The KCDSB Welcomes You Back to School

Click here to learn more.

Senator Lynn Beyak is opposing the recent cabinet shuffle. She says splitting Indigenous Affairs into two ministries will only add to the red tape.

She notes Ottawa is already spending billions to improve living conditions on First Nations. In the open letter, the senator encourages Indigenous people to trade in their status cards.

Instead, Beyak would like us all to talk and find a way to live together.

The senator made headlines earlier this year, after a speech she made in The Senate regarding residential schools.

The open letter:

 

The Honourable Lynn Beyak

September 1, 2017                                                                                                           

More of the Same Is Not the Answer

The Prime Minister of Canada has announced another minister for Indigenous people.

No matter how qualified and well intentioned the participants, the last thing we need is another minister, ministry and bureaucracy in Ottawa to address the challenges.

They will be tasked with implementing the 94 calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report, no different than the hundreds of recommendations in the 1996 Royal Commission on Aboriginal Peoples, and adding little to the lives of the men, women, children and youth suffering at the grass roots level, living in squalor on reserves, with filthy water and inadequate housing.

Governments have spent billions of taxpayer dollars over decades on bureaucracies, and the dollars are obviously not getting to the people.

What we are doing is simply not working.

It is time for a real change, not another ministry.

Our ancestors, Indigenous and non-Indigenous alike, did the best they could with the tools they had. It was a different era with unique challenges. Like us, they were imperfect human beings, working together for the betterment of all. Who are we to judge on today’s standards? Sir John A. Macdonald’s role in the founding of Canada is significant. There is no need for a divisive debate on monuments and statues, or buildings and bridges, when valuable tax dollars could be used to provide clean water and decent housing instead.

The main problem is not the residential schools or anything else from the past, as evidenced in portions of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report itself, and reinforced in an avalanche of personal letters to our office, after the March 7, 2017 speech in the Senate.

Support for my position, stories about the abundance of good in the schools, the kindly teachers and staff, the excellent sport programmes, music and language lessons and a timely education for the changing times, poured in from Indigenous and non-indigenous people alike, from every region of Canada, men, women, students, journalists, chiefs, shamans, judges, teachers, nurses, elders, law enforcement, doctors, lawyers, youth and clergy. Common sense tells us there are always two sides to every story. Both were told in the reports and are available on my website, but in the past, only one was emphasized.

A small number of aboriginals found the schools bad and a slightly smaller number found them good. Only 1 in 3 Indigenous children ever attended them. Very few were torn from their parents arms, but rather were enrolled by loving parents who were away trapping and trading for months on end, and who wanted to prepare their children for the future.

Many of the nearly 900,000 documented Aboriginal Christians in Canada melded their church teachings with their own native traditions and moved on with their lives, some still associated with the churches today, a fact only now being recognized from the 2011 census. They are tired of being portrayed as victims, and consider themselves victors. The good must never excuse or minimize the bad that happened to so many, and fair compensation to those victims is imperative, but the whole truth is essential for healing.

http://lynnbeyak.sencanada.ca/

The real problem, as identified in letters from the grass roots across the nation, and which no government has had the courage to address, is what they themselves identify as the Indian Act Industry in Ottawa, all living and working together comfortably, huge bureaucracies, massive expense accounts, fully assimilated to the ways of the white and Indigenous worlds, with available 5 star accommodations and business class travel, while the Indigenous population is constantly reminded that integration or assimilation is not good for them, and the rest of Canada is somehow to blame. I’m sure the intentions are good, but the system doesn’t work for the people who need it most. As I said at the outset, it is time for real change, not another bureaucracy.

We do not need an Indian Act. We have a Charter of Rights and Freedoms for all Canadians.

It is long past due to stop the guilt and blame and move forward together. In the wise words of Chief Robert Joseph, “Over time we should realize, as people sharing the land, we all belong here. The sooner we discover that the sooner we’ll be working together and cheering each other on.”

http://www.vancouversun.com/douglas+todd+residential+school+story+becoming+over+simplified+says+chief/13316100/story.html

In 1969 Pierre Elliott Trudeau and his Indian Affairs minister Jean Chretien got it right, with their White Paper which rejected a nation within a nation and asked us all to live together in this beautiful land. I have lived in remote areas for most of my life. We have excellent professionals, but it is difficult to attract more of them at the best of times, without further dividing people into different nations and trying to provide segregated health and education services. Chretien and P.E. Trudeau recognized the challenge in 1969. Their paper was brilliant and ahead of its time. Can you imagine how life would be for Indigenous people today, had it been implemented nearly 50 years ago? Indigenous leaders soundly rejected it, without consulting their own people, but it still has merit.

You can read the details online, as the White Paper is there for everyone to see at http://www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca/eng/1100100010189/1100100010191

I am simplifying it here, but basically it said that the mountains, rivers, and streams belong to all of us. None of us are leaving, so let’s stop the guilt and blame and find a way to live together and share. Trade your status card for a Canadian citizenship, with a fair and negotiated payout to each Indigenous man, woman and child in Canada, to settle all the outstanding land claims and treaties, and move forward together just like the leaders already do in Ottawa. All Canadians are then free to preserve their cultures in their own communities, on their own time, with their own dime. The emphasis should be on individual prosperity and responsibility, with more money in the pockets of the local people, and not just national leaders and bureaucracies. We all appreciate the fact, that money in our own hands, to buy a home or use as we see fit, gives everyone hope and purpose for their life.

No matter what your personal feelings are on the issue, I believe that a vast majority of all Canadians have kind, compassionate hearts and want a genuine solution to a situation that has existed for far too long.  

Let’s not shout, or protest or call one another nasty names. Let’s talk together, stick to the issue without personal attacks, and find that solution.

Hon. Lynn Beyak

Senate of Canada

 

For more information:

Beyak meets survivors

Statement from Sioux Lookout Mayor's Committee for Truth and Reconciliation and Senator Lynn Beyak

Speech by Senator Beyak

The KCDSB Welcomes You Back to School

Click here to learn more.

More Local News

KCDSB release EQAO results

The numbers are in. The results from the 2016-2017 Education Quality and Accountability test have been released. The EQAO assessment tests Grades 3 and 6 students in reading, writing and mathematics,…

New distracted driving laws

Ontario is hoping to keep the roads safe by cracking down on distracted driving with tough new penalties. The province is hoping that the new rules will help to improve road safety, and keep the most…

Residents learn about oil, gas industries

Kenora residents had the opportunity to learn more about the Canadian oil and gas industries. John Bayko, Vice President of Communications for the Canadian Association of Oil Well Drilling…

Missing man found dead

The Dryden Police Service is investigating the sudden death of 43-year-old Philip Biczok. Biczok was reported missing on September 11th and a search was conducted by the Dryden Police Service, the…

Dryden DREAM raises $150,000

Dryden is getting that much closer to realizing the dream. The DREAM Committee's multi-year, multi-phase goal to upgrade the Dryden Memorial Arena, is to accommodate the aging population and meet the…

KCDSB honours Terry Fox, raise $100,000

The Kenora Catholic District School Board is celebrating a significant milestone. Since the board started participating in the annual Terry Fox Run in 2000, students and families of the board have…

Bank of Nova Scotia gives back

It's a great gift. Chris Sellner, Rotarian and Bank Manager of the Bank of Nova Scotia, has donated $5,000 to contribute to the Lobsterfest fundraising effort, put on by the Rotary Club of Kenora.…

Kenora shows income growth

The numbers are in. Ontario households are facing the slowest median income growth in the nation, according to 2016 Census data from Statistics Canada. Of the 152 Canadian cities included in the…

Pope John Paul II celebrating

The Kenora Catholic District School Board is celebrating. Pope John Paul II turned 10-years-old yesterday, and the school hosted a celebration. Alumni from the very first class participated in the…

Circle of Care introduced

Earlier this week, we talked to you about how police services in the district are changing the way they deal with family violence. Over the last two days, social service providers have also been…

Lawrance disappointed with Beyak

Sioux Lookout's Mayor, Doug Lawrance, is disappointed. He says that local Senator Lynn Beyak's recent comments about Indigenous issues were “misguided.” Beyak recently came out and opposed the recent…

Law society looking at Indigenous issues

Residential school survivors in Sioux Lookout will be host to special visitors today. The Law Society of Upper Canada is set to meet the survivors today to discuss Indigenous issues. A review panel…

Community helps students' breakfast needs

It's a great way to start your day. St. Louis School's Breakfast Program is $3,220 richer, following a recent donation drive. Kenora Chevrolet Buick GMC's Buick Drive for Students Day raised the…

Opioid hospitalization rate rising, report

The number of hospitalized Canadians due to opioid poisoning is growing, according to new statistics published by the Canadian Institute for Health Information. Between April 1, 2016 and March 31,…

Local police hope to bring resolution

The OPP is joining the Treaty Three Police Service in Whitedog today. Officers will be meeting with community members at Mizhakiiwetung Memorial School for Missing Person Awareness Day. The day is an…

DPS lay charges following pursuit

The Dryden Police Service have laid charges following a pursuit. The service was alerted to a stolen vehicle on Friday, and following a short pursuit, the female suspect was apprehended. Charges…

Kenricia repairs underway

Repairs have started at the Kenricia Hotel in Kenora. Contractors blocked off some parking spaces on Main Street yesterday, as they went to work on the exterior facade. The city has given owners of…

Social housing funds announced

Ontario is hoping to help municipalities end homelessness. The province has announced more housing, and more support services for municipalities, including funding for more social housing. Ontario…

New impaired driving laws

Drivers have been warned. Ontario has announced new measures to make drug-impaired driving laws even tougher. The legislation aims to imcrease consequences and costs for those driving under the…

Local resident joins Florida relief efforts

A local resident is helping the hurricane relief efforts. Kenora's Ray Moncrief is currently in Florida, as he uses his experience with Hydro One as a lineman to help to restore power to communities…

KenoraOnline.com is Kenora's only source for community news and information such as weather and classifieds.

Search the Biz Guide

Upcoming Events

Christmas Shoeboxes Available

21 September 2017 10:00 am - 28 September 2017 4:00 pm

Kenora Public Library





World Alzheimers Day

21 September 2017 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts





Video Game Night

21 September 2017 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kenora Public Library (Keewatin Branch), Kenora





Christmas Shoeboxes Available

21 September 2017 10:00 am - 28 September 2017 4:00 pm

Kenora Public Library





World Alzheimers Day

21 September 2017 11:00 am - 4:00 pm

Alzheimer Society of Kenora/Rainy River Districts





Video Game Night

21 September 2017 5:00 pm - 8:00 pm

Kenora Public Library (Keewatin Branch), Kenora





Feed Your-“cell-f” Presentation and Potluck

21 September 2017 5:30 pm

Arts Hub, Kenora





Take Back the Night March

21 September 2017 7:00 pm

Ne Chee Friendship Centre, Kenora





Login