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October 28, 2017 12:33 am

First Nations ‘Overjoyed’ with Human Rights Ruling

Tuesday, January 26, 2016 @ 10:40 AM

Prince George, B.C. – “Overjoyed.”

The reaction of Mary Teegee, executive director of Child and Family Services for Carrier Sekani Family Services, after a Canadian Human Rights Tribunal ruling this morning.

The ruling acknowledged the federal government discriminates against First Nations children due to the inequity of funding between children residing on reserve and those residing elsewhere.

“Oh, I was absolutely excited,” she says. “I had tears of joy, it’s been a long nine years and I’m just happy. I couldn’t have asked for a better outcome.”

The case dates back to February, 2007, when the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society (FNCFCS) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) first filed a complaint, alleging the Federal Department of Indigenous and Northern Affairs’ provision of the First Nation Child and Family service was inequitable and discriminatory under the Canadian Human Rights Act.

The complainants in the case have asked for compensation in the amount of $20,000 per child though the tribunal has yet to rule on that request.

“The Caring Society requests the compensation be placed in an independent trust to fund healing activities for the benefit of First Nations children who have suffered discrimination in the provision of child and family services,” argued the complainants at the hearings.

“It’s a good day, not only for First Nations people but a good day for Canadians. I think this is the first time ever that a developed nation has faced allegations against racial discrimination against it’s own citizens,” says Teegee.

“So having said that, Canada finally can start to hold up their head proud and say we’ve dealt with human rights in our own country, starting with this.”

She also says the ruling sets an important precedent “for addressing inequitable federal government service delivery to First Nations peoples in other areas such as education, health, housing and water.”

Moving forward, Teegee says First Nations will expect action.

“We are expecting action right away. I know that some of the first steps will be the ministers meeting with the AFN and FNCFCS and going from there having those conversations,” says Teegee. “I know that Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs) has also stated that she’s going to be meeting with the provinces to look at remedies.”


time for action, looking forward to positive change that will help First Nations children and in the long run will make Canada a better place for everyone.

Ok, so I’ll go first!

Teegee fails to recognize or choses to ignore that for years, for far too long many First Nations communities have suffered in part due to the plundering of their financial resources by Chiefs and Councils that cared more about lining their own pockets than about the welfare of their people!

Band members had no access to Band finances. They had no knowledge of the salaries, benefits and perks paid to and on behalf of their own Chief and Council member! Members were denied answers to questions about these issues and members lived with intimidation tactics that pressured them to ask no questions.

The Harper Government introduced the First Nations Transparency Act which for the first time ever would require Bands to file their financial data for all to see. The result of that was members were finally able to see how their money was being managed or mismanaged!

The Chiefs and Councils ultimately encouraged their members to vote for the Liberals as they had hopes that the Liberals would give in to their demands to get rid of the “Transparency Act”. One of the first things that Justin and Co. have promised was to get rid of the Act.

So, we are once again in a situation where more and more funding will be directed to First Nations while at the same time this new Liberal Government is removing any ability to audit spending.

I suspect that Chiefs and Councils will purchase newer Cadillacs, nicer homes and cottages off reserve and will enjoy yet again a higher standard of living while at the same time, the average band member and child will continue to struggle with lack of proper food, housing, clothing and the like!

We seem to have no problem with condemning our municipal, provincial and federal governments, criticising them as corrupt and inept, but we are loath to speak out against First Nations Governance and Administration for fear of being branded as racist and prejudiced.

So, who actually speaks for the average First Nations members, the ones that suffer? Who?

I’m curious. Social assistance rates off reserve include a shelter component. If on reserve shelter has already been provided for via other programs, would not the S.A. rate be adjusted downward for that? In any event, the shrinking pool of taxpayers once again has to transfer funds to a pool of people who are exempt from taxation for work done on reserve, and as a group, have a low tax paying participation rate in the economy overall.

When a life boat starts to sink, and people have to bail to keep it afloat, at some point in time, the people who were in the lifeboat first, might have to start helping when the other people end up exhausted, or, we can just sink.

This human rights tribunal finding doesn’t mean all that much. If Ms. Teegee wants to collect more of my money from the feds, she will have to go to court, wherein the feds will successfully argue they provide vast sums to the native population for their children’s needs. Actually, having access to the books of the Carrier Sekani, she already knows where the money went.

Interesting that court proven wrong-doing against First Nations leads to accusations against First Nation bands. Pretty big bias there.

Also, all those people who seem to believe First Nations get everything handed to them on a silver platter – how to you feel knowing the FACTS – FN children were not receiving the same amounts as children of other ethnic or geographic areas.

I am NOT proud to live in a Canada that still continues to try to destroy an entire race of people due to discriminatory practices, nor in a Canada where the public continue to blame victims.

Hart Guy misses the fact that the real result of the First Nations Transparency Act is that most of the allegations of excessive compensation for chiefs and councillors are not true. There were a few cases of excessive pay, but only a few. The idea that chiefs and councillors are draining off enormous amounts of money is a myth that should by now have been dispelled.

Interesting that court proven wrong-doing against First Nations leads to accusations against First Nation bands. Pretty big bias there.


There is no court involved here.

Are any of you people saying that a FN has less opertunity than any other Canadian? FN have greater opertunity than over other Canadians. Hart guy is blam on on the Transparency Act. Why did the FN want to remove it? One could come up with a conclusion and I think that’s exactly what’s happened. Wake up Canada corruption is right at our Front door.

billposer, perhaps you can explain to me why First Nations Chiefs across all of Canada seemed united in their calls for the abolition of the Transparency Act?

Why not open the books, show the average Canadian just how bad the situation is by showing that all Federal funding has been spent responsibly and that the need for more funding is both real and justified!

I have no doubt in my mind that all Canadians will support more funding if they can be shown that money has been allocated properly, money has been spent properly and programs were both justified and ran correctly!

I ask and I demand that my tax dollars be spent in the best and most responsible way possible and I ask and demand that of all levels of Government that have a hand out for my hard earned dollars. All Federal spending should be justified and that even means the Indian Affairs budget. The Transparency Act provided some measure of review, to the benefit of the average First Nations individual I might add, but now Justin and Co. plan to get rid of it!

“Also, all those people who seem to believe First Nations get everything handed to them on a silver platter – how to you feel knowing the FACTS – FN children were not receiving the same amounts as children of other ethnic or geographic areas.”

Actually, as a point of clarification – the first nations children don’t receive a dime. If that extra money had existed, it would have gone to the band to run their social welfare program. Then it might go to the parents of the children, it’s a bit of a stretch to then assume they would have used it to buy the kids better food, clothing, toys, ipads, etc.

Some of the parents would have been responsible, but FN admit life on reserve is sketchy at best, so likely that money would have gone where it currently goes, in the hands of administrators, band councils, etc.

No one has said, or believes a FN child is any less worthy than a non FN child. In fact, FN children at one time had a shot of joining mainstream society before their bands realized there was cash to be had with those kids, and demanded that foster parents of FN children be FN people, and FN children were torn from loving foster parents for a social experiment – precipitated by FN leadership. I wonder if we’ll ever have an inquiry about that abusive process.

I find it very interesting that so many people voted down my comment that the FN Transparency Act shows that there is not much excessive compensation but that not a single person could actually adduce any evidence that I am wrong. Remember, this is a matter on which the information is public. To show that I am wrong, you can look at the information on the Indian Affairs web site yourself or you can Google for articles about complaints based on that information. In point of fact, there are very few cases in which that information resulted in scandals. In other words, I am clearly right, but there are a lot of people reading this who don’t like the fact that their prejudices are wrong.

With regard to Hart Guy’s query as to why the AFN chiefs opposed the FN Transparency Act if they aren’t trying to cover up their excessive compensation, their argument is that the Act infringes on the sovereignty of their First Nations.

As usual it’s about money.

billposer, a short time ago, I read a comparison of salaries paid to a number of First Nations Chiefs, all of whom belong to bands located near the same major city, I believe Winnipeg. All of the Chiefs paid themselves far more than the salary of the Mayor of Winnipeg, even though in many cases, the Chiefs managed the affairs of bands with very small populations!

When and if I can find the numbers, I’ll post them for you. In the interim, please feel free to read this CBC article which contains the following:

“Phyllis Sutherland, a Peguis band member who is a member of the Peguis Accountability Coalition, provided the accounting documents to the taxpayers federation and CBC News to bring attention to what she says are exorbitant earnings.

The salaries are shocking in light of the problems plaguing Peguis, such as difficult social conditions like mouldy houses that need to be repaired or replaced.

Her group plans to demand a forensic audit by the federal government into the salaries.

“Where else in Canada can you go, get a job and name your own salary, which is basically what he did?” Sutherland said about Hudson.”

As always, delete the spaces between ht and tp!

ht tp://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/manitoba/peguis-chief-defends-lucrative-salary-1.792560

It’s a good day to be Canadian! Kudos to the Tribunal, and shame on the Harperites for wasting millions of our dollars fighting First Nations on funding and care of babies and children.

billposer, from the article noted earlier:

“Documents delivered to the Canadian Taxpayers Federation and CBC News by a band member reveal Hudson and four councillors were paid between $206,000 and $310,000 each last year.

The amounts are significantly more than what is earned by Winnipeg’s mayor or even Manitoba’s premier

Sam Katz earned $114,052 in base salary last year as mayor of Winnipeg’s approximately 700,000 people. Gary Doer, who stepped down in October as premier for Manitoba’s 1.2 million people, earned $153,769 in 2008.

Peguis First Nation, in comparison, is home to about 7,200 people”

So much for band finances reaching the children!

pgbghere, was it not the Harper Government during their last term who offered First Nations a whole wack of additional funding for educational services, funding that the First Nations turned down?

I’m am tired of being punished for being a hard working individual who had to pay my dues to this country, saving for all the bills that occurred in my life. Saving for my two children’s post secretary education who are both in university now. Paying for my kids medical,Dental plans. I feel that this is the icing on the cake. Had enough of the miss management of our tax money. This is just another form of peice of mind for the dead beat parents of our FN to further aid them to distroy lives.

Hart Guy. They may have turned down the additional funding however the Harper Government increased funding for FN on reserve education as follows.

2005-2006 $1.2706 billion
2006-2007 $1.3172 billion 3.7%
2007-2008 $1.3642 billion 3.6%
2008-2009 $1.4038 billion 2.9%
2009-2010 $1.4619 billion 4.1%
2010-2011 $1.5108 billion 3.3%
2011-2012 $1.5548 billion 2.9%
2012-2013 $1.6228 billion 4.4%

So a total increase of 27.7% between 2005 and 2013.

So if we look in the right places we will see that the Conservatives actually did a lot of good in a lot of areas. If they fell down on the funding for children off reserve as opposed to on reserve, then that situation can be rectified.

A single example of arguably excessive salaries hardly proves the point. I already said there were a few cases, but the claim that excessive compensation was rampant has not been borne out. Furthermore, you have to be careful with comparisons to the salaries of mayors because, in spite of their small populations, bands are not municipal governments. They have a weird status, in some ways like municipalities, in other ways like sovereign nations, and their leaders have responsibilities of types that mayors do not have.

BP …….i agree the FN leaders have a weird status……they have responsibility for non accountability.

billposer, their leaders have responsibilities of types that mayors do not have?

Some would argue that many Chiefs have been rather delinquent in their responsibilities to their people! For example, with regards to the murdered and missing indigenous women, I have been a bit puzzled by what seems to be a lack of effort coming from Chiefs and Councils to take steps towards reducing the exposure of their women to the risks along Hwy 16.

In my opinion, for many years now, Chiefs and Council could have and perhaps should have been holding community meetings, meetings that included all members of their bands, meeting where parents and children all attended, meeting where the focus was on the dangers of hitchhiking along Hwy 16 and the dangers inherent in hitchhiking in the first place. Perhaps some bands did hold such meeting, but it seems to me that public perception is that far too few if any at all where organized and held!

First Nations leaders could have and perhaps should have made arrangements to coordinate some finances with other neighbouring band so that passenger vans or vehicles could have been purchased for a shared purpose of transporting their members. Why wait?

First Nations leadership, and I include Mary Teegee in this group, have for far too long found it more convenient to abdicate responsibility for taking measures to reduce the risk of harm to their members and instead have chosen to lay blame with a higher level of Government!

We all have a part to play in improving the lives of First Nations individuals, but I get rather tired of First Nations leaders who fail to acknowledge or accept their role!

According to the Globe & Mail (Nov. 6, 2015): “The [Transparency] Act didn’t add to the financial information First Nations report to Ottawa or the ability of First Nations to compel their leaders to disclose their finances. The average First Nation submits more than 160 financial reports to Ottawa each year. Ottawa already had the right to withhold funding if monies were being misused. Band members also already had the right to go to court to force their band to disclose its finances, including remuneration of chief, councillors and employees.”
“They [First Nations] objected to the Act being passed without consultation. They objected to posting their consolidated financial statements on the Internet. First Nations function as governments, but also have businesses that compete in the commercial mainstream [similar to municipal councils]. Many believe those businesses could face a competitive disadvantage if their financial information is disclosed.”

Harper’s inappropriately named “Transparency Act” was designed to divide and conquer, to drive a wedge between Band councils and their constituents regardless of whether any financial misappropriation was occurring or not. This is obvious given that the mechanisms for monitoring finances among First Nations were already in place.

Krusty, you state that band members already have the right to go to court to force their band to disclose it’s finances!

Ask the average band member what their thoughts are on that one! Ask a few and get back to us on that one, ok?

I would suggest that some wouldn’t bother to take their band to court out of their perceived fear of reprisal. I believe that some have already gone on record stating that they did not speak out, as they feared that they would lose their housing on the reservation. One of the problems with our current Indian Act is that individual members don’t or can’t own the house that they live in on their band’s lands. The band owns the house and decides who lives where! But of course, I could be wrong!

Papolou you said “So if we look in the right places we will see that the Conservatives actually did a lot of good in a lot of areas. If they fell down on the funding for children off reserve as opposed to on reserve, then that situation can be rectified.”

That sneaky Harper! He increased funding in a lot of areas – Veteran Affairs for example. Then he forbid government departments from using the funds and clawed it all back.

Happy13 – a large majority of Canadian jobs extract resources that don’t rightfully belong to the government who allows it or the corporations that extract it. Court case after court case has proven this – the First Nations are proving their title and rights.

Step down from your high horse and recognize that Canadians have gotten rich off First Nation resources. It is a painful truth that most refuse to believe…. but it remains the truth.

If Canadians wish to maintain their current lifestyles, they need to recognize First Nations as equals, partners, and respect their legal rights. Otherwise, there may not be jobs, a resource extraction tax base, etc.

According to 2006 Census, more than half (623,470) of the 1,172,790 people identifying themselves as members of at least one of Canada’s Aboriginal groups, that is, North American Indian, Métis or Inuit, resided in urban areas.
You can do match I suspect. How much does it cost the tax payer per FN?? And this not including all the private deals the FN have made in the private sector witch FN never speaks about.
2005-2006 $1.2706 billion
2006-2007 $1.3172 billion 3.7%
2007-2008 $1.3642 billion 3.6%
2008-2009 $1.4038 billion 2.9%
2009-2010 $1.4619 billion 4.1%
2010-2011 $1.5108 billion 3.3%
2011-2012 $1.5548 billion 2.9%
2012-2013 $1.6228 billion 4.4%

If the FN keep dumping their social problems on to the backs of Canadians its going to break and put us down a road we do not wish to travel.

Aboriginal people – Diverse groups living across the country

New data from the National Household Survey (NHS) show that 1,400,685 people had an Aboriginal identity in 2011, representing 4.3% of the total Canadian population. Aboriginal people accounted for 3.8% of the population enumerated in the 2006 Census, 3.3% in the 2001 Census and 2.8% in the 1996 Census.

The Aboriginal population increased by 232,385 people, or 20.1% between 2006 and 2011, compared with 5.2% for the non-Aboriginal population.

The largest numbers of Aboriginal people lived in Ontario and the western provinces (Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and British Columbia). Aboriginal people made up the largest shares of the population of Nunavut and the Northwest Territories.

Lastly, Canadians have often been generous through the tax system in ways not required by treaty or the Constitution. For example, some government programs exist that provide tax-funded benefits solely for First Nations people, which are unavailable to the general population.

For example, in 2013/14, Health Canada spent almost $1.1 billion on supplementary benefits such as dental care, vision care and pharmaceutical drugs for eligible First Nations and Inuit Canadians. That coverage is not required by treaties or by the Constitution. And most other Canadians must spend out-of-pocket or buy insurance for such items.

It is impossible to argue successive governments have not sought to address some lagging social conditions for selected aboriginals by using tax dollars. They have. That fact should raise many questions about, for example, a lack of choice in education or the remote location of many reserves. Those two realities alone might better explain the plight of aboriginal Canadians in the 21st century.

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