Statement: Treaty No. 6 Territory
In response to the article released stating the Trudeau Government seeks judicial review in decision to compensate First Nations kids, Grand Chief of Treaty No. 6, Dr. Wilton Littlechild stated “Personally, I always was concerned about backlash, because of our success in advancing reconciliation through honoring and enforcement of our Treaty. After all the good words, I did not expect former Prime Minister Trudeau to take this path. I either totally misread him or his true colours are now coming out as he is losing ground to the Conservatives.”
Grand Chief Littlechild is a former Member of Parliament, was instrumental in the development and adoption of the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and is one of the Truth and Reconciliation Commissioners on the Indian Residential School era; he has advocated over four decades for Justice for Indigenous peoples, and particularly the First Nations citizens of this country. He noted this decision as “a giant step backwards that puts him (Trudeau) squarely in the conservative camp—now both are opposing the rights of our peoples.”
Chief Craig Makinaw of the Erminseskin Cree Nation made the following comment, “It is unfortunate that the government is asking for a judicial review. This ruling [CHRT] is for the children in-care and their families.”
The decision by Justin Trudeau is beyond disappointing, rather it is a clear indication that the federal government will continue violating Treaty and Human Rights of the Indigenous Peoples as candidate Andrew Scheer has also stated publically under his government if elected there will be a judicial review.
The Indian Residential School era, the 60s Scoop and the current child welfare system continues the plan of cultural, if not, outright genocide of Indigenous peoples as noted in various government documents since Confederation. The Canadian Human Rights Tribunal reviewed the issue and made their ruling based on proven violations by Canada.
When reviewing the campaign material of the current MP from his local riding, the Grand Chief stated “I also noted in our incumbent’s campaign brochure there is not one word about Indigenous issues; this is very concerning given the huge number of First Nations citizens eligible to vote in that riding.” The Grand Chief encourages all First Nations to review the voting stats of their MPs during the last terms on how they voted on Indigenous issues while in the House of Commons. “We cannot allow our voices to be silent, we cannot allow government to ignore our rights and continue to abuse our children; we must take an active role in decision-making in this country.”