Prime Minister can start by meeting Chief Spence, Aboriginal leaders
TORONTO, Dec. 20, 2012 /CNW/ - Rather than proceed with bills that
adversely affect First Nations sovereignty and lands, the Prime
Minister should meet with Aboriginal leaders and hold proper
consultations on the bills' impacts, according to the Elementary
Teachers' Federation of Ontario (ETFO).
"The Prime Minister can start by meeting with Attawapiskat Chief Teresa
Spence who has taken to a hunger strike as a last resort to send the
government a message," said ETFO President Sam Hammond. "We support her
efforts, and the goals of the "Idle No More" aboriginal movement, to
draw attention to current government bills that will make it more
difficult for First Nations communities to protect their sovereignty
A number of federal bills address issues including Aboriginal fisheries,
and changes in environmental assessment processes and development
projects that will have an adverse impact on First Nations' lands.
"As we have seen with other federal actions, the Harper government is
putting industrial development ahead of the basic rights of First
Nations and other Canadians. The actions of Chief Spence and the "Idle
No More" movement are sending a clear message to the government and the
public that their rights must be respected and addressed with
appropriate solutions," added Hammond.
In June, ETFO announced it is developing a comprehensive campaign to
support education, equity, and social justice in Ontario Aboriginal
communities. Since 2005, ETFO has supported the Lieutenant Governor's
Summer Literacy Initiatives for isolated First Nations communities, and
is a key sponsor of the Right To Play Youth Leadership Program in 35
First Nations communities.
The Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario represents 76,000
elementary public school teachers and education professionals across
the province and is the largest teacher federation in Canada.
SOURCE: Elementary Teachers' Federation of Ontario
For further information:
Valerie Dugale, ETFO Media Relations: Cell: 416-948-0195