Rebecca Walberg of the Frontier Centre for Public Policy recently added her voice to the many Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal voices who want to see the Act abolished. Her comments, posted in the Saskatoon Star-Phoenix article follow the deaths by freezing of Kaydance and Santana Pauchay on the Yellow Quill reserve:
It is time to enfranchise aboriginal Canadians. Only the radical and lasting change that would stem from treating Natives as the equals of all other Canadians can break these chains of dysfunction that extend from one generation to the next.
Aboriginal people on reserves are trapped by poverty because they cannot own a home the way the rest of us can. Instead, the Indian Act creates a situation in which home ownership, as well as access to other higher education and other services, is at the mercy of undemocratic band councils.
Aboriginals are told again and again, by the federal government that administers to them, that they are not the same as other Canadians, that they cannot handle the same responsibilities, that they need special privileges simply to achieve the same goals as non-Natives.
Gross neglect is horrifying, but when the people in question have been told, all their lives, that they are dependent, unequal, and without real hope of improvement, we cannot be truly surprised.
It is time to give aboriginal people a shot at real equality, so they can share in the tremendous good fortune enjoyed by the rest of Canada.
Someone who lives close to Yellow Quill had his letter to the editor published in the same S-P issue. He agreed with previous comments from an elder that native administration is taking money that should go to others.