National Aboriginal Day is a time for Canadians to reflect on the contributions of Aboriginal peoples in Canada. Sadly, on this day most people will instead consider the sorry state of reserve communities and ask why, despite years of well-intentioned government programming, nothing ever seems to get better for Aboriginal people.
In the debate over whether the partially state-owned energy company, Chinas CNOOC, should be given the go-ahead by Ottawa to take over Calgary-based Nexen, there is the danger that the discussion will be cast in an adversarial east-west context.
The federal and B.C. governments have always claimed that native land claims would never affect private property, that First Nations governments would never have veto power over private land.
Right. Tell that to a retired 70-something couple from Vancouver Island, Gary and Fran Hackett, who face a Caledonia-like entanglement with their land. Their property in the Marpole neighbourhood in the City of Vancouver, in their family for almost five decades, has just been frozen. That was due to the discovery of assumed aboriginal bones.