Governments Sued For Natives’ Exposure To Liquor

Friday, January 19, 2007 at 14:15



A La Ronge lawyer is taking on the federal and provincial governments, which he says have violated the terms of Treaty 6.


Harold Johnson says he has filed a lawsuit against the province and Ottawa, because the Crown promised in Treaty 6 to protect First Nations from the influence of alcohol.


Johnson argues that, by law, alcohol should never have been introduced or sold on Treaty 6 territory or to Indian people covered under the treaty.


Johnson says both levels of government have a responsibility to those suffering from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder.


He is applying to have the claim registered as a class-action lawsuit.


Meanwhile, an Aboriginal university student in Saskatoon familiar with the Native healing community is applauding Johnson’s action.


Raeanne Fortin says it’s about time someone tried to make governments accountable for the devastation alcohol has caused.


Fortin says if governments really cared about the plight of Native people who have had their lives ruined by alcohol, they would fund a lot more culturally-appropriate programs.