Party Leaders Urged To Visit Reserve For Debate

Friday, September 12, 2008 at 14:58



The country’s top political leaders are being invited to a Saskatchewan reserve for a debate.


Federation of Saskatchewan Indian Nations Chief Lawrence Joseph says he can think of many First Nations where the Prime Minister and his rivals should visit so they can see Aboriginal issues themselves.


Joseph says politicians need to get some first-hand experience so they know what they’re talking about when setting policy.


Joseph says First Nations can’t be treated as an afterthought.


Meanwhile, the chief is giving a grade of “C+” to the Conservatives for their work in the last parliamentary session.


Joseph says Stephen Harper’s government could have done more, but still moved ahead on a few key files.


He points to the apology to residential school survivors and new legislation intended to fast-track land claims as some key examples.


Joseph says the party that forms government will need to show First Nations it is serious about job creation, and acknowledge the presence of things like epidemics on reserve.


While the “C+” grade may seem low, Joseph says some previous governments deserve an “F”.