OTTAWA, Nov. 20, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Assembly of First Nations (AFN) National Chief Perry Bellegarde today stated that the rally being held in Kenora, Ontario this Saturday to honour and commemorate the 50th anniversary of the "Kenora Indian March" of 1965 is an important opportunity to continue the momentum for reconciliation and the shared work of closing the gap in the quality of life between First Nations people and Canadians.
"The Kenora Indian March of 1965 was an important moment in Canadian history and it deserves to be remembered and commemorated," said National Chief Bellegarde. "The march is considered to be a key moment in starting the First Nations civil rights movement in Canada. This is a time to reflect on where we have been and how far we still have to go, knowing that we can achieve our goals of reconciliation and closing the gap by working together."
Before Ipperwash and before Oka, the Kenora Indian March of November 22nd, 1965 drew national attention to First Nations rights and realities. The event this Saturday - Honour the Kenora Indian March of 1965: Fifty Years Later - We Continue to Walk for Change Together! – brings together First Nations Elders, leaders and citizens, non-Indigenous people and individuals who took part in the original 1965 march. Participants will gather at 12 noon at the Knox United Church and march to the Kenora Legion where there will be an event hosted by Anishinaabe writer, broadcaster and speaker Wab Kinew featuring a feast, speeches, and drumming and dancing.
Anishinaabe Elder Fred Kelly, a citizen of the Ojibways of Onigaming and lead organizer of the original Kenora March who will be attending the event this Saturday, stated: "The Indian March of 1965 was the turning point for our people. It was the beginning of a new assertiveness. The message resonated locally and nationally as a call to action. Our demands were clear and achievable and our demands were met. The collective direction was a message in itself. More profoundly, this was a move toward self-determination."
The organizers plan to record the event and develop curriculum about the march and First Nations rights. The march and rally takes place this Saturday from 12 noon to 4 pm. More information is available on the Facebook event page "Honour the Kenora Indian March of 1965" at: https://www.facebook.com/events/1644018832552252/
The Assembly of First Nations is the national organization representing First Nation citizens in Canada. Follow AFN on Twitter @AFN_Comms, @AFN_Updates.
SOURCE Assembly of First Nations
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