This bulletin features an article from “The Sault Star” which describes a First Nations road blockade and protest rally in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario.
The event is significant because it is one of the first times that First Nations leaders have publicly criticized Canada’s immigration policies.
Many Canadians hope that First Nations will hold many other similar
protests. They hope that these protests will shame many politicians at the federal, provincial and municipal level into performing their duty to the larger interests of Canadians. One of those very important duties is to First Nations. For too long, politicians at all three levels have focused on how they can get the immigrant vote.
Many Canadians hope that this First Nations action (as well as future
actions) will also put organized Labour in Canada to shame. It is clear that Labour should have been doing all it could to have the immigration tap turned down to a trickle. Canada’s unemployed need to be protected from unnecessary job competition. Instead, since 1990, organized Labour has abandoned its strong voice on behalf of Canadian workers and has done one of two things. (1) Either it has focused on recruiting new immigrants so that unions can increase their membership. This is a betrayal of Canada’s unemployed and amounts to cheer-leading the immigration industry. (2) Or it has remained silent about the significant negative effects on Canadians of importing large numbers of people in times of high unemployment.
Immigration policies slammed at First Nations education rally
By Michael Purvis, The Sault Star
Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario
November 10, 2010
First Nations chiefs slammed the federal and provincial governments Monday for efforts to attract and to educate immigrants in light of education and other funding shortfalls faced by natives in this country.
“It has been mentioned here many times how many millions of dollars they are pouring into bringing people to this country when we’ve got the demographics of a young population that’s a ready workforce that needs the capacity, that needs the education,” Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee told a crowd at an education rally Monday that stopped traffic east of the city for a little less than two hours. “We could take advantage of the energy sector, we could take advantage of mining, forestry.”
Madahbee complained that during a recent hospital visit he saw no Anishinabe people working in higher-paying jobs.
“If there’s any Anishinabe working there at all, they’re working in custodial positions. Where are they in the labs? Where are they as doctors? We need education,” said Madahbee.
Monday’s rally by Garden River First Nation called on the federal government to live up to the education funding First Nations say is its responsibility under the agreements the Crown made with their ancestors.
Premier Dalton McGuinty announced last week his government will spend $30 million over the next four years to provide scholarships to international students completing doctorates at Ontario Universities.
The federal government announced earlier this month it plans to keep immigration levels at current levels next year, admitting between 240,000 and 265,000 permanent residents to the country.
In 2009, Canada admitted 252,179 immigrants as permanent residents plus 178,478 temporary foreign workers and 85,140 students.
Batchewana First Nation Chief Dean Sayers said too often the Crown is shirking the treaty responsibilities it has to First Nations in the name of “fiscal restraint.”
“What I say is close the borders. Don’t be bringing 200,000 more foreigners into these lands if you can’t even look after the responsibilities you have to us already,” Sayers said in his address to the rally. “Show me where we gave you the jurisdiction to look after immigration. We’ve had enough of these people coming in here and raping us. No more.”
With files from QMI Agency