being paid for Barriere Lake. When the community took political action on some of its issues, Canada imposed third-party management. The accounting firm is paid $600,000 per year, according to Indian Affairs Records. (Source: Toronto Star).
· Almost every time a First Nation goes into third-party management, it comes out with as much debt as it had going in — or more. This is a good indicator that the problem is not fiscal mismanagement, it’s the insufficiency of resources to deliver the programs needed.(Source: what we hear and see from our own clients)
· Each First Nation has to file, on average, 160 reports per year to AANDC. The Auditor General says the problem is not under-reporting, its over-reporting (because of the resources and administration needed to service AANDC’s bureaucratic requirements).(Source: Federal Auditor General)
· Costs of living in northern Aboriginal communities are considerably higher than costs in the rest of Canada. A bag of apples in Pikangikum is $7.65 (versus the Canadian average of $2.95) and a loaf of bread in Sandy Lake costs $4.17 (versus the Canadian average of $2.43). (Source: Canadian Association of Foodbanks). In Attawapiskat, 6 apples and 4 small bottles of juice currently costs $23.50 (Source: CBC).
Lorraine Y. Land is a partner with OLTHUIS, KLEER, TOWNSHEND, L.L.P., in Toronto.
I don't know who wrote this, but it's a treat!http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bIfF0GNS1ew&feature=player_embedded&fb_source=message
Twas just weeks before Christmas, when all through the land,
Attention was aimed at a first Nation band;
Canadians heard as they'd oft heard before,
Of hardship and squalour so hard to ignore;
Of children shivering cold in their beds,
While visions of plumbing danced in their heads;
And Ma in her parka, and Pa in his cap,
Thought they'd had quite enough of this poverty crap,
Then down south in Ottawa there arose a big clatter,
MP's rose in the House to discuss the matter.
They pounded their desks, jumped up in a flash,
They shifted the topic from hardship to cash.
Forget about cold and new-fallen snow,
Harper is asking where'd the money all go,
Indignant but calm he rose to his feet,
Said, first do an audit and then you'll get heat,
Excuses, distractions and rhetoric quick,
And a lack of compassion to rival Old Nick.
More rapid than eagles his ministers came,
To defend their inaction and divert the blame;
"We're not responsible. Look what we've spent!
Fifty thousand per person for food, heat and rent!
Fifty thousand per person over five or six years!
That ought to be plenty, so wipe off your tears!
That ought to buy roads, clean water and schools,
You wasted it all, incompetent fools"
Defensive and red-faced, in rages they flew,
Denying the truth about what they knew.
And then, in a twinkling, Big Steve hatched a plan,
Of third-party management, a white business man.
He spent twenty minutes or so looking around,
And put a manager on a plane northern bound.
He was dressed all in wool, in a fine three-piece suit,
Armed with pencils and papers and a chequebook to boot;
A bundle of cash he had tight in his hand,
And he looked like a banker and that was the plan.
Harper's eyes -- how they twinkled! He wore a broad smile!
The audits and studies would take quite a while!
And time favoured Harper, he's sly as a rat,
The focus will shift from Attawapiskat;
He'd stall and he'd study and tell a few fibs,
And dig up some scandal 'bout dippers or libs;
With his pasty white face, he was suitably smug,
For poor, hungry children, he just gave a shrug.
They can shiver and shake in their tar paper shacks,
Cold arctic can winds blow through the cracks;
Christmas break's coming, there's no need for speed,
There's slop pails to take care of toiletting needs;
He spoke some big words, delegated his work,
To the third-party guy, a white southern jerk,
Then laying his finger aside of his nose,
And giving a nod, on vacation he goes;
He sprang for the door, to his caucus he whistled,
And away they all flew like the down of a thistle.
But I heard him exclaim, ere he drove out of sight,
"Happy Christmas to all, now shut up and good-night."
It has been very difficult to read the racist replies to news coverage of the situation in Attawapiskat. This Rabble article below explains issues in understandable language. It is worth reading, and please, pass it on!
Attawapiskat: Firing back at the racist rants and ignorant responses with facts
December 1, 2011
I still intend to get a series of posts  out clarifying issues like First Nations housing, health care, education and so on, but I have a confession. I haven't been staying away from the comments sections of articles about Attawapiskat.
I know. It's not healthy. There are so many racist rants and outright ignorant responses that it can bog you down. Where do you even begin, when the people making these comments do not seem to understand even the bare minimum about the subject?
Well, I try to answer questions with facts. Here are some of those facts, if you're interested.
Harper said Attawapiskat got $90 million, where did it all go!?
Yes, Prime Minister Harper is apparently scratching his head  about where $90 million in federal funding to Attawapiskat has gone. Many commentators then go on to make claims about lack of accountability, and no one knowing what happens to the money once it is 'handed over' by the federal government.
Let's start simple.
First, please note that $90 million is a deceptive number. It refers to federal funding received since Harper's government came into power in 2006. In the 2010-2011 fiscal year, Attawapiskat received $17.6 million in federal funds . The document linked to shows the breakdown of federal funds in case you wanted to know how much is allocated to things like medical transportation, education, maternal health care and so on.
Thus, $90 million refers to the total of an average of about $18 million per year in federal funding since 2006.
As an aside, you will often see the figure of $34 or $35 million in funding given to Attawapiskat a year. This actually refers to total revenues. As noted, federal funding was $17.6 million, and provincial funding was $4.4 million. The community brings in about $12 million of its own revenue, as shown here . So no, the 'government' is not giving Attawapiskat $34 million a year.
Okay fine, but where did it go?
Attawapiskat publishes its financial statements  going back to 2005. If you want to know where the money was spent, you can look in the audited financial reports. This document  for example provides a breakdown of all program funding.
Just getting to this stage alone proves false the claim that there is no accountability and no one knows where the money goes.
But $90 million could have built the community 360 brand new houses!!
Assuming, as Grand Chief Stan Louttit of the Mushkegowyk Council has stated , that a new house costs $250,000 to build in Attawapiskat (with half of that being transportation costs), then yes, 360 new units could have been provided by $90 million.
However, this money was not just earmarked for the construction of new homes.
An important fact that many commentators forget (or are unaware of) is that section 91(24) of the Constitution Act of 1867  gives the Federal Crown exclusive powers over "Indians, and Lands reserved for the Indians."
You see, for non-natives, the provinces are in charge of funding things like education, health-care, social services and so on. For example, the Province of Ontario allocated $10,730 in education funding per non-native pupil in the 2010-2011 fiscal year . For most First Nations, particularly those on reserve, the federal government through INAC is responsible for providing funds for native education.
How is this relevant?
It helps explain why the entire $90 million was not allocated to the construction of new houses. That $90 million includes funding for things like:
• education per pupil
• education infrastructure (maintenance, repair, teacher salaries, etc)
• health care per patient
• health care, infrastructure (clinics, staff, access to services outside the community in the absence of facilities on reserve)
• social services (facilities, staff, etc)
• infrastructure (maintenance and construction)
• a myriad of other services
These costs are often not taken into account when attempting to compare a First Nation reserve to a non-native municipality. In fact, many people forget that their own health-care and education are heavily subsidized by tax dollars as well.
What's the point here?
How much money was actually allocated to housing in 2010-2011? Page 2 of Schedule A  shows us that out of the $17.6 million in federal funds, only $2 million was provided for housing. Yes, even $2 million would be enough to eight brand new homes, if those funds were not also used to maintain and repair existing homes. The specific breakdown of how that money was spent is found in Schedule I.
Now, I admit I am confused about something. The Harper article  states:
According to figures providing by Aboriginal Affairs, the Attawapiskat Cree band has received just over $3 million in funds specifically for housing and a further $2.8 million in infrastructure money since 2006.
That is actually less than I estimated it would be, going by the 2010-2011 figures. I estimated $10 million for housing, but INAC (now Aboriginal Affairs) is saying it was $5.8 million.
Anyway, that isn't too important. The point is, if INAC is correct, only $5.8 million has gone towards housing for Attawapiskat. At most that could have built the community 23 new houses, if Attawapiskat had merely let the older houses go without any repairs or maintenance for five years. Letting existing homes go like that is not a great strategy, however.
The point here is, $90 million sounds like a huge amount, but the real figures allocated to housing are much, much smaller.
Fine, they got $5.8 million for housing, surely that is enough?
Again, assuming 23 new homes were built, and all older homes were left without maintenance and repairs, and the people in charge of housing worked for free and there were no other costs associated with administering the housing program, Attawapiskat would still be experiencing a housing crisis.
It is estimated that $84 million is needed for housing alone to meet Attawapiskat's housing needs (you'll find those figures in a small table on the right, titled "Attawapiskat by the numbers").
The Feds are just handing that money over and the Band does whatever it wants with it!
Many people seem to be labouring under the misapprehension that First Nations have self-governance and run themselves freely. This is far from the truth, but given that most Canadians are familiar with the municipal model, the confusion is actually understandable. It isn't as though Canada does a very good job of teaching people about the Indian Act.
Section 61(1)(a-k) of the Indian Act details that: "With the consent of the council of a band, the Minister may authorize and direct the expenditure of capital moneys of the band" for various purposes.
What this means is that Ministerial approval is actually a requirement before any capital expenditures can occur on reserve. In practice, a Band will generally pass a Band Council Resolution (BCR) authorising a certain expenditure (say on housing), and that BCR must be forwarded to INAC for approval.
That's right. Most First Nations have to get permission before they can spend money. That is the opposite of 'doing whatever they want' with the money. Bands are micromanaged to an extent unseen in nearly any other context that does not involve a minor or someone who lacks capacity due to mental disability.
Any claims that INAC has no control over what Bands spend their money on is false.
I would hope by now you'd ask the following question:
If INAC has to approve spending, why is Harper so confused?
There is a tendency to believe that our government officials do things in a way that makes sense. This, despite the fact that most of us don't actually believe this to be true. We want to believe. I know I do.
So upon learning that the federal government is the one in charge of providing services to First Nations that are provided to non-natives by the province, we might assume that the provision of these services are administered in a comparable manner.
Not so! And it actually makes sense why not, when you think about it for a moment. Have you ever seen a federal hospital, for example? No, because hospitals are built, maintained, and staffed by the provinces. Thus, when a First Nations person needs to access healthcare, they cannot access federal infrastructure. They must access provincial infrastructure and have the feds rather than the province pick up the tab.
If only it were as easy as federal funding via provincial structures.
The Auditor General of Canada speaks up
The Auditor General of Canada released a report in June of this year examining Programs for First Nations on Reserve . A similar report was published in 2006. This report identifies deficiencies in program planning and delivery by Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC), Health Canada, the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), and the Treasury Board of Canada Secretariat.
The reports also provide a number of recommendations to improve these deficiencies. The 2011 report evaluated the progress made since the 2006 report, and in most areas, gave these federal agencies a failing grade.
Don't worry, there is a point to this, stay with me.
The 2011 report has this to say:
In our view, many of the problems facing First Nations go deeper than the existing programs' lack of efficiency and effectiveness. We believe that structural impediments severely limit the delivery of public services to First Nations communities and hinder improvements in living conditions on reserves. We have identified four such impediments:
• lack of clarity about service levels,
• lack of a legislative base,
• lack of an appropriate funding mechanism, and
• lack of organizations to support local service delivery.
I know this is going to look like mumbo jumbo at first, so let me break it down a little for you. This will help explain why millions of dollars of funding is not enough to actually improve the living conditions of First Nations people, particularly those on reserve.
Lack of clarity about service levels
As explained earlier the federal government is in charge of delivering services that are otherwise provided by the provinces to non-natives. The Auditor General states:
"It is not always evident whether the federal government is committed to providing services on reserves of the same range and quality as those provided to other communities across Canada."
Shockingly, the federal government does not always have clear program objectives, nor does it necessarily specify specific roles and responsibilities for program delivery, and has not established measures for evaluating performance in order to determine if outcome are actually met.
That's right. The federal government is not keeping track of what it does, how it does it, or whether what it is doing works. The auditor-general recommends the federal government fix this, pronto. How can a community rely on these services if the federal government itself isn't even clear on what it is providing and whether the programs are working?
Lack of a legislative base
"Provincial legislation provides a basis of clarity for services delivered by provinces. A legislative base for programs specifies respective roles and responsibilities, eligibility, and other program elements. It constitutes an unambiguous commitment by government to deliver those services. The result is that accountability and funding are better defined."
The provinces all have some sort of Education Act that clearly lays out the roles and responsibilities of education authorities, as well as mechanisms of evaluation. There is generally no comparable federal legislation for the provision of First Nations education, health-care, housing and so on.
As noted by the AG, legislation provides clarity and accountability. Without it, decision can be made on an ill-defined 'policy' basis or on a completely ad hoc basis.
Lack of an appropriate funding mechanism
The AG focuses on a few areas here.
Lack of service standards for one. Were you aware that provincial building codes do not apply on reserve? Some provincial laws of ‘general application' (like Highway Traffic Acts) can apply on reserve, but building codes do not. There is a federal National Building Code, but enforcement and inspection has been a major problem. This has been listed as one of the factors in why homes built on reserve do not have a similar ‘life' to those built off reserve.
Poor timing for provision of funds is another key issue. "Most contribution agreements must be renewed yearly. In previous audits, we found that the funds may not be available until several months into the period to be funded." This is particularly problematic for housing  as "money often doesn't arrive until late summer, past the peak construction period, so projects get delayed and their costs rise."
Lack of accountability.
"It is often unclear who is accountable to First Nations members for achieving improved outcomes or specific levels of services. First Nations often cite a lack of federal funding as the main reason for inadequate services. For its part, INAC maintains that the federal government funds services to First Nations but is not responsible for the delivery or provision of these services."
The AG also refers to a heavy reporting burden put on First Nations, and notes that the endless paperwork often is completely ignored anyway by federal agencies.
Lack of organizations to support local service delivery
This refers once again to the fact that there are no federal school or healthboards, no federal infrastructure and expertise. Some programs are delivered through provincial structures, while others are provided directly by the federal government, with less than stellar results.
As the auditor-general states, "Change is needed if meaningful progress is to be realized." There is extreme lack of clarity about what the federal government is doing, why, how, and whether it is at all effective. No wonder Harper is confused!
Don't worry, the commentators aren't finished, and neither am I.
The Chief of Attawapiskat made $71,000 last year while her people live in tents!!!
Apparently we are supposed to be outraged at the excess involved here. This of course follows on the heels of a report by the Canadian Taxpayers Federation  about 'jaw-dropping' reserve salaries. It's become fashionable to rant about Chiefs making more than premiers (though no one could make that claim here).
Attawapiskat publishes  its salaries, travel expenses and honorariums (again, nothing being hidden here). Chief Theresa Spense was paid $69,575 in salary and honorariums in 2010-2011, and had $1,798 in travel expenses for a total of about $71K.
If you are like most people, you don't spend a lot of time looking at what public employees actually make. What number wouldn't shock you in the absence of such context? $50,000? $32,000? I suspect any amount would be offered as some sort of proof of... something not right.
Well okay. Why don't we take a look at some other salaries? But first, note that Ontario Premier McGuinty made $209,000 in 2010, and apparently over 100 public service executives made more  than he did.
It is difficult to do a really accurate comparison of salaries, because Ontario's Public Sector Salary Disclosure Act  of 1996 only requires that salaries over $100,000 be reported.(in addition, if the salaries are reported elsewhere, they are not necessarily included in this report) However, the annual reports  a fantastic resource. Here is the list  of various public sector employees making over $100K a year. I offer this merely in order to ask... were you aware these people were making this amount of money?
I sure wasn't. These are salaries paid by tax dollars, too. I have no idea if the Director of Quality Services for the Municipal Property Assessment Corporation should be paid $147,437.58 a year (sorry to single you out, sir, I chose randomly). If this Corporation were in the news and having financial difficulties, I have no doubt this salary would be brought up as somehow relevant... but is it?
I don't know if it is. That's the point. I don't think the people bringing it up know either. I haven't been able to find a source listing the salaries of mayors of municipalities in Ontario to compare to Chief Spense's salary. Then again, I doubt anyone would seriously claim that if she worked for free, the housing crisis in Attawakpiskat would be over.
The more you know...
I'm sure I'm forgetting some of the common accusations and arguments being made about Attawapiskat on various forums and comments sections of online news articles. I might update if necessary to address them, but I think you now have at least a base to begin with, whether you honestly just want to understand the situation a little better, or want to fight those comment battles.
If you would like an on-the-ground perspective, please check out Smoke Signals from Cree Yellowlegs . (Note: A song starts playing automatically)
Above all, my relations, don't let it get you down.
You will see people call for the abolition of the Indian Act, for the abolition of reserves and the 'assimilation' of First Nations into 'Canadian society'. You will see horrible things said about aboriginal culture. What you will rarely see are people responding to facts. Don't be discouraged when facts are brushed off in favour of accusations. We do have the power to educate those around us, and even if we can't reach the most vocal of bigots, we can reach the 'average' Canadian who is merely unaware rather than necessarily outright hateful.
Âpihtawikosisân is Métis from Lac Ste. Anne, Alberta. She currently lives in Montreal, Quebec, and is working on a BCL. Her passions are education, Aboriginal law, the Cree language, and roller derby.
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