June 13, 2016

We talk about reconciliation, apologies and forgiveness, but we never have a truthful solution to First Nations issues. We get only negativity to do with problems on reserves.

What we need to do first and foremost is to abolish First Nations reserves and their isolation from the rest of society. Segregation does not make people inclusive or feel part of society.

We as a couple lived and were involved in native communities and programs to help in education and housing. We found the isolation always to be to the detriment of those communities.

Many white-washed programs for people who could only put an "X" on their cheques each month set them up for failure. Money does not make for success in self-esteem, education, dignity or self-worth.

The communities themselves have to take responsibility for their problems and realize that being apart from the rest of us is not acceptable.

They need to be able to go to work, get education on the same level as the rest of us and pay taxes just like everyone else. Billions of dollars have been poured into communities only to see it cause more degradation than good.

Let's get off all the negativity and print some success stories, while also making accountability part of the solution. Money is not the answer nor is saying "the poor First Nations."

Yes, the abuse in residential schools, etc., is a disgrace, and God must cry daily, watching the weakness of some of his shepherds and their flock. But our solution is still to give more money and keep the segregation. Spirituality is in confusion and conflict for First Nations.

In the Year of Mercy, let us all do our share to pray for betterment in solutions rather than in pity.

Marilyn Savage
Mundare