Mr. Speaker, every system needs checks and balances in order to operate in the long term in an enlightened fashion. We have seen the pendulum swing a long way toward there really being no effective checks and balances under the Indian Act.
The department of Indian affairs became compromised by the fact that it was sitting on many things that were wrong. It really did not want anyone to discover what all of those things were.
The department started a cover-up operation a long time ago. It is a bureaucratic response to a problem. It would happen in every organization where there are no checks and balances.
There is no other department with a mandate for activities on the reserve. This has become a very large problem.
We are now developing some ad hoc mechanisms. The First Nations Coalition for Accountability, for example, has now developed enough of a membership and enough credibility as a grassroots organization, through its networking and contacts with provincial government cabinets, the media and so on, that there are now times when they can identify a problem on a reserve. They can then phone and tell them to fix the problem or heat will be brought to bear, and the problem gets fixed.
This is all brand new and it took five years of tough fighting. An awful lot of people put themselves in a very susceptible position.