Grand Chief: No shutting down northern reserves in territories we’ve lived in for “thousands of years”

A Manitoba grand chief who represents 30 northern First Nations says First Nations people in northern communities don’t want to move away from lands they’ve inhabited for “thousands of years.”

APTN National News
A Manitoba grand chief who represents 30 northern First Nations says First Nations people in northern communities don’t want to move away from lands they’ve inhabited for “thousands of years.”

Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak Grand Chief David Harper said moving people from remote fly-in communities would be akin to forcing residents in Winnipeg to move from zones of the city that flood every year.

“It’s like saying we are ready to move Winnipeg out of the flooding zone, it’s the same scenario,” said Harper. “We’ve lived (in our territories) for thousands of years. We’ve sustained before governments ever came to this land. We’ve sustained right through the time of the tragedies that have happened throughout the 1960s scoop and the residential school era and I believe we are not going to go anywhere.”

There have been calls among some media columnists and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s former adviser Tom Flanagan to shut down fly-in reserves.

Online Producer / Ottawa

Before moving to become the APTN News social media producer, Mark was the executive producer for the news in eastern Canada. Before starting with APTN in 2009, Mark worked at CBC Radio and Television in Newfoundland and Labrador and Ottawa.

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