To the editor,
Recently the federal Justice Minister Peter MacKay was in Whitehorse to discuss victim’s rights legislation with Yukoners. Apparently, some victims have more rights than others in the eyes of the federal government because there was no representation by any First Nations Groups. When asked why, Mr. MacKay’s press secretary said that the First Nations representatives were invited but wouldn’t disclose which ones.
Chantal Genier, from the Council of Yukon First Nations Group, said she wasn’t notified of the roundtable. Clearly someone is lying and I don’t think it is Ms. Genier.
The federal government under Stephen Harper has been conducting the sort of campaign they do with anyone who calls them to account. And First Nations people have been doing just that in the last few years through Idle No More, calls for better education on reserves, truly responsible environmental regulation and fair treatment in terms of resource development on traditional territories.
So First Nations are to be punished for what the Harper Conservatives see as insubordination. One example of this is the recent refusal of the Harper government to sign on to a UN call to develop a comprehensive review of violence against First Nations women. Another is the snubbing of First Nations groups in the Yukon at this roundtable.
Your readers may wonder why I, as a resident of the Yukon, am writing a letter to a Nova Scotia newspaper. Well, the next time the constituents of Mr. MacKay’s riding go to the polls, they might consider that their poor electoral choices don’t just affect them.