Update on blockade at the Marten Falls FN Band Office

Marten Falls Chief and Council along with young Lamarith
Marten Falls Chief and Council along with young Lamarith

MARTEN FALLS FN – Today community members in Marten Falls were protesting at the Band Office.

Marten Falls Chief Bruce Achneepineskum has issued the following update:

NAPS came in with their riot police. I don’t have a say on their procedures.

The protesters want a meeting with Chief and Council. I told them can’t do tonight as all of our Council is not here as some live out if town! I spoke to them this morning when I tried going to work. They have valid concerns and I said I would meet them only with the full council present.

They have a lot of misinformation they told me about.

I didn’t know we had a million in Jordan’s Principal dollars last year?

We need better communication.

I’m not blaming anyone, but we all know FNs are underfunded especially in areas of capacity development and other areas.

Look at the child welfare case, Cindy Blackstock fought for and govt is still fighting it.

We have been underfunded in education leading to whole generations of our people not getting the education they deserve and need.

We just are still on bottled water after over a decade but finally, have a plant. As well we have no fire suppression equipment in the community.

As for fiscal transparency, we are audited every year, but even last year ISC intervened with an extra audit with Price Waterhouse Cooper – they found no irregularities only a lack of capacity to manage with no financially trained personnel at the local levels in some of our departments.

The whole goal of ISC is to deal with the ‘Indian problem’ from the day it was enacted.

Deprive First Nations of their land rights – alienate them from their culture, land rights, and practices by moving them to mainstream society by all means possible including residential school and later boarding programs for our young, take away all of our land rights and our resources leaving us dependant on the meager transfer payments just enough to run our programs at the local level.

If we were truly independent, we would make our own destiny and plan our own future according to how we want it.

We could do that with enough resources to let our people succeed at all levels.

But no, we are succumbing to a paternalism that dictates every facet of your lives.

The paternalism that ensures a pattern of dependence and ensures we fight both at the community level and against one another as First Nations or First Nations organizations for the scant resources offered. A take it or leave it approach!

So Indian Act Chief and Councils are not your antagonist and against you as a person getting ahead and succeeding in life. It is the system we find ourselves wrapped up in it because we find no fault in it or just are willing to go with it.

Taiaiake Alfred a Mohawk scholar once said to the effect with Indigenous peoples “We use and accept the system then we are all to degree co-opted”!

Marten Falls First Nation is an Anishinaabe First Nation reserve located in northern Ontario. The First Nation occupies communities on both sides of the Albany River in Northern Ontario, including Ogoki Post in the Cochrane District and Marten Falls in the Kenora District.

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