June 22nd, 2024

Homeless percentage of Indigenous low considering abuses


By Lethbridge Herald on December 16, 2022.

Editor:

Dec. 8 headline: City homeless numbers have doubled since 2018. Inside the story was the number of homeless identifying as Indigenous: 327 of 454, which equals 72 per cent.

Dec. 13 Roasts and Toasts: Two submissions that were clearly against the homeless people.

I will add some context before people jump to conclusions.

I was a teacher on the Piikani Reserve for almost seven years, and taught another year at the Tsuu Tina school outside Calgary. The other 18 years I taught in public schools here and in England (which was the worst teaching experience of my career).  I have seen the good and bad of people reflected in the condition of their children when they arrive at school. Two weeks ago I attended the funeral of a Piikani Nation teacher, one of the best teachers I have ever known (out of hundreds). She was firm but compassionate, intelligent and humourous, fluent in her language and traditions (she wrote a children’s story book in Blackfoot).  One of her sons is an RCMP officer, the other son, who was in one of my Grade 6 classes, just received his MBA. After a great teaching career, Sheena Potts was cut down by illness before she could accept a position as a grad student at Harvard.

The most current population figures for the Piikani Nation and Kainai (Blood) Nations, both on and off the reserve is 3,917 Piikani and 12,813 Kainai, for a total of 16,730. Thus the percentage of Indigenous homeless people in Lethbridge is less than two per cent of 16,730. When one considers the terrible abuse from churches and government neglect suffered by these nations since Treaty 7 was signed in 1877, less than two per cent is a surprisingly low number.  

Question: In Alberta, do we have less than two per cent of our non-Indigenous population suffering addictions? AADAC estimates two per cent of gamblers have an addiction problem, and that is not even considering alcohol or drug addictions.

Please remember that First Nations people were stewards of the land of what we now call Alberta up to 200 years ago, before the buffalo were wiped out, before the railways came, before smallpox, before even “Canada” existed. First Nations reserves in Alberta now amount to one per cent of the province. And First Nations people did not invent alcohol, heroin, meth or fentanyl.

Allan Wilson

Lethbridge

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Kal Itea

Actual experience trumps ignorant speculation every time. A positive piece Allan Wilson!

buckwheat

So please call us for a photo op when you turn over the title on your property.

SophieR

Why is it that many here are creating such alarm about being downtown, discouraging people from using the many good services in the area? I live downtown and spend most every dollar I earn downtown – surely the best approach to dealing with the decay of downtown is by supporting the businesses there (not by running away from them). One can rant and rave about what we (and most cities in the country) cannot control without a concerted, long-term investment – one thing we can control is our own spending.

johnny57

Did it ever occur to you with all your down-votes that you may be on the wrong side of the rope with this one?

SophieR

No, it didn’t. I’m taking into consideration the voices here.

My position? That you complain about the homeless, but throw up every possible barrier to managing the issues? You want something done, but gnash your dentures at any costs? You shed crocodile tears about the businesses in the core but won’t spend your money there, and worse, encourage people to avoid the area? To be frank, the arguments presented by the ruby-slippers crowd are incoherent at best and repellant in fact. I’m living my ethical position. But I accept the thrill of outrage y’all seem to live for.

johnny57

I drive for a living here and am downtown on a regular basis so I get to see first hand some of the horrors on the streets and in front of many businesses. Who could blame any young family with small children that has to witness countless homeless people tweaking-out (I think that’s what they call it) on the sidewalks as they scurry their kids inside never wanting to come back! Have talked to many outsiders from other parts of the country that find themselves here for one reason or another and they are appalled at the situation downtown. Their first question to me is “Why has nothing been done about it?”
Thinking the time for playing the bleeding-heart card is past its due-date!

SophieR

“But I think that the most likely reason of all may have been that his heart was two sizes too small.”

biff

close…but i will have to side with the full 3 sizes too small.

pursuit diver

You are wasting your time. SophieR doesn’t work. He collects government supports and doesn’t seek a job, but pretends to be the advocate for all homeless and addicts, without any formal training.
He uses several names while posting comments on this forum, attacking mostly, with very little valid or viable ideas. He believes harm reduction works and it is okay for naked or partially naked addicts who are high and bathing in the sink/toilet are okay in public washrooms, because they are vulnerable and enabling addicts by providing everything they need to use drugs is the way, and police need to give them all a break and just allow them to do what they want.
This type of belief is what is killing so many people and he is not the only one brainwashed in these beliefs.
We are all a bunch of heartless racists, because we want these people treated for their issues and off the streets and in homes, working to support themselves, which builds up their self esteem and gets them back into society. He fails to see the truth and you will never get his blinders off in this forum.

Say What . . .

Really. I think I see it!

biff

zeig heil!

johnny57

And here I foolishly thought he was a female with that name. So sad you cant even use a name on this forum that represents your own sex. There again it maybe oversite on my part. Maybe he’s a trannie!

pursuit diver

Biff is another alias as well as UncleBuck but there are more.

SophieR

Er … There may indeed be more, Einstein: pursuit diver, johnny57, Fairness, Say What …, Montreal 13, Zulu, snowman, R.U.Serious …

Last edited 1 year ago by SophieR
johnny57

johnny57 has been the same since I first logged on this forum years ago! Weathered the storm from a lot of haters that have since come and gone (maybe not) and proudly of the XY genetic variety. No need here to use a female alias.

Sheran.

Much obliged to you for uncovering this wild, inconsiderate individual who has left such countless attacks and remarks that plainly depict his requirement for counselling.

johnny57

What are they hiding from???

biff

spot on, sophie!

biff

did it ever occur to anyone on here that it is most often fools without thoughts that vote on this site…let alone those that actually vote for the scum puppets that we routinely elect to represent the well placed, the multinationals, and the oligarchs.

SophieR

Haha! ‘scum puppets’ … best present ever.

Fairness

Thank you for the positive remarks re Sheena Potts and her family. We hear many negative remarks re Indigenous persons, and negativity about those who attended residential schools. Perhaps, some emphasis could acknowledge that many of those students had positive experiences and excelled later in life.

biff

looks like you are too fair for the many heavy handed creeps in this forum.

Say What . . .

I agree that the natives were treated badly, whether it was US General Sherman’s idea to kill off all the buffalo to get rid of the Indians, or the attempt to bring them into society by forces rehabilitation in the residential schools.
There were many wrongs on both sides and I for one didn’t commit those sins or crimes.
Was it because they feared the Indian in early days, after the savage attacks on early settlers where woman and children were raped and tortured? Did this cause the hatred against them, the fear. We don’t know.
There is much to say to this story. How do you acquit the homeless to what happened 50 to 150 years ago?
I am tired of hearing the excuses and the blame game that it is all our fault.
How is it that we see refugees arrive in this country, fleeing war-torn countries, genocide, torture, rape, etc., with a debt to repay the government for the flight to Canada and with a few years they have repaid that debt, they have jobs, homes with their family and a vehicle which they paid for, not the government? How can they come here with language barriers, suffering the stress of war, fear for lives and within a few years find success? Choice!!!
There needs to be some responsibility and accountability and an end to the blame game.
We pay over $20 billion per year to support the indigenous from our tax dollars, more than a some provinces operating budget factoring in population vs budget ratios.
The truly homeless have supports in place for them, but we see many troublemakers on the streets that feel it is their right to be criminals, disresptecting this city and it’s people.
The stats from that study were inflated with people in jail, in mental health and addiction treatment, and I would be careful using those figures.
Most of us are not saying all natives are the same! We are noting the high percentage of the addicts/homeless people on the streets committing crimes and destroying property are native. Even the most of the violent crimes are committed by natives. That isn’t because they are native, but because they are the perpetrators.
We are all tired of the issues on the streets but we are also tired of the blame game!

UncleBuck

Comparing Indigenous homelessness to “war torn” refugees is such a stupid comparison. What are you thinking?

It’s not like Canad decided to take the street people from war torn countries. They took refugees who were already encultured with capitalism and very likely were successful capitalists in their home countries before any war broke out.

The main similarity between the people consistently experiencing homelessness and addiction is that they were neglected people. The ones who survived residential schools were the ones with protectors. Those who had parents, grandparents, older siblings. The ones who didn’t have community support were the ones who ended up in graves, impregnated by priests, forced to have abortions, and if they survived eventually on the streets. How do you not understand when you take generations of people and force your way upon them, taking away every skill for self care and parenting, you end up with the mess we have?

Just because someone came from a war torn country and can be successful here doesn’t mean anything in this context. It does not in any way mean that you can take someone who for a majority of their life only experienced neglect and abuse and make them “successful” just because so and so who “had it worse” (according to you).

What a goofy comparison for you to make.

ewingbt

I can see the comparison . . . people coming from war-torn countries suffer from psychological issues, such as PTSD. If you can’t see that C.R. then you shouldn’t be attacking others who do.
Is Syria a capitalistic country? It was ran by a dictator for decades and one before, his father! Both had no qualms killing at will, torturing and abusing the citizens. I am not going to bother show you other countries.
You believe money falls from the sky to pay for your supports of AISH, Alberta Works and that people should be allowed to act in any manner they so wish in public.
We all have choices in life! Many indigenous have proven how successful they can be when they put effort into it. While others, some with multiple degrees, do little. You are not born successul . . . millionaires have left their inheritance to their son or daughter, but it squandered away because they didn’t work to earn it.
Any society that has poverty has high rates of addiction, violent crimes, domestic violence, crime and suicide. Getting them to work, dramatically decreased all of the negative issues.
The Kainai lease out most of their land to people how farm it successfully, creating jobs for non-indigenous, while their young people have no jobs on the reserve.
Chief Clarence Louie of the Osoyoos band, built a large corporation with years and actually went to the U of L. He took land that could have remained desolate, and now employs his people and a large number of non-indigenous.
You reap what you sow! If you don’t sow anything good, there won’t be any good to reap. Life takes effort . . .! Some of the refugees I am aware of worked 2-3 jobs to support their families, get a home and a vehicle.
If you can’t see the comparison there is no hope for you! AISH is a support, not something meant to get you all the pleasures of life.
Something I am aware of that Say What . . . had understated, is that the Indigenous will be getting over $25 billion in annually supports/funding and is the budget and it doesn’t include the tens of billions paid out for residential school survivors/families and other compensations in the last couple of years . . . $25 billion, $40 billion . . .! Last time I checked there were about 1.3 million indigenous/inuit, with only about 600,000 taking the supports.
I would be asking where is all that money going?

biff

ah, it all makes sense in the nonsensical world according to barry.

ewingbt

I would suggest you go back and read all your comments and maybe there is hope that you will change.
I have always tried to treat you with respect but you crossed the line C.R., if you remember.

Last edited 1 year ago by ewingbt
biff

please, explain where i have crossed the line with you. is it that opinions that do not exactly agree with yours are too much for you to handle? i will explain, again, where you have crossed the line, and it is with your desire to set people up with what may well result in violent confrontations. giving out names of people on here that do not want their names to be on here is hardly responsible behaviour. be reminded that this forum is simply a sharing of ideas and feelings – hardly a scrum for the limited elements of survival and the like. also, it is well to consider that aliases allow for opinions to be expressed without being biased. in other words, the focus should be on the message and not the messenger. might it be possible you take a step back and maybe not look at all this as something akin to life and death, and, moreover, avoid creating situations that might evolve into life and death should someone fly off the handle. seems people are flying off the handle more frequently and readily these days…that is serious stuff.

ewingbt

I would be more than happy to talk with you in person. I will even buy you lunch.
Let me know and I will meet you in front of your place and we will go and talk, maybe the mall where there is lots of food choices or a restaurant closeby, downtown.
I know you are smart! I am not going to use this forum to further air issues. I am not trying to destroy you, but you needed to realize what you were saying was not good.
You mention exposing your name, but you forgot that you had no qualms mentioning mine in the last couple of months. I thought since you thought it was okay, it would be fine for me to reciprocate.
Let’s talk . . . I don’t hate you and I am not angry, but I am concerned. I am pretty sure you still live in the same place as when you volunteered for LOPS. So to keep things secure . . . just say yes and give me a date and time!

Last edited 1 year ago by ewingbt
biff

please keep sharing your thoughts – as i have noted, in another thread, we are not always entirely in disagreement. i mention barry as you have used it, or, acknowledged it when used. one of the concerns with “outing” others is one may not have it correctly. all that said, i am on here simply to share and elaborate upon perspectives that may or may not be otherwise shared. i have no desire to meet with anyone in this forum, and only because i am mostly a person seeking solitude these days, not because i feel superior or am judgemental. at times, i have caught myself being rude – that is, getting personal…which is not at all my purpose. when i am able to acknowledge this, i have expressed sincere apologies. what i appreciate about you is that you take time to present your positions, and your take on what are solutions. you do not just click the positive or negative icons.
let us all keep the peace, and remind ourselves that we have hearts and we need best be caring people. with that, i wish each and everyone love, light and healing. we are here to grow our ability to love – let us be generous in our forgiveness, even if not with our spoils.

ewingbt

Thank you for those kind and respectful words. I forgave you immediately, each time.
I still want to talk with you . . . I will buy you lunch. We have talked, at City Hall and at Galt Gardens. If you don’t want to I will understand.

biff

thank you, very much, for reaching out, and i feel it from your heart. we may have spoken together before, and if we have i am sure we found something to share a laugh over. i am pretty sure though, you may be confusing who i am with another. stay well, and let’s each be successful at showing our best for each other.

Last edited 1 year ago by biff
ewingbt

Okay . . . Remember when Ms. C.V. tore you apart verbally about 2 years ago at the LOPS tent and I said don’t take it personally, she is just getting too ‘passionate’, for the cause, as well as after the encampment was tore down this fall, you and S.V. went to the Police Commission meeting after and the 3 of us talked for about 25 minutes when we were finished?
In any event, if you don’t want to talk, it is okay. If you change your mind let me know . . . if I don’t see you . . . Merry Christmas and THE VERY BEST New Year to you!

Last edited 1 year ago by ewingbt
biff

i am now certain i am not he/she. i still appreciate your heart, and whether we see the way forward the same, or not, i feel we share that we want what is best for others. Wishing You and Yours the Very Best Christmas, and Health and Joy in 2023! (yes, i know where the caps button is 🙂 )

Fescue

biff, you have compassion and integrity, which is always welcome fresh air in a world of unfocused indignation and heavy-handed bullying. You have said nothing to be’forgiven’ for in this forum.

ewingbt

Chris or should I say, Fescue, Biff, Uncle Buck and SophieR and I am sure more . . . I tried to speak with you, and I know it is you.
You were the heavy handed bully. But if you want to be a child and hide like most bullies do, you will be treated as such. I have a long list, just in the last 6 weeks to prove it, but go ahead . . . you only make it worse with this non-sense.

biff

biff is my only alias. based on what i have read from numerous of the entries by the others you note, they each seem like they are different people to me.
i wish you, and all that have etched themselves into this forum, understanding and compassion, and to know that we are at our finest when rooted in our heart.

Last edited 1 year ago by biff
Sheran.

Typcial of the new generation who use social media to bully.
Could be dissociative identity disorder, or previously named multiple personality disorder.

biff

hi fes – thank you. i see you as a bright light, and so i appreciate your entries. whether we are in agreement, or not, you inspire deep thought. Hoping you and yours are healthy and snug this Christmas! Love, light and healing and sublime Joy to you…and to all that may read this!

JimO

No hope for biffy. He is stuck on pharma conspiracy and body fluids.

biff

well stated.