Ahenakew Takes The Stand In His Own Defence

Thursday, November 27, 2008 at 15:22



The former Assembly of First Nations national chief at the centre of a hate trial in Saskatoon took the stand this morning.


David Ahenakew’s lawyer had been mum on whether his client would testify in his own defence.


But Douglas Christie’s final witness in this trial is the defendant.


Ahenakew is on trial for the second time for whether he wilfully promoted hatred six years ago when he made controversial comments about Jews to a newspaper reporter.


Ahenakew testified this morning about his state of health at an FSIN conference on Dec. 13th, 2002 — the day he make the remarks.


Ahenakew said he was struggling to keep his blood sugar level stable — that it would fluctuate from very low to very high.


He said at the time of the conference, his blood sugar level was high, which would make him jittery and excitable.


Ahenakew testified he remembers being nervous before his speech.


He said that was the first time he was ever nervous to speak about treaty rights — and he attributes that nervousness to his high blood sugar.


Ahenakew told the court, when he is nervous, he uses profanity in his speeches — something he said he doesn’t do all the time.


He also said, since that time, he has stabilized his blood sugar with Indigenous medicine.


Ahenakew still has to be cross-examined by the Crown.