A few years ago, I did some research on federal education funding from elementary, to high school and post secondary. Province by province, it was a mish-mash of ad-hocery that even a relatively superficial examination showed that the Department of Indian And Northern Affairs was simply throwing money at some schools and some school boards, while starving others to point of shutdown. What I found early on were examples of off-reserve school boards (white school boards) filing inflated numbers of Indigenous kids at the beginning of the school year and got cheques cut for them by INAC with nary a question asked. On the other hand, on-reserve schools had to justify each and every request for funds; for every staple, piece of chalk and teaching aid.
Off-reserve schools recruited reserve kids like crazy before the September deadline for admissions, then managed to kick a lot of them out once the cheques had been delivered. On-reserve schools had to fight to keep their students in classes sometimes with no heat, few books, and grossly underpaid teachers, compared to what teachers in the white schools got. Gym teacher? In a rez school? What kinda mushrooms you chewin’ on?! Y’eedjit.
Off-reserve schools got grants to upgrade their computers. On-reserve schools got nada – not a freakin’ dime – for computers or software or printers. Nothing. Period! Off-reserve school boards could factor in a certain percentage of their federal grant applications from Indian Affairs for upkeep to the premises, usually called “infrastructure” or “capital” costs. On-reserve schools got a belly laugh from Indian Affairs officials when they tried to apply for similar funding.
I tried to encourage reporters to take a closer look, including some Aboriginal reporters. All I got were blank stares. I got the feeling from the Aboriginal reporters that they wanted me to do their work for them. I got the feeling from the white reporters that not only did they want me to do their work for them but they couldn’t give a sh*t either.
Which brings me to my pick for overlooked or ignored news story of the week. Once again, it’s the disgusting behaviour of the Harper Government in Ottawa, and the always blood-boiling antics of the Department of Indian Affairs under the direction of Chuckie. I have never seen such of bunch of two-faced, lyin’ sonsawhoosits in my life. They give new meaning to the word: “shameless.”
shameless |ˈ sh āmlis|
(of a person or their conduct) characterized by or showing a lack of shame : his shameless hypocrisy.