I want to pick up on your comment on openness and honesty.
Having come from this community and having been a chief myself and seen the struggles of our community people--women, children, everybody--the openness and the reality is that the government policies, Indian Affairs policies in particular, force human rights violations to occur on the reserves every day, period.
Then we have a government trying to deflect the blame or, maybe even worse yet, assign that blame to the first nations communities. When you peel it back, is it the fault of a mother who under Bill C-31 falls within subsection 6(2) and has a child and does not disclose who the father is, and the child is no longer status? Is that the fault of the band? No, it's government policy.
A disabled child can't get any services, unless they perhaps get apprehended by the state. What is happening to address those issues today by this government?
To me, when you peel it back, if the media were to understand where these violations start, if Canadians were to understand where these violations start, then we would have much more fruitful dialogue, because then Canadians would tell us to consult extensively. They would say we should reconcile these rights, which are real, because 30 years of Supreme Court and Federal Court cases have established them as being real. They would say we should reconcile them in a modern context.
They'd say we should analyze consequential impacts on the Indian Act, because the Indian Act is a racist document. We want to get rid of it, but I don't think the trust is there for this government to actually replace it with something adequate. That's what I hear from the communities.
Then they would say we should design something that's fair, reasonable, with the proper consultation and accommodations made. But I guess instead we have this government exaggerating the sins of first nations administration on this issue.
I guess I ask whether that's a fair assessment, because that's what I've heard from witnesses over the last little while.