FSIN Welcomes Vellacott’s Resignation

Thursday, May 11, 2006 at 15:24



The Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations is pleased with yesterday’s resignation of Conservative MP Maurice Vellacott as the Chair of the House of Commons Standing Committee on Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development.


Vellacott tendered his resignation after coming under fire for comments he wrongly attributed to the chief justice of the Supreme Court of Canada.


FSIN Chief Alphonse Bird says it is a relief to know Vellacott has resigned, noting the federation had been opposed to his nomination and appointment for several reasons.


Bird says Vellacott’s history of defending two Saskatoon police officers found guilty of dropping off an Aboriginal man on the outskirts of the city in freezing temperatures sent a negative message to the First Nations community.


He said Vellacott’s statements made a farce of the Stonechild inquiry.


Bird also says it’s a disappointment that Vellacott has never had any rapport or lines of communication with the FSIN, tribal councils or First Nations.


He says Vellacott doesn’t fully know the culture, community profile and poverty of Aboriginal people to be in such a serious post.