Do your homework before commenting on native conditions

Re.: Sarah Switzer letter of Thursday Dec. 22 2011, regarding native life on reserves.

Re.: Sarah Switzer letter of Thursday Dec. 22 2011, regarding native life on reserves.

I know that she means well but she needs to get her facts together first before stating that it is the all the government’s fault.

True, some fault is the government’s fault. Natives for years have been demanding self-government. But as long as the tax payers are paying for this self-government we must have accountability. Lump sum payments to natives are not the answer. Some sort of progress payments would stop abuses of monies given.

I worked for the NWT Housing Corporation for many years. Providing training for housing maintenance programs, planning/supervision of new housing units and rehab of older housing units. She should not believe all she hears or reads about the plight of natives in Canada.

When Native settlements are not properly supervised there is wasteful use of money.

It takes many years to change attitudes in the settlement or reserves. I know for a fact that you have to be in the settlement time and time again to make meaningful progress.

For example who built the shacks on the reserve? Not authorized by the government.

Photos are misleading in Attawapiskat; Natives pay very little rent if not none.

Yet it costs thousands to provide services to each housing unit.

In closing, everyone who takes issue with the plight of natives should research fully the facts first and not trust all the media or the various political people who jump onto this issue.

This has been a problem for years on how to get accountability, not for just money, but for the delivery of programs by the natives and world aid. Money can be wasted and misused, if oversight and checks are not in place.

Fred Gifford

Red Deer

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