Transcript: Indigenous Communities: Surviving Canada | Nov 16, 2017

Steve sits in the studio. He's slim, clean-shaven, in his fifties, with short curly brown hair. He's wearing a blue suit, white shirt, and a patterned blue tie.

A caption reads "Indigenous communities: Surviving Canada."

The caption changes to "Twitter: @spaikin, @theagenda."

Steve says SOME MONTHS AGO, A
UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO PROFESSOR
SPECIALIZING IN INDIGENOUS
HEALTH WAS A GUEST ON THIS
PROGRAM.
IN THE MIDST OF ONE OF HER
ANSWERS, SHE SAID SOMETHING OFF
TOPIC BUT QUITE PROVOCATIVE:
THAT THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA
WAS ESSENTIALLY KEEPING
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN CRISIS, IN
ORDER TO GET UNFETTERED ACCESS
TO THEIR RICHES OF THEIR LAND.
WE INSTANTLY THOUGHT: THAT WOULD
MAKE FOR A FASCINATING DEBATE.
AND SO, WE'LL HAVE IT NOW.
WE WELCOME:
SUZANNE STEWART, DIRECTOR OF THE
U OF T'S WAAKEBINESS-BRYCE
INSTITUTE FOR INDIGENOUS HEALTH;

Suzanne is in her forties, with long straight black hair with bangs. She wears an off shoulder pink top, blue earrings and a pendant necklace.

Steve says TOM FLANAGAN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS
OF POLITICAL SCIENCE AT THE
UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY AND AUTHOR
OF "FIRST NATIONS? SECOND
THOUGHTS";

Tom is in his late fifties, clean-shaven and with short white hair. He wears a blue shirt, a forest greens sweater and a blue blazer.

Steve says LINDA DEBASSIGE, FORMER CHIEF OF
THE M'CHIGEENG FIRST NATION ON
MANITOULIN ISLAND;

Linda is in her thirties, with long brown hair in a ponytail. She wears a black jacket and a pair of colourful earrings.

Steve says AND FRANCES SAYS CO-AUTHOR
OF "DISROBING THE ABORIGINAL
INDUSTRY: THE DECEPTION BEHIND
INDIGENOUS CULTURAL
PRESERVATION."
Frances is in her late forties, with short wavy brown hair and wears a black top, a beige jacket, a floral scarf and a pair of golden earrings.

Steve says WE ARE DELIGHTED TO WELCOME ALL
FOUR OF YOU BACK TO TVO FOR WHAT
I SUSPECT WILL BE A MOST
ENLIGHTENING DEBATE AND I WANT
TO START BY SHOWING HOW IT ALL
CAME TOGETHER IN THE FIRST
PLACE. YOU MAY REMEMBER THIS,
PROFESSOR STEWART. I THINK YOU
HAD SOMETHING TO DO WITH IT.
SHELDON, ROLL THE CLIP.

A clip rolls with the caption "Suzanne Stewart. September 25, 2017."

Suzanne says IT'S REALLY NOT IN THE
INTERESTS OF CANADA FOR
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE TO BE HEALTHY.

Steve says WHY DO YOU SAY THAT?

Suzanne says BECAUSE IT'S IN THE INTERESTS
OF CANADA TO OPPRESS AND
COLONIZE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN
ORDER TO CONTINUE TO ACCESS THE
RESOURCES THAT ARE ON
TRADITIONAL LANDS.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THE
PURSUIT OF THOSE RESOURCES THAT
ARE ON TRADITIONAL INDIGENOUS
LAND, THE PURSUIT IS MORE EASILY
DONE IF THE CROWN CONTINUES TO
KEEP INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES IN
CRISIS?

Suzanne says ABSOLUTELY.
CANADA WAS BUILT ON THE PREMISE
THAT THERE'S AN INDIAN PROBLEM.
CANADA WAS BUILT... EVERYONE WHO
LIVES HERE WHO'S NOT INDIGENOUS
HAS WHAT THEY HAVE AS A RESULT
OF THE INDIAN ACT, AS A RESULT
OF HARM TO A GROUP OF ORIGINAL
PEOPLES.

The clip ends.

The caption changes to "Indigenous communities: Surviving Canada. Creating a crisis?"

Steve says OKAY.
THAT ACTUALLY WASN'T THE TOPIC
WE WERE SUPPOSED TO BE
DISCUSSING THAT DAY, BUT IT WAS
SUCH A PROVOCATIVE COMMENT, I
THOUGHT WE'VE GOT TO GET YOU
BACK AND WE'VE GOT TO HAVE A BIT
OF A DISCUSSION ABOUT THIS.
YOU HAD ONLY ABOUT 20 OR 30
SECONDS THERE TO MAKE THE CASE
YOU WANTED TO MAKE.
LET'S PUT SOME MEAT ON THE
BONES.
WHY DO YOU BELIEVE THAT?

The caption changes to "Suzanne Stewart. Waakebiness-Bryce Institute For Indigenous Health."

Suzanne says INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE'S LIVES ARE CONTROLLED BY
A FEDERAL POLICY CALLED THE
INDIAN ACT.
THE INDIAN ACT WAS CREATED IN
THE 1800s IN ORDER TO CREATE A
SPACE FOR EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT.
THAT EUROPEAN SETTLEMENT WAS ON
THE IDEA THAT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
HAD TO BE ASSIMILATED THROUGH
CULTURAL GENOCIDE INTO CANADIAN
SOCIETY, AND THESE WERE BASED ON
THE VIEWS THAT INDIGENOUS
CULTURE AND IDENTITY WERE
INFERIOR TO EURO-CANADIAN
CHRISTIAN ONES.

Steve says IS IT YOUR VIEW THAT
THAT IS STILL THE CROWN'S VIEW
TODAY?

Suzanne says WELL, THE CROWN'S VIEW MIGHT
CHANGE IN THE MEDIA ACCORDING TO
WHO'S IN ELECTED POSITIONS, BUT
THE OBJECTIVE AND THE VIEW OF
THE LEGISLATION REMAINS THE
SAME.

Steve says LET'S GET INTO THIS.
TOM FLANAGAN, I TAKE IT YOU
DON'T SHARE THAT VIEW.
TELL US WHY.

The caption changes to "Tom Flanagan. Author of ‘First Nations? Second Thoughts."

Tom says FIRST OF ALL,
IT'S ALWAYS BEEN TRUE THAT ANY
RESOURCES ON OR UNDER A RESERVE
WERE FOR THE BENEFIT OF THE
PEOPLE WHO LIVE THERE.
THERE'S VARIOUS MECHANISMS FOR
DOING THAT.
BUT MORE RECENTLY THE SUPREME
COURT OF CANADA, IN ITS
JURISPRUDENCE ON THE DUTY TO
CONSULT, HAS REALLY CHANGED THE
GAME TREMENDOUSLY SO THAT NOW
RESOURCE DEVELOPMENT IN
TRADITIONAL TERRITORIES, WHICH
ARE NOT LEGALLY DEFINED BUT
NONETHELESS ARE RECOGNIZED IN
PRACTICE, YOU KNOW, OIL DOESN'T
GET PUMPED OUT OR MINERALS
AREN'T DUG OUT WITHOUT
CONSULTATION WITH ONE OR MORE
FIRST NATIONS THAT ARE CLOSE TO
THERE...

Steve says CONSULTATION OR
APPROVAL OF?

Tom says NO, THE SUPREME COURT HAS
BEEN CLEAR THAT THE RIGHT TO BE
CONSULTED IS NOT A VETO, SO
THERE IS CONSULTATION.
BUT WHAT TYPICALLY IT RESULTS IN
IS AN IMPACT BENEFIT AGREEMENT
THAT WILL BRING WITH IT SOME
COMBINATION OF CASH, JOBS, JOB
TRAINING, CONTRACTS SET-ASIDES
AND SOMETIMES EVEN EQUITY SHARES
IN WHAT'S BEING DONE.

Steve says LET ME GET CONSENSUS
ON THAT.
DO YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WHAT
HE'S SAYING IS ACCURATE, WHEN
SETTLER CULTURE WANTS THE
RESOURCES UNDER QUOTE, UNQUOTE,
YOUR LAND, THE DEAL IS DONE AND
THE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE BENEFIT?

The caption changes to "Suzanne Stewart. University of Toronto."

Suzanne says WELL, I
THINK, YOU KNOW... I THINK WE
HAVE TO TAKE A BIT OF A STEP
BACK FROM THAT AND THAT IS
LOOKING AT WHAT IS INDIGENOUS
LAND AND WHAT ARE THE ORIGINAL
TREATIES THAT UNDERPIN THE STUFF
THAT'S GOING ON IN TODAY'S
ECONOMIC AND POLITICAL CLIMATE
BECAUSE IN REALITY, PRE-DATING
THESE THINGS THAT ARE HAPPENING
NOW, ALL OF THE LAND THAT WE'RE
ON IS INDIGENOUS LAND.
THE ORIGINAL TREATIES THAT WERE
CREATED IN ORDER TO PROVIDE
BENEFIT OR COMPENSATION TO THE
ORIGINAL OCCUPIERS OF THE LAND
WERE NOT ACTUALLY FOLLOWED.
SO IT'S NOT ONLY ABOUT WHAT'S ON
THE LAND OF RESERVES, IT'S ABOUT
WHAT'S ON THE LAND OF CANADA AND
HOW THAT'S BEING USED.

Steve says LET'S GO TO THE
FORMER CHIEF OF M'CHIGEENG FIRST
NATION.
YOU HEARD THE INITIAL ALLEGATION
FROM PROFESSOR STEWART.
TODAY IN CANADA THE GOVERNMENT
OF CANADA KEEPS FIRST NATIONS IN
CRISIS IN ORDER TO HAVE
UNFETTERED ACCESS TO THEIR
MINERALS.

Linda says ABSOLUTELY.

Steve says YOU BELIEVE THAT?

Linda says 100 percent.
IT'S POWER AND CONTROL, CONQUER
AND DIVIDE.
YOU CONTINUE TO ALLOW FIRST
NATIONS TO BE OPPRESSED.
FIRST NATIONS TO WHICH THERE WAS
A FIDUCIARY RESPONSIBILITY TO BY
THE FEDERAL GOVERNMENT AS
REPRESENTING THE CROWN.
NOW, WE FAIL TO LOOK AT THE GAP
THAT HAS BEEN CREATED OVER THAT
AMOUNT OF TIME, WHICH HAS LEFT
OUR COMMUNITIES IN CRISIS,
MISSED OPPORTUNITIES, OR HAVING
INDUSTRY RUN OVER THEM.
YOU TALK ABOUT IMPACT BENEFIT
AGREEMENTS.
WELL, IN SOME COMMUNITIES THEY
SAY THAT THE INDUSTRY CHOSE
THEM, THEY DIDN'T CHOOSE THE
INDUSTRY, WHICH CAUSES ME TO
BELIEVE THAT THEY HAD NO CHOICE.

Steve says LET'S GO TO FRANCES
WIDDOWSON.
YOU'VE HEARD THE DEBATE EMERGE
NOW.
WHAT'S YOUR VIEW?

The caption changes to "Frances Widdowson. Author of ‘Disrobing The Aboriginal Industry’."

Frances says WELL,
I'M IN PARTIAL AGREEMENT IN THE
SENSE THAT I THINK CANADA, ITS
HISTORY IS ONE OF A HISTORY OF A
CAPITALIST COUNTRY AND THE
DEVELOPMENT OF CAPITALISM IN
CANADA, WHICH IS A VERY
EXPLOITIVE AND COERCIVE SYSTEM.
I GET SOMEWHAT ALARMED, HOWEVER,
WHEN WE START TO LOOK AT ALL
THESE PROBLEMS THROUGH THIS LENS
OF THE PAST AND HISTORICAL
GRIEVANCES, LEGALLY CREATED
GRIEVANCES, TREATY
NATION-TO-NATION RELATIONSHIPS
BECAUSE I REALLY DON'T THINK
THAT'S THE WAY FORWARD INTO THE
FUTURE, WHICH I THINK IS TRYING
TO CREATE A SOCIETY WHERE WE CAN
ALL LIVE TOGETHER ON EQUAL
TERMS, AND WE REALLY CAN'T DO
THAT BY TRYING TO LOOK TO LEGAL
AGREEMENTS THAT WERE CREATED
150, 100 YEARS AGO, BECAUSE
THINGS HAVE CHANGED SO MUCH
TODAY IN TERMS OF THE
REQUIREMENTS AS TO WHAT NEEDS TO
HAPPEN IN ORDER TO LIVE
TOGETHER, TO HAVE MEANINGFUL
LIVES, TO HAVE EQUAL LIVES, TO
TREAT EACH OTHER WITH RESPECT,
AND I REALLY DON'T THINK THAT
THERE'S MUCH THAT WE CAN GAIN BY
LOOKING AT VARIOUS TRADITIONAL
LEGAL AGREEMENTS AND HAVING
VARIOUS LAWYERS MAKE MILLIONS OF
DOLLARS OFF OF ALL THESE
DIFFERENT GRIEVANCES WHICH ARISE
OUT OF THOSE LEGAL AGREEMENTS.

Steve says PROFESSOR STEWART,
DO YOU WANT TO COME BACK ON
THAT?

Suzanne says YEAH,
ABSOLUTELY.
I THINK THE INDIAN ACT CONTINUES
TO INFRINGE ON THE RIGHTS OF
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE AND CONTINUES
TO MAKE US WARDS OF THE CROWD,
WARDS OF THE STATE, WHATEVER,
LEGALESE LANGUAGE YOU WANT TO
USE.
THE INDIAN ACT WAS CREATED TO
GET RID OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE SO
THAT THE LAND COULD BE USED FOR
WHATEVER IT WAS THAT SETTLERS
WANTED TO USE IT FOR.

Steve says TOM FLANAGAN, SHOULD
WE GET RID OF THE INDIAN ACT AND
WOULD THAT THEREFORE MAKE
PROGRESS ON THIS.

Tom says THERE IS
LEGISLATION THERE ARE OFF-RAMPS
FROM THE INDIAN ACT.
THE KAMLOOPS AMENDMENT ALLOWS
SYSTEMS OF PROPERTY TAXATION,
ABOUT 150 NOW.
THAT ALLOWS THEM TO DERIVE
REVENUE FOR THEIR LOCAL
GOVERNMENT BY TAXING PIPELINES
AND THINGS LIKE THAT.
ANOTHER MORE SWEEPING IS THE
FIRST NATIONS LAND MANAGEMENT
AGREEMENT.
I CAN'T TELL YOU THE EXACT
NUMBER WHO ARE IN IT NOW, BUT I
THINK LIKE ABOUT A HUNDRED HAVE
APPLIED AND DOZENS HAVE BEEN
APPROVED.
THAT ALLOWS THEM TO MANAGE THEIR
OWN LANDS WITHOUT HAVING TO HAVE
EVERYTHING APPROVED BY THE
MINISTER.
AS THE CHIEFS LIKE TO SAY, IT
ALLOWS US TO MOVE AT THE SPEED
OF BUSINESS RATHER THAN THE
SPEED OF GOVERNMENT, AND IT IS
LEADING IN A LOT OF CASES TO
MORE PRODUCTIVE USE OF THE LAND
AND GENERATING USEFUL REVENUE
AND A BETTER LIFE FOR THE PEOPLE
WHO LIVE THERE.
THESE ARE SOME OF THE BEST
KNOWN.
THERE ARE SOME OTHER ONES.
IT'S NOT AS IF NOTHING HAS
HAPPENED.
IN A DIFFICULT POLITICAL
SITUATION, THERE HAS BEEN SOME
INCREMENTAL PROGRESS, AND I HOPE
THERE WILL BE MORE AS TIME GOES
ON TOWARDS RELAXING THE
SHACKLES.
BUT ABOLISHING OR REPEALING THE
INDIAN ACT IS EASIER SAID THAN
DONE BECAUSE THERE ISN'T WIDE
AGREEMENT ON WHAT EXACTLY WOULD
REPLACE IT.
SO I THINK IN THE INTERIM, WE'RE
LEFT WITH THESE INCREMENTAL
CHANGES.
WE SHOULD BE AWARE OF THEM, AT
LEAST THAT THEY'RE THERE.

Steve says LET'S DO ONE EXAMPLE
HERE.
WATER.
WE KNOW THERE ARE BOIL WATER
ADVISORIES IN MANY RESERVES
ACROSS THE COUNTRY.
I DON'T KNOW IF IT'S THE CASE IN
M'CHIGEENG.
IS IT?

Linda says NOT IN
M'CHIGEENG.

Steve says YOU CAN DRINK THE
WATER IN M'CHIGEENG.

Linda says YOU CAN.

Steve says I REALLY WANT TO
UNDERSTAND YOUR POSITION.
DO YOU BELIEVE THE GOVERNMENT OF
CANADA DOES NOT MAKE ADEQUATE
PROGRESS ON IMPROVING THE WATER
FILTRATION SYSTEMS ON FIRST
NATIONS RESERVES ALL OVER THIS
COUNTRY IN ORDER TO KEEP FIRST
NATIONS IN CRISIS SO THEY CAN
HAVE ACCESS TO THE RESOURCES?

The caption changes to "Linda Debassige. M’Chigeeng First Nation."

Linda says I BELIEVE THAT FIRST NATIONS
ARE A FINANCIAL EXERCISE FOR THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT.

Steve says MEANING WHAT?

Linda says MEANING THAT SIGNIFICANT
INVESTMENTS NEED TO BE MADE.
IF WE'RE JUST TALKING ABOUT
WATER, SIGNIFICANT INVESTMENTS
NEED TO BE MADE ON ALL FIRST
NATIONS WHEN IT COMES TO WATER.
CURRENTLY WE FALL UNDER A
NATIONAL FIRST NATIONS
CENTRALIZED OR DECENTRALIZED
PROTOCOL SYSTEM WHICH PLACES
HEALTH CANADA, THE GOVERNMENT OF
CANADA AND FIRST NATIONS AS THE
PEOPLE WHO ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR
THE WATER.
NOW, OUR FIRST NATIONS ARE BOUND
BY WHAT GOVERNMENT PUTS IN THEIR
BUDGET FOR US TO ADEQUATELY
MAINTAIN AND OPERATE OUR WATER
TREATING PLANT SYSTEM.
I'M CURRENTLY WORKING ON AN
INITIATIVE WITH THE ANISHNABE
NATION WHERE OUR NEEDS
ASSESSMENT HAS FOUND THAT WHEN
COMPARED TO A PROVINCIAL
STANDARD, MOST OF OUR FIRST
NATIONS WOULD FALL UNDER A BOIL
WATER ADVISORY.

Steve says MY QUESTION IS: IS
THAT HAPPENING BECAUSE YOU THINK
THE GOVERNMENT OF CANADA NOT
ONLY DOESN'T CARE BUT WANTS TO
KEEP YOU IN CRISIS PURPOSEFULLY?

Linda says ABSOLUTELY.
ABSOLUTELY.
THEY HAVE KNOWN FOR YEARS WHAT
HAS BEEN NEEDED AND THEY
CONTINUE TO REFUSE TO PROVIDE
THE ADEQUATE RESOURCING FOR THE
MAINTENANCE AND ONGOING
OPERATION OF THE SYSTEM.

The caption changes to "Connect with us: @theagenda, TVO.org, Facebook, YouTube, Periscope and Instagram."

Steve says THIS SEEMS TO ME,
PROFESSOR WIDDOWSON, TO BE AN
ENORMOUS GULF BETWEEN SOME FIRST
NATIONS LEADERSHIP THAT BELIEVE
THAT THEY ARE PURPOSEFULLY BEING
KEPT IN CRISIS IN ORDER TO
PILLAGE THE RESOURCES UNDER
THEIR LAND VERSUS THE KIND OF
PROGRESS THAT YOU AND PROFESSOR
FLANAGAN ARE REPORTING ON HERE
TODAY.
SO WHAT ARE WE TO BELIEVE?

Frances says BUT I
DON'T THINK THERE'S BEEN A LOT
OF PROGRESS MYSELF.

Steve says YOU DON'T SHARE THAT
VIEW?

The caption changes to "Frances Widdowson. Mount Royal University."

Frances says I DON'T AGREE WITH
DR. FLANAGAN.
WE'RE ON OPPOSITE SIDES OF THE
SPECTRUM.
I TAKE ISSUE WITH THE IDEA THAT
THE GOVERNMENT IS INTENTIONALLY
TRYING TO KEEP ABORIGINAL
COMMUNITIES IN CRISIS.

Steve says WHAT WOULD YOU PUT
IT DOWN TO?

Frances says WELL, I THINK THAT ONE OF THE
MAJOR PROBLEMS IS WHAT I CALL
THE ABORIGINAL INDUSTRY, WHICH
IS THE LAWYERS AND CONSULTANTS
WHO MAKE THEIR LIVING OFF OF
MAINTAINING ABORIGINAL
DEPENDENCY IN VARIOUS
COMMUNITIES.
THE GOVERNMENT IS TRYING TO
FIGURE OUT ITS WAY FORWARD.
IT'S NOT DOING A VERY GOOD JOB.
IT'S OFTEN INCOMPETENT AND IT'S
TRYING TO BASICALLY, YOU KNOW,
TRANSFER MONIES OF VARIOUS
KINDS, BILLIONS UPON BILLIONS OF
DOLLARS ARE GOING OUT WITH THE
INTENT OF TRYING TO SOLVE THE
INDIGENOUS CRISIS, BUT THAT
MONEY GETS SIPHONED AWAY.
IT GETS SIPHONED AWAY THROUGH
LAND CLAIMS, COURT CASES, THE
MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS
WOMEN INQUIRY THAT IS
60 MILLION DOLLARS.
IF YOU LOOK AT THE STAFF OF THAT
INQUIRY, THERE ARE TEN LEGAL
PEOPLE ON THE STAFF OF THAT
INQUIRY, AND WHEN THAT INQUIRY
IS FINISHED, THERE'S STILL GOING
TO BE THE CRISIS THAT EXISTS IN
THOSE COMMUNITIES.

Steve says WE'LL KNOW MORE,
THEORETICALLY, WON'T WE?

Frances says IT WILL JUST BE PEOPLE WHO
ARE UPSET AND WHO ARE GRIEVING
AND WHO ARE PUTTING FORWARD
THEIR CONCERNS ABOUT WHAT
HAPPENED.
THAT'S NOT GOING TO GET TO THE
BOTTOM OF WHY ALL THESE PROBLEMS
EXIST.
AND WHAT WE'RE TALKING ABOUT IS
A SERIOUS LACK OF ADEQUATE
SERVICES WHICH EXIST IN
ABORIGINAL COMMUNITIES, BUT ANY
TIME YOU TRY TO PROVIDE THOSE
SERVICES, YOU HAVE ENDLESS
MEETINGS, NEGOTIATIONS, COURT
CASES, LEGAL WRANGLING.

Tom says I LOVE
FRANCES BECAUSE SHE ALWAYS MAKES
ME LOOK MODERATE.
IF I COULD GO BACK, IT'S
IMPORTANT, ON WATER.
THE LIBERAL GOVERNMENT HAS TWICE
ANNOUNCED IN THEIR BUDGET
SPEECHES THAT THEY'RE GOING TO
BE SPENDING A LOT MORE ON THE
ABORIGINAL FILE, AND
SPECIFICALLY WITH WATER AND I
JUST WANTED TO ASK THE CHIEF
WHETHER THIS HAS BECOME VISIBLE
YET AT THE LEVEL OF THE FIRST
NATION?
ARE YOU SEEING AN INCREASE IN
BUDGETS AND SPECIFICALLY AN
INCREASE IN WATER?

The caption changes to "Linda Debassige. @LindaDebassige."

Linda says NO.
WE ACTUALLY SAW A DECREASE IN
OUR ENHANCED WATER AND
WASTEWATER FUNDING LAST FISCAL
IN TERMS OF THE CURRENT
PROJECTED BUDGETS COMING INTO
THE REGION.
THEY DISTRIBUTE THEM REGIONALLY.

Steve says SO THE MONEY IS
FLOWING IN, BUT WHERE IS IT
GOING INTO?

Linda says WE'VE BEEN
ASKING THE SAME THING.
WE'VE BEEN ASKING THE
GOVERNMENT, WHERE HAS THIS MONEY
BEEN FLOWING TO.
WHERE HAS IT BEEN USED?

Tom says NO.

Linda says WE'VE BEEN
ASKING THE SAME THING.
I DON'T KNOW WHERE THE MONEY IS
GOING, IF IT'S GOING TO STUDIES.
BUT FIRST NATIONS ON THE GROUND,
WE'RE NOT SEEING THOSE
INCREASES.

Steve says THERE'S NO DOUBT
THAT INDIGENOUS PEOPLE IN THIS
COUNTRY HAVE SUFFERED.
NOW, WHETHER YOU WANT TO SAY
THAT IT IS AT THE HANDS OF THE
FEDERAL GOVERNMENT TODAY
PURPOSEFULLY TO KEEP THEM DOWN
IN ORDER TO PILLAGE THEIR
RESOURCES IS ANOTHER QUESTION.
BUT DO YOU WANT TO MEET THEM
HALFWAY AND ACKNOWLEDGE THE
TERRIBLE HISTORY THEY'VE ENDURED
IN THIS COUNTRY?

Tom says YES, YES, I
WILL.
BUT I ALSO WANT TO LOOK TOWARDS
THE FUTURE.
I GUESS IN MY RECENT RESEARCH
THE LAST FEW YEARS WHAT I'VE
BEEN TRYING TO DO IS FOCUS ON
FIRST NATIONS WHICH ARE
DEMONSTRABLY DOING WELL FOR
THEMSELVES IN TERMS OF THE
COMMUNITY WELL-BEING INDEX,
WHICH IS AN AMALGAM OF INCOME,
HOUSING, EQUALITY, FORMAL
EDUCATION.

Steve says IT'S MORE THAN GDP.

Tom says IT INCLUDES FINANCIALS BUT
IT'S MORE THAN THAT.
IT'S GOT TO BE GOOD.
IT'S COMPUTED BY THE FEDERAL
GOVERNMENT, SO IT MUST BE GOOD.
I THINK, YOU KNOW, IT'S
SOMETHING.
IT'S A MEASURING YARDSTICK
ANYWAY.
SO I'VE BEEN LOOKING AT THOSE
THAT ARE DOING BETTER,
DEMONSTRABLY ACCORDING TO THAT
INDEX AND LOOKING FOR THE COMMON
FEATURES.

Steve says ARE THESE YOUR SEVEN
TRAITS OF THE MOST...

The caption changes to "Indigenous communities: Surviving Canada. Resource Management."

Tom says YES.
WHAT I FIND ARE TRAITS OF TAKING
ADVANTAGE OF THE OFF-RAMPS,
TAKING ADVANTAGE OF LOCAL
AFFAIRS, TAKING ADVANTAGE OF
ECONOMIC OPPORTUNITIES.
FOR SOME YOU COULD ALMOST CALL
IT COMMUNITY CAPITALISM,
ENGAGING IN BUSINESS THROUGH
THEIR BAND GOVERNMENT AS THE
OWNER... NOT ALL ARE DOING IT
THAT WAY, BUT MANY ARE.
THERE ARE DIFFERENT FORMS OF IT.
BUT I THINK THERE IS
DEMONSTRABLE PROGRESS.
SADLY IT'S NOT FOR EVERYBODY,
IT'S NOT EVEN FOR A MAJORITY.
BUT IT'S SIGNIFICANT AND I THINK
WE CAN ALL LEARN FROM THE
PROGRESS THAT IS BEING MADE ON
THE GROUND.
I WOULD SAY INTERESTINGLY IT'S
NOT COMING FROM THE GOVERNMENT
TELLING THEM HOW TO DO IT AND
IT'S NOT COMING FROM OUTSIDE
EXPERTS SAYING, HEY, THIS IS
WHAT YOU SHOULD DO, THESE ARE
THE PEOPLE THEMSELVES, THROUGH
THEIR CHIEF AND COUNCIL, WHO ARE
FINDING A PATH FORWARD.
THAT'S ALL PART OF THE MIX.

Steve says CAN I GET PROFESSOR
STEWART TO SAY WHETHER SHE
AGREES THAT SIGNIFICANT
DEMONSTRABLE PROGRESS IS BEING
MADE TODAY?

Suzanne says WELL, I
GUESS THAT DEPENDS ON HOW YOU
DEFINE PROGRESS AND WHO'S
DEFINING IT.
SO WHEN WE TRY TO MEASURE
INDIGENOUS WELL-BEING AND
INDIGENOUS HEALTH OR EDUCATION
OR LIFE EVEN ON A RESERVE AND
WE'RE LOOKING AND MEASURING THAT
FROM NON-INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVES
AND WORLD VIEWS, IT'S NOT GOING
TO REALLY MAKE SENSE FROM AN
INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE.
SO IT'S SORT OF SIMILAR TO WHAT
WAS SAID EARLIER ABOUT THE
ABORIGINAL INDUSTRY AND THE
PROBLEMS WITH THE INQUIRIES AND
THE LAWYERS MAKING MONEY, AND I
THINK MANY INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
WOULD AGREE THAT THESE ARE
PROBLEMS BECAUSE WHAT THE
ABORIGINAL INDUSTRY AND THESE
INQUIRIES, SAY INTO MISSING AND
MURDERED WOMEN, OR EVEN THE
RESIDENTIAL SCHOOL INQUIRY,
THROUGH THE TRC OR THROUGH ANY
OTHER WESTERN BODY, IS A
REPRODUCTION OF COLONIZATION AND
ASSIMILATION BECAUSE THESE ARE
INDIGENOUS... NON-INDIGENOUS
WAYS OF LOOKING AT INDIGENOUS
PROBLEMS.

Steve says CAN I UNDERSTAND
THAT.
DOES THAT MEAN YOU THINK THE
MURDERED AND MISSING INDIGENOUS
WOMEN'S INQUIRY OUGHT NOT TO
HAVE BEEN CALLED?

Suzanne says IN THE WAY THAT IT'S BEING
DONE.
HOW IT NEEDS TO BE DONE SHOULD
BE DETERMINED BY INDIGENOUS
PEOPLE, BY INDIGENOUS
KNOWLEDGE-KEEPERS, BY INDIGENOUS
ELDERS...

Steve says AS OPPOSED TO BY THE
GOVERNMENT OF CANADA?

Suzanne says THAT'S RIGHT.
THE INQUIRY SHOULD BE DONE IN
INDIGENOUS WAYS, NOT IN
EUROPEAN...

Steve says SETTLER CULTURE.

Suzanne says DONE BY EUROPEAN, WESTERN
WAYS.
ALL OF THIS SHOULD BE DONE FROM
INDIGENOUS WAYS OF LOOKING AT
THINGS.
THE INDICATORS OF WELLNESS,
BECAUSE I WORK IN HEALTH, WE
TALK A LOT ABOUT THE SOCIAL
DETERMINANTS OF HEALTH.
SO THE SOCIAL DETERMINANTS OF
HEALTH OR THESE INDEXES FOR
MEASURING WELLNESS DON'T REALLY
FIT FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE,
BECAUSE INDIGENOUS PEOPLE HAVE A
DIFFERENT HISTORY, HAVE A
DIFFERENT CULTURE, HAVE A
DIFFERENT IDENTITY, AND HAVE
DIFFERENT DEFINITIONS.
WE WANT TO REALLY TALK ABOUT HOW
TO MEASURE WELLNESS OR SUCCESS
IN INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES, WE
NEED TO DEFINE WELLNESS AND
SUCCESS FROM INDIGENOUS
PARADIGMS.

Steve says DID YOU WANT TO
FOLLOW UP ON THAT?

The caption changes to "Indigenous communities: Surviving Canada. Cultural legacy versus cultural genocide."

Linda says I JUST HAD
A COUPLE OF COMMENTS FROM
PREVIOUS COMMENTS MADE.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT WHERE FIRST
NATIONS HAVE MADE SIGNIFICANT
PROGRESS.
THAT'S DEPENDENT ON EACH FIRST
NATION.
IT DEPENDS ON THEIR GEOGRAPHICAL
LOCATION, THEIR ACCESS TO URBAN
SETTINGS, WHATEVER THEIR BASE
ECONOMY IS IN THAT SURROUNDING
AIR.
MANITOULIN ISLAND IS BASED ON...
WHICH INCREASES OR DECREASES
DEPENDING ON THE ECONOMY, HOW
PEOPLE CAN AFFORD TO BUSINESS.
THE REPORT, MR. FLANAGAN, THAT
YOU I THINK... "SUCCESS FIRST
NATIONS," A LOT OF THOSE WESTERN
BANDS HAVE A SIGNIFICANT AMOUNT
OF LAND BASE.
MOST OF THEM WEREN'T SUBJECT TO
TREATIES AND ARE NOW IN
DIFFERENT FINAL AGREEMENTS, SUCH
AS THE NISGA'A.
WHEN WE TALK ABOUT THE FIRST
NATIONS PROPERTY OWNERS ACT,
THOSE PIECES OF LEGISLATION
SIMULATE WHAT THE DAWES ACT DID
IN THE UNITED STATES IN THE
1800s, WHERE IT CREATES AN
INDIVIDUALIZED OWNERSHIP OF LAND
WHICH THEORETICALLY IMPROVED THE
ECONOMY OR WELL-BEING OF THE
PEOPLE, AND THAT'S SIMILARLY
WHAT THE FIRST NATIONS LANDS
MANAGEMENT ACT AND THE FIRST
NATIONS PROPERTY OWNERSHIP ACT
IS BASED OFF.
SO THAT SUPPORTS A COMPLETE...
ATTITUDE WHERE THEY MUST BE
EQUAL IN ORDER TO CONTRIBUTE
EQUALLY TO THE SOCIETY AND IT
CREATES DIFFERENT CLASSES WHERE
THE HAVES HAVE AND THE HAVE-NOTS
HAVE NOT.
AND ALL OF THIS PUT TOGETHER
FROM THIS WESTERN VIEW SUPPORTS
THE GOVERNMENT BY KEEPING OUR
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE POOR AND
CAPITALIZING ON OUR POVERTY.

Steve says FORGIVE ME, FORMER
CHIEF.
ONE OF THE THINGS I'M TRYING TO
GET A HANDLE ON HERE IS, YOU'VE
TALKED ABOUT THE SEVEN
CHARACTERISTICS THAT SUCCESSFUL
RESERVES HAVE AND YOU HAVE YOUR
METRICS BY WHICH YOU MEASURE
THEM.
THEN I HEAR PROFESSOR STEWART
AND TO A CERTAIN EXTENT LINDA
DEBASSIGE HERE AS WELL SAYING,
HANG ON A SEC.
THOSE ARE METRICS THAT ARE FINE
IN YOUR CULTURE AND YOUR WORLD,
BUT THEY MAY NOT BE THE SAME AS
OURS.
NOW, IF WE CAN'T EVEN AGREE ON
HOW TO MEASURE SUCCESS AND-OR
FAILURE, HOW ARE WE MAKING ANY
PROGRESS HERE AT ALL?
CAN YOU HELP ME WITH THAT?

Frances says I DON'T
AGREE WE CAN'T REACH A
COMMONALITY IN TRYING TO
UNDERSTAND WHAT MAKES PEOPLE
FULFILLED.
THAT'S WHAT WE'RE TRYING... HOW
CAN WE HAVE A SOCIETY WHERE
EVERYONE HAS A FULFILLING LIFE?
THAT SORT OF IDEA.
AND I THINK THAT WHEN WE LOOK AT
MANY OF THESE COMMUNITIES, AND I
THINK DR. FLANAGAN WAS CORRECT
WHEN HE SAID, IT'S NOT EVEN
GOING TO BE A MAJORITY WHO ARE
GOING TO DO WELL UNDER THESE
TINKERING MECHANISMS.
WE HAVE A HUGE NUMBER OF
INDIGENOUS COMMUNITIES WHICH ARE
LIVING IN AREAS WHICH ARE NOT
VIABLE, WHICH CANNOT SUPPORT A
FULFILLED EXISTENCE, NO MATTER
WHAT YOU DO.
AND THAT'S A HUGE PROBLEM.

Steve says AND THAT HAS NOTHING
TO DO WITH CANADA KEEPING THEM
THERE, THAT'S THEIR CHOICE.

Frances says WELL, IT'S A VERY DIFFICULT
SITUATION BECAUSE THE HISTORY
WHICH CREATED IT OBVIOUSLY WAS
OPPRESSIVE AND TERRIBLE, BUT NOW
WE HAVE TO DEAL WITH THINGS AS
THEY EXIST RIGHT NOW, WHICH IS,
HOW CAN PEOPLE LIVE A MEANINGFUL
EXISTENCE IN WHAT IS NOW CANADA,
AND WHAT THAT MEANS IS PROVIDING
PEOPLE WITH THE SERVICES WHICH
WILL ENABLE THEM TO HAVE A HIGH
QUALITY OF EDUCATION, WHICH WILL
GIVE THEM THE HEALTH CARE
SERVICES THAT THEY NEED, WHICH
WILL GIVE THEM HOUSING WHICH IS
NOT MOLDY, WHICH WILL ALLOW
WATER TO BE CLEAN AND DRINKABLE,
AND THAT ALL CAN BE DONE IF YOU
HAVE A CONCERTED EFFORT TO DO IT
AND DON'T GET TIED DOWN WITH ALL
THE LEGAL WRANGLING, THE
COMMENTS ABOUT RESOURCES.
ATTAWAPISKAT, THERE ARE NO
RESOURCES.
THESE ARE PEOPLE LIVING IN A
MARGINAL EXISTENCE THAT REALLY
NEED TO HAVE THESE HIGH-QUALITY
SERVICES WHICH THEY'VE NEVER
BEEN PROVIDED WITH BECAUSE OF
ALL THE LEGAL WRANGLINGS.

Steve says I WANT COMMENTS OVER
HERE.
GO AHEAD.

Linda says THERE ARE
MANY FIRST NATIONS AND
TERRITORIES WHO ARE WANTING TO
SELF-DETERMINE, WHO ARE WANTING
TO GET TO THAT POINT OF
SELF-GOVERNMENT, AND, YOU KNOW,
THE STARTING OFF POINT IS
ADDRESSING THOSE HISTORIC
WRONGS, THE HISTORIC TRAUMAS.
WITHOUT ADDRESSING THE HISTORIC
TRAUMA, WE CAN'T EXPECT A HUMAN
BEING TO MOVE FORWARD BASED ON A
HISTORY OF DISTRESSED HURT AND,
YOU KNOW, BASICALLY RAPING OUR
LAND.
SO WE NEED TO CREATE THAT
RELATIONSHIP FIRST.
I'VE READ THE WORKS OF BOTH OF
YOURSELVES AND I BELIEVE THAT,
YOU KNOW, WHEN YOU COMBINE THAT
WITH THE ANISHNABE VIEW, YOU DO
HAVE A LOT OF GOOD RESEARCH, BUT
IT'S VERY BIASED, VERY
ONE-SIDED.
AND IN OUR WORLD VIEW, THE
INDIGENOUS PERSPECTIVE, ANYTHING
THAT WE DO TO GET US OUT OF OUR
POVERTY HAVE TO BE FIRST
NATION-LED AND FIRST
NATION-DRIVEN.

Steve says WHAT IS BIASED ABOUT
THEIR WORK?

Linda says IT'S VERY RIGHT WING.
IT DOESN'T TALK ABOUT
ENVIRONMENT, LAND, IN THE WAY WE
TALK ABOUT ENVIRONMENT AND LAND,
OR HONOUR OR TRUTH OR HUMILITY,
ANY OF THOSE.
IT'S VERY CAPITALIST.
IT'S VERY CORPORATE.
AND IT SUPPORTS CORPORATE
CANADA.
IT CREATES VERY GOOD DEBATE, AND
I THINK, YOU KNOW, MS. WIDDOWSON
AND MR. FLANAGAN ARE UNDER THE
VEIL OF ACADEMIA TO CONTINUE
PRESSING WHAT THEY'RE TALKING
ABOUT WITHIN THEIR WORK.

Steve says IS WHAT THEY'VE SAID
EMPIRICALLY, PROVABLE FALSE?

Linda says YES, I BELIEVE SO.

Steve says YOU WANTED TO ADD?

The caption changes to "Suzanne Stewart. @SuzanneStewart."

Suzanne says I JUST
WANTED TO ADD THAT I AGREE THAT
THERE'S A LOT OF OVERLAP IN WAYS
THAT WE CAN WORK TOGETHER.
BUT IN ORDER TO WORK TOGETHER,
THE DAMAGED RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN
INDIGENOUS PEOPLES AND
NON-INDIGENOUS CANADIANS NEEDS
TO BE ADDRESSED, AND THAT IS
THROUGH WHAT'S COMMONLY REFERRED
TO NOWADAYS AS RECONCILIATION,
WHICH IS AN ACT THAT'S BEEN
TAKEN UP THAT PROVINCIALLY,
LOCALLY, BY SCHOOLS, BY SCHOOL
BOARDS, BY UNIVERSITIES, BY
CORPORATIONS, AND RECONCILIATION
REALLY MEANS ADDRESSING THE
HARMS THAT HAVE BEEN PERPETRATED
ON INDIGENOUS PEOPLES BY THE
SYSTEMS IN WHICH WE CURRENTLY
LIVE AND WORK, AND FOR
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE,
RECONCILIATION IS ABOUT HEALING
FROM OUR OWN WOUNDS FROM THE
TRAUMA THAT'S BEEN INFLICTED BY
THE POLICIES THAT HAVE AFFECTED
EACH OF US ON A VERY PERSONAL
LEVEL.

The caption changes to "Indigenous communities: Surviving Canada. Reconciliation and Solutions."

Steve says I WAS TOLD THE OTHER
DAY BY AN INDIGENOUS PERSON, IF
WE CAN'T GET TO RECONCILIATION
UNTIL WE FIRST DEAL WITH TRUTH
AND THAT THERE ARE TOO MANY
CANADIANS WHO STILL DON'T KNOW
THE TRUTH.
SO IS THAT JOB 1 AT THE MOMENT?

Suzanne says THAT'S REALLY FOR THE JOB OF
THE EDUCATION SYSTEM, TO EDUCATE
ITS POPULATION ABOUT THE HISTORY
OF CANADA AND THAT THE HISTORY
OF CANADA IS ONE THAT IS A DARK
HISTORY FULL OF HUMAN RIGHTS
VIOLATIONS AND HARMS THAT HAVE
BEEN DONE THROUGH THE INDIAN ACT
WHICH, GOING BACK TO WHERE OUR
CONVERSATION BEGAN, WAS REALLY
WHAT OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON.
OUR COUNTRY WAS FOUNDED ON AN
ACT AND ITS POLICIES THAT WERE
DESIGNED WITH AN OBJECTIVE TO
EXTERMINATE A POPULATION BASED
ON RACE.
AND THE IDEOLOGY OF THAT ACT HAS
BEEN WELL INTERNALIZED, AS WE
CAN SEE BY SOME OF OUR
PANELISTS, WELL-INTERNALIZED
INTO THE PSYCHE OF INDIVIDUALS
AND CANADA AS A NATION.
SO IT'S GOING TO TAKE SOME TIME
FOR INDIVIDUAL CANADIANS AND THE
NATION TO DECOLONIZE THEIR MIND
FROM THAT COLONIAL MENTALITY ON
WHICH OUR COUNTRY IS BUILT.
AND MANY OF OUR OWN PEOPLE HAVE
INTERNALIZED THIS COLONIAL
MENTALITY BECAUSE IT'S WHAT WE
HAD TO DO TO SURVIVE.

Frances says EVERYONE
SHOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO
PARTICIPATE IN OUR ECONOMY AND
SOCIETY.
IT'S A CAPITALIST ECONOMY.
IF WE WANT TO CHANGE THAT
CAPITALIST ECONOMY, WE HAVE TO
TRANSFORM IT.
BUT WHAT YOU'RE GOING TO SEE IN
THESE COMMUNITIES IS MANY
CHILDREN, MANY YOUNG PEOPLE WITH
THE SERIOUS SUICIDE CRISIS, THE
FETAL ALCOHOL SYNDROME PROBLEMS
DO NOT HAVE THE ABILITY TO
PARTICIPATE MEANINGFULLY IN
CANADIAN SOCIETY.
AND MANY OF THESE ISOLATED
COMMUNITIES WITH NO ECONOMIC
BASE, NO HOPE FOR THE FUTURE,
THERE IS NO PATH FORWARD IN THAT
SITUATION.

Steve says AND THEY THEREFORE
HAVE TO DO WHAT?

Frances says WELL, WE NEED TO PROVIDE THEM
WITH THE HIGH QUALITY SERVICES
WHICH YOU NEED AS A HUMAN BEING
LIVING IN THE WORLD TODAY.
AND IT'S NOT JUST CANADA.
IT'S THE GLOBE.
IT'S A WORLD-WIDE SYSTEM.
WE SHOULD BE ABLE TO COMMUNICATE
WITH PEOPLE FROM ALL OVER THE
WORLD AND WORK TOGETHER TO
CREATE A BETTER FUTURE.
WE SHOULDN'T BE LOOKING BACK 150
YEARS TO WHAT OUR ANCESTORS DID
TO TRY TO FIGURE OUT THE WAY TO
LIVE IN THE WORLD TODAY.

Steve says DO YOU THINK THEY'RE
DOING TOO MUCH OF THAT?

Frances says I THINK THEY EXACTLY ARE.
ALL THE TALK ABOUT ABORIGINAL
SPIRITUALISM AND GOING BACK TO
TRADITIONS AND ALL THESE ASPECTS
ARE NOT MEANINGFUL TO THE YOUTH
THAT ARE LIVING IN THE
COMMUNITIES TODAY.
THEY ARE TOLD TO DO THAT BY
VARIOUS CONSULTANTS AND LAWYERS,
AND THIS IS PART OF THE
GRIEVANCE...

Steve says YOU DON'T THINK THEY
FEEL IT?

Frances says I THINK THEY'VE BEEN TOLD
THAT THAT'S THE WAY IN WHICH
THEY'RE GOING TO LIVE LIFE IN
THE WORLD TODAY AND MANY PEOPLE
I KNOW ACTUALLY PRETEND THAT
THEY THINK THAT THIS IS A
BENEFICIAL WAY FOR PEOPLE TO
LIVE.

Steve says RESPONSE OVER HERE.

Linda says I DON'T
THINK YOU HAVE A RIGHT TO TALK
ABOUT FIRST NATIONS WELLNESS.
THAT HAS TO COME FROM THE
COMMUNITY.
I'M TALKING RIGHT NOW.
SO I WAS A YOUTH THAT ATTEMPTED
SUICIDE THREE TIMES.
HOW DID I COME OUT OF IT?
WAS UNDERSTANDING WHO I WAS AS
AN INDIGENOUS PERSON, AS A
WOMAN, AND I LISTENED TO MY
ELDERS AND I PARTICIPATE IN
CEREMONIES.
EVEN AS OF TODAY, I DON'T RELY
ON THE HEALTH CARE SYSTEM OF
CANADA.
YOU KNOW, I RELY ON THE
TEACHINGS OF THE CULTURAL
PRACTICES AND MEDICINES THAT I
HAVE LEARNED FROM MY
GRANDMOTHER.
SO WHEN YOU TALK ABOUT THE
SUICIDE AND WHAT'S BEST FOR OUR
YOUTH, IDENTITY IS WHAT WE NEED
FOR OUR YOUTH.
IDENTITY IS WHAT'S GOING TO
EMPOWER THEM AND MAKE THEM
STRONG.
I'M 35 YEARS OLD.
AND IF I DIDN'T FIND THAT IN MY
EARLY 20s, I WOULD HAVE BEEN
DEAD.
IF I WAITED FOR CANADA TO HELP
ME, I WOULD HAVE BEEN DEAD.
BUT WHEN I TURNED TO MY ELDERS,
TO MY COMMUNITY, TO MY FRIENDS
AND MY FAMILY AND ASKED FOR
HELP, THAT'S WHAT GOT ME OUT OF
IT.
SO I DISAGREE WITH YOU SAYING
THAT GOING BACK DOESN'T DO ANY
JUSTICE.
WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS
RECLAIM OUR IDENTITY AND TO
ALLOW OUR YOUTH AND OUR CHILDREN
TO GET THAT OPPORTUNITY THAT I
NEVER HAD WHEN I WAS YOUNG.
SO THEY'RE JUST GETTING THAT
NOW, YOU KNOW?
AND THAT'S PRESERVING OUR
LANGUAGE, OUR CULTURE, AND OUR
IDENTITY THAT ENSURES THAT WE
ARE UNIQUE AND DIVERSE PEOPLE OF
THIS COUNTRY.
WE ARE THE ORIGINAL PEOPLE.

Steve says DO WE HAVE TO
ACKNOWLEDGE THAT WHAT MAY WORK
FOR EUROPEAN SETTLER CULTURE, IN
TERMS OF REPAIRING, IN TERMS OF
MAKING PROGRESS, MAY NOT WORK
FOR INDIGENOUS PEOPLE?

Frances says I
DISAGREE WITH HOW THAT'S
PHRASED, IS THAT WE HAVE PEOPLE
IN UNIVERSITIES TODAY AND CANADA
TODAY WHO ARE FROM ALL OVER THE
WORLD, FROM AFRICA, FROM ASIA,
FROM EVERY SINGLE COUNTRY IN THE
WORLD.
WE DON'T SEE THEM AS HAVING TO
GO BACK TO WHAT THEY WERE DOING
150 YEARS AGO TO BE ABLE TO
SURVIVE IN THE WORLD TODAY.
WHAT WE HAVE TO DO IS WORK
TOGETHER AND FIGURE OUT HOW ALL
PEOPLE CAN LIVE TOGETHER A
MEANINGFUL EXISTENCE IN THE
WORLD TODAY.
MAYBE THAT WILL INVOLVE THEM
FOLLOWING THEIR OWN PATH.
BUT WHAT I REALLY DISAGREE WITH
IS PRESCRIBING THAT FOR ALL
INDIGENOUS PEOPLE, JUST BECAUSE
THEY HAPPEN TO HAVE INDIGENOUS
ANCESTRY.
MAYBE THEY'RE NOT GOING TO, YOU
KNOW, FOLLOW THE CEREMONIES AND
LISTEN TO THEIR ELDERS.
THAT MIGHT NOT BE HELPFUL FOR
THEM.
WHY DO WE ASSUME THAT JUST
BECAUSE THEY'RE INDIGENOUS THAT
THAT'S GOING TO BE THE PATH
FORWARD FOR THEM?

Steve says LET ME GIVE THE TWO
ON THE ENDS THE LAST WORDS ON
THIS.
DO YOU WANT TO PICK UP ON THAT,
PROFESSOR FLANAGAN, AND
PROFESSOR STEWART, WE'LL GIVE
YOU THE LAST WORD.

The caption changes to "Tom Flanagan. University of Calgary."

Tom says I'M HOPING
THERE'S SOME OVERLAP OR MIDDLE
GROUND HERE.
YES, HEALING THROUGH REEMERGENCE
IN THE CULTURE, I BELIEVE ALL OF
THAT IS TRUE.
ON THE OTHER HAND, IF YOU HAD
TUBERCULOSIS, I WOULD HOPE YOU
WOULD GET ANTIBIOTICS FOR IT,
WHICH WAS NOT PART OF THE
TRADITIONAL CULTURE, AT LEAST IN
THE FORM YOU HAVE TODAY.
THERE IS A MODERN WORLD WHICH
HAS CONFERRED ALL KINDS OF
MATERIAL BENEFITS ON US.
I WOULD HAVE THOUGHT THE GOAL IS
TO HAVE FIRST NATIONS
PARTICIPATING IN THAT MODERN
WORLD WHILE RETAINING THEIR OWN
CULTURAL BACKGROUND TO THE
EXTENT THAT THEY THEMSELVES WISH
TO, SO I THINK IT'S KIND OF
COMING TOGETHER RATHER THAN
BEING ON SEPARATE TRACKS.

Steve says PROFESSOR STEWART,
LAST WORD TO YOU.

Suzanne says WELL,
THERE'S JUST SO MUCH TO SAY.

Steve says ISN'T THERE, THOUGH?

Suzanne says LAST WORD.
THERE IS AN OVERWHELMING BODY OF
RESEARCH THAT SHOWS THAT
INDIGENOUS YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE A
DESIRE TO BE INVOLVED IN
TRADITIONAL CULTURE AND CEREMONY
AND LANGUAGE, AND I THINK THE
REASON THAT THAT'S IMPORTANT IN
A WAY THAT'S DIFFERENT FROM
OTHER CULTURAL IDENTITIES IN
CANADA IS THAT INDIGENOUS
IDENTITY, CULTURE, AND LANGUAGE
WAS MADE ILLEGAL BY THE INDIAN
ACT AND THAT WAS TAKEN AWAY AND
SYSTEMATICALLY PEOPLE EXPERIENCE
SYSTEMIC HARM DUE TO BEING
INDIANS IN CANADA, AND BECAUSE
OF THAT SYSTEMIC RACISM AND
OPPRESSION, INDIGENOUS PEOPLE
NEED TO HAVE THE OPPORTUNITY TO
RECLAIM THOSE ASPECTS OF THEIR
IDENTITY, THE CULTURAL ASPECT,
AND I DON'T THINK THERE'S ANY
INDIGENOUS PERSON WHO IS BEING
FORCED TO ENGAGE IN THEIR
CULTURE OR CEREMONY.
YOUNG PEOPLE HAVE THE ACCESS TO
THEIR CULTURE AND THEIR
CEREMONIES NOW THAT THEY MAY NOT
HAVE HAD AT ONE TIME BECAUSE IT
WAS AGAINST THE LAW TO PRACTISE
OUR CULTURE.

Steve says THERE IS, AS YOU
POINTED OUT, JUST SO MUCH MORE
TO SAY.
BUT THAT PROVERBIAL JOURNEY OF A
THOUSAND MILES BEGINS WITH THE
FIRST STEP AND I HOPE WE'VE
TAKEN SOME OF THAT HERE TODAY.
I WANT TO THANK SUZANNE STEWART
DIRECTOR OF THE UNIVERSITY OF
TORONTO'S WAAKEBINESS-BRYCE
INSTITUTE FOR INDIGENOUS HEALTH;
LINDA DEBASSIGE, FORMER CHIEF
OF THE M'CHIGEENG FIRST NATION
ON MANITOULIN ISLAND; TOM
FLANAGAN, PROFESSOR EMERITUS AT
THE UNIVERSITY OF CALGARY;
FRANCES WIDDOWSON, CO-AUTHOR OF
"DISROBING THE ABORIGINAL
INDUSTRY."
IT'S GOOD OF ALL OF YOU TO COME
INTO TVO TONIGHT AND HELP US OUT
WITH THIS DISCUSSION. THANK YOU.

They say THANK YOU.

The caption changes to "Indigenous communities: Surviving Canada. Producer: Steve Paikin. @spaikin. Producer: Liane Kotler @LianeKotler."

Watch: Indigenous Communities: Surviving Canada