February 25, 2013

Re: “Churches line up to support fasting chief” (WCR, Jan. 14).

One would wonder why any church would support the fasting chief of Attawapiskat reserve when it is clearly evident that it is not the lack of federal government support for aboriginal peoples as it is the total mismanagement of the resources that the Government of Canada gives to these reserves.

To wit: We recently learned that federal government payments to Attawapiskat are $450,000 per month for a population of only 300. That is $1,500 a month per person in welfare payments.

At the same time, we learned that Spence receives $7,000 a month tax free and her boyfriend, the town manager, receives $850 a day tax free. That is more than $310,000 a year tax free to manage a town of 300.

What is more, Attawapiskat bought an Olympia ice resurfacer for $96,000, and spent $200,000 on gifts and $36,000 on goose hunting last year, yet their houses are falling down.

Any Church authority wanting to support Spence should learn some of the facts before taking such an uninformed stand. What many, if not most, aboriginal reserves require is some significant financial overseeing or control by the federal government.

Giving more money only aids and abets this deplorable situation. If the churches want to support anything, support the Government of Canada in its current reasonable approach to aboriginal peoples.

Wilbur Colin
Edmonton