UOI OFFICES, Dec. 3 /CNW/ - Anishinabek Nation Deputy Grand Council Chief Glen Hare wonders why the federal bureaucracy responsible for improving the lives of First Nations people in Canada is spending exorbitant amounts on overseas travel.
Published reports include thousands of dollars in overseas trips by Indian Affairs bureaucrats to places like Russia, Belgium and Great Britain in a list of $125 million worth of extravagant expenses by federal civil servants.
"They're supposed to be representing our interests - we're not aware of any First Nations in England," said Hare. "We have plenty of funding problems in our own back yard - we don't need INAC dollars spent in Europe."
The Deputy Grand Council Chief called the expenses "jaw-dropping" at a time when First Nations education funding has been capped at two per cent for the past 13 years.
"Just keeping up with inflation and our growing population would require annual funding increases of 6.5 per cent," said Hare. "This is discrimination against our young people," he said, noting that the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples - which Canada recently endorsed - says Indigenous peoples have the right to all levels and forms of education without discrimination.
He called on the federal government to demonstrate more responsibility and transparency in spending taxpayers' dollars.
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 40 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.
For further information: For further information:
Union of Ontario Indians
Phone: (705) 497-9127 (ext. 2290)
Cell: (705) 494-0735
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