If you have read today's National Post newspaper, you will notice that a column by someone named Peter Foster is featured prominently on the front page. Mr Foster accuses Chief Theresa Spence, whose hunger strike entered its 25th day, of "either a bizarre degree of narcissism, or revealed her as a witless puppet. Perhaps both." Chief Spence waits on Victoria Island located on the Ottawa River, for a meeting with Prime Minister Harper. He has steadfastly refused to take the meeting.
Mr. Foster goes further by suggesting that the deplorable state of relations between the government of Canada and First Nations is "not lack of goodwill on the part of Canadians, or even political will on the part of the federal government. That plight is the legacy of failed policies past, and resistance from native leaders to changes in accountability, transparency, education, and property right that would inevitably undermine their own power."
If your blood is not boiling yet, this should do the trick:
"It is also critical to temper aboriginal expectations. Consultation is essential, but the idea that First Nations can be "full partner" in resource development in the immediate future is patronizing nonsense for the simple reason that they lack what wonks like to call "capacity." Similarly patronizing is the claim that native people may be able to bring some unique, spiritual input to environmental issues that are in fact matters of science and technology."
The viewpoint that is represented by M. Foster, is hopefully, shared by a scant few. It is, to my mind, the worms of racism covered by a layer of intellectual whipped cream. No matter how you eat it, it's disgusting.
What Mr. Foster, and his colleague Christie Blatchford, fail to recognize is that Chief Spence has won no matter who she meets–Prime Minister Harper, Governor General Johnston, the Queen of England.
Chief Spence has brought attention and focus to apartheid in Canada. Hopefully, the status quo will be overturned.
© Patrick O’Neill 2013. All rights reserved.