UOI OFFICES, July 18, 2013 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation Grand Council
Chief Patrick Madahbee says that it's shameful that the Canadian
government treated First Nations children like lab rats, and the focus
of media attention should highlight the alarming negative impacts the
Harper government is having on First Nations people right now.
"When the story first broke about Canada being involved with experiments
on First Nation children, it was no surprise to me," said Grand Council
Chief Patrick Madahbee. "What would be more surprising is if the
mass-media paid attention and attempted to educate the public on the
inhuman actions by its government that is happening right now."
Many First Nation organizations have already come out and condemned the
government for being a part of the scandal. The recently-published
research of Ian Mosby revealed that federal government researchers were
commissioned to conduct experiments on starving First Nation children
while the children were held captive at Canadian-run residential
"Why do you think the federal government fought so hard to keep
residential school files secure? Prime Minister Harper apologized to
First Nations for a reason," said Madahbee. "As we now know, five years
later, that apology was nothing more than a public relations ploy to
set the table for the Conservatives to continue on a colonial agenda
and create the image that they were working for and with First Nations.
Meanwhile they continue to push oppressive legislation on us and ignore
our concerns. You don't have to go to Africa to see evidence of
In 2007 Prime Minister Stephen Harper made a public apology to First
Nation survivors of the Indian residential schools that operated in
Canada from 1830-1996. Just this year, the federal government was
court ordered to release its archival records on Indian residential
schools to the Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
"We are used to injustice in Canada, but what's more frustrating is when
Canada points the finger back at us because we have a high rate of
health and social challenges that our communities have to deal with
daily," said the Grand Council Chief. "I imagine the coverage would be
different if it was towns and cities instead of reservations that were
subjected to such disgraceful acts of injustice. Canadians don't want
to hear about these stories because they don't want to be associated
with the guilt - I'd trade the guilt for the trauma any day of the
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its
secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member
communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people.
The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in
Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires,
which existed long before European contact.
SOURCE: Anishinabek Nation
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