‘Now is the time for action,’ says Atleo

Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said First Nations people were part of a “singular great struggle” and a force to be “reckoned with.”

(AFN National Chief Shawn Atleo speaks Thursday at the closing of the special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que. APTN/Photo)

APTN National News
OTTAWA–Assembly of First Nations National Chief Shawn Atleo said First Nations people were part of a “singular great struggle” and a force to be “reckoned with.”

Atleo, speaking at the closing of a special chiefs assembly in Gatineau, Que., said the Harper government was “back sliding” on its commitment to work with First Nations by cutting funding to organizations and pushing legislation that threatened the rights of Canada’s Indigenous peoples.

“We are saying to the country we will simply not stand for it any longer,” said Atleo. “Our leaders are deeply concerned and our people are frustrated and, make no mistake about it, angry about the government’s lack of action.”

The special chiefs assembly was largely overshadowed by Tuesday’s protest on Parliament Hill which led to a group of chiefs from Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario scuffling with security guards at the threshold of the House of Commons Chamber where MPs pass and debate the laws of the country.

Onion Lake Cree Nation Chief Wallace Fox he wanted to enter the chamber to speak directly to Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

During his speech, Atleo singled out Fox and praised him for his leadership.

Atleo said the action had sent a clear message to the country and to Parliament that First Nations leaders would no longer allow the current situation to continue.

“We will stand with one another,” said Alteo. “Now is the time for action.”

A total of 236 chiefs and their proxies attended the meeting.

9 thoughts on “‘Now is the time for action,’ says Atleo

  1. “We will stand with one another,” said Alteo. “Now is the time for action.”
    love or hate him we have to stand together the many will have more affect
    than the few.

    Because of the government over the years some of the people don’t have
    status because of rule set out buy them & we should also include the Metis

    with this fight they can be a good Allies they live in both worlds in flux
    they have helped in the past to right some wrongs we can have more power
    & control of this nation, the more the better.
    I see the destruction of the water & food
    some whites are with us & fought with our elders
    in the wars. get back to the sharing the greed is in the

    way this has effected our people as well
    Peace.

  2. Atleo’s discontent was framed in the context of Harper’s “back sliding” on its “commitment” to work with FN…that concerns me…that was a very limited and assimilationist commitment to begin with –

  3. Its time for us a nation too be heard.the goverment is not takin us seriously an puttin us in the back burner of canadas issues.the goverment is puttin money in other countries issues when we have are problems at home in are own country.some of are communities are living in third world enviroments an its a shame its time for action

  4. one whiteman cant take our historical treaty rights away from our future grandchildren, trudeau tried when i was a kid, all first nations people must vote in every federal election, our first nation youth are exploding in population, and we are a strong nation that can affect every federal election, and have this ever increasing voice heard loud and clear, we are proud of our first nations culture,lets do a nation wide class action lawsuit now against stephen harpers government to say NO you cant quietly assimilate the first nations people and strip our inherent treaty rights from before our very eyes, and then wait 100 yrs to say this was wrong and we are very sorry for what we have done to the first nations people yet again, assimilate assimilate assimilate, doesnt this sound familiar, they are trying to wipe out whole future generations of our people, and we absolutely have to stand together and not allow history to repeat itself, call for aboriginal lawyers now

  5. Five hundred years and counting for the colonial governments not understanding or respecting the treaty making process. Treaties are meant to keep the peace amongst our nations and the newcomers to this land. More importantly they were meant to share the resources of this land so that first nations can eventually move out of the state of dependency that the Indian act has created. Access to the resources is key in building our internal economies. The focus must be to get Canadian society to understand what the treaties were designed to be and have them tell their government that indigenous society must be treated with respect.

  6. Excellent. So the first thing our Peace Chief should do is step down so the Chief’s in Assembly can get of with selecting a War Chief to lead the way. She is waiting in the wings.

    1. I agree with most of that, Yvon.
      Atleo isn’t the man for the job.
      He was dismissed as being too confrontational in comparison to Atleo, but it looks like we need Terrence Nelson.

  7. We have sat back, too long as governments continue to make recommendations and decisions which hinder and effect us daily. We can not longer watch, otherwise they will make further decisions that reduce our rights…..

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