Roll up your sleeves, nitôtêmitik! Today, we're tackling First Nations taxation!
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“I’m actually part Indian. I think Inuit or something. I’m enough percent that in Canada I can get free gas,” Bieber told Rolling Stone, which features him on the cover of their August edition with the headline: Hot, Ready and Legal.
The comment was quickly picked up by several blogs and ignited mocking reaction from many online.
“Omfg Justin Bieber!! Wow. I didn’t like him already, now this makes me so angry!!” wrote Kat Partridge, on APTN National News’ Facebook page.
“WTF man…what an arse…like really,” wrote Ray Hudson.
“Can someone ask him where all the free is? I would like to know! Lol,” wrote Shevon Maggie.
“Well wow. First off it’s not free gas and second, the boy doesn’t know that status cards are only for status First Nations. Maybe he’ll change his heritage next month,” wrote Brandy Franklin.
Enough with the Native stereotypes, says TD Bank Group’s Derek Burleton.
To mark National Aboriginal Day on June 21, the vice-president and deputy chief economist released an eight-page report debunking 10 myths surrounding Canada’s aboriginal population.
“Aboriginal Peoples have been the target of stereotyping for a long time …” Burleton told Torstar News Service
"In 1986 Congress passed a law asking President Reagan to declare the last week in November “American Indian Week”. In 1990, they decided to honor the people and tribes who were the original inhabitants of this land by proclaiming the entire month of November as National American Indian Heritage Month. The practice has continued since then, and the designated celebration encourages all Americans to learn more about the indigenous people and culture of the United States. Here is a group of resources gathered by the ipl2 to help everyone honor the intention and find out something new or interesting about Native American literature, art, and history."
In the August issue of Rolling Stone, pop star Justin Bieber reveals that he believes he has Native heritage. The claim is not a central part of the article — indeed, it’s a comment so brief the writer has it in parentheses:
He’s wearing a Chicago Blackhawks cap (“I’m actually part Indian,” he says—”I think Inuit or something? I’m enough percent that in Canada I can get free gas”), a blue short-sleeved shirt and khaki shorts that hang all the way off his butt.
The “free gas” misconception is a common one, and stems from a policy described on Ontario’s Ministry of Aboriginal Affairs website:
In Ontario, there is a tax of 14.7 cents per litre on gasoline. First Nations people with a gas card do not have to pay this tax if they buy gasoline for personal use from an authorized service station on a reserve.
The REDress Project is an installation conceived by Winnipeg artist Jaime Black two years ago that has been hung in a number of locations around the country ever since.