Fair shake for First Nations


Fair shake for First Nations

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Prime Minister Trudeau did his first press conference and how he intends to move forward with a minority government.Personally, nothing much has changed in the way he governs, for the past four years he has tried to be everything to everyone.He was criticized for lacking insight, coming from a place of privilege and not connecting with Canadians from coast-to-coast-to-coast over the years and especially while campaigning. Mr. Trudeau's insight will be tested in the next 18 months on his ability to harness the leadership. It will be his actions that speaks volumes and reunites Canadians.

We in Canada and around the globe have critical issues to attack and resolve or work collectively to move in the right direction to resolve for our future generations. The days of living for today are over - we all require more insight, more compassion and a better vision for the future for our children and grandchildren.

Mr. Trudeau should take the voting results with disappointment. There is a blatant divide in our country and this rests at his doorstep under Liberal governance.The burning question for Canadians is how do we as a country reunite.We seem to be pre-occupied and worried about Quebec and the influence they have for dividing our country.

Quebec has openly and aggressively protected their language, culture and status in Canada. This is not going to change.We have an evolving Canada through immigration and whether it was First Nations or Euro-Canadians, Quebec will protect their culture and language.New Canadians and many older Canadians will not or choose not to remember what happened during the Meech Lake Accord. Quebec wanted their unique place enshrined in the Constitution and it was Elijah Harper (a First Nations man) and several chiefs from across the country who stopped this from happening.To give Quebec their place in Canada and do it because they didn't sign any agreements with Canada, this can be said for many, many First Nations, as well as the Métis people of Canada.

So, fearful Canadians and new citizens, I wouldn't lose too much sleep on Quebec. What I would worry about is the separation and alienation we witnessed in this election across the country.

I am of the Lheidli T'enneh First Nation and with a minority government being represented by all the stripes, let's not forget the creation of bands was the work of government and today they use it against us.People still decry what the government provides the indigenous people, so here is a simple solution.There is no denying our people are the original peoples when the colonizers created government and evolved to where it is today. Instead of treaties, why not share in all taxation to the tribes who occupied the territory where industry operates, towns and cities are built and property owners live? Give us a fair and equitable portion of all taxes collected to the First Nation and then offer us the same deal as Canadians.

Don't take our land and resources in exchange for the welfare state our people live in.

Jo-Anne Berezanski

North Saanich

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