It is a horrible problem that must be overcome , we cannot allow a subset of our population to live in squalor and poverty .
A significant part of the problem would seem to be in trying to reconcile the concept of aboriginal peoples " living off the land " in remote parts of our vast country , and the access to modern goods and services that only a metropolis can provide .
The ancient model of inland tribes involved a nomadic lifestyle , moving with the herds , or seasons , giving rise to the notion of " stewardship of the land " , but actually it meant moving on when the resources of one area were depleted , ad infinitum . Of course , it also meant periodic famines , lower life expectancy ,child mortality ... all those things that Darwin would say are necessary mechanisms to promote survival of the fittest , and / or the checks and balances that keep all species in an ecosystem in equilibrium .
Our modern system requires that those nomadic peoples be locked in one place forever , so they may be provided with the kind of infrastructure previously only available in a city : flush toilets , requiring sewage treatment systems ; running water piped into every home , requiring water purification plants ; permanent housing , with heat and all modern conveniences ; medical centers , staffed and equipped as well as any such centre in Toronto or North Bay ; schools , expected to meet standards of any in urban centres....
History has proven that this is not a sustainable model , especially not if we also make every member of these communities a life-long welfare recipient , with no incentive to better their lot .
Another important aspect to consider , and not given any airtime , is the massive bureaucracy that is IANA . Huge buildings , staffed with legions of self serving drones who benefit from the current system , indeed they created the system for their own benefit . Indeed , I would wager that there are more " whites" overseeing the system , than there are aboriginals , and those " whites " enjoy a far higher standard of living than not only the aboriginal peoples , but also the average Canadian taxpayer . The massive cost of this bureaucracy is never included in the calculation of the amount expended on the individual bands - a taxpayer revolt would ensue.
A way forward ? I believe only assimilation will work . Just as we have thriving Sikh , or Hindu , or Filipino , or Italian individuals and communities throughout our nation , so should we have Aboriginal peoples , in our schools and workplaces , improving our multi-cultural society with their presence . Just as every other Hyphenated - Canadian ,
they should own property , vote , pay taxes , keep their cultural traditions alive , return to their ancestral lands as often as they can afford to , in short - to be Canadian citizens .