Publication Source: The Dominion
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Author: Dru Oja Jay
There is a prevailing myth that Canada’s more than 600 First Nations and native communities live off of money—subsidies—from the Canadian government. This myth, though it is loudly proclaimed and widely believed, is remarkable for its boldness; widely accessible, verifiable facts show that the opposite is true.
Indigenous people have been subsidizing Canada for a very long time.
Conservatives have leaked documents in an attempt to discredit chief Theresa Spence, currently on hunger strike in Ottawa. Reporters like Jeffrey Simpson and Christie Blatchford have ridiculed the demands of native leaders and the protest movement Idle No More. Their ridicule rests on this foundational untruth: that it is hard-earned tax dollars of Canadians that pays for housing, schools and health services in First Nations. The myth carries a host of racist assumptions on its back. It enables prominent voices like Simpson and Blatchford to liken protesters’ demands to “living in a dream palace” or “horse manure,” respectively.