This is a blog dedicated to a personal interpretation of political news of the day. I attempt to be as knowledgeable as possible before commenting and committing my thoughts to a day's communication.

Friday, July 03, 2015

Do As I Say, Not As I Do

"The National Chief has worked closely with his partner, Valerie, for many years in previous elected leadership capacities She was a key part of his campaign team for the position of National Chief. And she is a valuable member of the transition team as the National Chief gets established in his role."
"Valerie's transition advisory role will come to an end by the end of the year and she will pursue other opportunities outside of the Assembly of First Nations to work with First Nations."
"Valerie reports to me at the CEO and not to the National Chief."
AFN CEO Peter Dinsdale

"Our people are constantly being accused of not being accountable and transparent. If the National Chief feels that he can hire his girlfriend and pay her a salary out of the AFN coffers, this would serve only to heighten criticism that is often levelled at our people."
Chief Ava Hill, Six Nations

The Canadian Press AFN National Chief Perry Bellegarde, centre, is being criticized for hiring his partner, Valerie Galley, as a senior policy adviser in his office.

Little wonder that a chief of a reserve of 85 people can earn over $900,000 in a year, one of many unfortunate instances where various bands become aware through new federal mandated disclosure that their band councils and their chiefs elected in good faith to uphold the best interests of the band, not their personal finances, have disgraced themselves through an insistence of entitlement. Funding transferred through taxes to support First Nations reserves are meant to improve life for those living on reserves.

It is left to the discretion of band councils elected for the purpose of deciding how those funds should be used to aid in giving a better life to band members and all too often they fail the test. There are invariably excuses, but the facts remain that gross dysfunction rules the day all too often on reserves. Where the housing is sub-par, and repairs overlooked, where potable water is in short supply, and unemployment soars, and where band councils take taxpaid luxury trips and accommodation carrying out their responsibilities.

But then, why not when the National Chief, Perry Bellegarde, practices unabashed nepotism in the hiring of his girlfriend, earning a handsome, taxpaid salary as an 'adviser'. As a publicly funded organization tax dollars have a purpose and that purpose is not to line the pockets of the AFN executive. The serious problems assailing First Nations beg to be addressed. The Assembly of First Nations representing the interests of Canada's aboriginal populations loves to counter generous offers of the federal government to help solve inequity and need in aboriginal communities.

By their very dissent, demands, and insistence on more money to be devoted to First Nations health, education, and living arrangements rather than emphasize the need for aboriginals themselves to begin to take account of themselves, to renounce handouts and make an effort toward independence and to encourage young people to become fully educated rather than emulate their parents in alcohol and drug use, family violence will continue to fail the children of the aboriginal communities.

The examples and inadequate-to-absent mentoring that vulnerable children are exposed to, abrade their human rights and point them in a self-destructive direction. The results can be seen in rampant drug abuse, alcoholism, violence and suicides. If direction cannot be expected from the highest levels of First Nations administration, it's little wonder the stack of cards cannot hold itself proud and erect.

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