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Communications The Almighty Buck

First Nations Want Cellphone Revenue 513

Peacenik45 writes "The CBC is reporting that First Nations in Manitoba want compensation for every cell phone signal that passes through their land because it violates their airspace. The Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs recently resolved to negotiate revenue sharing with Manitoba Telecom Services. Ovide Mercredi of the Grand Rapids First Nations says "When it comes to using airspace, it's like using our water and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do." This move may inspire First Nations in other provinces to follow suit."
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First Nations Want Cellphone Revenue

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  • Fine. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Bluesman ( 104513 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:18PM (#19331481) Homepage
    Then they should pay for any cell phone signal originating from their territory, too.

    And they should be charged for any rain water that evaporated from somewhere else.

    Let's total up these, looks like they come out even!

  • Stop the insanity. (Score:2, Insightful)

    by glrotate ( 300695 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:20PM (#19331497) Homepage
    Indian nations are a farcical anachronism who have greatly outlived their usefulness. The US and CA govs should just stop recognizing them. It's time to move out of the stone age people.
  • And next? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by FrankSchwab ( 675585 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:23PM (#19331527) Journal
    So, how about a seat tax on every airliner that passes over? A transit tax for every satellite that crosses their land? Hell, how about an "image" tax for every person who catches a glimpse of their land?
  • Re:Desperation (Score:3, Insightful)

    by TheSHAD0W ( 258774 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:25PM (#19331547) Homepage
    They could put up jammers; that'd work nicely.

    Hey, if I can be prosecuted for decoding satellite TV photons I'm not considered entitled to, why can't I object to photons being sent across my property?
  • by nigmafyre ( 316209 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:28PM (#19331581)
    To quote the above, the "do nothing and get everything" attitude that afflicts the Natives is born and bred on the reserves and brought about through a lifetime of having a silver spoon in their mouth. I am not racist. I am not against Natives. I do however have a problem with the current land claims they are proposing, as well as the terrorist antics that their Grand Chief has been condoning of late. At what point do we cut them off and say "Sorry, you've been paid back, thats enough, now get a real job and maintain your culture like everyone else, without the support of the government".

    It really burns my ass to know that the 45% or so tax that comes off my cheque every week goes in a large majority directly to them, which they then turn around and use in a facetious manner like this lawsuit, or other such things. For a culture that has every advantage and is still in the "shitter" so to speak, maybe the problem is not a lack of money or resources or support, but rather too much.

    being single, white, male and in my mid twenties, I can't even speak out, I have no recourse, and then hearing this, its absolutely NUTS.

  • by Xonstantine ( 947614 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:35PM (#19331653)
    That's because there is no such thing as private property in the United States. You are just renting it from the government. Doubt me? Try not paying your taxes and see what happens.
  • by casings ( 257363 ) * on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:38PM (#19331685)
    I believe that is the same line of reasoning that caused their genocide...
  • what happens now (Score:3, Insightful)

    by weighn ( 578357 ) <weighn&gmail,com> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:38PM (#19331691) Homepage
    1. no compensation ensues;
    2. First Nations installs signal blockers;
    3. the signals (using a feature that is inherent in this mode of communication) use neighbouring air to route around First Nations' air;
    4. First Nations realise how stupid the whole exercise is
  • Reality check. (Score:4, Insightful)

    by R2.0 ( 532027 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:39PM (#19331693)
    Allow me to state that I am fully in favor of the Native American Nations taking advantage of their status and sucking money away from the surrounding governments. They've had a pretty shitty 500 years, and if they want to take money from dumb white folk at casinos, and let those same folk dodge cigarette taxes, more power to them.

    That being said, WTF? They are asserting a "property right" that has been rejected via common, statutory, and international law time and time again. A nation can control physical objects that enter their airspace, but not energy. It's like RFA/Radio Marti - nations may not like broadcasting radio waves into their territory, but there isn't dick-all they can do about it except bitch and moan and try to jam it. But in this case, jamming would be a cure worse than the cause - their own members would lose the same access.

    I mean, are they serious?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:41PM (#19331715)

    By the same logic, the natives themselves could "stop recognizing them". Oops, now 300 million people are homeless.

    Clue: there were two parties that signed those contracts. There need to be two parties that break them, if they are ever broken (and we all hope they will be one day).

  • by statusbar ( 314703 ) <> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:45PM (#19331753) Homepage Journal
    That's easy to answer! Of course they would like to set up their own cell phone repeaters and collect the roaming fees for anyone using a cell phone near them!

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:49PM (#19331789) Homepage
    Exactly!! Because not following the law is proof that.. wait, what?!?

    There is no freedom in the US. Don't believe me? Just steal some stuff and get caught and see what happens.
  • No genocide (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:49PM (#19331803)
    Obviously they are still alive (i.e. no genocide) or else they wouldn't be complaining now.
  • Moderating (Score:2, Insightful)

    by pcameron41 ( 530230 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:50PM (#19331809)
    Can I mod this entire story down as racist flame bait?
  • by yt.rabb at gmail ( 1091047 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:50PM (#19331811)
    I don't know what it is like in Canada, but in the United States we regularly sell off parts of the electromagnetic spectrum. It is considered to be held in common by the people of the United States, so we charge companies to use it. I'm no expert on the subject, but they appear to be well within their rights. Why all the anger?
  • by Billy the Impaler ( 886238 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:51PM (#19331819)
    People continue to give in to these sort of ridiculous claims due to only one thing: white guilt. People were very mean to them a long time ago and as such many whites feel bad about their hateful and genocidal Caucasian forebearers. The populations that might benefit from this see an opportunity and exploit it just as anybody would. If you told me I could get special benefits just because I was a read-headed guy with Irish parents I'd be all over that. I can't get benefits for this but other people can get benefits for similarly innate characteristics.

    Reverse racism is racism too.
  • Re:No genocide (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tatisimo ( 1061320 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @10:59PM (#19331893)
    Reminded me of this: []

    I wonder how long it'll be until we start accepting the truth and quit our denial of scientific, historical, and other important facts for political reasons.

  • Commoditizing Air (Score:5, Insightful)

    by unlametheweak ( 1102159 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:00PM (#19331897)
    On first glance it sounds ridiculous; however there is some precedence in the monetization of air:

    -The state of New York has filed suit against Ohio for dumping pollution on them through the airwaves 5.html [].

    -A portion of the electro-magnetic spectrum is going to be auctioned off in the U.S.
    "the spectrum is a national resource that should be managed".
    PDF: 0.pdf
    google cache: 0.pdf+lectro-magnetic+spectrum+auctioned&hl=en&ct= clnk&cd=1 []

    If governments can make money off the spectrum then why not so-called "First Nation" governments? It really boils down to how much legal and economic authority Indians should have. And it deals with the ambiguity of a people who both want to claim their individuality and distinction from the rest of society, and still be apart of that society, especially when it comes to exploiting natural resources. It's pretty much politics as usual. Seems like the typical having-your-cake-and-eating-it-to mentality.
  • by Shaman ( 1148 ) <shaman@k[ ]net ['os.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:00PM (#19331901) Homepage
    Fuck white guilt. I don't feel guilty. I feel used.
  • by iminplaya ( 723125 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:02PM (#19331913) Journal
    ALL nations are a farcical anachronism who have greatly outlived their usefulness. We should stop recognizing the US and Canada, and all the others. You're right. It's time to move out of the stone age, and quit marking our territory like dogs. On the other hand, to consider Indian nations any less worthy of the status than a "regular" nation is extremely bigoted. Just sayin'...
  • by Citizen of Earth ( 569446 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:03PM (#19331927)

    Spike: I just can't take all this mamby pamby boo-hooing about the bloody Indians.

    Willow: The preferred term is...

    Spike: You won. All right? You came in and you killed them and you took their land. That's what conquering nations do. It's what Caesar did, and he's not going around saying, "I came, I conquered, I felt really bad about it." The history of the world isn't people making friends. You had better weapons, and you massacred them. End of story.

  • Re:No genocide (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Shaman ( 1148 ) <shaman@k[ ]net ['os.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:04PM (#19331937) Homepage
    It doesn't matter. It wasn't our generation, or our great great great great great grandparent's generation. But we're now paying for it like it was. And it's about time it stopped, because it is doing nobody any favours, least of all the native americans.
  • by Charcharodon ( 611187 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:08PM (#19331991)
    They already get their check every month, now they are trying to milk out more. I have plenty of sympathy and outrage over the past of the way they were treated, but after living near a reservation for three years in the here and now I've let alot of that slide. A large chunk of these people are stuck in the welfare cycle and are just looking for handouts. This is just the latest in a long line of schemes they've been trying on the government to get back what was never taken from the living in the first place. Also it really depends on what ever agreement the particular reservation has with the federal government. They are not sovereign nations, nor are they exempt from federal law.
  • Re:Moderating (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Shaman ( 1148 ) <shaman@k[ ]net ['os.' in gap]> on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:09PM (#19332001) Homepage
    Denial is rarely a good solution.
  • It's way past time to end this ludicrous segregation of Indians into subcitizens on reservations. I propose that we convert reservations into private property contained within the states or regions encapsulating them, with the tribal council or other group elected by the tribal members given the deed to the property. Furthermore, declare a 100-year statute of limitations on all property disputes nationally.

    Seriously, let's repatriate our brothers and put this insanity to rest.

  • by Random832 ( 694525 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:20PM (#19332097)
    That was exactly his point - the law in the US does not allow you to own land.

    In what way is property tax not the same as rent?
  • by gravis777 ( 123605 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:42PM (#19332255)
    who sees where they are coming from? Okay, so I just skimmed the article, but don't most native Americans thing that everything is sacred in some way, including the air? Okay, yes, most of us will sit here and laugh about this, but think about it. You are brought up in a culture where everything is sacred. The water, the earth, the soil, the trees, the air. Someone from another culture upstream decides to build a damn that alters the water and how it flows. Most of us would argue they have a reason for compensation. We come in and decide to cut down their trees, they would want compensation. These to us are physical things that we can put monatary value on. But the natives are seeing it not as just a physical thing, but as a spiritual thing. Extending this thinking to the air waves is not that far of a stretch. And the thought of radio waves are invading their aerospace is actually a really good argument. Most countries that I know of require any device that operates that puts out any type of radio waves or electromagnetic field to be licensed and regulated. Broadcasters and radio operators must pay for braodcast licenses. If there is an Indian nation where we are sending radio waves through their aerospace without paying them a licensing fee, the idea of paying for compensation suddenly does not become so outragious.
  • by Viceroy Potatohead ( 954845 ) on Wednesday May 30, 2007 @11:57PM (#19332375) Homepage
    What a bunch of horsesh*t.

    While I agree the current system doesn't work (in fact, it's absolute garbage which likely exacerbates the problem), pretty much everything else you've said is crap, IMO. I've been to quite a few reserves in Manitoba, and I don't see very many silver spoons in people's mouths. There are plenty of reserves that are absolute holes, where residents don't even own the crappy thirty year old run-down trailers they live in (not allowed to own them on some reserves, from my understanding). No sewage, no garbage pick up, no pavement, mud, no jobs, a laissez faire attitude by the RCMP toward crime (hence lots of juvenile vandalism, arson etc.). What's the option? Move to the city and get a job? Kind of tough when the immediate assumption by too many people, yourself included (I'd guess), is "lazy Indian expecting free hand outs.".

    AFAICT, it isn't "current land claims they are proposing", but existing agreements they want honoured. Personally, I want my government to keep its word, even if it costs me. Some of these treaties are fairly recent (government agreements with natives during the world wars to get them to fight etc).

    And since when did non-violent civil disobedience become "terrorist antics". You might as well paint Rosa Parks with the same brush.

    If 45% of your taxes are largely going to the Indians, you need a new accountant (either that, or I need yours).

    being single, white, male and in my thirties, I can speak out, but I have no recourse, I want my government to honour its agreements. Who knows, it might help.

  • by Goldberg's Pants ( 139800 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:09AM (#19332481) Journal
    I live in Canada. I have nothing but sympathy for the first nations folk. They've been screwed over so many times.

    However, this is just taking the piss.

    I like the Faraday Cage idea. I'd gladly chip in for that, just to fuck these idiots and their claims over.
  • by fyngyrz ( 762201 ) * on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:24AM (#19332569) Homepage Journal
    In what way is property tax not the same as rent?

    You have the ability to choose precisely to whom you pay rent. You can avoid really bad landlords, as well as landlords who would use, or you find out are using, your rent moneys in ways abhorrent to you. You have no such choice with the government. Additionally, when you pay rent, you receive in return a service you desire and are actively attempting to obtain (a place to stay.) When you pay property taxes, you receive what the government decides to give you; you have little (or no) control over your end. For instance, it is one thing for a taxpayer to receive the "service" of schooling if there are children in the house; it is entirely another when there aren't. It is one thing to pay a tax for television transponders if you watch broadcast television. It is entirely another if you don't. It is one thing to see religions exempted from property tax, thus increasing what you must pay, if you support religion. But if you don't... And so on.

    So there are differences. The ability to do much about it, however, is questionable. The larger the area you live in, the less effective your vote is; likewise, the more you differ from the average citizen, the less powerful your vote is. Representative democracy as practiced in the US doesn't serve the minority except as an afterthought, or when cornered.

  • by StikyPad ( 445176 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:31AM (#19332611) Homepage
    Well, let's see..

    a) It's a local tax, not a "US law," and some localities may not have property tax. States specify maximum taxes, but not minimum.

    b) You might as well ask "what's the difference between my power bill and my gas bill?" The answer is what you get for your money. You aren't paying the government to use your own property; you're paying them for the services within their jurisdiction -- usually schools, water, roads, police, streetlights, etc.

    c) It's a TAX. Likewise, try not paying your income tax and see what happens. That doesn't mean you don't have a right to earn a living, but you *also* have an obligation to help maintain our society.

    d) "What happens" is usually that a lein is placed against your property, and that lein must be paid if/when the property is sold or transferred. In some localities, the worst thing that happens is that your name is printed in the local paper. In others, sale is forced, in which case you still get all the money after the government takes its cut.

    So how is that like rent again, where you have nothing to show for your money, cannot transfer posession of the asset, and are liable for damages?

    People who say you don't "own" the property are using very narrow definitions of the word "own." It could be argued that you don't own anything, since there are no guarantees that someone else won't take it away, and you forfeit all of it when you die. Such definitions are both impractical and misleading.
  • by Jack9 ( 11421 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:34AM (#19332619)
    "When it comes to using airspace, it's like using our water and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do."

    It's not right because the use of it doesnt make it unusable for any other purpose INCLUDING reusing it for the same purpose in concurrency. If there's no scarcity, you're basically saying "We should be able to charge people for (being fertile/breathing/growing hair), and simply because there's no precedent doesn't mean that it's not the right thing to do."
  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:54AM (#19332747) Homepage Journal

    You have the ability to choose precisely to whom you pay rent. You can avoid really bad landlords, as well as landlords who would use, or you find out are using, your rent moneys in ways abhorrent to you. You have no such choice with the government.
    Come now, if you find a landlord that you don't like, you can't go to another landlord and get him to rent you the first landlord's property at a deal more to your liking. If you don't like the landlord's terms then you need to rent property that isn't owned by that landlord. Similarly, if you don't like the government, feel free to get property in a location not controlled by that government (last time I checked there wasn't a single global government that controlled all property in the world). You have choice.

    Additionally, when you pay rent, you receive in return a service you desire and are actively attempting to obtain (a place to stay.) When you pay property taxes, you receive what the government decides to give you; you have little (or no) control over your end.
    Right, because you have complete control over the contract the landlord offers you -- if you don't like what he offers you can just change it, and he'll have to accept your changes. No wait, the other way around: if you want to rent property that the landlord owns, you accept the terms he's offering, or look elsewhere. So when paying property tax you get just the same as you get when paying your landlord: a place to stay in a location you desire to stay. If you don't like the terms of the deal offered, you are free to try different property under a different government. Or are you paying property tax but are somehow barred from living and working in the country in which you pay that tax?

    For instance, it is one thing for a taxpayer to receive the "service" of schooling if there are children in the house; it is entirely another when there aren't. It is one thing to pay a tax for television transponders if you watch broadcast television. It is entirely another if you don't.
    So you're looking at renting an apartment in a particular building; the building has a pool and is all set up for cable (it wasn't free to put all the cabling into the building and to maintain it); apparently you can just opt out of paying the cost of those things and still live in that building regardless of whether the landlord is willing to offer you such a contract or not? Somehow I don't think so. The contract for the building includes paying for the amenities. If you don't like the amenities, find a different building. Likewise, property tax includes the amenities the government is offering. If you don't like the amenities, find a different country.

    Stop pretending that you are forced into the deal, when in reality you are simply unwilling to exercise your choice.
  • by ColaMan ( 37550 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @12:55AM (#19332769) Journal
    and now we keep them in a state of artificially constructed abject poverty.

    Boo fucking hoo. Get a job like the rest of us had to. So your great-great-grandfather got a bum deal. You're still here, aren't you? Adapt! Make something of yourself. You're not *forced* to live in abject poverty. You want to talk about bum deals? Talk to the Aztecs. Oh wait, you can't - the Spanish erased them from history. A lot less complaints from Aztec descendants that way it seems.

    If you want to go all Borg-like (and this *is* slashdot, so I guess it's obligatory) :

    Join our culture or perish. Your distinctiveness will be added to our whole. Resistance is futile.
  • by Duhavid ( 677874 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:03AM (#19332821)
    What does it mean to "own land"?
  • by tftp ( 111690 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:30AM (#19333019) Homepage
    feel free to get property in a location not controlled by that government

    This may work in an abstract, theoretical discussion - but in practical terms it is not even nearly as feasible as walking into a next house for rent, probably just next door.

    No wait, the other way around: if you want to rent property that the landlord owns, you accept the terms he's offering, or look elsewhere.

    That is simply incorrect. You and the landlord are equals, and you have as much right to change the contract as he has. You may not know it, but that's how it is. If the landlord wants your money he will accept your changes; you may for example opt out of some services, like clubhouse access or gym or parking or TV. Similarly, if you don't like his contract you will walk away. Deals between private parties can be anything they like, as long as it is not illegal. None of that is true when you deal with the government - you aren't signing any contracts with the government, and you have no practical offer (unless you emigrate.)

  • And it's a rather lucrative business to get into if you want to screw people out of their homes, too.

    Yeah, but the government really hates competition in that area...

    Not that it's stopped a [] few [] people [] from trying over the years. It's a good way to end up at the end of a rope.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday May 31, 2007 @01:46AM (#19333113)
    You only get to use that in court if the white man oppresses you by giving you free housing and supporting your jobless ass.
  • talking... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by l3v1 ( 787564 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:16AM (#19333299)
    Next step should be taxing everyone who talks, since by talking you're using their airspace... Let's see, two cents for every word you speak, and I shall be able to by another island every week or so :))

  • by billDCat ( 448249 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:41AM (#19333479) Homepage

    In any case, we're not talking about private owners here, we're talking about Native American reservations -- we're talking about sovereign States.

    Nope, we're talking about Native Canadian reservations. Not that it changes the argument much, but it's good to get the country right :-)

    I'm actually originally from Manitoba, currently living in British Columbia. I'm not sure how it is down south, but here Native issues are a very complex and politically charged area in both provinces. I personally have trouble trying to separate reason from emotion, and my first instinct is often to think that it's a money grab. On one hand, many reservations are in dire financial need and the money could help them. On the other hand, I'm not sure such funds always go to where they are supposed to or are used in a manner that is really helpful.

    There often still seems to be the feeling within Native communities that the Natives are owed for losses of the past. While there is no arguing that those losses were major, I'm not sure that maintaining that pattern of thinking is a strategy that will win out in the long term (or even in the short term). That feeling of being owed leads to the expectation that other people will take those troubled communities and fix them, but the fixing needs to come from within for it to work. Unfortunately, I fear that this airwaves thing is another knee-jerk "you owe us" reaction rather than one aimed at helping those communities from within. Hopefully I am wrong.
  • by tftp ( 111690 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @02:57AM (#19333563) Homepage
    (because a rental company has bought up all the property in a particular area)

    What weird area would that be, I wonder?

    but in practical terms a landlord will be in a relative position of power in any such negotiation.

    I don't know why you think so. If I talk to a salesman I don't consider him above me. I have a business offer, that's all. I'm not afraid of him. If he says no, it's his right, just as it is my right to say no. If we don't agree I will walk away, big deal.

    It is often much easier for him go without a tenant than it is for you to go without somewhere to live.

    Do not betray the fact that you never worked as a landlord. The ones that I know would laugh at this statement of yours. They spend 30% of their time sending reports to their bosses on how many units are rented and what are the prospects. If the number drops below a certain number they get kicked out - not that it's hard to find a replacement landlord these days... it's a largely unskilled job. Besides, you are free to return to him later and accept his offer, but he is not able to find you a week later and accept your offer. The renter has a tactical advantage.

    You are just as free to try and renegotiate terms with the government.

    I understand that you only restate your previous position, but your phrase is worth quoting :-)

    Of course you do have another form of recourse with regard to government -- you do have a say in who makes up the government and what policies it pursues.

    Huh? What country are you talking about here? Not the USA - the country of Compassionate Conservatives and Democrats Determined To Stop The War, I suppose? (I don't know what happens in .nz where you appear to be from; it could be a True Democracy for all I know.)

    a government [...] still provides you with some means to renegotiate.

    I would like to know some of them that still work. Soap, ballot and jury boxes have been tried to no effect. The last box is scary, and is not likely to help either. Got other ideas?

    A government isn't inherently evil anymore than a landlord is.

    A government has more control over you, including control that you personally haven't permitted the government to have - since you haven't signed any papers to that effect after you were born. Contracts with landlords are signed by you, and should be to mutual benefit of both parties, and they can be dissolved when they are no longer interesting. You can't dissolve a "contract" with your government, and this gives the government more chances to affect your life against your wishes.

  • by king-manic ( 409855 ) on Thursday May 31, 2007 @11:06AM (#19337787)
    The cultural differences between Russia and Japan, India and Canada, England and the United States, Australia and China, are vast and for many, innumerable, but the fact that society has advanced on to this point, has branched out and fluorished in such a way, that's how we know, truly, that we all have the same potential. Just because one country is wealthier than another due to natural resources or any other reason, doesn't mean that the people of another are any less intelligent, or any less capable.

    We should be celebrating our differences, celebrating humanity as a whole, rather than waging personal racial wars against each other, simply because one was fortunate enough to be born in an affluent part of the world, and another was not. In the example of America, there is nothing more in tune with the American ideal than a person landing on the shore from another country, penniless and seasick, looking to make a living

    I cannot tolerate racism. However Cultures are different. Some cultures are better able to deal with certain situations. What happened to most native cultures is it met a culture that out produced, out murdered, and was better deriving nutrients out of any given piece of land. A person born into a culture such as the deep forest cultures in the amazon is going to grow up less able and less intelligent. It's not his genetic potential that causes this but a consequence of his less competitive culture (developmental environment). Culture is not a static thing and it can be changed. The native communities in Canada are not homogeneous and some do very well but many don't. Partly because the current culture of many of them are defeatist. They wish to deny the system, as it isn't their system. They feel the system owes them. They feel the system is against them. Which become self fulfilling prophecies. Unfortunately the system is not going away and if you push too hard the system will shift much harder against those communities.

    The last three decades have seem administrations sympathetic to the native communities and Canada as a whole attempting to help. Don't fool yourself, it's not out of human decency but instead out of political fashion and a bit of guilt that they have done as much as they have in the last 30 years. If you inconvenience enough people via Air Tax and high way protests and the belligerence I see from the native communities in my work this will quickly dropped out of fashion. I'm Chinese and we were discriminated against as well but We sucked it up and marched on with proving we can do just as well in the system. That is what the native communities have to do. Drop the belligerence, drop the angst, and prove they can compete just as well.

The relative importance of files depends on their cost in terms of the human effort needed to regenerate them. -- T.A. Dolotta