How do a $500K-position of a Commissioner and costs of his/her work on systemic racism, funded by our government, help “heal” the “community” of NB Indigenous citizens?

We learn from our Government of NB website that “the provincial government will fund the costs related to establishing a commissioner and their work, estimated at $500,000”.

We learn from Global News that the Honourable Ms. Arlene Dunn [our Minister of Aboriginal Affairs, Minister responsible for Economic Development and Small Business, Minister responsible for Opportunities New Brunswick, and Minister responsible for Immigration] that all this is “being done for people who live this [systemic racism, she means] every single day”. Even whilst saying the latter, our Minister sounds passionless. Is she really convinced deep inside?

She is referring to immigrants, to citizens said to be “people of colour” (like Bambi ?) or “black” or Indigeneous.

Well, even if you thought that this is a good step to address the so-called “systemic” racism, check this CBC article first (without an open section for comments of course). It informs us that “Indigenous leaders have denounced the provincial government’s plan to address systemic racism in New Brunswick, saying they weren’t consulted or even advised”.

Is and will anyone from our government listen to these Chiefs? And why were they not consulted prior to this decision? What is our government doing? Who is funding this? Our tax money? Or another source? Is our government being forced to do this? And if so, by whom? Or are they true believers of the merit and cost-effectiveness of this one-year highly expensive process? And what is next in a few months, in a year, or in the next few years?

If we look at the mask of Tobique First Nation Chief Ross Perley (CBC picture), it reads “Healing our community”. Is there anything more beautiful in the world than the word “healing in life? How does this governmental decision, done without consultation with Indigenous people, serve the healing of our NB Indigenous communities?

And what about all the other communities? The French-speaking? The English-speaking? The older, newer, and future immigrants? Don’t they have a say in this? Those who may have voted for this majority government or not?

To come back to the GNB website cited above, it informs us that: “The commissioner will focus on the following objectives:

  • “Conducting a public consultation on the nature and impact of systemic racism on racialized, immigrant and Indigenous populations in New Brunswick.
  • Thorough documentation of experiences in an effort to gather qualitative and quantitative data – performed through a number of means including, but not limited to, a review of previous recommendations, establishing a dedicated website, holding virtual meetings, receiving presentations and written submissions by email, mail or on the website, in-person meetings with the commissioner by invitation and on request, virtual consultation sessions with foreign nationals, employers and other groups as necessary”.

If our government knows that “systemic racism” is “ingrained” in all its Departments and institutions”, why will it waste our public funds [and we are almost broke] to collect all these “qualitative and quantitative data”. Plus, it is excluding Indigenous citizens from this process? Does this make any sense in our provincial and Canadian context?

Can someone be honest enough to tell us what is happening in our country?

2 thoughts on “How do a $500K-position of a Commissioner and costs of his/her work on systemic racism, funded by our government, help “heal” the “community” of NB Indigenous citizens?”

  1. If the university professors who are ‘white’ and actually believe there is systemic racism do not resign from their jobs and demand they be replaced by POC then they are just hypocrites. The rest is just a lot of hot air. Something about the current climate with the chattering class who shape the managerial class in our society is suspect. The only racism I experience is people telling me I have ‘white privilege’ when I live in poverty in a town full of people who think out loud things like “this town is a white ghetto” and “this town needs more diversity” and “you are a white supremicist for suggesting the university needs a white students club if there’s a black students club and an indigenous students club” .. along those lines… its all very annoying when people just want to be able to get along with their fellow citizens. Thanks for highlighting the ‘funding’ of ‘division’, again.

  2. Dear Bambi,

    I learned in psychology class man years there was more than one kind of racism. Now the media only talk about one kind in the most unlikely places while seeming to miss the point in other more pressing areas. So your reexamining of what we formerly called ‘Institutional Racism’ is justified and interesting.

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