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OP-ED: Indigenous reparations, underdevelopment, and dysfunction need rethinking – True North

July 24, 2023

Billions of dollars of public funds have been spent in recent years to compensate for alleged injustices committed in the past or to dramatically improve the present life chances of downtrodden Indigenous people.

According to Tom Flanagan, Professor Emeritus of Political Science and Distinguished Fellow, School of Public Policy, University of Calgary, governments have paid what could rightly be called “reparations” to Indian Bands for almost two decades under the misleading heading of Reconciliation. “Call it reparations by stealth,” he has opined.

This has included almost $5 billion in individual payments to those who attended Indian Residential Schools and $43.3 billion for children on reserves taken into foster care by welfare authorities.

Flanagan has pointed out the cost of claims approved thus far is $27.8 billion in individual payments, $31.9 billion for collective payments to improve local services, for a total of almost $60 billion. Claims now in progress will add significantly to these sums.

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