Aboriginal Affairs Minister John Duncan, who announced the measures in question period Wednesday, told the House of Commons that "urgent health and safety issues" in the northern Ontario community needed immediate action.
"The Government of Canada has informed the chief that we are placing the community in third-party management to ensure community needs are addressed," Duncan said.
"Part of the manager's role will be to administer my department's funding which is normally managed by the First Nation directly."
Attawapiskat has been in crisis for a very long time and very vocal about, mostly notably around its lack of school. The latest crisis is around housing. In response the federal government has stepped in and taken control of community administration, effectively declaring them incompetent regarding the provision of housing and services to the community. In any other community in Canada the federal reaction to a crisis would be to work with and through local authorities. Not so with Aboriginal locales. These are punished.
Attawapiskat is not alone, and conditions on many remote Aboriginal settlements are appalling. The Conservative's action on this, seizing control, risks a silencing effect on other communities in crisis as they are effectively saying, "If you complain, we will take away your autonomy and humiliate you."
Naked paternal colonial racism.