Won’t someone think of the Third Party Manager?

INAC (Aboriginal Affairs) is busy patting itself on the back for solving all of Attawapiskat’s problems. To hear them tell it, Jacques Marion was a veritable hero, swooping into Attawapiskat in the nick of time, narrowly averting disaster.

What Attawapiskat should be saying.

INAC is magnanimously withdrawing its Third Party Manager, but shouldn’t hold its breath for any thanks from Attawapiskat. That ungrateful community is continuing its lawsuit against the federal government for putting Marion there in the first place!

Okay, so Marion was on vacation in Hawaii recently, and was thus unable to release funds to off-reserve students from Attawapiskat for frivolities like food and shelter. Was this hard working man not entitled to a little R&R? Students should be used to a diet of ramen noodles and homelessness. It builds character!

Breakfast, lunch and supper of champions!

The ever hyperbolic Charlie Angus blasted Marion for his $20,000 per month salary as though this has anything to do with off-reserve students being unable to afford bus fare. Why doesn’t he direct his vociferous ire at Chief Spence, who with a bloated salary of $5798 a month could have gone without payment for her work and instead financed 1932 one way bus fares while Marion was soaking up his well-earned rays?

You may have heard that 22 mobile units have arrived in Attawapiskat. Who is responsible for that? Charlie “Weeps for the Indians” Angus, or Theresa Spence with her Chief-who-cried-wolf declarations of States of Emergency? HECK no! It was Marion who metaphorically carried those units into the community! Pay no mind to the charity that raised money to furnish those units. Furnishings are unnecessary luxuries.

Jacques Marion (not to scale). Imagine mobile homes instead. And possibly a cape.

So a few families spent the deepest part of winter in makeshift shelters. Surely they understand that it was much more important to ask where the $90 million went first?

Chief Spence tried to have Marion removed, actually comparing the imposition of a Third Party Manager to the Residential School system, insinuating that Canada does not have an unblemished track record when it comes to exercising complete authority over native peoples. I’m sorry, but removing an elected Chief and Council from power on the basis of unproven accusations of malfeasance is not at all oppressive.

Chief Spence, you are going to have to explain to me how any of the following constitute an ‘urgent crisis’ that created a ‘financial burden’ on Attawapiskat that can possibly raise doubts about the publicly accepted truths of mismanagement and corruption?

It’s not as though Attawapiskat has had to deal with situations all that different than those faced by any small town, so please, a little less exaggeration would be appreciated.

It is also a little tacky to be celebrating Marion’s removal. This hero has just lost his job. Where is the compassion for your fellow man?

Sure I told the nation you are corrupt and incompetent, but can't we all just get along?

Please end this court battle which: “seek[s] a declaration that the decision to impose the third-party manager was unlawful, and seek[s] to refute the suggestion by the Prime Minister of Canada that `management problems’ caused the housing crisis suffered by the First Nation”.

Is clearing your name, and the name of the community in this matter really all that important in the grand scheme of things? Instead of playing the blame game, why not wish Marion well and move on with your lives? You don’t see Prime Minister Harper smack talking you in the media. Anymore.

This article has also been published on rabble.ca.


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Categories: Alienation, Culture, Decolonisation, First Nations, INAC, Injustice

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8 Responses to Won’t someone think of the Third Party Manager?

  1. Woooweeee! Are you pissed off or what? I just bet Jacques Marion had to go for a Hawaiian rest-cure because of the rudeness and rejection he experienced in Attawapiskat. And to add insult to injury, Stephen Harper looks just as stupid in a feather headdress as he does in a cowboy hat. Good blog!!

  2. Gayl says:

    Your sense of humour is razor-sharp, and I mean razor-sharp!!! Good one.

  3. Sarah says:


    Might you do this for hire? I often want to call out hypocricy but can’t find the right tone…

    Please post your rates! 😀

  4. Pingback: Attawapiskat Update « Red Alliances Media

  5. steve julian says:

    If anyone ever wanted an example of what sardonicism is, here it is. A great piece. Thanks

  6. Emo says:

    I know this is going to sound out-of-place, but there are a lot of positive opportunities on the James Bay / Hudson Bay coastline.

    Currently, Canada has just one arctic seaport, and that’s Churchill, Manitoba.

    As scary as it may seem, the north coast is becoming less remote because global warming equates to trans-arctic shipping becoming a normalized trade route (this started in 2009, BTW; for more details, see, e.g., http://www.marineinsight.com/marine/environment/how-the-ice-melting-in-the-arctic-has-affected-the-shipping-industry/).

    I think there’s a big, big problem to tackle in building physical links of trade and transport between places like Attawapiskat and Moosonee/Moose Factory. There’s no road of any kind out there (with Kashechewan in-between, a reserve with its own history of similar emergencies and failures-of-government-intervention, cf. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/opinions/jeffrey-simpson/for-kashechewan-read-attawapiskat/article2262286/) and yet the obvious question for anyone looking at a map is, “why can’t a boat service link these places, at least seasonally?”

    Compared to any other country I’ve known or visited, Canada seems to be remarkably bad at setting up and maintaining regular boat transportation of any kind, even in densely populated settings like the repeated failures to maintain a boat link between Toronto and Rochester, New York (whereas the government would waste unlimited sums on the Island Airport, and in redecorating the post-industrial harbor to serve no post-industrial purpose). I recall hearing unscientific complaining from the boat industry (on CBC radio, of course) that this has to do with the extent to which the federal government treats boats entirely different from rail and road transport; but this is something I’ve never done a page of research on (and, thus, I’m aware of my own ignorance on the matter).

    The surreal fact is that you can now catch a direct train from downtown Toronto to Moose Factory (okay, slight exaggeration: you have to get out and switch trains in Cochrane, Ontario) but you can’t get a boat from one place on the Bay to another. The terrible isolation and reliance on ice-roads would be reduced if you could take a regular ferry (however infrequent) between Fort Albany and… well… anywhere else (Attawapiskat, Kashechewan, you name it).

    If anyone thinks that a boat service is expensive (as I’m sure it would be heavily subsidized, and/or entirely non-profit), they can compare the cost to the current reliance on small aircraft flights and so-called winter roads, or to the cost of any of the failed government schemes (such as those mentioned in the article linked to, by Jeffrey Simpson).

    Both Moosonee and Churchill connect by train to “the outside world”; if it’s now inevitable that long-haul shipping is going to proliferate on the arctic ocean, it wouldn’t take all that much imagination to see a brighter future for communities that are now situated along Hudson Bay and James Bay. Anyone else want to start an NGO to tackle this? I’ve probably got about 30 years that I can put into the problem.

  7. doug fontaine says:

    Good article! Once again the great white grandfather has saved the poor savage! I put all blame squarely on the waasheeshow! I don’t blame the reserve for they are only following the directives given to them by the government. I’m amazed that Duncan fellow who supposingly the head of Indian affairs even knows what day of the week it is. He gets that Chinese girl to speak for him and even her you have a hard time to follow. Shame, Shame on the government!!!

  8. Tatyana Babonde says:

    LOL’ing SO HARD at “Charlie “Weeps for the Indians” Angus”.

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