Madahbee praises Anishinabek solidarity
UOI OFFICES (NIPISSING FN), Jan. 17, 2013 - Grand Council Chief Patrick Madahbee has praised the demonstration of solidarity shown by Anishinabek Nation citizens during Wednesday's National Day of Action.
"I heard the news coming in all day," said Grand Council Chief Madahbee. "The Windsor-Detroit Ambassador Bridge being shut down in the southwest, railways being blocked in the southeast, highway routes being slowed near Lake Nipigon in our Northern Superior Region as well as public education campaigns in the Lake Huron area. The unified action by our people is the result of years of frustration and we're not going away.
"I've listened to the people at our rallies and they have shown tremendous resolve. They will keep up the fight, as long as it takes. When all is said and done, this government can't say we didn't try every diplomatic avenue possible before our citizens stood up and made their own statements.
"If Canadians get frustrated with traffic jams and temporary blockades we must remember there's a woman on Victoria Island in Ottawa whose life is on the line because of the stubbornness of the Prime Minister."
Speaking on behalf of the citizens of 39 member Anishinabek Nation communities, the Grand Council Chief said First Nations and other Canadians are fed up with unilateral legislation being imposed on them by the Harper government.
"Our demonstrators are hearing a lot of support from many motorists passing their checkpoints. If their prime minister respected our constitutional rights we would not have to inconvenience them. Traffic slow-downs and railway blockades are a sign of things to come if this government continues to be deaf to democracy."
In 2010 the Harper government made Canada a signatory to the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People.
Indigenous people have the right to participate in decision-making in matters which would affect their rights...[Canada] shall consult and cooperate in good faith with the indigenous peoples concerned in order to obtain their free, prior and informed consent before adopting and implementing legislative measures that may affect them. - UNDRIP
The Anishinabek Nation established the Union of Ontario Indians as its secretariat in 1949. The UOI is a political advocate for 39 member communities across Ontario, representing approximately 55,000 people. The Union of Ontario Indians is the oldest political organization in Ontario and can trace its roots back to the Confederacy of Three Fires, which existed long before European contact.