Friday, January 18, 2013

Brad Wall Strikes Again!

Rather than reacting with police to arrest Idle No More lawbreakers he has announced what amounts to a good, long over-due slap in the face of the Indian Industry:

Wall suggests funding changes

"Premier Brad Wall has hinted the Saskatchewan Party government will change how it provides First Nations-related funding in the province.

"We're going to move away from funding the process part of things that have delivered for Canadians and for aboriginals, specifically, the same lack of results," Wall told reporters Wednesday at the legislature.

He said the government has communicated this message to the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations.

"If you will bring us projects that are about results in education and employment, you're actually going to find a government willing to partner with real dollars.

"But we're going to be moving away from just funding these tables where talk happens and interminably talk happens and the problems continue," he said.

Wall said he hopes in the future the Idle No More movement "will focus perhaps less on blockades and more on the opportunities that are available here in the province."

"We want to engage with First Nations with respect to education, with respect to the jobs that are available today and you will see some specific initiatives in this very area in the budget or perhaps even before the bud-get's out," Wall said.
[---]
""As long as I'm the premier, as long as this government is in office, there will be no special deals for any group, regardless of that group, in terms of natural resource revenue sharing," Wall said.

FSIN Chief Perry Bellegarde said resource revenue sharing is "unfinished treaty business."

"We've got to find collaborative ways to come to the table to deal with that. Treaties were not meant to impoverish our people, yet that's what we see," Bellegarde said, adding that he thinks more formal processes and meetings with government decision makers are needed.

"We need processes to get us there," Bellegarde said. "We need dialogue. ... Let's put our heads and minds together so we can really work in a co-operative manner to resolve these issues."

He said the FSIN receives "minimal" provincial funding, which is directed to specific programs or projects. He added he assumes by "tables," Wall was referring to long-standing self-governance tables.

"I want to see results as well," Bellegarde said, noting he also agrees with ensuring the population is "grounded in a good education and has good skills so they can compete and do a job in this economy."

Federal and provincial politicians are scheduled to make an announcement in Saskatoon on Thursday about training for aboriginals."
I think he's got Perry Bellegarde on the run, too.

Wall can't be idle on First Nations

The author of this piece, Murray Mandryk, is an unabashed Liberal/Dipper who has nothing good too say about either Brad Wall and the Saskatchewan Party or Stephen Harper and the conservatives, so he starts with a quote from Brad Wall:
"As long as I'm the premier, as long as this government is in office, there will be no special deals for any group, regardless of that group, in terms of natural resource revenue sharing," Wall told reporters.
He then continues:
"Wall also said provincial funding will not necessarily flow through the Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations (FSIN) [Ed: Good. About damn time]  and will instead focus on results-based projects. "If you will bring us projects that are about results in education and employment, you're actually going to find a government willing to partner with real dollars," he said.

Even for First Nations people with a healthy skepticism of the FSIN's or their local band council's ability to deliver, there will be an even greater skepticism of a white politician who claims treaties are the foundation of our society, but refuses to engage in what treaty rights really mean.

There again, if you are white, middle-class and conservative - the very people at least part of Wall's message Wednesday seemed aimed [at]- you likely weren't completely pleased with everything he had to say, either.

The notion of any more provincial tax dollars being tossed into what they regard as the bottomless pit of aboriginal demands is vastly unappealing to this demographic, some of whom likely viewed Wednesday's Idle No More protests mostly as cause for arrests. Heaven forbid that we view the protests of First Nations in the same way as farmers' tractor rallies in the 1990s."
Let there be no doubt why I admire this Brad Wall, and the party he leads, and have the utmost contempt for Murray Mandryk.

New funding for Aboriginal employment
"The federal and provincial governments have teamed up to create the Skills and Partnership Fund – a fund they hope will help First Nations people find fulfilling long-term employment.

The announcement, which followed Brad Wall’s hints about cutting FSIN funding yesterday, was made by MP Rob Clarke and MLA Rob Norris.

The majority of the funds announced come from the federal government’s $7.9 million investment in Northern Career Quest, with the province chipping in $1.5 million through the Ministry of the Economy.

Federal funds are being invested in Northern Career Quest for its training for employment in the mining industry.

“Our government’s top priorities are job creation, economic growth and long-term prosperity,” said Clarke in a press release. “That is why we work with organizations like Northern Career Quest to ensure that Aboriginal people are able to take full advantage of economic opportunities.”

Northern Career Quest will provide Aboriginal people in the province with classroom and on-site training and work experience in the mining industry. In two years, the organization will train 800 people for positions such as mining technicians, heavy equipment operators, welders, and office administration.

Additional funding for the project will come from industry partners, including Cameco, Areva, and Northlands College."
Sounds like a very good idea. However, we'll have to see if it turns out any better than legions of past initiatives have. I'm not holding my breath.





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