Red Herring Attacks On Native Chief Theresa Spence – A Corporate Smear Job

By Mark Taliano

Media ownership in Canada is for the most part concentrated in the hands of huge corporations that benefit from tax cuts, tax avoidance, and corporate friendly policies, and this is reflected in the messages that they convey.corporate_media[1]

  If a person’s limited exposure to the media is restricted to corporate-controlled messaging, they will invariably inculcate some of these messages.

 The predominant main stream message today, for example, is that First Nations squander tax payer dollars and so, by extension, any legislation that unilaterally impacts them must be justified, even when these unilateral decisions are proven to be unconstitutional.

The messaging is not based on reality, a Federal Court judge already proved that, but it serves the interests of our corporate “government” by distracting the population from the real issue at hand.

 And the real issue is democracy. 

 The Idle No More movement is a grass roots, citizen-based movement that peacefully expresses contempt for a government that disregards treaties and the constitutionally enshrined rights of our First Nations peoples.  

This message is supported by independent media, including Derek Soberal, founder of the hugely popular Occupy Canada Facebook page. Derek was recently hacked, just before he was to post a listing of Idle No More protests. 

 It’s not the first time that he has been hacked, and we don’t yet know who might be responsible, but it is consistent with government policy to suppress information that might prove contrary to government legislation.

 The stakes are high. 

 Given the disproportionate power of corporations to control this country and its media, our democratic rights to freedom of expression and assembly are one of democracy’s last hold outs. 

Censoring independent media for the benefit of corporations will have a huge impact on the freedom of all Canadians and the direction that this foundering country will take, for generations to come.

We need to see the corporate media’s attack on Theresa Spence, and the Idle No More movement, for what it is: a low brow attempt to distract and confuse an unwitting public,

and an attempt to further subvert our constitutionally enshrined rights and obligations.

 Mark Taliano is a regular contributor of news and commentary to Niagara At Large.

 (Niagara At Large invites those of us who are willing to do what Mark and the rest of us do at NAL and share your real name with your comment to contribute to the conversation on this issue by sharing your view below.)


11 responses to “Red Herring Attacks On Native Chief Theresa Spence – A Corporate Smear Job

  1. Social Media is slowly being shut down because it is not under corporate control.


  2. Granted, what is alleged about the leadership of the Attawapiskat band, is a separate issue. It is nevertheless more than a “red herring.” Indeed, the matter seems to reflect what might well be the “tip of the iceberg” respecting how others — those not “simply” band members, but leaders, outside “consultants” and the like. In her book, “Disrobing the Aboriginal Industry”, Professor Frances Widdowson addresses the problems in financing aboriginal bands. She states, “a real left-wing analysis of aboriginal policy requires a critical eye rather than a bleeding heart.”
    We all do well to read her book.
    Yes, this is a separate issue. However, it is nevertheless one that sorely needs an examination. “Red herring” it is not!!
    As Professor Widowson writes, “Addressing the aboriginal question entails understanding its root causes, not glorifying the educational deficiencies, dependency, and dysfunction that currently plague the native population.”
    The solutions lie in addressing both fronts: have the meeting on Friday (at least that may be a start), and dealing with possible mismanagement at band level as well.


  3. Thank you Mark Taliano for writing this article, sharing knowledge and not attacking my People – Meegwetch


  4. And so the above is true for Industrial Wind Turbines. The government has ignored science or …..$ buys public opinion.


  5. This is precisely how the Harper CONservative government’s disinformation campaign(s) work:

    Idle No More became a public and social phenomenon BEFORE Chief Spence announced her HUNGER strike. (I’ll get back to that) Idle No More is broad based and specifically includes opposition to bills C38 and C45. But – the Harper CONservative government, by way of their social media monitors, will have people believe that the Idle No More protestors “don’t even know what they’re protesting”. Idle No More is underway precisely because they DO know what they’re protesting.

    About Chief Spence’s hunger strike: The same social media monitors (hired by the CONservative government) also criticize Chief Spence by claiming she’s not even on a real “hunger strike” because she is ingesting tea, fish broth and water. Let’s look at that for a second… it seems to me there is a difference between a HUNGER strike and a STARVATION strike. After some 24 or 25 days, I suspect Chief Spence is most likely being negatively impacted by the effects of prolonged hunger, but she is probably not starving in the strictest definition of the term.

    But once again we have the professional shills of the CONservative party trying to change or set the definitions of the elements coming into play in this unfolding social phenomenon.

    When I mention these “professional shills”, that includes the media pundits who parrot the words coming from Stephen Harper’s office, most of SUN News and the hired social media monitors (yeah… we saw that Craig’s List ad, Steve. We know it was you. Just like we know it was you who stole the previous election. )

    Eventually it has to become painfully obvious to some of the no-so-hard conservative supporters that they’re being manipulated and lied to in an extraordinary way by an unrecognizable government.

    Idle No More is drawing attention to that fact.


  6. I trust Gail, your much deserved thanks to Mark are not meant to imply that other views are necessarily “attacking” your people. My comments certainly were not meant to be an attack. Rather, they were meant to express some other ideas and discuss some other issues that need to be examined for their truth. That Indigenous People have justifiable grievances is plain to all but the most naive Canadians. Idle No More brings these issues to the forefront in a creative, peaceful, and over time I trust, powerful way. Theirs is a new and interesting approach. I support the idea.
    I do have friends in the Native community. I have spoken with them on some of these matters. Canada has a long way to go in truly honouring the treaty obligations Canada has inherited from the Crown. To date we have not done so very well.
    That said, Indigenous People, too, have work to do within and without their communities. There is clear division. There is a cadre of leaders who seem more intent on achieving their own interests rather than those of their people. The non-Native population has leaders like that, too. I suggest Mr. Harper, may well be one of them.
    In the process of debating the issues we must always be careful not to impugn the motives of others who choose to dissent and disagree with us. That is their right. While some contributors do, I feel, take a not-so-tactful, and rather argumentative approach in doing so, most, like Mark whom I have known and worked with, are more thoughtful and take care to present their views in a respectful way. They also listen to others.
    I will accept your comments as being supportive of Mark while not painting those of us who may have other thoughts and opinions to offer, as “attackers.”


  7. Quoting a blog by Liberal MP Carolyn Bennett in Huffington Post does constitute full research. That blog further references a CBC article.

    Come now, Mr Taliano — I would like a straight answer to the following question:

    Do you believe that First Nations bands/councils should have to provide full and proper accounting, using normally accepted accounting standards, for money provided by the federal government?

    As someone else has pointed out here on Niagara At Large, many native leaders feel because they have different “values” they should not have to account for the money.

    That sir, is the crux of the whole matter! Any other group that receives my tax dollars is required to provide proper accounting, or they lose their funding. Why should First Nations / native bands be an exception?

    Enough is enough!

    I am getting absolutely sick of the bleeding heart acceptance of the Idle No More and Occupy movements. Both are led/organized by professional shit-disturbers who don’t like out way of life, but want to suck at the public teat!


  8. Idle no more is not just about natives. That’s what the spin is trying to suggest. It was simply launched by the native community. I am a conservative thinker and I’m furious over C45.

    I think Spence, who isn’t on a hunger or starvation strike, was the wrong person to hijack this movement. It was meant to be hi-jacked by the Canadian public.

    I strongly agree with the media being owned which is why I read web pages such as these rather than the big corporate machines where everything has to be neat and tidy.


  9. Here are some points:
    * We shouldn’t be talking about finances because the movement is about democracy, in particular Omnibus Bills C-38, and C-45
    * The rules of democracy say we need to respect the Constitution, and the constitution says legislators must receive free, prior, and informed consent, and accommodation when their legislation impacts treaties. The Harper gov’t did not get free prior informed consent from the First Nations and they basically shut down parliament to rush the bills through.
    As for the red herring and the public teat: First nations communities are being underfunded. Comparably sized non-native communities get more money from the “public teat”. Comparably sized non-native communities also get clean water, and solid infrastructure which includes sewers. As for accounting, despite their limited capacity, and what appears to be many levels of incompetence on the part of Indian Affairs, Chief Spence was improving matters significantly, and the Deloitte Touch audit goes back many years before she was even on the scene.

    Harper is using the CRA to target unions, NGO’s etc. for political purposes. He may have learned the trick from his study of Stalin or any number of dictators, I don’t know. Apparently even Conservative MP’s call him “The Chairman”.


  10. In the mid 1980s I was in Glasgow on the way to Sweden for the Company I then worked for and while there was invited by friends to the Glasgow Rangers Club House. What I found during that visit was a fantastic respect for Canada and its role in the world NOW and since then this so called government in Ottawa has completely negated that respect and turned it into disgust. My son a millwright at Ford Oakville spent his vacation installing water purifier units at reserves in the Northwest Territories and I am proud of his part in this operation. Most Canadians know little or nothing about the everyday lives of our aboriginal fellow Canadians and their heads are full of crap put there by the Right Wing Corporate media…I say right wing because that is exactly what they are “Rags” to be ignored.


  11. Re the red herring of financial mismanagement by band councils- i don’t see how this is possible; they can’t sneeze without having to write a report about it – apparently 160 reports per year according to Pam Palmater. That’s like, one every other day. It’s my understanding that no monies are released without this obeisance to the paternalistic powers of the department. Sheila Fraser, a former Auditor General had much to say about financial mismanagement by the government. There are articles on line – You wanna see the numbers, here they are. This negative meme serves to maintain the status quo and keep non-aboriginal people riled up about the ‘billions of their tax dollars wasted’. Perfect divide and conquer strategy. In the commentary section of the Globe and Mail recently, a poster said that the government is the trustee over First Nations trust accounts worth over $2 trillion dollars, earning billions in interest annually, and the govt won’t release the monies. They go on to state that those funds support the First Nations communities, not our ‘hard earned tax dollars’. They also state that this money built much Canadian infrastructure – ie the CN railway, the Welland Canal etc. I would love to see someone confirm or disprove this- not just deny deny deny – but disprove.


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