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Buchanan Says His Gov't Has Done Most For Indians

SASKATCHEWAN INDIAN      JULY 15 1975      v05 n12 p08  
Ottawa, Ont.-The Trudeau governments has done more than any other government to give natives control over their own affairs, Indian Affairs Minister Judd Buchanan said recently.

"No government in the history of our country has done more to develop and encourage the development of Indian organizations than has the government of which I have the honor to be a member" he said in the Commons during a special debate.

He said that ten years ago federal financing for Indian organizations totalled $60,000. The figure had grown to $100 million a year.

J. R. Holmes, chief PC spokesman for Indian Affairs, said Mr. Buchanan damaged the trust of natives by not consulting them before adopting new policies.

His chief complaint was a series of government prepared rules, issued recently on the operation of Indian band councils. The rule stipulates how reserves should be governed and how government money should be accounting for.

Indian leaders were not consulted adequately before the rules were drafted and sent out Mr. Holmes (Lambton-Kent)

Mr. Buchanan appointed Indian Affairs minister about a year ago, said Indians were consulted.

Mr. Holmes said Indian spokesman have issued news releases denying that they were consulted.

Mr. Buchanan said the government stands ready to hand over more authority to Indians. Negotiations were planned with the Union of British Columbia Indians to have natives take over all functions of the Indian affairs department in the province.

"We have no desire whatsoever to undermine the authority to band councils," he said. "We say that these guidelines will help reinforce the authority of the band council and emphasize its predominant role in the operation of the band."

Meanwhile the FSI issued a news release calling for suspension of the rules.

Wally Firth (NDP-North West Territories) said Buchanan and department officials treat Indians as nobodies.

The MP, a Metis, especially mentioned John McGilp director of the department's operations branch and Jim Wright acting regional director for Saskatchewan.

Minister Judd Buchanan
Minister of Indian and Northern Affairs