A Mi’kmaq woman who is running for national chief of the Assembly of First Nations says she is tired of compromising with the Harper government.
Pamela Palmater feels First Nations are continually being asked to give up rights and benefits to the government in exchange for very little.
Palmater feels the AFN is becoming too cozy with the Conservative government and has started to buy into its ideology:
“That’s not my rhetoric. That comes right out of the joint action plan signed by Harper’s Conservatives and Atleo’s AFN. It’s all about integration, maximizing benefts for Canadians and individualizing our rights — as opposed to recognizing our collective, inherent sovereignty.”
Palmater notes other governments in the past have also kept Aboriginal people in poverty:
“That being said, this government is probably the biggest bully government, the most aggressive, in terms of going after our assimilation via legislation, policy and economics — trying to sell us that it’s good for us: ‘we’ll give you a few jobs, and give up your territories’ or ‘turn all your lands into fee simple’ or ‘allow non-Indians to own lands on reserve after marriage break-up’ — I mean, you name it.”
She also believes the Assembly of First Nations is buying into this ideology under Shawn Atleo.
The election takes place on July 18th.
Also running are George Stanley, Diane Kelly, Terrance Nelson, Elaine Gabriel, Joan Jack and Bill Erasmus.