Native Leaders Predicting Peaceful Solidarity Day

Thursday, March 27, 2008 at 16:34



First Nations leaders say they will go ahead with this year’s national day of action as planned — but it will be peaceful.


They were speaking at the national treaty implementation conference in Saskatoon yesterday.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph says last year’s day of solidarity was peaceful and this year’s edition will be the same — even though he feels the media are eager to see confrontation.


Joseph says there still needs to be many changes so First Nations people enjoy the same standard of living as non-First Nations people.


But he says the fact Indian Affairs Minister Chuck Strahl and other politicians have made appearances at the conference shows the political will exists to change things.


Assembly of First Nations National Chief Phil Fontaine says last year’s day of solidarity was not a protest, but a peaceful day of action meant to inform the public about the plight of many First Nations communities.


Fontaine maintains discussions between himself and the federal government have brought about some “very good results”, but not so much in other cases — which is why he says a similar day of action will go ahead this year.


He believes the federal government wants to eradicate First Nations poverty as much as he does, but adds there is disagreement on how to do it.