Why should the reserve system not only continue, but also spread into Canada's cities? Proponents say that Aboriginal peoples received the land by treaty and that traditionally everything was held in common. Therefore, none of them should "own" such territories.
However, these arguments don't stand, especially in the case of Regina's first urban reserve, granted to Piapot First Nation. It was not acquired under treaty land entitlement, but as a special claim. These are not traditional lands. Secondly, the urban reserve itself is a counter-cultural invention, as the following quote from John Desjarlais, a member of Piapot demonstrates.
"They were never used to stuff like this. In the old structured, cultural, traditional ways they were bound to a reserve, right to the band at the band level, said Desjarlais. "But now they can give their children, their grandchildren and their great-grandchildren something to look forward to."Truth told, this "tradition" is only as old as the reserve system itself. But if aboriginals can break with this tradition to create an urban reserve, why shouldn't they actually own their land? The reason bands go this route is because of the tax breaks. For this reserve, and every other, they're great indeed.