Jun 19/98: CIDA to "help Indians love Mexican government"


CIDA to send indigenous persons from Canada using conflict resolution skills to develop better relations between Indians in Mexico and the Mexican government

Mohawk Nations News
Friday, June 19, 1998

Andrew Delisle, who recently tried to set up work camps in Oaxaca to make cheap Iroquois souvenirs is part of a Canada-Mexico joint program to send Indigenous people to Mexico to pacify the Indian people there. Mainly it's to help them achieve a better view of the Mexican government. Delisle is working with the Canadian Institute of Conflict Resolution and the Mennonites of Canada who are being funded by the Canadian International Development Agency (CIDA).

Some feel it is a cover for something else. On the surface, Indigenous people from Canada are being taken to Mexico to help build a better understanding between the Indigenous people and the Mexican government. They will work mostly with the Mayans who are presently being slaughtered by the military and para military forces of the Mexican government. In Canada the program is run from the Departments of Foreign Affairs and International Trade. Blaine Favel, the new Roving Indigenous Ambassador appointed by the Canadian government, is the front man. Assembly of First Nations is split into two camps over this, with Dale Booth working with the Canadian and Mexican governments to push for economic development with Mexicans along with Andrew Delisle's Project OK from Kahnawake. Delisle and Booth feel that business is business and politics shouldn't enter into this. Norton doesn't believe that the Indigenous people there are being mistreated. Isn't it like selling gas chambers to Hitler.? The other AFN camp want nothing to do with the Mexican government because there is no guarantee that Indians are going to benefit. Most of the money will be made by middle men who will be mostly allied to PRI, the ruling party in Mexico. It is said that no money passes in Mexico without PRI getting some of it.

The CIDA project is being headed by Susan Brown in Ottawa. Perhaps someone should call her and find out more about this.

The Canadian Institute for Conflict Resolution is apparently at St. Pauls University in Ottawa. It was heard that a month ago the Canadian government sent CICR into Kahnawake to resolve the conflict between the people of Kahnawake and Andrew Delisle over their rejection of his proposed exploitation of the Indigenous people in Oaxaca. What about the traditional conflict resolution process at the Longhouse? Shouldn't the Mohawk be doing it themselves?

Now the Canadian government has this wonderful idea that CIDA can use money from their Peace Building Funds to help the people to accept Project OK, which was vehemently denounced by the Mohawk people. Why was the conflict resolution program in Kahnawake kept a secret? During their sojourn in Kahnawake CICR came encouraged the idea of sending Indigenous people to help the Mayans and other Indians reach a better understanding of the Mexican government and not be so mad at them. In Kahnawake if it was known there would be no support for this.

Last week in Ottawa a lot of NGO's met to get money from CIDA for their own pet projects in Mexico. Jack Saada who lead the delegation of Canadian Members of Parliament to Mexico thinks it's a good idea to stop the bloodshed by having Indian to Indian economic development. But everyone knows it is going into PRI pockets one way or another, so of course Mexico is all for it. If there is a doubt, why send any money down there as long as Indians are being killed. They cannot be made any poorer. Nelson Mandela said, "Sanctions never hurt anyone but the poor. Yes, but without sanctions we'd still be wearing chains".

Some think it could be a spy network being set up to gather and bring information to the government. To lay a big snow job on Indians so that when the army tries to kills the militants and extremists, the others wonít know who to support. It may be a disinformation campaign to confuse the people so they can prepare them for the massacre. When the army comes into the village, they won't know which way is up. NOTE TO READERS. CIDA funds anything that furthers foreign policy objectives. They give large grants to the churches to proselytize the Indigenous people at their food camps. While they're eating, the dictators take over the peoples' land. These initiatives are in sync with US foreign policy objectives. What's really terrible about this is that some of the participants actually believe they are helping. After Blaine Favel and Joe Norton's Oaxaca souveneir escapade, and Meadow Lake Tribal Council selling their logging operations in Nicaragua, what we are seeing is "Indigenous Business" used like decoy ducks to suck in native communities in the hemisphere that might otherwise go their own way. Let's not forget that bringing in the army and shooting people is a crude form of colonialism that disturbs the public, is messy as well as breeds resistance. The Canadian way is much more effective and even more deadly towards indigenous resistance - look at how sad this country is for resistors. Today Canada puts its Indigenous victims through pacification and brainwashing programs, singles out the ones they want and pays them to go out and do their dirty work.

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