[There is something unseemly about Trudeau’s Attitude towards Aboriginal People]
It comes as no surprise to those involved in advocating for Aboriginal rights here on Turtle Island that Hunter Tootoo resigned as fisheries minister.
Trudeau, always is the master of deception has always wished to been seen to be backing Aboriginal people in our quest for equal treatment in Canada. It is blatantly clear through Trudeau’s actions that his sincerity in dubious.
Hunter Tootoo’s appointment as Fisheries Minister was, in fact a junior posting and far below the respect that is due to any Aboriginal person serving in the parliament of Canada. I like Hunter Tootoo and can only commend his lengthy service to democracy.
Tootoo served (and thrived) in the Legislative Assembly of Nunavut since 1993 and was born at Rankin Inlet. The legislature in Nunavut is without political parties and is non-partisan. Hunter Tootoo was highly regarded and elected Speaker of the Legislature – an indication of popularity, willingness to seek solutions and hard work.
It may have been a horrendous mistake for Hunter Tootoo to align himself with “Team Trudeau” though, I am certain that he was courted by the Trudeau team and that he was there simply to have a “native guy” in caucus. It was almost predictable that Tootoo’s principles would be put to test within Cabinet of “Team Trudeau”. We heard (early on) that he was single-handedly trying to prevent Team Trudeau from going overboard on Steve Dion’s long gun fetish. In Nunavut owning a long gun and hunting is a necessity – not a hobby.
Trudeau’s Vision for Aboriginal People
Like father, like son. It was Pierre Trudeau’s devout wish to “rid Canada” of Aboriginal people simply by melding us into the ethnic melting pot he had created. Pierre Trudeau made no secret about the angst Aboriginal people caused him. One need look no further than his heavy handed invocation of a Constitution that has become Canada’s albatross since its inception. In addition, Trudeau (senior) made no “bones” about wiping out the Indian Act and thereby gagging Aboriginal complaints.
There is “something” in the Trudeau DNA that promotes both the father and the son to use deception as a best choice to gain their way. Even the Constitution itself was/is a classic example when it came to Aboriginal people. The Constitution actually described some sort of nebulous “consultation” . Painfully missing from Pierre Trudeau’s ground work leading up to the Constitution was meaningful dialogue and legitimate consultation with Aboriginal people here on Turtle Island. I suspect that he either genuinely does not like us of feels superior.
When Attewapiskat Chief Theresa Spence mounted a hunger strike near Ottawa, there was Junior Trudeau for a photo opportunity. Let’s be clear. The problems at Attawapiskat did not suddenly appear when Stephen Harper became Prime Minister. Those problems existed when Pierre Trudeau was PM and when his “underling” Jean Chretien was Indian Affairs Minister.In fact, they became manifestly worse thanks to Paul Martin (Chretien’s Finance Minster and short lived PM)
Given Hunter Tootoo’s heritage and lengthy service in the Nunavit legislature, how fitting was it for Justin Trudeau to appoint Maryam Monsef, an Afghan born muslim to head up a department with aim on revising how we vote?
For that matter, is it not ironic that Justin Trudeau chose a white woman from Toronto as Aboriginal Affairs Minister? Surely there is much more to us and our problems than can be accomplished by a wealthy white woman who has taken to wearing Aboriginal jewellery.
Team Trudeau has had another member of its caucus also recently seeking help for an addiction. Seamus O’Regan’s bout with alcohol led to flowery and “sappy” speeches by Justin Trudeau when he announced that his “friend” Seamus O’Reagan was going to take some time in order to deal with his personal demons. Trudeau’s short and terse comments about Hunter Tootoo’s sudden resignation give pause for concern.
Team Trudeau recently met at their convention in Winnipeg. Hunter Tootoo was there as well. Reports are that Tootoo had been drinking heavily at the convention. (who does not drink at a convention??). Heavens, the Immigration Minister was so sloshed that Air Canada once refused to allow him onto a flight from Toronto to Ottawa. However, it does not go unnoticed that neither John McCallum nor Seamus O’Regan are Aboriginal men.
Stories circulating out of Winnipeg give us a clue about what might have led up to Hunter Tootoo’s bout with the bottle and hurried exit from Canada’s political scene. Questions certainly do need answers pertaining to a loud shouting match that emanated in a hospitality suite concerning the “bum’s rush” of sweeping changes the Trudeau and his handlers executed without notice in Winnipeg. Observers that I have spoken with have described the changes to the Liberal party constitution as draconian and the methods employed as “heavy handed”.
I wish Hunter Tootoo good success in his healing and suggest that once he is well, that he considers walking across the floor – even to the Conservatives. To those who continue to hunker down under the big red banner of Team Trudeau, I would hope that you each see (in how Hunter Tootoo was treated) that there is no space for dialogue or debate.
Copyright Thunderbird Rising 2016
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