Aboriginals Support Private Property Rights

It is time to give aboriginals across Canada private property rights. The abject poverty the vast majority of aboriginals live in will never be eliminated by the Dept Of Aboriginal Affairs. How can people improve their lives if they can't own private property? Hasn't happened, won't happen, can't happen under the current system. The current private enterprise system works for nearly 33 million Canadians, why can't it work for aboriginal ? It can, given a chance. This means the end of reserves and they become Canadians like the rest of us.

This can mean the end of bad water and sewage issues that prevail on so many reserves, but oddly, not in cities with white people. The white people live nice, real nice. Which is because we accept capitalism and private property so we can buy these infrastructure for ourselves, not relying on a distant bureacracy in Ottawa.

Why can't all the high priced lawyers solve these basic health issues? Because the lawyers don't care, they are clean, they look after themselves with their fat paycheques, and the little people can be screwed to no end.

Federal control over reserve land keeps aboriginals in poverty, say critics | The Uniter: Winnipeg’s Weekly Urban Journal (external - login to view)

November 18th 2010
Federal control over reserve land keeps aboriginals in poverty, say critics

Skeptics claim full property ownership on reserves could tear apart aboriginal communities
by Ethan Cabel (Beat Reporter)

A 20-month-old child plays under her house porch in Kitcisakik, an Algonquin Anicinape community in Quebec. The house is one of 5,000 reserve homes in Canada without basic sewage services. by FRANCIS VACHON – PHOTOGRAPHER IN QUEBEC CITY

All across Canada, First Nations residing on federal reserves are subject to abject poverty and social ailments, wrapped up in what some view as a cycle of economic dependence on the federal government. In order to break that cycle of poverty, calls for full aboriginal ownership of reserve land are being heard around the country.

According to the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), over 100 reserve communities are forced to boil their drinking water. Over 5,000 reserve homes are without basic sewage services and around 70 per cent of students on reserve land will not receive a high school diploma.

Aboriginal leaders and others are desperately searching for solutions to these widespread and systemic issues. What has emerged is a growing belief that full title or ownership of reserve land for aboriginals could be the single most powerful solution.
“The best way to address the poverty our people face is to give power to the individual,” said Manny Jules, a former chief of the Kamloops Indian band and the chief commissioner of the First Nations Tax Commission.

Full ownership of reserve land currently rests in the hands of the federal government. First Nation bands cannot sell or own reserve land and individual aboriginals on that land are unable to own or build equity on a home.

Outside of some rare exceptions, an individual can occupy a house on reserve land through a certificate of possession approved by the band and the federal department of Indian and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC).

Commercial development, which also requires INAC approval, can only be done on the basis of short – and long-term leasing.
“What we’re doing is ... building an economy on what we don’t have title to,” Jules said.

He explained that developers are reluctant to invest in a lease agreement, which is among their only options on reserve land, because of bureaucratic red tape and the fact that the property will diminish in value over the lifespan of the lease.

“If you don’t renew that lease you’re going to end up with a slum,” he said, adding that when leases expire on many reserves, the land has completely lost its resale value.

Jules proposes to economically aid First Nations with what he calls the First Nations Property Ownership Act, which was the subject of a recent book, Beyond the Indian Act, co-authored by University of Calgary professor Tom Flanagan.

The act would ensure absolute ownership, giving First Nations who choose to opt into the legislation the ability to sell land and reap its economic benefits.

Joseph Quesnel, policy analyst for the Frontier Centre of Public Policy, wholeheartedly agrees with Jules.

“For someone to be at the margins economically is unacceptable,” he said, adding that the ability to own property is morally dignifying.

“For aboriginals to succeed in all ways, private property ownership, in whatever form, would be greatly beneficial.”

Allison Fenske is an instructor at the University of Winnipeg and a lawyer specializing in aboriginal law.

She is skeptical of Jules’s proposal.

“I don’t know if just changing to a system of private property ownership is going to be the thing that creates wealth,” she said, explaining that geographic isolation is one of the main contributors to poverty.
The best way to address the poverty our people face is to give power to the individual.
– Manny Jules, chief commissioner, First Nations Tax Commission
According to Fenske, reserves most likely to benefit from full property ownership are those that already benefit from being in close proximity to urban centres like Winnipeg. Those in remote locations could possibly stagnate if Jules’s legislation was implemented, she added.

Allan Cochrane is a 27-year-old University of Winnipeg politics student who grew up on the Peguis First Nation reserve in northern Manitoba for the vast majority of his life.

He agrees that geographic isolation is a major factor in determining the economic prosperity for aboriginals on reserve land.
“Right now we’ve become so dependent on the federal government for survival that there are some reserves that wouldn’t be able to function ... without the federal government,” he said. “There are some reserves up north that have no economic resources whatsoever.”

Although Cochrane finds the concept of full property rights to be a good one, he is concerned that the federal government would use it as a way of abolishing the reserve system or having aboriginal land leave the community.
Fenske shares those same concerns.

“My fear would be that (through full ownership) you could be opening the door to land being lost to non-First Nations individuals – land that you then can’t get back,” she said.

Fenske also noted that comparatively few aboriginal bands have opted into the 1999 First Nations Land Management Act, which gives First Nations considerable autonomy over their own land management, eliminating a great deal of INAC control.

As of August 2010, only 29 First Nations bands had opted into the act by instituting their own land codes and there are 74 who have expressed interest in the legislation. According to INAC statistics, there were over 600 registered Indian bands in Canada as of

September 2006.

“To date, most bands have stayed within the Indian Act provisions, as cumbersome and ... oppressive as they are,” said Fenske.
The AFN have also publicly expressed concern over the merits of Jules’s proposal.

After repeated attempts at an interview, representatives at the organization were unavailable for comment before press time.
#2  Top Rated Post
It is time to give aboriginals across Canada private property rights. Never mind that, it is rime to give aboriginals across Canada the same rights and privileges as all Canadian citizens have.

Those who chose to live on tribal lands should follow tribal law according to treaties with Canada. But what law they follow should be their choice. I don't know of any tribe that has privatization of tribal lands, it belongs to the tribe, as a tribe they would control what ever resources might be on the land. Allowing them to personally own the land will only break up an native culture faster that it is breaking up now. Removing Federal control and transferring that control to the tribe would be a better idea. Then allow them to appoint a representative to represent themselves to Parliament as any Province has.
Tribal laws in the modern world just don't mesh. Time to state no one's going back to England and we're all equal here now. The practice does not always work out that way, but the theory always presses for it, call it progress. And we have progress in Canada.

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