- Category: news
- Created: Thursday, 17 October 2013 13:53
- Published: Thursday, 17 October 2013 13:53
- Written by Administrator 3
- Hits: 705
From Terrance Nelson to Tom Brodbeck
Your article on Treaty Land Entitlement has omitted some facts. The link to your article is as follows.
Time to even up: Pay out aboriginal land transfers, then get rid of ghettos
By Tom Brodbeck ,Winnipeg Sun
First posted: Thursday, October 10, 2013 06:13 PM CDT
..............And it's time to put an end to it.
Yes, make good on land entitlements and financial payouts that are owed, which can be used to rebuild First Nations economies. But then get rid of the Indian Act and dismantle the federal Department of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.
The current system serves no purpose other than to pad the pockets of over-paid bureaucrats and band chiefs and councils. It does nothing for the rank-and-file First Nation person living on a squalid reserve with no economy, no sewer and water and no hope.
In Manitoba, they actually tried to dismantle the The Department of Indian Affairs in the early 1990s under the Framework Agreement. The department was supposed to be wound down over a period of 10 years. They marked the agreement with a large ceremony at the Manitoba Legislature in the rotunda with then Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs grand chief Phil Fontaine and former Indian Affairs minister Ron Irwin. But the dismantling never happened. The department is still here. And the people who sabotaged it were the ones benefitting from the bureaucracy and the hand-outs.
It's time to end it.
Make good on the land entitlements and the financial payouts.
But there has to be an end to this thing.
Manitoba Land Transfers
Total amount of land made available or transferred to Government of Canada for First Nations, accumulated from 2008-13:
Total owed: 1,426,454 acres
Still owing: 738,317 acres
— Manitoba Public Accounts 2008-2013
Tom, your article makes people believe that the First Nations are getting something that will make things even. The reality is that over 97% of land in Manitoba even after all the TLE lands have been put into reservation will still be owned by the government and immigrants. TLE will not make us even Tom. The indigenous people went from 100% ownership to less than 3% of the lands in Manitoba. Not quite even Tom. Please find the following information on the Manitoba website
Manitoba Area: 649,947 square km / 250,946 square miles (larger than Japan and twice the size of the U.K.). Manitoba extends from the 49th to the 60th parallel (the equivalent of Paris, France to Oslo, Norway). 1400 km north to south, 900 km at the widest point and 500 km at the narrowest.
Land Surface: 548,356 square km/211,721 square miles
Water Surface: 101,592 square km/39,225 square miles
Total Population: 1,267,003
Capital City: Winnipeg (population 773,000)
The total acreage of Treaty Land Entitlement in Manitoba is 1,426,454 acres of which 738,317 has not been converted to reserve status. It sounds like a lot of land. What you fail to mention is that most of the land converted to reserve status under the TLE process has been in the northern half of Manitoba. Over ninety percent of the population of Manitoba lives within 70 miles of the United States border. Converted to square miles, the total 1,426,454 acres of TLE lands is 2,229 square miles of land. Manitoba has a total land surface of 211, 721 square miles, therefore this total TLE lands to be converted to reservation status represents only 1 percent of the lands in Manitoba. Given that the total reservation lands in Manitoba is less than 2% of the land base of Manitoba and even with TLE, total reservation lands will still be less than 3% of Manitoba land base.
What Canadians fail to understand is that legally under the Canadian Indian Act system "Indian Reservation" lands are legally considered to be Government lands set aside for Indians. Legally, First Nations, the original owners of land in Canada own nothing, under Canadian law, no lands in Canada are considered to be owned by the indigenous people.
Thank you Tom for the article. At least you tried to tackle the issue of TLE. As Chairman of the Treaty Land Entitlement at Roseau River, an elected Trustee, I welcome the people of Manitoba to begin the process of understanding TLE. Urban reserves are coming to Winnipeg. There are already four in the area, Swan Lake, 25 acres west side of Perimeter on Highway 1, Roseau River, 75 acres on Highway Six, North West side of Winnipeg, Brokenhead Ojibway Nation, 7 acres on Highway 59 North-east side of Winnipeg and Long Plains First Nation in St. James in Winnipeg near Polo Park with 2.4 acres of land inside the city. The five Treaty One First Nations with TLE have a combined TLE of 347 square miles or approximately the size of two Winnipegs that will be converted to reserve status in southern Manitoba.
I could give you an overview of all the TLE issues if the Winnipeg Sun would sponsor a one day workshop for Winnipeg Business people. In Saskatchewan, there is over 33 Urban Reserves. If the City of Winnipeg wants to understand how Business can partner up with First Nations and profit from TLE, you need more than one article in the Winnipeg Sun.
Chairman Roseau River TLE Trust