Does Racism Motivate Harper’s Aboriginal Education Funding Stance?

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Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other MP's applaud after then-National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Phil Fontaine, right, spoke in the House of Commons on Parliament Hill in Ottawa June 11, 2008.
The Prime Minister’s slow clap.

It could be racism.

It could be concern that over time too many first nations citizens may get too educated and start demanding more in terms of inter-national justice.


It could be just that he thinks keeping government spending down is good for his neoliberal agenda and that first nations will likely just roll over and take it when he sends his dismissive, condescending unilateral funding fiats.

But sometimes I wonder about Harper’s soul. How do you sleep at night knowing that a certain race/culture of people get 1/3 to 1/2 less education funding. For children. What does that say about a person who decides that. And what does that say about a people that we tolerate that?

Update, with another take:

@PoliticsReSpun Purpose is to force assimilation, thus ending the ‘Indian problem’, i.e. anyone getting in the way of landrape for profit.

— Siusaidh Chaimbeul (@Zaganashikwe) November 28, 2013

We now know the Conservatives’ refusal to fund First Nations students attending school on reserves at the same level as their provincial counterparts is coming straight from the top. An internal PMO memo released as part of the ITO suggested language to the Prime Minister to reprimand the Conservative Leader in the Senate for not having better control over Senators and the work of Senate Committees. The memo specifically uses a Senate report calling on the government to “invest heavily in Aboriginal education” as an example of a failure to ensure “Government messaging and direction are followed.”

Written Proof Harper Doesn’t Care About Aboriginal Education | Hon. Carolyn Bennett.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website,

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