Casinos, Self-Policing and Self-Government
before Individual Native's Rights

Nipawin - August 18, 2000 - By: Mario deSantis

step towards self-government

The Touchwood File Tribal Council has announced the establishment of a self
administered police force on five reserves in the Fort Qu'Appelle area. Mary-Anne
Day Walker, chief of Okanese First Nation, has stated that this is an important
step towards self-government(1).


It is our understanding that the Natives are the poorest people in this province,
they experience the highest crime rate in the country, their young population are
not getting an education(2), and yet our highest priority is self policing and self

spiraling corruption

As I am concerned, the emphasis on self policing and self government efforts
are not going to cure the chronic poverty and deprivation of most of our Native
population, rather these efforts will reinforce the spiraling corruption of our
current Native leaders and the maintenance of an oligarchic and stagnant social
system, similar to what we have in mainstream society.

lack of citizenship

We have been repeating many times that racism is not the problem of the
predicament of our poor people, and that instead corruption and lack of citizenship
are at the root of poverty, be among Natives or non-Natives. I am very happy to see
that individual Natives are speaking out publicly as responsible citizens, and
pointing out the ongoing corrupted mental models of their leaders who see in
casinos(3), self policing and self government the only alternative to social and
economic advancement.

insidious taxation

In early August we had Virgina Favel expressing her disbelief on how Native leaders
can talk about self government when they mismanage Native money and abuse their
own people(4). And today, we have Leonard Iron coming out and stating that the
gambling industry is a regressive and insidious taxation built upon the backs of
the poor and therefore upon the backs of the Natives(5).

democratic changes

Let us hope we have more people coming out and denounce the rampant corruption
of our leaders in our societies so that we can join forces and contribute to true
democratic changes where people and values become more important than paper
money and bribes.


Indian reserves make move towards self-policing, by Kevin O'Connor, The StarPhoenix, August 17, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan


Honourable Eric Cline has not balanced the budget yet, he forgot our school-children, by Mario deSantis, April 2, 2000


Studies conclude that natives are vulnerable to gambling addiction, by Mario deSantis, July 21, 2000


The problem of poverty is not racism, just lack of citizenship, By Mario deSantis, August 5, 2000


Gaming surely not helping Natives, by Leonard Iron, Readers' Opinions, The StarPhoenix, August 16, 2000, Saskatoon, Saskatchewan
  The illustration at the top of the page shows newly elected Matthew Coon on the extreme left Grand Chief of the Assembly of First Nations who replaces Phil Fontaine on the extreme Right in that role.