Hundreds Flock To Sask. Day Of Action Rallies
Thursday, May 29, 2008 at 15:26
Today is the National Day of Action for First Nations across Canada.
This is the second straight year Aboriginal leaders have organized this event to draw attention to the plight of their people.
Rallies and demonstrations have been taking place throughout the country, including a number of events in this province.
About 150 people walked from the First Nations University of Canada to the Saskatchewan legislature in Regina today.
The chief of the FSIN hopes political alliances are formed with the general public as a result of today’s National Day of Action.
Lawrence Joseph says the peaceful walk is meant to bring awareness that First Nations people do not share an equal standard of living to their non-Aboriginal counterparts.
Joseph hopes Canadians will help First Nations people lobby governments to ensure their quality of life is improved.
In Prince Albert, Day of Action marchers made their way to city hall to meet with some of the country’s premiers, who are in the city for this week’s Western Premiers’ Conference.
Prince Albert Grand Council Chief Ron Michel says it’s important to let the average citizen know what issues are facing First Nations.
Just inside Meadow Lake Provincial Park, about 70 protesters held a demonstration spearheaded by the Waterhen Lake First Nation.
The band has several long-standing grievances with various levels of government about issues related to access to traditional territory.
A peaceful walk was also held in La Ronge, organized by the Lac La Ronge Indian Band.
Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine has called for peaceful protests while issuing a seven-point challenge to the Canadian government.
Fontaine wants to see system reforms that would give First Nations local decision-making powers, as well as increased funding to First Nations children and the implementation of suggestions by the auditor general on accountability.
Fontaine also wants to see education and revenue sharing to become priorities, as well as better recognition of the treaties.