The Chief of the Onion Lake Cree Nation says it’s up to First Nations to educate themselves about what’s happening in terms of governments honouring treaties.
Wallace Fox is currently in New York to show support for a speaker who wants to help Indigenous people exercise their right to self-determination.
Fox says the recommendation that has been made to the United Nations by Alfred de Zayas centres around how governments manufacture so-called “consent” at the expense of grassroots citizens.
He says examples of this manufactured consent can be found in Canada in the way Prime Minister Stephen Harper claims to have consulted with First Nations on issues that fall under treaties.
Fox says the Harper Conservatives have been claiming meetings with the Assembly of First Nations and other regional groups are the equivalent of consulting with Aboriginal communities across the country.
“Because they met with the national chiefs on a number of occasions, Prime Minister Harper deemed that as consultation and each and every time you meet with senior bureaucrats or even junior level bureaucrats, they take that as they’ve consulted with First Nations people across Canada,” he says.
Fox says he is impressed with how informed international observers are with what’s happening in First Nations communities in Canada.
However, he says many people in this country are not so informed and blames corporate influence over public affairs as the culprit.
Fox says he believes the Idle No More movement and the advent of social media have helped to inform a lot more people but feels the mainstream media has largely failed to cover important Indigenous issues.