Manitoba chief prepared to press rail
The video on YouTube offered tips
on disrupting railway traffic, such as wearing gloves.
The video also shows how to
disrupt railway traffic with wire.
Assembly of First Nations National
Chief Phil Fontaine delivers a speech to the Canadian
Club at the Chateau Laurier in Ottawa, May 15, 2007.
Chief Angus Toulouse said it's
possible natives could blockade the 401 highway on the
eve of the Canada Day long weekend
Published: May 15, 2007
Source: CTV.ca News Staff
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A Manitoba chief isn't backing down from
tough talk about blocking rail lines next month
to protest slow progress on land claims.
"... There are only two ways of dealing with the
white man. One, either you pick up a gun, or you
stand between the white man and his money,"
Terry Nelson of the Roseau River First Nation
told CTV Newsnet's Mike Duffy Live on Tuesday.
"I prefer to stand between the white man and his
money. And I think it's pretty darned clear that
if I were speaking about the poverty of the
First Nations, nobody would even care."
The statement came as a video on YouTube offered
tips on disrupting railway traffic and the
country's top native leader pleaded for action
on land claims and crippling poverty.
Entitled "When Justice Fails, Stop the Rails,"
the video by a group calling itself the Railway
Ties Collective notes there are more than 800
outstanding land claims in Canada. "The time it
will take to resolve these things is expected to
be more than 200 years."
YouTube had been asked to remove the video, but
it was still up early Tuesday evening.
In Ottawa, Phil Fontaine, grand chief of the
Assembly of First Nations, told the Canadian
Club, "Many people ask why our people are so
angry. At this point you must realize we have a
right to be frustrated, concerned, angry --
anger that's building and building."
His organization is organizing a national day of
action for June 29 to promote a fair share of
natural resources and power for First Nations.
However, he said he can't stop chiefs who want
to launch blockades.
Nelson said he'll follow through on rail
blockades, which would start at 4 p.m. on June
29 and go for 24 hours.
"Roseau River has had the longest land claim in
Indian Claims Commission history. We're still
waiting 135 years since the time we signed the
treaty for the quantum of land that we were
promised," he said.
Land claims are administered by the Indian
Claims Commission, a federal agency.
"Your attitude is we're living off your good
graces. This is our land, this is our property
and that's the way we look at it," he said.
Indian people are starting to say, "'Look, we
are not going to settle land claims by sitting
in front of a panel of immigrants to our land
and they decide whether our land rights are
proper or not'," Nelson said.
Federal Indian Affairs Minister Jim Prentice has
cautioned that rail line blockaders could face
criminal charges and civil court action.
Nelson has said that such action could backfire.
In Ontario, Chief Angus Toulouse said it's
possible natives could blockade the 401 highway,
one of Canada's busiest, on the eve of the
Canada Day long weekend.
"Sometimes blockades, sometimes this kind of
action, is what draws the attention of
governments, and it's sad to have to go there.
It really is, he said.
With a report from CTV's
Robert Fife and files from The Canadian Press