This is up there with “Conservative candidate asks for ‘ethnic costumes’ for Harper photo op”!
“Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper becomes “Chief Speaker” at a Kainai Chieftainship ceremony with elder Pete Standing Alone and Melissa Whitegrass on the Blood Indian reserve in Stand Off, Alberta, July 11, 2011.”
Check out Ben Powless’ speech on exactly what the Harper regime has done for Canada’s indigenous peoples:
“Under the Harper regime, the government has cut over 100 million dollars to housing on reserves, despite many First Nations living in fourth world conditions, with about half of First Nations homes needing major renovations and overcrowding more than doubling the last few years.
Under the Harper regime, the government has sought to punish Native communities who don’t meet federal water standards, instead of providing proper funding and support to deal with thousands of homes that have neither water nor sewage service.
Under the Harper regime, the government has CUT funding for the internationally-renowned Sisters in Spirit initiative (which Bridget Tolley talked about), despite the ever increasing need to tackle the root causes for the problem of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.
Under the Harper regime, Aboriginal children have fallen even further behind on education, despite the fact that as many as three out of four Native teens don’t make it through high school, and many children don’t even have a school in their community. Cindy Blackstock has likened this to a bridge, where for Canadian children, the governments build a bridge to cross the water, and most students cross. For Aboriginal children, the government builds half a bridge, blames Aboriginal children when they fall in and then demands to be thanked for building half-a-bridge.
Under the Harper regime, the government at first refused to apologize for Residential Schools, saying they were only trying to ‘provide Aboriginal children with an education’ — as if that was a decent explanation for committing cultural genocide. It was only when a court ruled that they HAD to apologize that they finally did. And they continue to make a mockery of the apology with their actions.
Under the Harper regime, the government fought tooth and nail against the UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples. After it was adopted by the UN, they said it was unconstitutional and would be the end of the world, basically. Last year, after much pressure, they quietly announced that they could maybe support it, in theory, except for the right to Free, Prior and Informed Consent, otherwise known as the right to say “NO”, the most important part of the Declaration.”
Words cannot really express just how upset this picture makes me. Sure, guys, make him a chief in some weird publicity stunt; just so he and his can fuck us while paying lip service to our cultures and the health and well-being of our people. Harper is the worst kind of colonialist, and frankly, you’re encouraging him.
I’m sorry, but this is a mistake. Harper has done nothing for us, and he never will.