Sheilla Jones & Sheila North -- Book LaunchThursday Sep 19 2019 7:00 pm, Winnipeg, Grant Park in the Atrium
Launch of Let the People Speak: Oppression in a Time of Reconciliation (J Gordon Shillingford Publishing).
In Let the People Speak, author Sheilla Jones calls for a modernized annuity whose value is linked to the value of the land. This monthly annuity would be paid directly to all Status First Nations (FN) people, without the involvement of Indigenous Affairs or band councils. It would, says Jones, radically transform the power dynamics in federal Indigenous politics by finally empowering ordinary FN people to speak for themselves. FN leader Sheila North says the impact of a modernized annuity would be profound and immediate.
Sheilla Jones is a Senior Fellow with the Frontier Centre for Public Policy, leading the Treaty Annuity/Individual Empowerment Initiative. She is an award-winning Canadian journalist, former CBC news editor, and author of several books.
Sheila North is the former Grand Chief of the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak (MKO). She served as Chief Communications Officer for the Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs, and has worked as a journalist for both CBC and CTV.
- by Sheilla Jones
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Over the past fifty years, Canada's Indigenous Affairs department (now two departments with more than 30 federal co-delivery partners) has mushroomed into a "super-province" delivering birth-to-death programs and services to First Nations, Inuit and Métis people. This vast entity has jurisdictional reach over 90-percent of Canada's landscape, and an annual budget of some $20-billion. Yet Indigenous people have no means to hold this "super-province" accountable to them. Not a single person in this entity has been elected by Indigenous people to represent their interests. Not one. When it comes to federal Indigenous policy, ordinary Indigenous people in Canada are voiceless and powerless. In Let the People Speak: Oppression in a time of reconciliation, author and journalist Sheilla Jones raises an important question: are the well-documented social inequities in Indigenous communities--high levels of poverty, suicide, incarceration, children in care, family violence--the symptoms of this long-standing, institutionalized powerlessness? If so, the solution lies in empowerment. And the means of empowerment is already embedded in the historic treaties. Jones argues that there can be meaningful reconciliation only when ordinary Indigenous Canadians are finally empowered to make their voices heard, and ordinary non-Indigenous Canadians can join with them to advance a shared future.