Now is the time for action says Atleo

first_img(AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo speaks Thursday at the closing of the special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que. APTN/Photo)APTN National News OTTAWA–Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said First Nations people were part of a “singular great struggle” and a force to be “reckoned with.”Atleo, speaking at the closing of a special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que., said the Harper government was “back sliding” on its commitment to work with First Nations by cutting funding to organizations and pushing legislation that threatened the rights of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.“We are saying to the country we will simply not stand for it any longer,” said Atleo. “Our leaders are deeply concerned and our people are frustrated and, make no mistake about it, angry about the government’s lack of action.”The special chiefs assembly was largely overshadowed by Tuesday’s protest on Parliament Hill which led to a group of chiefs from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario scuffling with security guards at the threshold of the House of Commons Chamber where MPs pass and debate the laws of the country.Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Wallace Fox he wanted to enter the chamber to speak directly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.During his speech, Atleo singled out Fox and praised him for his leadership.Atleo said the action had sent a clear message to the country and to Parliament that First Nations leaders would no longer allow the current situation to continue.“We will stand with one another,” said Alteo. “Now is the time for action.”A total of 236 chiefs and their proxies attended the meeting.last_img

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