Sunday, December 31, 2006

Welcome back Elder!

Anonymous has left a new comment on your post, "Got Metis land claims questions?"

I would like to take a shot at those questions:

1. There are no bona fide political representatives for the Metis, only the lawyer a Metis chooses to represent him or her. A Metis still falls under Canada's political laws with the difference being Red River Metis had landscript or property that was taken away. As one I may vote in mainstream politics because I am still a Canadian. The MMF is just a Club getting tax money that is suppose to help the poor Metis, but ends up redirected for other purposes unknown to most and those who are aware will not say because they will get sued or hardship will fall upon them

2. Absolutly no to question two. With the state of the MMF and it's present Board, only friends and family would share in this new wealth. We would also see people without landscript profiting, just like it happened 130 years ago. Crumbs would be given to others to keep them quiet. Also, why would I want someone else handling my affairs and or property

3. No to question three. Only Red River Metis with landscript are entitled. They are the ones who lost everything, such as our farm as late as 1962. Taken away for a couple hundred tax dollars or the Catholic Church which took my Grandmother's property because she had burrowed a few hundred dollars and died before she had a chance to pay them back. Metis membership means nothing, it's like joining a Club run by an uncle who keeps you in line

4. If your family held script in the Red River Valley, even C-31 status should be eligible for entitlement. C-31 are still mixed blood. Many Metis have joined the white race, (we should call them W-31) but they are still Metis

5. Yes to question five. How the government deals with it is up to them. When the government and their bandits kicked the Metis off their land, they should have thought of compensating the Metis then

If a bankers steals from his client, the court makes him pay it back. The court doesn't care where the fancier gets his money as long as he pays it back. If the banker gets caught 20 years later, he must pay back at today's currency value plus interest. For example, if my antique car got stolen and the thief spent $50,000 repairing it, the law doesn't look at that expenditure, only the fact that the vehicle is mine and I would get it back regardless of the condition.

I would not pay the thief 50 grand to have it returned. This same law should be enforced in this case. Supposedly all this makes too much sense and the government would have to throw it out. Would like to see others thoughts on these questions

Happy New Year Clare,
Your Elder Is Back!
Dear Elder:

Welcome back and thank you for the lovely Christmas card. Indeed your points are very well taken. Given the MMF's track record for transparency, accounability and propensity for spending public money on highly qestionable projects, we favour a Land Claims Commission. Here's why:

(a) The judiciary is the only institution with the power to trump governments and redress wrongdoings. Why not a Land Claims Commission jointly headed by a Federal Court Judge and Manitoba Court of Queen's Bench Justice? Let them select the other Members. Assuming there is a cash settlement, it would be this group which decided who gets what

(b) Every Metis who believed they had a valid land claim could make written application before The Commission. They would also have:

(i) The right to appear in person before The Commission to appeal a decision with which they disagreed. Alternatively, a claimant could have a representative such as a friend or attorney argue on their behalf

(ii) Appeals could also be submitted in writing

Like you, we too fear if a cash award were turned over to the Manitoba Metis Federation for distribution "significant administrative leakage" (And that's being extremely kind!) would result. You need protection from an organization which purports to represent your best interests.

Clare L. Pieuk


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