Thursday, December 1, 2011

Attawapiskat under the Microscope

I knew it would happen.  I just didn't expect it to come this fast or this furious.

Since the media descended on Attawapiskat this week after the news broke of the State of Emergency being declared, the story has shifted from the people to the books.

And that in itself, isn't a bad thing.

While the federal government reports that they have given 90 million dollars to the Band of Attawapiskat over the last several years, allegations of mishandling of the funds by the Band itself abound.

What has resulted is the Band being placed under third party management.  And again, that itself isn't a bad thing.

What is a bad thing is that the focus on the story has left the vulnerable, the cold, the suffering and the innocent in the dust.  Their stories are no longer the ones leading the story on the evening news.

There's no question that funds allocated to Attawapiskat have been mismanaged to some degree.  There's  no question that the Band Council and Chief need to take their share of responsibility for the deplorable housing conditions on the reserve.  But there's also no question that this is a systemic problem created from a history of  hurt, disenfranchisement, abuse and many broken promises.

And what remains from all that are cold people sleeping in tents and shacks.

I wish I could be more like my girls - I wish we all could.  All they see when they look at the pictures of the community are people who need help.  Cynicism hasn't had a chance to breed in them yet.

Let's focus on the people and hear their stories.
The power for change belongs to the people of Attawapiskat themselves.

For more details you can read and watch these reports.  Just to make sure my dad can't accuse me of brainwashing you all with persuasion of the left-wing CBC variety, the competition is included as well.

ctv report here.
cbc report here.

Perhaps the most helpful article, is this post written by a Metis blogger who tries to answer the critics from an "insiders" perspective.    I highly recommend it.


  1. Karla, would love a decent sit down to chat about this stuff.

  2. thanks for the blogger's link sis. Her answers to some of the comments were incredibly enlightening.