I know it may be too soon to actually comment on this case (because I feel without a doubt the “hypersensitive,” a word used by G&M, will probably try to fight to overturn); now even I know that is something blatant to say about something so freshly decided. HERE is the link relating to G&M article.
Yes, these problems may have been going on for a long time for First Nations but I feel the bigger problem is we as First Nations pick fights without “thinking ahead.” Yes, we need to stand up for what is rightfully ours and rightfully of every Canadian citizen: heat, home, and clean water. But, as First Nations, we need to look at the bigger picture in its entirety and how it will impact the future nations. Only then will we might be able to take steps forward! Not only that, if First Nations continue to exhaust fights against any legal, political, social system, and are not fully aware of the impact their present day decisions might have on future decisions to be made, then First Nations will be severely limiting themselves (and their step forward).
For example, take the phrase “third party management.” This phrase was used when I first found out about changes to post-secondary funding (which was not too long ago, and then swept under a rug somewhere–maybe it will reappear after this article) Everyone and everything said “third party management.” What if THIS outcome on the phrase and its use/interpretation of “third party management” and “co-management” impacts the future decisions on post-secondary funding? All because the court felt they meant “co-management” and that they followed protocol! Then, that case dismissed. More resources exhausted. More relationships burned. More political and economical strife for a few more years.
First Nations need to be made fully aware of the decisions they make and the fights they choose before actually proceeding. The decision to dismiss in lower court and if affirmed in a higher court, will just affect future “third party management” or “co-management” issues: similar situations will be decided alike! THIS IS EXACTLY WHY FIRST NATIONS NEED TO BUILD BETTER POLITICAL RELATIONSHIPS! THIS IS WHY WE NEED TO WORK TOGETHER (with each other and with other organizations).
Then again….Maybe the issue isn’t that we don’t know how to work together, it’s that we don’t know how to recognize “real” help when it’s needed or accept “real” help as it is suggested. As First Nations in today’s country, I believe we have all the resources we need to help us get better. We just have been “ill” for so long, we forgot how to ask for help to get “better” and to use the help we have presently have. We don’t need more of whatever we already have: we just need to learn how to use what we have (isn’t it after all that Indigenous people are the ones who never use more than we need and never ask for more than we need?). We need to help the ones who are worse off than others, instead of expecting government help or waiting for government decisions to be made. I believe First Nations can better allocate the use of their resources, if we are taught how to. We need to RE-LEARN how to survive in Canada TODAY!
NOTE: This blog post isn’t for or against Pikangikum case. Prayers sent out to those on Pikangikum and every First Nation in need of a little prayer this holiday season.