About a month ago I asked Hon. Ken Krawetz for information on provincial fundinng of FSI ( Federation of Sask. Indians). He passed on my request to Hon. Reiter, Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs. Yesterday I received my first reply. I say first reply because although the Regina Cabinet was quite cooperative and efficient in getting me some figures there are still many detail requests to follow, such as the salaries of the Chief, Vice Chief, et c, et c, Senators, Grand Council Representatives et c, et c.
In Canada there is a Federal Government composed of The House of Commons and The Senate, provincial legislatures and municipal governments. Each band has a Chief and Council comparable to a municipal government. There are three levels of government, That’s simple. But when did FSI deserve the status of a governmental body? Who are they governing and under what and whose authority? One question has an easy answer. Who funds FSI? (Note they like to be called FSIN but I do not concede that they are a Nation onto itself or Nations onto themselves). The answer ,as to who funds FSI, is the taxpauer. Period. No bakesales, revenue generating income, at least LEGAL revenue generating income, no membership fees, no donations. The taxpayer funds every meeting, every plane ticket, every salary, every gas fill- up, every vehicle the personnel own or use,, every news conference, every public relations officer, every research and propaganda department, every lawyer they hire, every stamp, every envelope, every white feather and accompanying ceremony, every office building of which there are many, known and unknown.
Not only is this taxation without representation it is taxation without knowledge, without accountability, and in many cases taxation without the right to ask questions, to get answers or to make comments. Human Rights Commissions and Hate Laws protected this outrage. People were called racist if they even got near questioning where their taxes went. Isn’t it interesting that exposes have begun since the Stephen Harper administration was elected and the Tory removal of the Hate laws?
It is difficult for a non- native to get information, to ask questions and to voice opinions. However it is not only difficult but very, very dangerous for a native, especially on a reserve to seek answers and to express views. The FSI has tentacles to every treaty person on or off the reserve. Native politics is not grass roots up authority but very much from the top down power. The FSI works very hard to make sure they are at the top.
According to the 2011-2012 Public Accounts of Saskatchewan FSI received a combined total of $1, 360, 150 from the province. That is one million, three hundred, sixty thousand, one hundred fifty dollars of tax payer money. Not bad for a group of people who have no constitutional authority to exist as such. Everyone has a right to freedom of assembly but not every one has a right to demand that the taxpayer fund their assembly. The FSI is by definition an ethnic or racial group . It has no authority under any Treaty to demand, negotiate or expect taxpayer funds. This million dollars plus that FSI receives from the province does not include treaty obligations, band funds, services to Saskatchewan people who happen to be native, and any federal funds they receive which is very considerable and needs its own research. The FSI main purpose is to generate rationale for more taxpayer money . The most scandalous example is the Residential School boondoggle. When FSI goes ever expanding excuses for pay- outs and the victim for ever industry is greatly curtailed. Legitimate and diverse issues of bands and reserves can come forward. Natives as individuals and as communities can find a voice or many voices and participate fully in public discourse.
The FSI is a tax funded protection racket. Probably defunding FSI would save more taxpayer funds than taxing incomes on reserves would generate, Let’s start there. Gay