The government of Alberta, Canada is trying to buy the approval of First Nations opposed to tar sands development by offering them royalties or possible investor-shares in the fossil fuel project profits.
Classic colonizer tactic: Find some comprador leaders to buy off and call it democracy.
This latest ploy just shows how out of touch these imbeciles of the Canadian Government, are with the First Nations people. This is not about getting $! It is about tar sands polluting and devastating the planet!
The Indian Act by its very nature was un-democratic and served to disempower the First Nations peoples when it came to the Governance of their own affairs.
Contrary to hollywood myth the Chiefs in first nations community did not have a lot of power. The tribes were VERY democratic and women had a very strong voice if not the strongest within those communities. This made the tribes a lot harder to co-opt and so the government promoted a Patriarchy of powerful Chiefs who would speak on the behalf of their tribe, The Chief and his family would then be rewarded with filthy lucre and very often entered into treaties that were not in the best interests of the people.
I agree that many Native North Americans are corruptible, but many that I know personally, since my wife is Native American, are not corruptible. Thanks for your reply.