Today he had spoke at the Crown First Nations Gathering and offered absolutely nothing but a list of the things Aboriginal Affairs has done (it was a pretty meagre list). No mention of Attawapiskat, of the estimated 1000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women, of the appallingly high-rates of youth suicide among Aboriginal youths, of any other pressing emergency effecting Aboriginal people. There was no real offering of ways to move forward in reconciliation, in healing the relationship between Aboriginal people and Canada, nothing was offered except vague mentions of Aboriginal youth somehow helping Canada. Great. Thanks for coming out, John.
At least he made it through without making any major gaffes like (*drumroll*):
"(Residential schools were) an education policy gone wrong."
"It is easier in First Nations politics to be aggressively contrary to something than it is to be supportive. That is an observation that I will make and stand behind."
Or any of this:
Watching him always is a little like watching this video, both in the way he squirms and is so obviously uncomfortable talking about Aboriginal issues, and in the way the video makes me feel (the first time I watched it, I whimpered at the :20 second mark – in a bad way – why doesn't it have feet?!).
Having an Aboriginal Affairs Minister who is so ineffective, who cares so little about his portfolio really illustrates how little respect Stephen Harper has for Aboriginal people. Hopefully, despite the Government speeches and First Nations' representative speeches being diametrically opposed, by the end of CFNG some good will come. Hopefully Harper will have listened and learned. Hopefully positive change is around the corner. It's time for the Canadian government to fucking do better already.