Aboriginal Reaction To Throne Speech Varied

Thursday, November 20, 2008 at 13:26



Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine is applauding yesterday’s throne speech.


Fontaine says Ottawa has expressed its commitment to assist First Nations in the areas of education and economic development.


The chief says he’s especially pleased to hear the government doesn’t plan to balance the budget at the expense of working families.


However, he does worry First Nations projects could be at risk due to the global economic crunch.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph says he’s very disappointed First Nations were only mentioned once in the throne speech.


In the speech, the government says it will place emphasis on the need to improve education for bands.


Joseph says the government can talk all it wants, but that idea needs to be backed up with action.


He wonders how Ottawa will follow through in this area if a two per cent cap on annual funding increases for First Nations post-secondary education remains in place.


Meanwhile, the president of the Metis National Council says despite the fact Ottawa failed to mention metis people in yesterday’s throne speech, he believes the Conservative government is prepared to move forward with the Metis agenda.


Clem Chartier notes the federal government attended the signing of a provincial framework agreement between the government of Ontario and its Metis citizens earlier this week.


Chartier is confident that spirit of cooperation will continue with implementation of the national Metis framework deal, as well.


He says he and federal Metis Interlocutor Chuck Strahl are also hopeful the provincial governments will begin to show interest in the Metis protocol agreement in the coming days.