UOI OFFICES, Oct. 17, 2013 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation Grand Council
Chief Patrick Madahbee sees a colonial agenda in Wednesday's Speech
from the Throne.
"This government has done us no favours in passing legislation on First
Nation priorities," says the Grand Council Chief who represents 39
First Nations in Ontario. "They'll say all the right things in the
media and in their messaging, but when you read the fine print you
quickly get a sense of an agenda on repeat here."
Yesterday's Speech from the Throne was delivered by Governor General
David Johnson on behalf of Canada.
"A few years ago the Harper government began talking about safe drinking
water for First Nations, they said everyone should have access to
clean, safe drinking water, then they passed legislation that
contradicts all First Nation treaty laws and illegally imposes
provincial regulation within First Nation boundaries, but our
communities today still have unsafe drinking water," says Madahbee.
"When the Governor General mentioned more effective, more accountable
on-reserve education systems, to me that sounded a lot like former
government messaging when they were legislating residential schools for
First Nations and we all know how that turned out," Madahbee continued.
"They know we have our own education mechanisms developed already, so
if they're genuine about a more effective education system they'll
transfer proper resources to First Nations and then move out of the way
so we can educate our children our way - we've already seen the results
of their way on First Nations."
The speech mentions the government's treaty relationship, comprehensive
claims, job training and education for First Nations.
"I have yet to see any evidence of a government that is willing to work
with First Nations as a true treaty partner. Treaty discussions should
happen between the Crown and First Nations directly, not with
bureaucrats and political organizations. They mention comprehensive
claims yet they'll do nothing to fix a specific claims policy that
legislates their negotiators to demand land surrenders from First
Nations before they'll even come to the table.
"The speech boasts about how great their forefathers were in setting a
colonial agenda that continually sees First Nations lead every ethnic
group in Canada in homelessness and suicides while conservative
senators have multiple homes and rock-solid pensions, and they'll talk
about the $30 billion a year in resources that are stolen from our
land, but no remorse in increasing the incarceration rates of First
Nations women and youth in federal prisons - quite frankly I don't see
anything different from 19th century legislation to today's legislation," says Madahbee.
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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