Posts Tagged ‘arctic canada’
Royce Kurmelovs’ Al Jazeera article describing how changes in government funding to Aboriginal communities threaten to result in the shutdown of many of the more remote ones is quite alarming to me, not least because I can see certain parallels with many Canadian First Nations communities. Many of my recent posts about Arctic Canada have related to the high cost of living and various failing efforts to bring this down to southern standards, while other remote reserves face similar serious issues. I suspect that Canadian First Nations might be somewhat better off, if only because they have enjoyed for a very long while many of the attributes of sovereignty that Aboriginal groups seem to have enjoyed only recently, but still.
Comments? The question of cutbacks in our era of austerity is very real, and all the more threatened for their associations with ethnic biases by neglectful central governments.
The West Australian state government may bulldoze 150 remote indigenous communities that it says are too expensive to keep open under a new funding arrangement between federal and state authorities.
Canberra has offered each state a one-time, lump-sum payment to take over the responsibility of financing remote Aboriginal communities indefinitely.
In an ultimatum, Western Australia was offered $90m, enough to fund remote communities through to 2017.
But as of June 30, 2015, past federal funding agreements will end, effectively giving Western Australia authorities about seven months before they must start working out how to fund remote communities in the future – and which ones will have to close.
Similar arrangements have been made with South Australian, Queensland, Victorian and Tasmanian state governments.
All have so far remained silent on the details with the exception of South Australia, which rejected a $10m payment on the basis that it was not enough for the obligation being created.
South Australia’s Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation Ian Hunter warned if his government was forced to accept the new arrangement, 60 remote communities – home to 4,000 people – would have to close.