Harper continues with colonial agenda today: Madahbee

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 schools.

"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 apartheid."

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 week."

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

For further information:

Marci Becking, Communications Officer
Phone : 1-877-702-5200  Cell :  1-705-494-0735
Email becmar@anishinabek.ca
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