At least a few hundred First Nations people from the Tsuu T’ina and Treaty 7 nations rallied in front of PM Stephen Harper’s constintuency office in Calgary, then downtown in Olympic Plaza, and then in front of the federal office. I feel honoured have stood in solidarity with them.
This was part of a nation-wide protest called Idle No More organized by four women in Saskatchewan. The protests are focused on bills recently put forward by the Harper government, mainly the Bill C-45 Budget Implementation Bill, which includes changes to the Indian Act, Fisheries Act and Navigable Waters Act. These changes infringe on the treaty rights and way of life of First Nations people, and cannot just be changed on a whim, with no discussion or consultation, by an arrogant and ignorant federal government.
I’m glad this was on Internation Human Rights Day, because Canada’s treatment of indigenous peoples is a human rights tragedy.