Thursday, January 10, 2013

Terry Nelson Writes to Stephen Harper

January 10th 2013

Dear Prime Minister Harper

Years ago when you were first elected as Prime Minister you made a statement that the Government of Canada spends $16,500 for each First Nations man, woman and child. The same message was delivered by the then Minister of Indian Affairs Jim Prentice. This was great PR for your government and it helped get the Conservatives elected as a majority government but we know that this is not really a lie, just a bending of the truth. See attached 2008 letter to Minister Strahl where I destroy that statement.

The reality is that you can go down in history as the most reviled Prime Minister in history or tomorrow you can make the inroads needed to solve the issue of indigenous peoples in Canada.  Remember that Brian Mulroney stated during the Oka Crisis that Canada spent $13,500 per First Nations man, woman and child. The Conservatives were reduced to two seats because they didn't manage the press. You have a bigger problem of the internet and some massive expectations. You do however have options that make sense.

You have over 10 billion dollars per year available to spend if you change the way it is delivered to First Nations. You need to change the message to Canadians. The Taxpayer Federation message needs to be changed. You need to make a bold action to dismantle Indian Affairs oversight and send the money directly to First Nations. Years ago, it was not called funding, it was called "Indian monies". The 10 billion per year has to be pledged to banks  multi-year so that First Nations can plan bigger projects. Revenue sharing will happen but not immediately, if you do not have an immediate action plan that is realistic, you will not succeed tomorrow.

Shawn Atleo and the B.C. Chiefs cannot deliver the Treaty 1-11 First Nations. The pipelines are in the three Prairie Provinces and Ovide Mercredi cannot deliver Chief Fox and the other Chiefs in the area. Unless you meet with Chief Fox, Chief Day and a few others, you will not be able to settle this issue down. The public show is tomorrow, the quiet work will follow.

Blockades will occur on January 16th if you do not succeed tomorrow. Bloodshed will occur, make no mistake. The level of hatred that one third of white Canada has against indigenous people is real and if you cannot manage this situation, you will go down in history as the Prime Minister that turned Canada from the most peaceful country in the world to another Yugoslavia. The Americans are not going to let this continue without some security for trade.

The time to dismantle Indian Affairs is now, not just another Liberal press strategy but a real action plan.  I still thank you for converting the 75 acres near Winnipeg for Roseau River and I thank you for the 1903 Surrender. You have a good man in Wernick in the discussions. I don't know Clement but Duncan needs to be strong in wanting to dismantle Indian Affairs.  Either Mulroney didn't listen to his advisors or he had poor advisors. Whether you are another Mulroney will be seen tomorrow. The message to white Canada is not needed right now, There is more than enough accountability, you have three years before the next election, don't waste your chance to be the Prime Minister that kept Canada the most peaceful country in the world. None of the Chiefs in the Prairies want violence or to damage the economy.

Terrance Nelson 

 Copy of Assembly of First Nations Draft Policy
Text Box: - DRAFT - 

January 8, 2013 (b)


The pre-existing Aboriginal title and rights of First Nations must be reconciled with the asserted sovereignty of the Crown. Efforts to do so following the Crown-First Nations Gathering on January 24, 2012, have not yet been fulfilled. The following interests / outcomes have been identified as a priority going into the January 11, 2013, meeting with Canada:

1.    Any process aimed at reforming the Comprehensive Claims Policy (CCP) must be guided by an ongoing political dialogue at the highest level (i.e., the Prime Minister’s office). Oversight cannot be relegated to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development or any other bureaucracy.
2.    Discussions with respect to the reform of the CCP would include (but not limited to):
a.    Fiscal arrangements;
b.    Shared territory;
c.    Recognition / reconciliation;
d.    The status of lands;
e.    Self-government; and
f.     Certainty.
3.    Any process to reform the CCP must:
a.    Be based on the principles of recognition and reconciliation, rather than extinguishment. As a result, Canada must unequivocally reject the doctrines of terra nullius and discovery as a basis for engaging First Nations in any forum;
b.    Respect the differences between First Nations, their interests and aspirations – the policy cannot be one size fits all, therefore it cannot be based on pre-determined outcomes, formulas, or unilateral impositions by Canada;
c.    Be jointly developed and implemented subject to the approval of First Nations themselves – as a result, Canada’s purported “results-based” approach to treaty and self-government negotiations must be rescinded;
d.    Provide the ability for all First Nations to pursue the negotiation of modern treaty and self-government arrangements, including the ability to negotiate interim measures / arrangements;
e.    Accept that the Crown’s policies / processes must remain consistent with the Common / Civil / Indigenous Law (including case law arising from Haida, Delgamuukw, etc. ), international human rights law, and the Constitution;
f.     Lead to the unequivocal recognition of First Nations title on the ground in a manner that does not lead to “postage stamp” parcels of land.
4.    The Constitutional nature of Aboriginal title and rights requires Canada to consult with First Nations on any policy, regulation or legislation that has the potential to affect their rights whether or not a First Nation is engaged in a process of negotiation with the Crown.
5.    First Nations are entitled to free, prior and informed consent as referenced in the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) adopted by Canada in 2010.
6.    Many First Nations in Canada have incurred significant debts in their efforts to negotiate meaningful CCP settlements. These debts must be forgiven and a new process must be implemented that incorporates adequate non-repayable resourcing for the negotiation and implementation of agreements.
7.    Immediate priorities in First Nation communities cannot be displaced by these higher level processes aimed at reconciling First Nation rights and title through a reformed policy (e.g., health, housing, etc.).


  1. My earth-low bow to you, Steve, and, maybe, one day, a brotherly hug. If we come close enough to each other.
    You are a magnificent man, Steve.
    I am very sorry, Steve, I do not know your real, Ojibway name, so that I could greet you properly.
    Even more I am sorry I do not know your language, Steve, which is the language of this land, which is your land and in which I am your uninvited but good-willing and respectful guest.
    Out of this ignorance, or lack of knowledge, when I talk to you I have to call YOUR land “America” or “Canada”—I don’t know better.
    I was born and raised in Yugoslavia but when I talk to you I do not feel as Yugoslav, or European, or white, or Caucasian (I have never been to Caucasus). I just feel as your fellow human being.
    The only words of your land I know are written in the header of the newspaper People’s Voice I saw in the hands and before the eyes of some Ojibway youth, fighting students in Montreal, last spring. Actually I think these words belong to another language of this land, namely to Nēhiyaw, Nīhithaw, Nēhilaw, Nēhinaw, Ininiw, Ililiw, Iynu (Innu), Iyyu or Cree. They say: “Otatoskewak ota kitaskinahk mamawentotan!”
    With these words I greet you, and everybody who is dear to you.
    Srećko Vojvodić, Ph.D.
    Physicist and financial advisor
    Scarborough, Ontario

  2. Thank you for the nice comments. My head is to big to hold up right now. The letter is not mine it is from former Chief of Roseau River, Mr Nelson.

    I have never met anyone from Yugoslavia. I do really like to meet new peopel all the time. I am a bit of a hit and miss, people will like me or not. It depends if they like a noisy guy asking them about their life.
    Yes it is great to be a human being. That is one thing the Earth has a number of human beings and all are capable of doing kindness. we all have shortcomings but you never know practice and practice, exercise and we may get there.
    Take care.

  3. I would also like to express my support and in the same terms as Srecko above, as being a British immigrant to Canada as a child means I am probably a part of the problem. Your trip to Iran was a bold move and it got their attention. Your refusal to bow to all the media criticism and slurs is to be admired. Keep on the struggle. First Nations peoples must have full control over their natural and financial resources and over their lives and destiny.

    Christopher Black
    International Criminal Lawyer
    Toronto, Ontario

  4. Dear Steve, I am not distracted or careless, I see what I read. So, when the title says “Terry Nelson Writes to Stephen Harper” I clearly understand that it’s Terry Nelson who wrote to Stephen Harper, and not you. You are the blog owner, and in this capacity you published the article of your choice.

    When I wrote you what I wrote you, it was based on what you wrote (and posted) about yourself, and your beloved ones (in the right column, under the title “THIS IS ME”), and was not based on the article “Terry Nelson Writes to Stephen Harper” you published.


    Srećko Vojvodić

    NB: On a technical note, your “Comment as” selection box (under the main comment input window) apparently is not programmed correctly, and that’s why we, your guests, have to publish as “Anonymous”, in spite of clearly writing our names. Namely, I tried to use my WordPress account and my Google account for this purpose, but it did not work.

  5. Thank you very much Srecko (Kitch-Miigwich) for the kind post. I will try and fix the comment settings. I am not really don't have the tinkering thing down pat but will give it a go. I am really happy to get comments from people. Especially kind ones. Gives me some encouragement.