Harper’s 10 Year War on First Nations

Harper’s 10 Year War on First Nations

In ten short years, Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has set the relationship with First Nations back a hundred years. While all past governments have had a hand in the colonization and oppression of First Nations, the Harper government stands out as one of the most racist and aggressive governments that First Nations have had to work with in many generations. His government’s pattern of victim-blaming, racist stereotyping, and using misinformation to vilify First Nations leaders in the media has led even the most reserved voices at the United Nations to conclude that Harper’s actions have put “social peace” at risk.

Why does this matter to Canadians? Because First Nations are Canada’s last best hope at protecting the lands, waters, plants and animals for our collective future generations. As Harper amends environmental legislation to be virtually useless, and passes legislation making it an act of terror to protect the environment, the constitutionally-protected Aboriginal and treaty rights of First Nations have become the last remaining legal safeguard against unfettered resource extraction and the total destruction of our lands and waters.

It’s time for us to return Canada to the original treaty vision of mutual respect, benefit, and protection.

— Pam Palmater