Somebody has to be responsible for tax dollars

Editor:

Financial problems on the Attawapiskat First Nation community in northern Ontario could be typical.

Editor:

Financial problems on the Attawapiskat First Nation community in northern Ontario could be typical in more than one First Nation community in Canada.

I recall working in First Nations communities and observing that the elected hierarchy took care of their own first. Like tossing a pebble in a pond the strongest ripples were closer to the elected chief.

The further your relationship was away from the chief and band council, the longer it took to get needed help. Other inequalities that I observed were that employment opportunities within the band often were handed to family members on first basis rather than on a skill-level requirement.

All forms of government seem to operate on some form of priority basis. Election campaigns seem to always start with, if elected, I will push for building some edifice in the community. Not said is that the communities, then forever beholden, will always recognize the great contribution that such a politician has made to the community. The U.S. political system uses words like Pork Barrel Politics to describe this. The proposed $398 million bridge to Gravina Island in Alaska, dubbed the “Bridge to Nowhere,” is one example of such Pork Barrel Politics.

So in Attawapiskat, the possibility exists that elected members may have diverted a portion of the available federal funding to purchase a Zamboni for the new ice arena.

Most of the First Nations populations I worked with don’t want the federal government interfering in band management, at the same time forgetting the source of such funding; somebody has to be responsible for taxpayers’ dollars.

The problem that I see is that somehow, if better housing and other needs are to be eventually met in First Nations communities, bands need to increase their self sufficiency, even if this means approving some things that seem so disagreeable to their former way of life.

In non-native communities, children are not that much interested in any former way of life.

They want the latest technology. Simply stated, critical to keeping children in their own communities is to have stay-in-the-home-community employment opportunities.

Doug Wilson

Williams Lake

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Cariboo North MLA Coralee Oakes shared this photo of the binders and binders of letters and paperwork she’s received on area roads in the past few years. (Submitted photo)
Cariboo MLAs call on province to fix region’s roads

Minister Rob Fleming said more resources were on the way to the region

Williams Lake’s Daine Dubois (left) and 150 Mile House’s Isaac Bedford have been named as recipients of the 2020 Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport. (Tribune file photos)
Two Cariboo athletes honoured with Premier’s Award for Indigenous Youth Excellence in Sport

“You have honoured the province, your nations, and your families.”

A worker at Gibraltar Mine north of Williams Lake. (Taseko Mines Ltd. photo)
B.C. Mining Month celebrates innovation

Mining has long been important to the Williams Lake economy

Taskeo Mines Ltd.’s Gibraltar Mine has released its Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) report titled Sustainability: Our Low Carbon Future. (Photo submitted)
Gibraltar Mine gets top marks for limiting greenhouse gas emissions

Taseko Mines Limited has published its annual report on its sustainability performance for 2020

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Gord Judson steers his log truck down a forest service road, using two-way radio and call signals to mark his position for oncoming traffic. (B.C. Forest Safety Council)
Planning some B.C. wilderness fishing? Don’t catch a log truck

Remote recreation areas bracing for heavy pandemic pressure

Most Read