Sunday, November 1, 2020

Scott McLoed's "a little lesson in the basics of economics"

Written by Scott McLeod, Chief of Nipissing First Nation,

I believe this was posted in 2018. Republished with permission.

Last week I was sitting beside a non Indigenous gentleman at the airport waiting for my connecting flight. He struck up a conversation with me which, for the most part was pleasant enough (he was actually from sturgeon). When he inquired to what it is I do for work I informed him that I was Chief of my community. His reply was simply "Oh so I pay your salary?" Rather than being insulted and getting angry I decided to do him a favour and educate him a little. My reply: "Sir, a little lesson in the basics of economics may give you a better understanding of how things actually work. The very fundamental ingredient for any economy in this world is having a land base, one that is rich in resources. These resources are harvested, extracted or grown from that land. This creates work/jobs, commodities and revenues. This in turn creates a workforce that pays into a tax base that creates roads, infrastructures, schools and hospitals. This workforce in turn needs services and goods which expands this economy creating more businesses and more jobs. Pretty basic stuff. Now, where do you think this land base came from sir? The Indigenous people of "Canada" signed Treaties to share our land base so Indigenous and non indigenous could all prosper from the richness of our land base. Instead, our people got raped, murdered, thrown in residential schools, jails and marginalized from the economic benefits of our own land and became the poorest people as a result. So no matter what job or business you have, Indigenous people have paid and continue to pay YOUR salary every single day whether you'd like to admit it or not. No land base = no country = no economy = no job, it's really that simple"

To all my non Indigenous friends, this week is Treaty Recognition Week, if you believe Canada is the best country in the world please take the time to learn about it's real history and be thankful.

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Treaties Recognition Week is the first week of November every year. Treaties Recognition Week was introduced in 2016 in the Government of Ontario to honour the importance of treaties and to help Ontarians learn more about treaty rights and treaty relationships.

Those who aren't familiar with the treaties that form the basis of Canada may also not be familiar with the language of "Her Majesty, by and with the advice and consent of the Legislative Assembly of the Province of Ontario, enacts as follows..." used by the Government of Ontario. Canada isn't yet a country separate from Britain or the British monarchy, but a constitutional monarchy.

There are Treaty Week 2020 events, including the sovereign treaty signatories of the Robinson Huron Treaty.

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