Tag: Status

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With the news that Metis are considered by the Canadian government in the same way as First Nations and Inuit people, everyone wants to know what benefits the Metis get. People who suspect they are “part Indian” want to find out for sure and get their Metis Status card, but there is so much conflicting information, it’s hard to find the right answers.

Pride

Getting Metis Status is a way of showing pride for your ancestors and their hard work in the beginning of the first economy of North America, that of the fur trade. Considering that it’s the Native women who did most of the work, it’s time we all honor our great grandmothers and the sacrifices they made for all our benefit.

Community

Metis Status gives access and fellowship to our extended kinship community. Because Metis groups can only apply for government funding based on the membership of their registry, getting a Metis Status card helps our communities in so many ways. Without membership, Metis communities will not get funds. Every person who stands up and gets their Metis Status card helps to build what was lost during generations of hiding our identity.

Because most of the fur traders were French, their unions with Native women represent a majority of Metis in North America. Most people who grew up in a French Canadian town or village don’t even realize how much of their culture is actually Metis, nor that they have fur traders in their ancestry, nor how many people in their community descend from Native Americans. Getting a card with the organization that represents your type of ancestry is not like being in a club, it’s about being part of a family and community.

Getting a Metis Status card means your genealogy has been verified to be true and accurate. It is proof that you actually are “part Indian”. Which card you have describes the cultural community you belong to.

Programs

Social programs are varied and can include health programs, health studies for particular hereditary diseases, cultural learning programs, assistance programs, cultural and heritage workshops, improvement incentives, work programs, help with housing, family programs (baby wellness, family counselling, etc) preservation of heritage and culture, etc. Funding for programs depends on agreements with Canadian government and the numbers of registered members of an organization.

Representation and Rights

Some groups would like harvesting rights, hunting or fishing rights, or even the access to harvest plant material. Rights to any of these are determined by agreements signed between the government and the individual organization. There are many different organizations that represent many different groups of Metis. Being Metis or having a card does not entitle you to automatic rights. Standing up and being counted by getting a Status card better helps these groups negotiate rights on your behalf. So right now, you cannot go hunting or fishing just because you have a Metis card, unless your group tells you there are agreements to do so, and the way in which the activity must be carried out.

We do not know what the future holds for anyone. In our communities today, there are some areas where people are not allowed to harvest certain plant materials. Having Metis Status with a particular organization might mean your community has a voice for negotiation of rights — for now, and for the future.

Education

Considering Native Americans have traditionally had a lower number of high school, college and university graduates than the average population, and Native Americans have traditionally been under-represented in the labor force, and Native Americans are the fastest growing group of people, the government now understands that they will need training as they will be a major pool for the labor force in the future. For all these reasons, the government is encouraging educational institutions to make accommodation for aboriginal persons, whether they be First Nations, Inuit, or Metis.

Having a Metis Status card can help secure a place in a particular educational program, for example at college or university. Considering that Metis families’ ancestors helped to build the economy of this continent, and then had to hide their identity for generations or have rights taken away, and considering that …

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For decades, if not longer, the United States of America, has been discussing, the best, most responsible/ responsive way, to address the delivery of health care, to our citizens! Should quality medical care, be every American’s right, and should it be considered, one of those inalienable rights, we expect, and deserve? A decade ago, President Obama, fought for his so – called, hallmark program, which was enacted, as the Affordable Care Act, and, popularly, referred to as Obamacare. It seemed, for a considerable period of time, his Republican opponents, made overturning it, one of the principal focuses! Several times, during that period, the G.O.P. attempted to overturn it, unsuccessfully, and, nearly, dramatically, did so, in 2017. When Donald Trump ran for President, he promised, repealing this program, and replacing it, with something, far better, would be easy, and he would achieve it, in a short period. However, promises and rhetoric, achieve little, without a clear – cut, viable solution, and he did not articulate a meaningful alternative. Once again, we are witnessing, the political version of football, where the President is offering his complaints and blaming his predecessor, while most of the Democrats, running for the highest office in the land, are chiming – in, with their personal opinions, etc. With that in mind, this article will attempt to, briefly, consider, examine, review, and discuss, some of the options and alternatives, including: Idealistic; Pragmatic Idealism; Status Quo; or something, probably worse.

1. Idealistic: Several candidates have supported, what is referred to, as Medicare – For – All. The claims are, it would be fairer, less expensive (overall), provide superior care, etc. Their positions include: a) Everyone likes Medicare, so, this is the best course; b) It would reduce overall costs; c) It would be better for individuals; d) While there would be taxes, it would cost less, in the longer – run. They point to the programs, in other nations, and their successes. Ignored, in the discussion, is, today’s Medicare is not free, either. We pay into the program, during our entire working lives, and continue, paying, after age, 65. It doesn’t pay all the costs of health care – in fact, only about 80% of Part B/ Medical costs. Most, then purchase a Supplement, and, when one adds all these components, up, it’s obvious, it’s not free! In addition, while physicians, presently, are willing to accept the reduced payments, involved with these reimbursements, for part of their practice, how many, might not, be willing, if it was their sole payments. With the escalating costs of malpractice/ litigation, etc, and the many years (and dollars), it costs, to become a doctor, would this result in far fewer, physicians? In addition, since over 150 million Americans, receive employer – paid, health insurance, would they be willing, and happy, to have to pay this, themselves, now? We are being provided with estimates, but few, are apparently, thoroughly evaluated, to include contingencies, and ramifications! Would this, have the ability to be enacted, in the political process?

2. Pragmatic idealism: Should the goal, be, providing quality care, or, demanding a specific approach, without flexibility, or, perhaps, reality? Pragmatic idealism, would create, a goal, of providing, universal health care, combining a public and private options, and offering several viable alternatives/ options! Instead of, being narrow – minded, and, saying, it has to be, My way or the highway, wouldn’t it make more sense, be less disruptive (think about the hundreds of thousands, who are employed by private insurance companies), and, desirable, to combine the options, and seek a meeting, of the minds? Wouldn’t it, make more sense, to address the weaknesses of the Affordable Care Act, and improve it?

3. Status quo: With the stagnation, and congestion, and partisanship, occurring in our Congress, little to nothing, seems to be occurring!

4. Worse: President Trump’s apparent solution is to offer, less expensive, higher deductible, more limited, health insurance? How is that an improvement? Isn’t that, far worse, both, in the present and future? How about, those with pre – existing conditions, higher health – care costs, etc?

Wake up, America, and, refuse to be, lied to, and manipulated, by politicians, with a …

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