So much for the “natives” being the ones to close down Highway 401, instead it was actually the OPP who closed it does … shakes head. Granted it wasn’t closed for very long, “OPP officers redirect traffic off Highway 401 at Belleville after the police closed the highway in order to avoid a confrontation with Bay of Quinte Mohawks near Deseronto on Friday June 29, 2007.” Is what the public has been told, the highway is back to being open right now.
The Rail lines are nun to pleased with the “disruption” in services nor are the passengers who would be using the services (though a few do say that the natives have a right to do as they are to get the attention that has been lacking). CN Rail has said that they are going to louse about $100 million dollar worth of cargo that will not be delivered because of the “indian” blockade of the company’s busiest rail line. To which CN is starting to get tired of happening (this is about the third time that the lines been blocked – Toronto-Montreal line. Via Rail also canceled services leaving thousands of passengers between Montreal and Toronto, and Ottawa and Toronto without passage. Though they have offered to reimburse passengers who hold valid tickets.
The Assembly of First Nations does not condone the blockades which have been taking place across the country, and the chief of the Assembly of First Nations, Chief Phil Fontaine, told CTV’s Canada AM “Our position has been very, very clear,” he said. “We’ve never advocated blockades. I mean, we’ve made it very clear that this is to be peaceful. We want to do everything possible to reach out to Canadians. We are not interested in major disruption. We don’t want to impede the Canadian economy.”
While this day of action might not have gone over well in general with the Ontario public, its sad to see that its come down to this type of action at all. I know part of the heart of the action is the 50 or so outstanding land claims, according to the Ontario Secretariat for Aboriginal Affairs, but that number doesn’t sound right to me, then again I don’t remember how many there are nation wise, but its over 100 I am sure (been a while since I covered land claim issues – like that being in my second year of university in my Native Politics course).
Do I support the Native Day of Action? Yes on various levels I 100% do support it, I just do not support the hotheads who are doing the blockades – though it might be a useful tactic, its not the message they should be sending at this point in time (though it makes one wonder what would be the response if they blockaded at Queen and Yonge – that might well have gotten more media attention then what has hit the news this day).
I dislike saying this, but there are those Canadian’s who just do not understand what the native people have lived though in this country. Many new Canadian’s and other Canadian’s have voiced their options over the years telling the government to make the Native people the same as everyone else, to abolish their rights and freedoms that they have been given as a people. And I am reading and hearing the same types of comments this day being posted and talked about. Makes me think that just maybe if the Assembly of First Nations took their case to the UN Court and charged Canada with attempted genocide what would be the outcome of that charge. I already know that Canada has a bad track record with the UN over how its native people have been treated (though the US has a worse record in this area) since the founding of the country itself.
I don’t know what it will take to make things right between the native population and the federal government (outside of what they are looking for), but I am sure that it will be a long time in the making, since the conservative government is the one who got Canada as a whole into this whole blasted mess to start with with MacDonald’s conservative government. Yes Canada’s founding government was Conservative, so maybe its fitting that what’s happening is now again on the conservatives governments door step.
Well take care everyone,