Editorial: "Please, Mr. Mulroney, don't make us a priority!"

Lubicon Lake Indian Nation
Little Buffalo Lake, AB
Fax: 403-629-3939

Mailing address:
3536 - 106 Street
Edmonton, AB T6J 1A4
Fax: 403-437-0719

February 23, 1993

Attached for your information is a copy of an editorial regarding the plight of aboriginal people in Canada.

Editor's Corner, The Eastern Door, Volume 2 Number 1

Please, Mr. Mulroney, don't make us a priority!

Finally, Mr. Mulroney, after 25 years your government admits, not in so many words, that the Davis Inlet experiment is a failure. Forcible relocation, (by the Newfoundland Government but still a part of Canada) from the mainland to an island to keep a community from retaining its nomadic lifestyle was diabolical in its intent and tragic in its results. Not only was the idea bad, but the trail of broken promises of water, sewers, adequate housing, schools and health services only served to highlight the incompetence of your government and your attitude towards our well-being.

After years of protesting to the government, the Innu of Davis Inlet got precious little results. It took the near tragic death of six children and the international attention it brought to get another promise of action. Mr. Siddon, after promising to relocate them on the mainland, then had the gall to say that the recent publicity had nothing to do with his decision. And you wonder why Natives are cynical about the government.

There are many other examples of foot dragging. A few years ago, the Crees of James Bay took the Province of Quebec to court over the lack of water and sewage service that was supposed to be supplied under the terms of the James Bay agreement. Although this was a clear violation of the agreement, Quebec nonetheless forced the Crees to sue them for breach of contract, with your government standing idly by. It took an outbreak of gastritis in the communities caused by contaminated water, to get the governments to cooperate on fulfilling their obligations in the James Bay Agreement.

In 1984, then Minister of Indian Affairs David Crombie, stated that the Lubicon Cree would be a priority. Having been promised a reserve in the 1940s, and after using every possible domestic remedy, the United Nations chastising Canada for violating the rights of the Lubicon Cree, an outbreak of tuberculosis, a blockade in 1988, there is still no settlement.

Mr. Crombie's predecessor, John Munro, promised to make Kanesatake a priority also in 1984. To date hundreds of millions of dollars have been spent, a police officer has died and there is still no solution in sight.

So, please, Mr. Mulroney don't make Kahnawake a priority. We don't want your contagious disease to break out or our young people to make a suicide pact to get attention, or wait forty years for a resolution to our problems with our relationship with your government. Just leave it in the hands of your regular incompetent, insensitive, bungling bureaucrats.

This way we may last a little longer.


Kenneth Atsenhaienton Deer