(Vancouver, BC) –The BC Mètis Federation continues to take action as the current Idle No More campaign demands the Government of Canada to take a new approach to how it deals with Aboriginal people in this country. As such BC Metis Federation Vice President Mr. Daryl Piper, Secretary Mr. Joe Desjarlais, Director Ms. Beverly Lambert and Director Mrs. Maxine Lavallee continued with their support of the Idle No More movement yesterday, Saturday January 5th at the Peace Arch Park by the Canada-United States border at the Douglas crossing.
Many First Nations including Musqueam, Squamish, Tsleil-Waututh, Mount Currie, Semiahmoo, along with several bands from the United States including members of the public were also present at the Idle No More rally that grew to over a thousand participants marching between the border of Canada and the United States.
First Nations protocol was respected and all speakers reiterated the same message that the recently passed Bill C-45 was not acceptable and that Aboriginal people will be relentlessly continuing the Idle No More movement until the Harper government withdraws Bill C-45 and participates in meaningful negotiations with First Nations.
Mr. Joe Desjarlais, Secretary of the BC Métis Federation stated, “Standing shoulder to shoulder with Métis, First Nations and others at the Peach Arch rally, I got the real sense that people were fully functioning as citizens. It takes courage for these people to stand up for the common good. Current political leadership in Canada, including among Metis leadership, has been a reflection of colonial ideas. Ideas that divide, deny, react, blame, separate, control, commodify, and assimilate.
Mr. Joe Desjarlais added, “In the spirit of the historic treaty relationship, I also see the Idle No More movement as an ongoing invitation for Aboriginal people and Canadians to enter into a new mutual relationship, where people share ideas and participate in each other’s communities. Being Canadian is about bringing people and groups together, and celebrating the idea that our complexity is strength. This will once again be reflected in our policies and structures.”
BC Mètis Federation Vice President Mr Daryl Piper stated; “Enough is enough, no longer will Aboriginal people be demoralized and treated as second class citizens and it’s time to take back our Nation.” BC Metis Federation President Henry concluded; “BC Metis Federation leaders lead by action. All Aboriginal people must carefully weigh the future outcomes of what is unfolding. While this protest was carrying out, University of Calgary Professor Mr. Thomas Flanagan and current Prime Minister Harper advisor was heard across Alberta radio stations starting that the answer remains further assimilation. His irresponsible statements included suggesting Aboriginal community challenges were only about a lack of employment and the sooner Aboriginal people move or integrate into main stream society the faster the situations will be resolved. Individuals such as this advise the Prime Minister and we can see Mr. Flanagan is simply diverting the real situation and misinforming the average Canadian. The Federal Governments recent Bill C-45 which impacts the rights of Aboriginal people created this movement. The social issues further escalate the situation and to suggest further assimilation is the answer is shot sighted. Assimilation policies around since the 1800s have not worked and only created generations of lost Aboriginal people. Today Aboriginal communities are fighting back demanding our culture is protected and not lost and the lands can sustain future generations. We all need to stand together more than ever before and BC Metis Federation continues to urge all Metis people to support this movement.”
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BC Métis Federation
Vancouver, BC V5R 5W2
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