‘Harper talks with aboriginals, illusory’

An activist says the government of the Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper has only created the illusion of collaborating with the First Nations community, Press TV reports.

“I think they are just sort of trying to appease people, you know, like giving the illusions of actually having that consultation going on but not actually committing to it,” Myka Burning said in an interview with Press TV on Saturday.

Referring to the protests staged by the Idle No More movement, Burning noted that the demonstrators will continue until they can achieve their demands.

“The protests when it comes to Idle No More itself…will continue until Harper brings back that collaboration with First Nations people which he has supposed to be doing, which he has been failing to do. That is one of the main objectives of Idle No More – it has to get that dialogue back on the table,” she further explained.

The Idle No More, a movement of the First Nations in Canada, has been holding protests since November 2012.

On January 3, National Chief of the Assembly of First Nations Shawn Atleo called on Harper to meet with the aboriginal leaders over their concerns.

Canadian aboriginals have also held demonstrations since the government approved Bill C-45, which seeks to change the rules about aboriginal land. The protests intensified after Chief of Attawapiskat First Nation in Northern Ontario Theresa Spence went on a hunger strike on December 11, 2012, demanding a meeting with Harper.

“Until he [Stephen Harper] does that overall, the movement will keep going. It has to be a consistent thing. It cannot be just like a promise of, ‘Oh, I’m going to do this’. We need to see some actual concrete things coming from parliament,” Burning pointed out.

She added that the First Nations community believes that the Canadian government has the duty to consult with the indigenous people of the country based on the treaties and agreements.

“Again, [we will continue] until we see that they are…actually communicating with us and having us on the forefront of that consultation, again, it is just words. We are waiting to see action,” the activist concluded.