Saturday, February 27, 2010

We are not the Enemy

First, sorry for the delayed response since our last post, good emails and good debate, some positive and some negative. We even had some of our Country's secret law authorities pay us a visit on our purpose and intentions. "We are in a time and environment, that everyone is treated like an enemy, until they can figure it out". We are purposing to be a big part of a market place for "Ideas and Options" with the intent to create solutions. We are a small minority of a society that was once defined by our ancestors footprints, we can be angry and bitter from the outcomes over the years. Some Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations people will take the position, they will never forgive or forget, but I can ensure you that a new generation of First Nations people are trying to set an identity for the present times and environment. This is not time to address the right or wrong, or define the true fault of our shortcomings. This past week the deficit just increased and the economy still needs a lot of work in the coming years. We can draw lots of blame, and say we don't need each others help to make it better. But we need each other more then anything now, lets all be proud Canadians beyond the Olympics, and truly allow our First Nations people to truly stand up and be a major part of the solution process. We have a defined statute that governs our lives on a daily basis, its called the "Indian Act", First Nations people are going to exercise its full intentions, and allow business and corporate society to be our full fledged partners, not window dressing exercises. This process can and will be a major boost to the economy, create lots of jobs and business opportunities. It can be done, lets all be the leaders for our future.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Imagine the possibilities

Thinking outside the box, I want you to imagine, a major corporation and tax sheltering that corporation $100 million dollars legally and legitimately. Imagine it can be done right here in North America, imagine that the language to legally do this is defined as a statute under the Constitution of Canada. Imagine that policy and procedure, various successful court cases that have changed the language to a degree of this defined statute, to create an even better economic environment for First Nations people to truly benefit to achieve self reliance. Imagine it can be done on both sides of the border, and imagine it can be done with very legal and defined banking processes. Now I want you to imagine it is being exercised in some First Nations communities, but not exercising the full benefit and entitlement. We have said to some Chiefs and some Communities, your exercising your true rights and entitlements, as an example by one yard, imagine if you can exercise it by three yards. It sounds easy, but it can be very complicated in process and legal language, but with understanding and education on the process of setting up an environment like this, it can be made easy. A lot a gray areas to exercise, and the business norms have some unfamiliarity to partnerships. When done and exercised in a fashion, can you imagine the outcomes. "This is a good time to be Indian", this is a good time to use one another, this is a good time to trust and risk with one another. Can you imagine the outcomes.

Friday, February 19, 2010

"FEAR" how it controls us

"Fear" its a loaded word, fear of taking a chance, fear of taking a major risk, fear of the unknown, fear of trusting, fear of changing something that is already comfortable, even if its good or bad, the fear of change, even the fear of success. We can go on and on about a lot of fears that engulf our present society and environment. In First Nations and Non-First Nations circles, a lot would say we have no fear, everything is okay, or everything is just right. Sometimes we even have the fear of talking to one another, who is going to make the move first, who is going to screw up first, or even the main fear of excepting past infractions of history. We talk and advance with each other in a slug like process, we are careful with language and procedure, try to be politically correct. To keep it simple, the safe route is just communicate, believe and understand one another. Take a chance, risk the unknown, change to make it better, and be proud when we can succeed together. Believe in one another, that our actions will be with good intentions, and it will benefit our relationship in the long run. This sounds all good, passionate about an issue or cause, but the true objective is to make the Non-First Nations society somewhat comfortable with the change that is about come. Why, because what First Nations people can do today, a lot of people are going to disagree with it. But, is it illegal or wrong, no, far from it, its defined in legal language, defined in constitutional process, and it governs an aspect of society. The Indian Act, when defined and used in away, it could create an enormous economic environment, create a lot of jobs, boost an economy, and be self sufficient to a society that really needs the boost to change for the better. Its time to start thinking outside the box, and imagine the impossible, we can do it together, we know in most Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations circles, they are looking and wanting change, increase education, increase jobs, and most importantly self reliance. Lets truly stop being afraid of one another, lets move in the right direction. First Nations people can provide a major tax shelter to major corporations of business, in all aspects, not so much alcohol or tobacco. This is funny, these are the products that First Nations are labeled with, relating to addictions. Imagine, creating a business environment that would provide substantial savings, and in turn create substantial profits for all involved, it can be done.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Why we are Beauitful people

An elder once told Halaw Group, who are you first and foremost, we said we are aboriginal from our specific first nations community, she said no, who are you first and foremost. After time we came with the realization, that first and foremost we are all human beings before anything else. She said if you live your life with that understanding, and treat others with that same understanding, then the world would be a better place, keep it simple. The elder also said, which we use a lot now with Halaw Group throughout our work, each and everyone of us are beautiful people, why are we beautiful, because we are not perfect, nor do we want to be perfect. We have all made mistakes, some of us more then others, we have to live with our mistakes, hopefully most of us will learn from our mistakes. Because we are not perfect and only human, this is what make us all beautiful people, because look at the world we live in, it not a perfect world, but for most of us its a beautiful place to live. Most of our posts have taken the position, First Nations and Non-First Nations people, almost sounding like your side and my side. Unfortunately it needs to be explained this way for the true understanding of the wrongs and rights of the entire process. Both sides can honestly blame each other for a lot of negative history, and the present climate and condition of our shared environment. Question to all, when does it honestly end, honestly. Lets allow each other to do the impossible, lets allow each other five inches instead of an inch, lets allow each other to share in the rebuilding of our economy, our environment, our personal safety, and our well being. It time to build the bridge together and not hide behind process and procedure, honestly listen to each other, and what we can truly offer each other."Keep it simple stupid".

Monday, February 15, 2010

Time to make real money

Over the years not just millions but billions of dollars has been generated in First Nations traditional territories, some directly right in the boundaries of their First Nations communities. From a business stand point this would sound very good, unfortunately it has been no reflection business wise in most First Nations communities, no direct benefit to the well being of First Nations people. Things have been improving over the years, thanks to court cases like the Delgammuukw decision, more consultation is taking place with First Nations relating to their traditional territories. Question we are asking First Nations leadership today, don't you feel its time to make real money. Lease arrangements and small percentages to try to reflect full fledged partnerships is a good start, but who makes the real money. For example: recently a community in Northern Alberta was offered $250 million dollars for compensation and benefits within their traditional territory, don't get us wrong, that is a lot of money. But the two companies purposing to do business within the territory, have the potential of bring in profits to the tune of $15 to 20 billion dollars. So the question we ask, who is making the real money? Of course we cant forget the two governments and their piece of the pie. In most Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations circles, it is not the issue of business and making money, but how it relates and affects the environment. We have been telling business leaders throughout North America and the World, who are the best environmentalist in North America especially relating to purposed business endeavors, First Nations people. Its time to make real money, its time to create full fledged partnerships that truly reflect protectionism of the environment. This can be done under a truly defined economic model to create a great deal of savings and profits for all involved. For Halaw Group, when a First Nations individual can get a good and proper education or training, which should lead to great employment opportunities, this is a strength of an Individual, that becomes a strength of a Community, then a strength of a First Nations Tribe.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Loss of Language and Culture

Over a year ago, Halaw Group was at a youth workshop in a First Nations community, and a question was asked to the youth. What was their understanding and position concerning Culture within their community. A young lady responded, I am culture less, I am First Nations and that is all I know. With six hundred plus First Nations communities across Canada, more then half are on the verge of losing their language, because the young one's are just not speaking it. We feel if you can speak your language, you know and understand your culture. There are some communities that can speak their languages, and practice their culture and traditions, but today just not enough. We ask the question why is this? In most Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations circles, it would be said this has a lot to do with the Residential school process. The first residential school opened in 1840, and the last residential school closed in 1996, and its true purpose was intended to force the assimilation of the aboriginal peoples in Canada into European-Canadian society. In other words take the Indian out of Indians, again we would ask the question, did it work or has it worked? A lot of extremely negative outcomes came from this overall experience for First Nations people, that will probably take generations to overcome. Today society would ask how could this be? The Indian Act and its defined language gave permission, because the legal argument today is that a legal statue was followed by the government of the day. Apologies were given in recent time, which was accepted and not accepted in most Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations circles, a lot of negative history to overcome. There is the Indian Act again, at the forefront of a very trying time of history. This document has always led the way in a lot of negative history, but it has also had some positive outcomes as well (i.e. court cases and government process). Today we can use this document in reverse, use it to enhance our economic development, create jobs, create programs for the healing our communities, and a future not dependent on government assistance for our well being. It can be done, it can be done, imagine a future of true self government, true self reliance, and full fledged partners with our neighbors and the world.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Major Court Cases

Over the last number of years, it has been the legal process and courts trying to define Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations rights and title. Many Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations court cases have been unsuccessful in their challenge to define process, but there was a few cases that were precedent setting cases, or were they. The Sparrow court case of 1990, the Delgamuukw case of 1997, just to name a few.  These were cases heard at the Supreme Court of Canada level, with success and interpenetrated success. These cases were identified as a victory for First Nation people, finally the highest court in the land identifying parameters of Aboriginal Rights and Title. Yes only parameters, for these cases were to open the flood gates to start defining a more clearer process. The Delgamuukw decision and more then thirteen years later, governments and process are still in the right or wrong stages, and holes that have been poked into such a defining court case. In most Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations circles anger would still exist and persist, why, for it would feel like the treaty process all over again, especially from the First Nations communities from Central and Eastern Canada. Treaties were to be a binding process of defining a relationship, the language within them fell short from their objective. One legal document has always stood out within this entire process, and has mostly stayed true to its language. The "Indian Act", which is now defined under section 35 of the Constitution of Canada of 1982. In most Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations circles, this document is good and bad, a simple question has been asked to a lot of the present First Nations leadership, have they every read the Indian Act from cover to cover. Unfortunately a majority of them would tell you no, why, because it is a very dry and legal document, unless you are a lawyer, for some or majority it would feel alien like. This document has been used by courts and governments for years, now we ask a simple question to all of you, why is that.  Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations People have defined rights and entitlements they can exercise from within this document, we say once again "This is a great time to be Indian".  This document has used and abused Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations people ten fold, lets use and abuse it right back, because we can.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Chief George Manuel

In the late 1960's, tensions were high in various part of the world, protesting and politics clashed on a regular basis, it seemed the norm of the time. In 1969 the Minister of Indian Affairs Jean Chretien put forward a white paper Canadian policy document, which proposed the abolition of the Indian Act, the rejection of land claims, and the assimilation of Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations people into the Canadian population. Round this time various First Nations leaders like Harold Cardinal and George Manuel took on the challenge to reject all of its purposed parameters. Chief George Manuel, one of the founders of the Union of British Columbia Indian Chiefs, which still exists today, one of the founders of the National Indian Brotherhood, which eventually became the Assembly of First Nations, which still exists today, one of the founders of the World Indigence Council, which still exists today in New York City. The sacrifices and commitments he made on behalf of Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations people, which eventually affected his relationship with some of his own children. Through the entire struggle of his commitment, he always believed in Gandhi's words an eye for an eye made us all blind. He strongly believed and envisioned, building a bridge to a better relationship with First Nations and Non-First Nations people, would once again strengthen the foundation of First Nations communities, families and individuals. The year is 2010, George has long left us now, but his vision is still very much alive in the present climate and environment of the beautiful Country called Canada. Halaw Group has the fortitude and means to advance the First Nations position in relation to building the bridge once and for all that is needed. We don't want to walk blind anymore, we want to stand up and lead the way in this process, it can be done, it can be done.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Indian Act

In 1982, the Constitution Act of 1867 ( formerly called the British North America Act of 1867) was re-confirmed by the British Parliament, which provided more direct control and jurisdiction to the Government of Canada over its own Constitution,  and officially amended in 1982. This also re-confirmed the Indian Act of Canada, which now falls under Section 35 of the Constitution Act of 1982. The Indian Act was created and enacted in 1876, it has been amended 17 times since its incorporation. Seven out of the 17 amendments, truly impacted Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations people in a very direct way. It changed what was once defined, to a slow loss of Culture, Language and Identity. In some circles people would say the Indian Act is a very negative statute, that it has impacted Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations peoples lives for a number of generations. In some circles a lot of anger and frustration has been built up over the years, in both First Nations and Non-First Nations environments. Some people may agree and disagree with this next comment, "The War is Over", but parties on both sides have a hard time seeing and understanding it that way. To Bridge the gap of building a Relationship, we honestly have to take the mentality "The War is Over", to construct a positive path for the Future. Hence the Present time, and the Present climate of the Country and World. We are experiencing major economic in-balances, and the wrath of mother nature, with climate change and destruction. This is a great time to be Indian/Aboriginal or First Nations, why because we can provide some very viable options and assistance to these present conditions we are faced with, and we are talking from an economic stand point.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Agreements, Statutes, and Laws

The Royal Proclamation of 1763 was an understanding between King George III of Great Britain, and Native (Indian/Aboriginal/First Nations) North Americans, the Proclamation was to stabilize relations concerning regulation of trade, settlement, and land purchases. The British North America Act of 1867, and still known informally as the BNA Act, which was also the Constitution Act of 1867, created a federal dominion known as the Government of Canada. Eventually from the BNA Act, the Indian Act was created in 1876, which was defined as a Canadian statute concerning registered Indians (First Nations people of Canada), their bands, and the system of Indian reserves. This Act was enacted and under the provisions of Section 91(24) of the Constitution Act of 1867. This provided the Canadian federal government exclusive authority to legislate in relation to "Indians and Lands Reserved for Indians", this statute was administered by the Minister of Indian Affairs and Northern Development, and still to present day. In essences the Indian Act is what governs and defines registered status Indians and the Indian reserves they live on. Indian reserves are defined plots of land with boundaries situated in six hundred plus locations throughout Canada. Through the Indian Act, registered status Indians are allowed various rights and entitlements and can exercise them within these defined plots of lands within Canada. One of the major rights and entitlements that Indians are entitled to are Tax and Cost exemption. This can and will build Business Relationships for the Future.

Friday, February 5, 2010

The "Indian Question", does it still exist

The year is 2010, I would like to ask a simple question to all Canadians, North Americans, and People of the World, the Indian (Aboriginal/First Nations) Question does it still exist. What does it mean, what has it meant for everyone in the past. The Indian Question has impacted lives ten fold, mostly in a negative way, and it has created confusion from what was once defined. The Indian Question does it still exist.