TORONTO, Sept. 7, 2012 /CNW/ - On the heels of recent cuts to First Nation services in such key areas as health and social services, the federal government is further marginalizing First Nation organizations by cutting core funding.
"It's a shame that Canada has decided to cut First Nation budgets in order to justify its attacks on First Nations in general," says Anishinabek Nation Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee. "Canada has made a lot of statements about how they want to work with First Nations, yet every time we turn around they're cutting funding to health, social services and other key areas that impact First Nations peoples' day-to-day lives. Let's be truthful here, Canada is aiming to divide First Nation communities so they can create a vacuum in order to gain control over our people and our land."
"It's clear to me that Canada and even Ontario to a degree, has three objectives when it comes to First Nations people- divide, control and conquer," says Madahbee. "Our people need to know that they are under attack. The unilateral, incremental changes to policy and legislation regarding First Nation land, water and rights are in direct violation of Constitutional rights, treaty rights and even international human rights that Canada has endorsed."
The Grand Council Chief points to a number of legislative bills introduced by the Harper government that First Nations and First Nation organizations continue to oppose based on jurisdiction.
"We've seen this type of attack on First Nations before. They've tried residential schools, they've funneled our young people into their jails and now they're cutting funding where we were already underfunded to begin with.
"What the federal government fails to understand is that no matter what tactics they use to divide us we will never be Canadian citizens and we will never surrender our land. We are Anishnaabe and have always been Nations with our own land, our own culture, our own language and our own identity."
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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