Our aboriginals need better PR.

In a career in public relations work, I have never seen a group screw themselves so badly as Canada’s aboriginals. I have worked with them in fighting forest fires in our north. I have worked with them politically in downtown Toronto. I helped to launch the first, badly needed, native centre in Winnipeg. I spent months among the Cold Lake Nations of Northern Alberta. They deserve our respect and better treatment than they get from our governments.

But they have never shown the simple common sense to take out their pique on the people responsible for specific problems. To piss off white men who cannot help you in the process is just plain stupid. You want their help, not their anger.

Start in British Columbia for the current screw-up. An elected band council made a deal with some pipeline people. Legally, the elected council has that authority. It gets a little confused when the hereditary chiefs of the tribe decide they do not like the elected council’s deal and they barricade the pipeline people. The hereditary group do not care about white men’s courts, they just try to block the project on their hereditary land.

It is unlikely that these hereditary chiefs can even tell you what might be sent through the pipeline or how it might or might not benefit their people. They are just opposed. Dealing with them is difficult.

And then other aboriginal groups in disparate parts of the country have been feeling left out and they jump into action in support of the B.C. tribe that they might never have met or know. They have the fun of screwing up the white man’s trains. They start with the ones that carry many thousands of people every day between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. And then there are the freight trains that carry millions of dollars worth of goods every day in support of the Canadian economy. Now they are really getting even with the white man. And this white man is tired of it.

We need to get the courts involved and make some of these tribes pay the piper. Yes, they have rights. And with rights come responsibilities.

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Copyright 2020 © Peter Lowry

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